Quality Control


Uh oh!  How did it come to this?   A couple of hours ago it had been intact.


I had been completely happy with this drawing.  After I finished it I called it “Interplay” and filed it away.   My plan was to do a small series of lanterns, “Interplay” being the first.

When I did the second drawing in the set, “Minamiza Lantern” I remembered something I used to do several years ago.  I used to put a layer of white pencil underneath a colour which I wanted to glow.  I don’t know why I had forgotten this or why the memory of it came back.  In any case, I put white under the lantern and the blue fabric before I added colour coats.  The result was a very bright picture.   Suddenly the lantern in “Interplay” was flat and dull by comparison.

Minamiza Lantern

Minamiza Lantern

I immediately set to work on a third lantern drawing.  Once again I put white under the colours which I wanted to glow with electricity.  This drawing is called “Paper and Neon”. When I put this new drawing next to “Minamiza Lantern”, the two of them looked bold and bright together.  They are the first two players in a new team…Team Undercoat White!

Paper and Neon

Paper and Neon

Seeing the lanterns in both “Minamiza Lantern” and “Paper and Neon”, I knew even more that “Interplay” was no good.  I felt that I had taken a step up with the new drawings. When I looked back down over my shoulder, I no longer liked the drawing that was left behind on the lower step.  So this afternoon I did the deed – rip, rip, rip.  I did it without regret.  Quality control.

“Interplay” served its purpose as a bridge of sorts.  It was part of a learning curve which has yielded good results therefore it wasn’t a waste of time.  Tomorrow I will begin the next lantern…with white.

Related page:  Failures!                                 Return to Contents of Posts page

NB: The above photos were taken with my I-phone as I STILL don’t have a computer!  My new computer has been lost somewhere between Sydney and Perth it transpires.

A photo of Minamiza Lantern taken with my Nikon D90 camera.

A photo of the drawing “Minamiza Lantern” taken with my Nikon D90 camera.

Several years later – in 2018 – these things still happen!!

Another one bites the dust.
May 2018.


17 thoughts on “Quality Control

  1. iarxiv

    Very brave! I would have kept the ‘bridge’ picture anyway, as a reminder of the learning curve (or so I would have told myself anyway). Thanks for the hint about white underneath to make the paintings ‘glow’.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Well, I don’t need to keep the drawing as I have the reminder of the learning curve here on my blog. Besides I would have got annoyed every time I looked at the drawing.

  2. occasionalartist

    Julie, I cringed a bit when I saw the first photo in this post. I can never rip up a drawing, I tend to keep them all, good or bad. How ruthless is your quality control! I can understand your thinking of not wanting to include it in your set though. I am off to try white under colour now. Karen

  3. Katherine

    I know exactly how you were feeling. Even though I think that Interplay was fantastic… it matters most how YOU feel about it. Sometimes, when we don’t feel right about a piece, we just have to eliminate the evidence completely, and tossing the thing that is making us so uneasy feels like a big relief. I really admire your approach to your work and your willingness to share your process, and your thought process as well!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      I’m so pleased to have your comment, Katherine. As to sharing my processes, it is wonderful to do so. I used to have an exhibition every two years and in between it was like being on a desert island. It is a big relief to have regular interaction with people instead these days thanks to social media. Nowadays, between shows is just as much fun AS shows.

  4. sherrytelle

    I sold a piece last year that I was not pleased with….it still bugs me that it is out there, I want to find it and fix it. So I know what you mean! As for the computer lets hope it didn’t end up in the same place my birthday present to you did!!!! LOL

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hey Sherry, at least the birthday present returned to Canada so we know what the outcome was. As for the computer, for some reason there was no tracking number on it. Oh well, I’m sure somebody will sort it out eventually.
      As for your piece you were not pleased with, clearly somebody loves it. You just have to mentally let it go.

  5. anna warren portfolio

    Yep, you were absolutely right to do what you did. Not because the drawing was bad, far from it, but it didn’t measure up to your standards and no longer fitted with the others. Being philosophical and regarding this work as a ‘bridge’ to the new works is a great way of looking at the experience. Its frustrating to waste the time, but in my opinion even failed works are never a waste of time because we have learned SOMETHING, however small. The only thing I would have done differently was to keep the torn up pieces and use them in a collage, but that is my way of working, not yours!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Anna, I THOUGHT about the collage idea – but not for very long. I’m really glad that you agree with me. I feel I learned a lot so don’t think it was in the slightest a waste of time.

      On another note, I have set myself up on Lucy’s computer. I loaded software so that I can now upload photos from my proper camera onto here plus set up the printer. YAY! Have a look at the difference between the Nikon photo and the I-phone photo of my “Minamiza Lantern”. Pity I can’t photograph “Paper and Neon” right now but it has gone off to be documented by a professional photographer along with five other drawings.

      1. anna warren portfolio

        Wow! That really does make a difference, that lantern just glows now! Even though iPhone cameras are pretty good, they can’t compete with a a proper DSLR. I just clicked on the image – something I really like about your work is that you can see your marks, even though they translate into such superb photorealism from a distance, they retain a personal quality.

      2. juliepodstolski Post author

        Yes, huge difference. Oh – re marks – yes I love marks. I know that it is the philosophy of some CP artists to have the finished work looking mark-less – but I don’t want that for my own work. I want pencil marks in their many manifestations.

  6. Doreen Cross

    As hard as it is sometimes Julie…. It was the right thing to do as you would never have been happy with it…. I have filed many drawing in the Bin. No regrets as we have to be happy with our work. so we learn and move on. Dors. xx

  7. Ann Kullberg

    Kills me. Literally. So sad. Loved that one. I know you wanted glow…but the dimness of Interplay attracted me….a slightly dying lantern.

    Your guts and artistic integrity are amazing, Julie!!


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