Photography and Memory

Image of a frame I made about 7 years ago. I've never liked the photo, and because of that, not liking the photo, I've had somewhat negative feelings about the frame itself. The above is my latest attempt at potatochopping the image into something I like, and I'm still not satisfied. This previous weekend, I went to an exhibition on the art of George Ames Aldrich at the Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University. There, I saw this frame and another of the same pattern on two Aldrich paintings. In person, I liked the frames far more than I had remembered. I have noted this as a phenomenon; I'm never quite pleased with my work until some time has passed. Then, an opportunity arises for me to see the work again, and with a few exceptions, I'm far more pleased with how the frames look than memory served.

Being self-critical is important for the quality of the work, and is a part of the process. Near the end of the carving, I'll hang the frame in viewing position, walk away, do other things, so I can see the frame with fresh eyes. Changing which leg is up is a part of that, and often leads to refinements, and catching subtle errors.

And it is enriching for my ego, to be looking at a piece of art, think it's nicely framed, and then recognize it as my own work. I knew that in an Aldrich exhibit, there would be some of my frames, but these were a surprise, as I have often done frames without ever seeing the actual art. In this case, I actually had to study the frames for awhile, including looking at the label to see ownership, before deciding that, yes, they were mine.