I got a little chuckle yesterday when I read Gloria Freshley's most recent post from her blog, Gloria Freshley Art and Design...as she was surprised and delighted to discover the back side of a printed fabric. It's often the case that we find the beauty in the unseen and undiscovered.
I had the same experience a few days ago when I decided to tear down a larger drawing that had been laying around for many years. I liked parts of it, not enough to keep working on it, but just enough not to throw it away, so in moment of do or die, I started to tear it down into smaller pieces. The drawing started out about 11x15" and was on the handmade paper that my husband makes periodically, so earthy and sturdy and lovely to work on. I'd painted the piece a kind of minty green and it had been dipped in beeswax, with some drawing and sewing on it already, much of which I'd ripped out...but that made it even better...the trace of the earlier sewing and the holes left behind. So, since I've been working smaller lately, I thought I couldn't go wrong by tearing it down and reinventing the piece. As I thought about continuing to sew on one of the new small pieces, I casually turned it over and fell in love with the backside...unpainted paper flecked with bits of of color left from the ink on the prints he'd torn down to turn into the paper, made all the more luscious and rich by the addition of beeswax. So exciting! I finished the little piece and added it to my shop titled Lost Book Page. As you see, I think of it now as a book page, a fragment torn from an ancient volume, so there is recto (front) and verso (back)...2 pieces in one! I know, for me, which side is the front and which is the back. Here it is, back side and then front side below.
Here's to the happy surprises...keep your eyes open!