Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Drawing day seventeen

Yesterday I laid out all sixteen (well, seventeen, given the doubling the other day, but sixteen days' worth. I'm not sure I put that apostrophe in the right spot - it looks wrong whichever way I do it) drawings together. Hmmm, looks impressive. I'll have to figure out a way of displaying them all together somehow, when I finally grind to a halt. So far, though, I haven't been tempted to miss a day; I'm enjoying the exercise. It would be kinda cool to keep going for a year but I'm not making any promises, even to myself!

In my cleaning up tizz the other day, I moved two of my school sculptures (from just inside the front door, where they have reposed since the November day I hauled them home, a toe stubbing accident waiting to happen): a heavy plaster piece using negative/positive space (hard! my brain didn't want to think in three dimensions, particularly when those three dimensions were described in clay hidden inside plaster) and a hebel cement orca carved after the style of the (americas) Pacific Northwest culture (I say 'after the style' because, believe me, none of the native artists would recognise this!).

Handling them again reminded me of my joyful surprise at discovering how much I love sculpture. I always thought I wanted to paint, and my spectacular lack of success in producing paintings with which I was pleased was due to my ineptitude with the medium. I suspect now that the problem was more that I was trying to force my ideas in the wrong direction. I'd never really attempted sculpture until late last year when a concept for a soft sculpture took my imagination by storm and I worked on it feverishly for hours till it was done:
Ibis form (fabric, yarn, ribbon over paper and wire core)

Then when I took sculpture as one of my course electives last year, I found I had a major passion for it. I LOVED every moment of it, from card maquettes to clay (ooh, so tactile!) to wood to plaster to hebel. Loved it way more than painting, at which I kind of suck (unless I can use 3D stuff in the painting, in which case it rather crosses the line to multi-media). Working on a sculpture sends me into some sort of altered state, the semi-trance that some artists talk about. Perhaps it's that left brain versus right brain thing, but whatever it is, it's better than almost anything else I know. Almost better than sex!

On reflection, perhaps it shouldn't have come as such a surprise, this utter infatuation with sculpture. I've always loved textiles, yarn, thread, paper, hoarded stuff: boxes, bits of foam, timber scraps, anything that caught my bower bird's eye (the garage is full of it, some day soon I must sort it out. Probably it's a fire hazard...). Always enjoyed working with my hands, sewing, making hats and bags, attempting to make shoes (not one of my finer moments - the swearing was outrageous), creating cards and giftboxes, beading, making anything. Painting, well I WANTED to paint, tried hard to paint, but messing about with two dimensions was never half as satisfying as creating something in the round.

Perhaps I've found my niche. Or it's found me...

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