The glass figure sculpture has been coming along smoothly and just recently is ran into technical problems and I’m feeling over-full of technical and am starting to drag my feet… which is why I always have several projects going at once! I feel it is important to keep a balance. When I’ve taken a step back and released a little more creative energy I’ll be able to tackle those problems with a fresh frame of mind.
After looking through my silk samples and playing with them I’m realizing that I need really heavy (ie. expensive) silk for the Freedom piece. Lighter stuff just moves wrong in air and I can’t order something online that I haven’t seen and touched myself. This means I need to wait until my next LA trip (within a month or two I think). That way I can get a whole bolt of the same stuff and not pay twice as much. Then I get to abuse it to death- wash it until it’s soft and buttery and matte, and dye it and over-dye it until I get all the lovely skin colors I want.
This one should be a fun project. Conceptually it’s already done, but it is keeping my attention because I love the process of dying- it’s always an interesting challenge to get just the right shades on fabric. I love working with color so very physically.
I’ve thought through a few more ideas for that figure in the Pieta. It suddenly occured to me that if I have the face turned toward the mother figure I could eliminate the specifity of the face, gender, race, age… and yet I could do a lot with the body language- make it suggest the infant, but also the need and despair. It will be tricky, but could really work. My other stabs at this involved the figure going a little surreal (multiple faces, etc) and I have been afraid that this would distract from the rest of the piece. This way the only thing would be the scale. Also, I think I have a model who would be perfect for this. I can start sketching it out on the panel now!
In the meantime I am more and more drawn to my 20 month old daughter’s drawings and I feel like it could inspire a series of work. I feel too mired in technical work lately and they represent a beautiful freedom… and yet my hand is so trained that I can’t even scribble freely! It presents and interesting challenge to achieve that freedom. Not that I’m alone in striving for that- a whole succession of artists have tried to get the freedom of a child in their work. I intend to play with it until it suggests something new that can be real art.
…which brings me to my other current venture: buffing up my art history knowledge of 20th century art, especially the first 60 years and in particular the New York School. I’m not by any means ignorant of this period, but it’s an area where my knowledge is more general. If I am doing anything that resembles that work I feel it is important to have a much deeper knowledge of it. So I’ve made a little reading list and am just starting the first book.