Friday, May 17, 2013

Small victories

The processes of artists is often portrayed as a blissful or tempestuous state, steeped in emotion, the product of deep yearning. While this might be true of say, Andrew Wyeth or Jackson Pollock, it hardly bears resemblance to the way my work is made. I draw or paint, making things I'm not sure have any meaning, let alone the truths Andrew Wyeth says artists should unearth. I look, draw, observe some more, daydream about whatever it is I'm sketching and wonder all the while if I can make what I'm drawing or if the drawing itself is worthwhile.

The real work of an artist is in that space where the first tentative attempts are made and the later ones that fall short of perfect. This space of time is so frustrating, so blood boilingly annoying. How I hate to return to the drawing board - to figure out a hinge, to get a tiny piece to cast or to fix resin that refuses to set up. I have a pile of projects in various states of 'almost there', so close, but for a few hours (days, weeks, months) of work.

The moment when a piece comes together, after so many hours hunched over, after making it over several times, is actually pretty damned blissful. Those few moments of utter happiness when a piece is examined and found without's a bone deep satisfaction.

So now I'm sitting in front of a pile of things that need more work, or that have to be sculpted from scratch (again). Sometimes it's the thought of painting the last dot in the eye, or seeing a flawless resin piece pop out of a mold that keeps me in the studio.
That desire to create something beautiful, something that will transmit an idea perfectly, is a bewitching force. The thought of small victories, overcoming a difficult material or finding the perfect color is enough for me. Better get some coffee on.

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