Friday, February 13, 2009

Walking Forward into the Past (or the Gorilla Squatting in the Corner of the Studio)

May this shaman lead my art somewhere primitive, somewhere populated with archtypes. May this shaman teach me more about walking forward into the past.
From detailed sculptures of Cleopatras with three-dimensional eyelashes and ankh tattoes on their shoulders, my work has veered toward the more elemental in the last year or so. Occasionally, this incremental change hits my awareness like a very non-incremental gorilla suddenly stomping through the door and plopping down in the corner of the studio. It becomes a little difficult to get into creating when you know the gorilla is looking over your shoulder. Okay, before we ditch this gorilla illustration, let's talk about what the gorilla is whispering in my ear:
You used to create magnificent details in your sculptures, you know.
Remember some of those Cleopatras with their three-dimensional eyelashes? Those were damn fine.
Bet people would love to buy a detailed faery or dragon done in that style.
Can you imagine the demand for a series of holiday themed couples? You know, like Santa and the Mrs. or a masked couple in their Mardi Gras Ball finery?
What's with this primitive, primordial schlock that hides your sculpting ability?
So what if it takes a great deal of restraint to let the glass do its own talking in the flame? Who cares about that if what the glass says isn't literally pretty?
Now, those are some points that deserve attention, even though I value my more minimalist direction over the more detailed perspective I used to pursue with the same glee. I'm also pretty sure that I've been avoiding this conversation for months now, simply by hiding behind the economy and letting that dismal outlook serve as an excuse for not bothering to create as many sculptures. Same thing for letting the forum skirmishes depress me into not keeping up with my online glass friends and the cool online glass goody galleries every night-- I know showing work in the galleries improves sales and visits to the blog, so why can't I just look at it as a business concern and ignore the contentiousness and nastiness when it breaks out?
Whoops! Almost got away with evading the gorilla again! Back to the discussion of detailed versus minimalist sculpting. I walked forward into the past when I started moving from me bossing the glass to me aiding the glass in its quest. When I stopped trying to force the glass and started watching how the glass moves in the flame, then it became easier and easier to suppress the urge to add extraneous details and to just let the outline or archetype shine. Weird as it sounds, I think I had to learn (and practice, practice, practice) the more detail-oriented sculpting before I was ready to do this.
Now, the question becomes "what's the next step?" Where does my sculpting go from here? If I am addicted to the thrill of new discoveries and wow's, then how do I stay motivated when it looks like the next step is simply to learn self-confidence and patience and keep on letting the glass lead the way?


Ellen said...

As far as I'm concerned, Ang, it's all about following your heart. I think if you're honest with yourself, which I think you are, you'll do whatever your heart tells you.
Screw that gorilla - what does he know?

Liquid said...


Gorilla will stop stomping eventually and only now and again will it whisper to you.

Your Gorilla misses you, it is OK to let the glass speak but now and again it is also good to command her.

Your work is beautifully zen.


ang... I agree with ellen ... I am sure you are a girl that follows her heart....

we all need a break from the pc.. even if it is what brings in the $...
hope you find that house soon.. thats prob. whats draining you...

have a great weekend....

rosebud101 said...


Laurie Whitney - Mermaid Glass said...

First, I have to get that image out of my head - "Gorilla squatting". Ewwwww, that's so gross.

Next, I'm with you on the avoidance. It gets hard sometimes and I think we all feel more like door-to-door salesmen than craftfolk and artists. It's all the time like, "Hey, here I am. Look at me! Don't forget about me! ME, ME, ME." It's hard.
Every once in a while, you just have to risk being forgotten, risk making no sales, settle your mind and Zen-out.

Last, you are insanely creative and I can't see the problem with the path you're on. The heart wants what it wants and the muse won't ever be forced. You're exactly where you should be and when it's time to move on, you will. It's that simple.

Wow, I'm totally wordy tonight, huh. Sorry.

Studio Marcy - Marcy Lamberson said...

Let 'er rip! Do whatever you want and the rest will come.

Easier to say than do.

I tend to do something from a list and choose what I want to work on and then I have "free time" and I'd say more of my best pieces come from that.

angelinabeadalina said...

Oops, sorry 'bout the gorilla, Laurie!

Mona, I think you are quite right-- this whole househunting thing has gone on for three years now (noooo, I don't think my DH has commitment issues of any sort...), and it is draining.

As for the gorilla, I just got my substitute teaching certificate renewed and got on the sub list for schools in this area. I think bringing in a little money that way will help my outlook (and reduce any guilt about buying more glass, bwahahahaha). I did subbing ten or eleven years ago, and I had fun. The secretary at James' and Kate's school already has me booked for two days in March :)

Oh, and you are all very right about the muse and following your heart-- it just doesn't work to try to force something. I do love to let the glass talk!

Toodles for now! Hope each of you has a sweetheart of a day today :)

Maggie said...

Ooooooh, Substitute teaching. You are a brave one. Those kids need good subs and I think you'll be a great one.

Your sculptures have such a wonderful flow to them, simplicity at its finest in the one shown today. Agree that you have to follow your heart and don't be afraid of change.