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?