If you lie back on the patio and point your camera straight up into the sky, this is what you see here today. The railing in the corner of the picture is on the upper deck, the place our kids aptly named "the sky deck" when we moved here. Considering all the photos I snap of sunrises, sunsets, and clouds, you might expect the sky deck to be my favorite spot, but it isn't.
My favorite spot is the concrete patio beneath the sky deck. Our funky tri-level is on a hill, so the lower level opens onto a broad concrete patio, part of which is covered by the sky deck. It's a flexible place, too. Want shade or protection from lightning? Sit under the sky deck. Want some sun or wind or rain on your face? Scoot out to the edges. Want to step into the grass with your bare feet? There it is, waiting for your touch.
So, that's my place for introspection. Thinking never gets crossed off my to-do list, even though actual application and follow-thru of those thoughts can linger indefinitely on the list before being checked off as done. This summer seems to be especially high on the introspection list... and that leads right into the "direction" part of my title. Direction. I don't seem to have it artistically. Practicing patience may have been my goal while waiting for my studio setup, but in fact, it may have been more of an excuse than anything. Oh, sure, the torch table wasn't put together for a very long time, but would I have used it much anyway? Not too sure. Since Ricky put it together sans fan and light, I've started torching sporadically when the temperature is warm enough to open the doors for air flow (and still be able to keep the glass warm). Twenty-five pounds of glass arrived last week (awesome 30% discount for ordering in bulk at Mountain Glass!). The box is open, and a few rods have been melted. Eh. Two pleasing figures came out of the flame, but I'm not rushing to try to sell them.
Laziness? Ha. I'm sure that's been said about me regarding plenty of things, but I think that's merely a camouflage, a ruse to disguise my lack of direction. I kept telling myself that being patient about the studio was good because it was giving my brain time to incubate new ideas. Nah. Soon as the propane and oxy were lit, I made goddesses and faces... same old, same old. Except, it's not just SOSO when I'm sitting there watching them form in the flame.
Goddesses, figures, "nekid wimmen," whatever you choose to call the sculptures I like to make, is making them just a rut, or is it a creative groove that needs to be followed? They are about self acceptance, body confidence, growing with gracefulness. They intimidate some people, and they make other people crack jokes. That's okay, they also touch some people, lend them positive energy, re-ignite confidence, instill a little more courage for a few moments. Knowing that feeling even one time is a great treasure for a creative person, ya know? It's a good groove, it is. Now, I just need to gradually carve it out a little wider along the edges as I follow it. I need to make sure it's growing as it moves forward, not becoming simply a rut.
Anyway, I've rambled a lot today, and I didn't even make it to the "cloud collection" part of the title! You can bet I'll hit that one another day. After all, collecting clouds may be a fairly ephemeral sort of hobby, but daily observation and introspection of what you see can't hurt, now can it?
Toodles! Have a terrific start to your week!