I was trying to become an artist. I would still my thoughts and see what image wanted to come out of me. I would take careful pauses to discern what colors to use, what lines to draw by giving my intuition space. I would wait quietly when I was unsure, and go ahead trusting my intuition when it spoke. I didn't use an eraser. If I made a mistake I let it stand to add irregular beauty. I learned by doing and doing and doing. I didn't push myself or force anything and it all felt very easy. I didn't worry about it when I made drawings I didn't like much. I just kept moving. My motto at that time was "I'm not making art, I'm making an artist." I didn't finish much, but I filled a sketchbook with seed and reference material that I still use.
I'm in a different place now. I often try to make art. I often try to finish things, anyway. Right now I am struggling to finish a wax model for a pendant with a tree of life enclosed in a circle with a cross integrated into the design. Here I am working on an early version with my lovely assistant.
"It was a glorious clock.....The golden fret that hid the bell was the loveliest Isaac had ever made. The two swans were just rising from the reeds, one with wings fully spread, the other with his pinions half unfolded. Job could understand from experience, and the Dean through intuition, what an achievement it had been to form those great wings and curved necks into a pattern that was a fitting one for a clock fret and yet alive, but only Isaac had known how he had sweated and labored over it. It had been a costing clock."
This pendant I am making is a costing pendant. In the end I don't expect it to be my masterpiece, but it will certainly represent an important step in my skill development. I think I'm still making an artist more than I am making art. I am making an artist who not only knows how to follow the easy flow of intuition but also how to persevere in recovering from mistakes and solving (for me) difficult problems of design and craftsmanship.
|wallpaper design by illustrator Walter Crane (1845-1915)|