Among those who create, there are planners and there are followers of voices and processes. Ideas come, and some are not good enough to be implemented. It is important for an artist to reject the first idea, the second, the third to get into an area of innovation. I know this. When younger, much time was spent creating images that did not need to exist. This is different than working only hard enough to create one solution, and going with that. Students do that. No more work than necessary.
The cameras on our smart phones are wonderful for preserving ideas as we go forward. With this record, no tiny inspiration is lost. The first photo above is of the rough “sketch” of a piece that I had thought to make. Its parts had to be glued and grouted in stages. The tile for the back plane was installed and grouted, with bits of bird detail from a broken plate installed at junctions of tile.
The front structure is part of an old drawer. It was placed symmetrically on the finished back plane, the window. That may have been the first mistake. Symmetry is too easy and too predictable for really innovative compositions. Symmetry looks like old album covers from the sixties and seventies.
The idea was to have warmer colors of old kitschy bird collectibles on the top section of the drawer, and cool on the bottom. Wonderful use of color can carry a piece. I re-glued and sanded this drawer. The back was removed. Varnish was applied to give it a little sheen and tile applied in some places to give it detail.
Then I thought about what in the hell this drawer had to do with birds. What is the reason for this accumulation of stuff, then? My goal is to use at least two windows in my current compositions, and to make them sculptural. Is this really the best way to satisfy that goal? No. I am one window short. And what do the birds have to do with the window?
I trashed the drawer. It is important to know when to stop, and this can take years to learn. Self talk can ensue, but reams of narrative cannot improve an image if it is not speaking itself. Good images do not need words. Less is more.
Left with one window plane (yes), hanging device already installed, I started to play in the space for that at the back of the barn. Some pieces of metal that Glenn took off a sculpture had intrigued me for a while, and I tried applying them to the symmetrical window to knock it off balance.
This was beginning to make sense. Glenn helped me to screw the rusty metal “lines” into place, but one thing had to be modified. He took a torch and blasted off about a half inch of the metal re-bar at the upper right. The second window needed to hover in a little wonkier way. Above, it looks like it wants to be parallel to the base window, and I did not want that easy a relationship between the two.
Looking at the bottom of the piece, you can see that we clearly do not have parallel lines now. The front window “hovers” over the bottom at about three inches in places, and about four in others. Now I am playing with the bird collectibles in the space between the two windows, making that space meaningful. The composition will go through several incarnations.
The sea birds are coming together.
What are caryatids anyway?
- New Work on the Ladies (leemalerich.wordpress.com)