It's been a busy week in the studio! I've been at work on a new piece for submission to the National Art Gallery's call for "NE7". The wall mounted sculpture I'm working on will be the largest piece I've made thus far, and the most involved in terms of construction. So that means…fun with maquettes!
While I'm new to the world of art, I've been creative for as long as I've known myself and still, the thrill of moving an idea from head... to page... to three dimensions, never gets old. That transformative process has always been a bit mysterious to me. It's both exhilarating and a little unnerving. The feeling I get is akin to that moment at the beach on a hot day when the water looks soooo inviting. In that moment there are 2 types of people. Type 1: wade in gingerly and cup the water in your hands to wet your arms and stomach a little at a time until you've gently adjusted to the temperature. Type 2: Do the 'run hop' into the surf for a few feet and then dive right in to the water for total shock and immersion in one go.
I don't judge either approach. It's just two routes to the same outcome, isn't it? So you can imagine, once I made my sketches, complete with all the notes capturing my thoughts on the symbolism and significance of the form and materials and palette (i.e. I had stalled as long as I could), I was at the proverbial water's edge and faced with that age-old question: do I do a splash baptism or dive right in to this challenge? Well, since both the size and form are new approaches for me, I chose the slow and steady route. Starting a new project with a maquette is a prudent approach as it serves as both a 'dry run' to reveal sometimes hidden technical issues and as a 'malleable sketch' that reveals possibilities for surface decoration and nuance that I don't get with pencil and paper because my drawing skills are, well, "rudimentary".
At the end of the first day, I'd learned a lot. Proportions were adjusted, the right textures revealed themselves to me, I had a healthy pile of scrap clay alongside the completed form, and - just like that day at the beach - I'd gone from not wanting to go into the water, to not wanting to ever leave its cool embrace.