WHY SO UPTIGHT?
It takes two to paint. One to paint, the other to stand by with an axe to kill him before he spoils it. (William Merritt Chase)
I wonder why I get so tight assed when it comes to my figurative sculpture. Anyone who knows me well enough can tell you there are definitely times when I can be a few sandwiches short of a complete picnic and you’d think someone with those qualifications would be totally out there in la-la land when it comes to creating art work and yet time and time again I find myself working the life out of my sculpture instead of just letting go and allowing the work to have a life of it’s own. I start out with a certain easy, flowing, relaxed idea in mind and yet I can’t stop working on a piece until I’m getting down to putting the eyelashes on. And what really bugs is the fact at one point I’ll have reached the look I want and yet I’ll continue on until it’s completely lost.
Could it be the ADD? Its a fact that ADD can make a person focus intently but sometimes on the wrong thing. You can find yourself hyper-focusing on something that is totally pointless. It’s funny how on the one hand I don’t focus on the things I need to and on the other I get trapped into putting all my attention on the unnecessary. What I need is some kind of limiter on my work. I recognize I have this inability to know when to stop, so what am I to do? Simple, get an axeman.
Or in this case, a wife. To paraphrase an old saying, she doesn’t know art but she knows what she likes. Now I’m the sort of person who hates any interference by anyone when I’m working on a piece, but I’ve had to overcome this issue and invite her to view and criticize my work while it’s in progress. And in the past when she’s suggested a piece is finished, I’ve placated her and then gone on to ruin the piece. It’s my piece and I’ll screw it up if I want to. But now I have recognized that she’s been right, so after a number of unsatisfactory pieces I’ve decided to take her opinion as gospel and when she says it’s done, it’s done. And not only that, she can spot those errors in a piece that I’ve seen so many times I’ve just gotten used to them.So now she stands behind me with a symbolic axe just to remind me what can happen if I have a sudden urge to overwork a piece. And it works out just fine.