Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting look inside the mind of an artist. I can sort of imagine what it's like from your side of things. I'm always in awe of your talent...and happy to be of service in the little ways I'm able to be.

    The axewoman cometh...