Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh What a Difference a Base Makes...

Some of you might remember "Beane", that Chaney "Chasing Rainbows" I offered on my mailing list a couple of weeks ago...welperoo, his new owner was gracious and allowed me to make him two brand new bases, this rock wall (shown) and a more basic one (not shown). I thought he needed something with a bit more stability, but now I realize he also needed "oomphf". Good thing that dawned on me before he leaped his way home! But I've come to an uneasy understanding with my aging brain: Better late, than never! But, thinking about it, if a piece needs a base, that base becomes an integral part of the whole. It must complement and further the design, rather than simply serve a purpose. And besides, it's so very refreshing to sculpt and paint something other than a horse-shaped-object! Grass-whooo hooo! Rocks--yes! And this project did force me to find a terrific supply for local Plexiglas rods,, and perhaps they ship.

But things have been good, though it's been a crazy couple of weeks--Hubby is home and I'm thrilled! So much more content and happy. And productivity has gone through the roof...when I'm happy, I create. But it's strange--with all my years of being single and independent, I would have thought myself a bit more tolerant of his absence. But golly, when you have a soulmate, and he's gone, there's a tangible, painful hole that cannot find solace. I'm rather shocked at how forlorn I was, but then again, what a blessing, too. To realize this now, rather than live oblivious to the good stuff in one's life. And speaking of good stuff--he also brought home piles of Wisconsin cheese and sausages! Hazzah!

And thank you all for your well-wishes about my surly spine! They are very much appreciated! And I'm glad to report that my back is doing a bit better, well, it's at least allowing me to be more active and agile, but that's not saying much. It sure would be nice to feel my left foot again, so I'm hoping the neurologist can give my disc a stern talking to. A good ol' Come-to-Jesus meeting. At least give it the stink-eye--I'm simply not that flexible!

But on another front, Christmas came a bit early for me, thanks to a certain sombrero-wearin' guy--I got the new PJ Harvey album "White Chalk" and the new Siouxsie album "Mantaray". If they aren't playing on my iPod in a mantic loop, they're buzzing in my head. Music--the gift that keeps on giving!

And speaking of buzzing--I had a good time with the dremel this week. Aaah...the acrid smell of burning plastic and the fierce whirrrr of the dremel, as bits of hot white pumice bounce off my glasses. Some ask why I still customize plastics when I can create my own originals. And that's a good question! Really, why bother?

To be honest, I enjoy this sort of "collaboration". I always learn something new from each sculpture, or rather, from each artist. And having to blend with the work of another is a very good exercise that helps me see things from another point of view, which feeds back and improves my own original work. I also use customs as maquettes, as studies for my own originals, since I'm able to work out designs or approaches in smaller bites, with less invested. I believe one of the most important things for an artist is to continue growing and exploring, and these "quick" collaborative studies are very useful to me for that purpose. And really, in the ever-rising sea of castings, creating something singular is still a kick! "Choppers" do still have their appeal to me!

But you can see how much I change, even on what I consider "minor" or "moderate" alterations. One of my hang-ups are legs--I like to see crisp, clean legs, which usually means the legs on plastics need to be redone since the plastic-injection molding process doesn't allow a whole lot of detail. I also have a hang-up on symmetry--the piece has to be bilaterally symmetrical, otherwise I want to pull my brain out. Yet, again, this is something the plastic-injection process seems to hose up, sometimes alarmingly. So something seemingly simple becomes quite a production. But lots of learning is won, so it's all worth it.

However, I do have to admit that perhaps the fumes went to my head on this fellow (above). He used to be a Stone Standing Arabian, but clearly in another life! In order to transform it into a Pintabian mare, a lot had to go. OK...everything had to go! This piece is actually a very old commission I've taken up and restarted again (yes, KM--this is your girl!), and the unceasing patience of her owner shall be rewarded with a far better piece than I could ever have created years ago. And I haven't done a show-type in ages, so this will be a fun piece to create. An ironic challenge. A nice rattling of my cage. Plus, I finally got to use the font "Aliens ate my mum"!

So on that note, I leave you with this: "Let's you and I conjure together. You watch me and I'll watch you and I will show you how to show me how to show you how to do our marvelous human tricks together." ~Courtney Milne

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