Monday, August 30, 2010


Sneak peek of VToo, sporthorse mare

Another piece I struggled with was -- ironically enough -- a new version of my sculpture Valinor. But what was supposed to be a simple piece of derivative art became a full-blown project that resulted in a sculpture quite different from the original version. As you may already know, it's pretty much impossible for me to do anything the easy way, especially when so much time has elapsed between the original piece and now -- about six years!

And one of the things that I most enjoy about this type of work is that it clearly tells me that I'm still growing and learning -- that I haven't reached a plateau. The idea of artistic stagnation is upsetting to me, so every so often I revisit an older piece to see how my eye and technique has changed. And in this case -- what a difference!

You also may notice the name change. Originally I'd been referring to her as V2, but Hubby gently informed me that this was the name of a Nazi rocket. YOW. Rocket, yes -- Nazi...NO. So with a bit of a tweak, I kept the idea but with a more benign twist. And so her name is now "VToo." She'll be off to Resins by Randy soon to be cast in white resin. To see more pix of her, please visit her album, and to see her side-by-side with her older sister, Valinor, go to this album. She almost makes Valinor look like a pony!

But as I mentioned, this piece was an unexpected struggle. Boiled down, there were two features that were big monkey wrenches: (1) VToo wanted to be bigger. She just did. And I fought her over and over until she beat me into a corner. Yeah -- she won. She gave me a royal smackdown, to be more precise. So I had to lengthen her legs (in two places each: Both forearms, both gaskins and all cannons) by cutting, repinning and resculpting them. That was a lot of tricky work, lemme tell ya.

But then (2) was the bigger problem: I didn't know what to do with her mouth. For those of you who don't know, many showers in the model horse world like to gussy up their pieces in exquisitely handmade, miniaturized tack and props in order to create a performance scene, much like military miniaturists, or railroad and doll house enthusiasts. You can peruse more "performance scenes" on the NAN 2010 site. And here are some splendid examples of the caliber of this tack, here, here, here, and here, and a whole listing of miniature tack makers here.

Anyway, therein lied the problem. I'm not known to create "performance-oriented" pieces, opting instead to wallow in horses simply being horses. But VToo really wanted to venture into this arena more than I'd planned. Now I'm a bit of a stickler for context. Because each moment doesn't exist in a vacuum, neither could VToo. And the specific moment that was the problem was the bit's action in her mouth -- if she were real, in a real moment, the bit would have an effect on her mouth due its presence there, and due to the actions of the rider.

Now most pieces are sculpted with mouths that "don't have bits" in them, so when they're shown tacked up in these performance scenes, especially when a tug or close contact is indicated in the reins, the "bit less" mouth looks odd to me because it has no context. So I was presented with a choice: Sculpt VToo's mouth as if it existed in a "moment vacuum," or sculpt it as if moment was expressed there. If I chose the later, it would mean her mouth would look really odd without a bit there -- and would that be tolerable to me?

So I waffled back and forth about this for days...which turned to weeks, which then turned to years. In the end, she made the decision for me: If she wanted to be more "performance-oriented," so must her context, and so moment must be expressed by her mouth. She simply reined me into submission (har har). In consolation, I figured I could resculpt that area to be "bitless" on a casting for a later new version, or for a ceramic or bronze version. So there ya go. It took some time, but I eventually accepted the bit (har har hearty har har -- said like Bugs Bunny).

But it wasn't a full concession: If you notice, her braids are the more "hunter" type, meaning that she really shouldn't be tearing around and carrying on like she clearly is. But I couldn't resist. That moment of a horse being a horse despite our expectations is far too irresistible to me, and it expressed her inner spunk which I knew she had.

Anyway, a "redo" of an older piece will be another theme in an upcoming mini -- a new version of my Spinnaker, now turned into a mare...

Sneak peek of the new "redo" Spinnaker. After I thought she was done, I primer-sprayed her grey. But then I decided to tweak her more, hence the grey areas with the bare epoxy areas. She just needed more "energy." The piece dictates what it needs, what it wants to be. Not the other way around!

I'd hoped to have her done by today, but I just ran out of PMC classes are this weekend! I'm so excited! My mind will be swimming with new ideas for jewelry and trinkets -- can't wait! This will open up a whole new world of creativity for me, another kind of transition in my work, and I'm eager to take the bit in my teeth and run with it!

"Intent is a tool, not an obstacle, to seek spontaneity." ~ Kelly Borsheim

Related Posts with Thumbnails