Monday, September 8, 2014

phase 5 - have the fortitude to try again (and again)

 We have a tree! This week I carved the tree trunk and now have the base components to try building a tree! Even though I'm still missing some critical components (um - like the entire body below the neck, haha) I couldn't help testing it out right away. 
a closer view - 7 parts  - once I have the composition I'll heal the seems between the parts with color pencil
so that (hopefully!) the junctions won't be distracting in the final piece
last week
 In the spirit of phase 5 and trying again, I also made adjustments to the squirrel from last week. I went in thinking "O, it just needs a few minor adjustments" (uh oh).  I ended up printing ants, recarving and reprinting the acorn and leaves, carving a new block for the plane, heightening the drawing on the squirrel... [note to self: "minor adjustments" = false ]

Once the parts were glued down and dry
I drew around the collage parts
so that the paper around them takes on the pattern
 from the background, making them subtly blend in..

new blocks this week
Phase 5 is turning out to be challenging. Part of the challenge for me is admitting that the previous attempt was in some way insufficient, and analyzing why and/or what has changed that would make re-attempting worthwhile.

For example - I started carving a new skull this week. Even though I just made a skull 8 weeks ago . It's hard to admit, but even though it was my best effort at the time and I like it, since then, I've changed the block material and upgraded tools. Also, the practice from making the first one may make the second one better, so I decided to try again...
irrationally, irritatingly, irresistible
I also decided that I "need" another parrot,
and when I think: "I'd like one with it's head frontal
 and the wings slightly fluffed,"
I can go into my personal archive of parrot photos
 and just happen to have exactly that (not kidding -
#symptoms of parrot obsession)
 In thinking about trying again and what changes to make, I decided to put the new big tree collage on fabric that I matched as closely as possible to the paper of the collages. (I may sew the pieces down so that they aren't dependent on the glue... hmmmmm.)

In analyzing what changed to make, it occurred to me that there's a pattern in the way I modify the materials - always moving toward softer/lighter (i.e. things that I can carry/move myself). To make bigger things, I may need to give up the ghost of hope for a collaborator/ assistant/ or corporeal muse.

Researching tapestries
including this favorite -

from the Apocalypse Tapestry,
Angers, France
late 14th century 

For me, one of the hardest parts of trying again is accepting that sometimes, it's more productive to let a piece go, that, as much as I might wish it otherwise, time/space/attention are limited. This week, I disassembled old unfinished pieces for parts, cleaned the studio, and painted the floor and am trying to look at it as "making room for new work."
(Self #2 asks: "yeah, how's that going?" Self #1: [sigh])

the garden continues to grow, but the leaves have started to fall