Monday, September 15, 2014

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

The first part of the week was devoted to carving this:
(pats self on back)
 (creepy gold star for me ;) ) And lest there be any denial that carving it again was the right thing to do, here's a comparison of the skull from 8 weeks ago on the left and the skull from this past week on the right.
So what changed? New block material, new tools,additional studying of neck anatomy (yes, yes, yes)...but also, I think I may be becoming a better carver ( :) - the near-obsessive mini project, carving a block a day for a month actually worked!)

You would think this would make me happy, and it does in some ways. After I printed the skull, I was ecstatic... for about 15 minutes, then I curled into a ball on my floor and cried (mature, I know :p).  Possibly, I was just really tired, but also I proofed this on 9/11, and while I was worried about my family who were mid-air-travel, [which maybe wasn't the best idea in hindsight].

On the one hand, I improved (:) ), but to do it, I had to give it time and make it my focus, and that meant letting go of a lot other things, which has real world consequences and puts me on borrowed time (tick tock tick tock tick tock :( ). Every day I wake up all excited to make more blocks, but also anxious feeling like it can't last and afraid that the more I enjoy it, the harder it will be when I have to give it up.

Which brings me  to the big piece I'm working on... (drama, doom, and gloom - hurray!)

The text "Walk, knave, walk" is from a poem - Samuel Butler's Hudibras,canto 1, part 1, and voiced by a parrot.

I love parrots so much not only for how they look (though they are very beautiful!), but also for what they mean to me. I think of the parrot as being like the jester (and an artist who has no secondary source of social authority as a teacher/philosopher/activist, etc.) because they may speak the truth, but have no social authority (which may be why they can speak the truth?)

In tarot pictures il Matta/ the Fool is happy because he's fully in the present (he's frozen, always about to step off the edge of a cliff), and there's always the possibility that he'll turn or stop (hence the directive from Death to walk).

I haven't decided what to do about the background yet (hmmmm - with the deadline approaching I may need to stick with tried and true and glue it to paper on board). I also carved half of the raven before I realize that it's going to print backwards (doh!) I was being hard on myself about this because I'd like to submit this for an upcoming show, but then universe sent me a present and extended the deadline by a week. ( :) ! )

drawing on block
[Having a navel gazing moment here ...], I got to thinking that while it's annoying how I sometimes get things flipped, make wrong turns etc, this is the downside to a characteristic which enables me to work in relief - because the directions don't seem that different to me, I can switch back and forth easily from drawing or sculpting in the positive to carving and sculpting in the negative. Plus, the block won't go to waste - I'll use it somewhere else. Carving the inverse will only take a day or 2, and I can make changes on the second go round (like making it about 10% smaller). [Ok, concluded ;).] Ah Phase 5!

It wasn't all doom and gloom this week..after I finished the skull, I started playing with some of the small blocks from the mini project and organizing them into "creature features" :

I started some drawings on blocks for next week and printed, printed, printed - my clean studio didn't stay that way :)