Monday, January 5, 2015

Phase 5 - try, try again - conclusion

2015! It's hard for me to believe. I don't really celebrate New Year's and missed the actual moment (No TV = no ball dropping). But I think it's nice in a way because I was carving a block and lost track of time, so I started off the year doing what I most wanted to be doing at that moment (even if I didn't know exactly when that was ;) )

Firstly - I finished the otter (fun times!) I carved the otter's feet, hot air balloons (2, because I wasn't sure which size would work) and birds in flight, and 2 new raptor heads.
First new piece of 2015 - 30 x 22" collage,

Lots of new blocks this week
The volcano appeared - the swirl of the marble paper
looks to me  like it's meant to be there billowing smoke.
I tried something new with adding gouache
to the balloon for some colour (hmmmm.) 
I made new heads to collage on the raptor body and feet from a few weeks ago. 

By changing the heads, I can show different species of raptors and different poses (sort of like Princess Langwidere/Queen Mombi in bird form, hahaha).  I like the way they look together because at first, it might seem like the relationship is one of time - as if it's a single bird in stop motion turning its head (Muybridge-style); but then, closer inspection shows that the feather pattern and bone structure are different  - so not the same bird. The read shifts then from a progression in time to a progression of space (while trying to hold onto both) [a visual, art nerd joke. Sadly, I do find this very funny - note to self - this might partly explain why people think I'm weird ;)]. 

I feel like I must be on the right track because as soon as I finished these, look what I saw in the conservation area!(!!)
I have a  (much loved, orange, water-proof, freeze-proof, shatter-resistant, etc) "point and shoot" camera - so to get this shot, I was very very close.  (Then again, for a  predator, I guess there's not as much reason to flee?)
So proud that I got the "in flight" picture!
Falconry is sort of a theme for me (Don't laugh: here are some depictions going all the way back to my student days - o my.)


Funny thing - falconry is part of Tarot as the nine of pentacles - seeking refinement through discipline (ha!) and when reversed can be an over commitment to work or work without financial gain (uh oh).

In Medieval iconography hawking/falconry is a metaphor for courtship:
I love this depiction, a French ivory mirror back,
ca. 1325 - 1375 in the British Museum:
This set of cards depicts courtly falconry. The "suits" are chosen accordingly. The falcon is represented as a hunting bird of prey, the silver heron...
Another example I just came across recently is the Ambras Court Hunting deck 
attributed to Conrad Witz, Basle, ca. 1440-1445
[eyes go wide - "oooooo, playing cards and birds, love, love, love"]
part of the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna
Not sure how relevant this is (maybe it means I'm married to my work, haha?), but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to spread the Medieval-art love.

Re-focusing after that beauteous tangent - with the change of the year, it feels like it's time for the next phase of the Tempus Fugit project. For phase 5 (try, try, try again), I've concluded that, as much as trying again is important (and it's a goal without end), I feel like sometimes, giving up is a way of making room for new mistakes. 

For example - this week, I finally gave up on getting these piece on my wall. Having given up, it occurred to me that I could string up a line and use clothes pins to suspend the pieces in front of the wall (doh!) This is advantageous because I can hang things several rows deep and high and over things like windows.  (Also, I enjoy the way they sort of look like pray flags - as if I'm offering a visual prayer.)

Before moving on, I wanted to re-examine the "big picture" through a try again lens. Time for a color-coded diagram! I went back and revisited the Rendering Chart from phase 1 in Nov. 2013:

And then I made changes:
*In a perfect version, the big digital bubble would be striped green and white to show that it's there from an external perspective only, but I'm not that graphics-programs-skilled (yet ;)).

It's funny because I was so wrong about so many things - I sort of knew what I was looking for but didn't know enough about the specific techniques even to label them correctly [dramatic sigh with wrist to forehead].  I have a better idea now about some of these things, but there is still so much to do.

Now may be a good time to choose a new bubble. I'm thinking it will be the "Sculpture" bubble because I can use paper casting/engineering as a bridge, and carving blocks is already a relief sculpture technique (hmmmmmm).

So the next phase - I keep thinking about a lecture I heard years ago at the Vermont Studio Center by artist Chris Martin, who makes large-scale abstract paintings. He talked about how making large work is a responsibility because in addition to the energy and expense that goes into making it, large work also represents a commitment to caring for the piece after its creation.  

And so, phase 6 - each art-thing is a responsibility [and with that this plodding artist-turtle stretches its neck and lifts its foot].