Creating sculpture has always seemed a natural thing to do. Taking stone away from a block of marble and allowing a form to come alive just seemed to happen once I started carving. I should say used to happen as I had to stop carving marble a few years ago. Using power tools for 40 years raised hell with my hands so now that part of my life is over. As usual when I reach the end of one project another starts so it was quite natural to say OK what do I do now.
Painting full time is much harder for me than cutting stone. I have to think about and analyze every step. Some artists can just lay the paint on and know where they are going. With me every turn reveals a road I haven’t been on before.
The color goes on. Some of it gets rubbed off. Some of it gets painted over. Colors change and every change influences another .. then I walk back to see what has happened. I’ll return to the painting to rebalance it after seeing it from a different perspective and then walk away again to see if what I did worked. I walk a lot when I’m painting 🙂 After about 2 hours on a piece I begin to get mind blocked so I’ll move on to something else .
That’s where the 3D paintings came into being. I had been thinking of doing something like this for quite a while and one day the whole concept came together.
They start as sculpture but the wall pieces could not be more different in style, form or technique from the marble sculpture. The construction process involves a lot of concentration and math which lets it grow from a flat drawing into this new form. There is an interesting dynamics in working on these pieces . When I know where I want to go for a small piece of the project it seems to flow without interruption but when I reach the point where I’m not sure of the next move I walk away from it until another day.
Eventually I’ll have a form that needs painting and another part of the project begins. It combines all of the elements . None of this comes easy to me but when it works…that is the sweet spot and a nice place to be.
…and that reminds me of a story.
When I was a photographer in NY I had a great assistant who helped me set up the shots and stood by me during a live shoot. We would often take 100s of photos but there were only 12 or 36 shots in the camera, Eric would take count of what I was doing and at the right time he would hand me a freshly loaded camera so neither the subject or I would have to interrupt what we were doing. At a certain point he would not hand me anything because he knew I had what I wanted. I once asked him how he knew that exact moment when I “had the shot”. He said he used to watch my face and when that perfect moment appeared in the camera frame I got this “silly” grin on my face and he knew I was done.
The other day when I finished scaling up the latest 3D drawing I felt myself go into the same grin because I had found what I was looking for. Some habits stay with you.