September 2, 2021
So it’s been six months since I last posted.
I had set aside the Cheshire cat in order to get another project done in time for an event (rescheduled twice) that I had already committed to, prior to the Covid restrictions. I’ll save that for another post. Also, in the past six months, I’ve been experimenting with some printing techniques and two dimentional work, feeling a little unsure about what I’m doing and where I’m going (creatively speaking). So, as I try to come to some conclusion about the direction to take, my first decision was to work without deadlines. In other words, not to participate in any events, shows, etc. I found myself creating work for the market, or what I thought would appeal to the market, only to be a bit dissapointed when the result didn’t line up with my expectation. Because of this, I feel I need to do something different. But not different shows or different venues, it goes deeper than that. I need to re-evaluate on the creative level.
What do I really want to do?
Truthfully, I have lists of ideas for two and three dimensional work. Literal, written lists and mental lists. A creative block can be one of the worst things to try to overcome. My problem is the opposite, many ideas, many mediums, many subjects, many processes, many, many, many. Too many? Can there be “too many?”
Again, what do I really want to do?
One of the redeeming qualities of the internet and social media is the ability to see an incredibly diverse and wonderful display of creativity by artists past and present, from all over the globe. Inspiring and/or intimidating? We are always told not to judge our work against other artists, which I believe is valid, but there is also that little voice in the back of my head saying, “Wow, I’d like to make work that good.” In reality, it’s all subjective. What is good, what isn’t? Who is the arbiter of what’s exceptional and what’s mediocre? Ultimately, we as artists, can only do what we do to the extent of personal satisfaction. Aha!
There it is: Personal Satisfaction.
The pursuit of personal satifaction has now become the goal, but to what extent? Satisfaction with the idea, the execution, the end result, or some combination of all of these? Maybe it has to start with the idea. I have plenty of those. Let’s start there, but as I continue on with this creative exploration, I still have the unfinished business of the Cheshire Cat. How does this project align with my new outlook into personal satisfaction? Actually I think it fits right in with the direction I would like to follow. I’m not only satified with the idea, but also with the execution into it’s current state.
The current state of the Cheshire Cat
In the last post, I had blocked out some of the cat’s body and done some shaping of the hind end. Since then, I have finished all of the basic foam construction, carving and the core for the tail.
I’ve also added some foam structures for smaller branches. With the two sections separated, I have begun the application of the epoxy coating, starting at the base of the tree. I’m using a product called Free Form Habitat Black made by Smooth On. It’s a two part system when mixed with an added component of Folding Powder, becomes a dough-like material, similar to pizza dough. This is applied in a layer approxamately a quater of an inch thick then textured with a silicone stamp that I made from real tree bark.
I’m feeling very positive about the progress so far.