This particular sculpture marks another significant chapter in an artist’s exploration of “the intuitive” and its relationship to “creative process” I begin with a brief chronology of art notes as my relationship with the piece developed
After having taken part in “A Shaping of Awareness “presentation these quotes noted below (taken from the sculpting process) may offer further insight, further awareness.
This piece appeared in May. Having had gone for a walk on a beach on the east side of Quadra Island, my notes indicate the mood. “I found a wonderful piece of wood this afternoon…this piece is rather massive…I feel emotionally taken by it. That feels like a good sign. “
Almost six months later with the assistance of tugboat and crane-truck I had this piece and another at home. “ I look forward to carving them , whatever they are.”
I count the growth rings in the piece, “120 years plus, Where did it come from? Where is it going? What is it’s roll in the scheme of things? Time to find out, back to carving”.
January, the sculpting continues. “The massive trunk portion is not as yet showing itself. I may be symbolic of me having to take personal responsibility for whatever is to be carved there”.
March, “So what is the rest of the piece all about? I feel it is about time to deal with the blank area. I am reasonably comfortable with the granite trunk end. Basically a lot of sanding left to do there. In the morning the chips are going to fly!… A uterus maybe? That feels OK”.
Next day: I am confronting “granite piece” I am confronting myself in order to go forward with myself and the work. The piece appears to have at this point, no distinct up or down. Various views look good in the up position, yet other views ask to be there as well, to share a time of being in a position that suits them particularly well. So how do I deal with this?”.
1. Choose one specific up and down? (this doesn’t sit well with me)
2. Rotate the piece using some sort of screw mechanism?(a feature that I haven’t been comfortable with).
3. Stand it on end, probably cutting the trunk shorter so that the view is not a horizontal one, but instead, a vertical ?( a view of which I am not yet comfortable or inspired with)
4. Just buck off the trunk at 6 feet or so?
5. Carve one of those clever designs into the trunk portion?
Why does there not appear to be one specific standing position for viewing?
How can I by positioning the piece, give the viewer the best possible viewing angle? Perhaps by offering the viewer lots of viewing possibilities?
Again from ongoing notes
THE ARTIST, THE SCULPTING PROCESS, THE SPIRITUAL PROCESS I include these notes on my thought processes as they are somewhat indicative of the challenges of being sensitive to “being out of my mind”. I have the notion that there is a head space I can be in, wherein I am not formally thinking. This non-thinking state is not totally dissimilar to a thinking state. So I am just in a process of perceiving the subtle differences. Adding to the challenge is the intangibility of verifying the mere existence of such a state in my mind. So now I am calling it a “state of mind”, this out of mind state. Should I say, “out of brain”?
Without further attempt at clarification here I shall continue with my previous notes as I ponder the up and down aspect of the piece.
More carving, enjoying the piece and my images of the various possibilities. With one thought I visualize it with legs on a raised base, at another time I see it on just one leg, set on bearings so that it spins/rotates… at this point I feel comfortable just carrying on with the work. I seem to be able to do without holding onto a specific finished format. I am confident that a splendid form will gel as the work progresses.
In retrospect I find this next comment in my notes …interesting…I was visualizing…
Idea/image of a musical instrument, all or in part carved into, as part of the larger piece of wood…At the time I thought it was for another sculpture piece and I had it in mind to look for a piece of wood
I mention that I am rounding off the edges of some of the protrusions…I realize that the portions that I am removing that are “ just not the way they should be”, are not comfortable with me because they do not have the curves of human form. I have somehow been consciously, unintentionally working to express a human quality in the form( the wood piece)this is exciting, I believe the form will come even easier now… so I’ll continue
Carving, carving , seeing the flow so well today I almost feel drunk with my passion to carve the flow that I am seeing. I just cannot carve it all fast enough today so I will just breathe deeply and carve at a more reduced pace.
A very good feeling day today thinking that the words “driven”, or” possessed “ are not appropriate, yet ”connected” feels appropriate. “Wondrous” is a good one. I have been feeling anxious about getting the piece done and getting on to others. I am feeling inspired yet I am relaxing into the piece now. It will be ready when I am ready and I take it I am not ready yet.
As I get into more stream of conscious ponderings… I ponder…turn into… Maybe the viewer will have to turn into the piece…I ponder various other subjects, then I speculate that my little voice is saying that it is about looking at things in a different way, from a different perspective…relaxing the mind…letting it give. That is it, I can practice receiving… I’ll try not to get to cocky, relax so to speak…although I am excited just a little. I feel that relaxing and not being concerned is part of the program. It appears that the message may reside before us. Our job is to go beyond the intellect.
More of the personal experience … the sculptor writes about life as it unfolds
At this point in my sculpting I stepped back a little to reflect on the my situation
I am often struck …by what an odd situation I am in, paring away at this piece of wood I was asked” How long have you been working on this piece?”…in the studio for four months now, working steady on it for two of those months. The question was asked when it was noted that I was pondering what was to be the specific appearance of one end of this four meterish, one ton piece of wood and stone. Yes, I admit spending countless hours not being consciously aware of where the(concept and design) of the piece was going, that is a novel concept to deal with. I am committed, absorbed and thrilled with the unfolding of the work. I am amazed how the sculpture has so much to relate to me. The sculpture is so incredibly linked to my life, personal growth and explorations. As a person with a rather practical intellect centered history, the esoteric spiritual approach to the sculpting process and to life in general, is like many things in life, a paradoxical experience. I feel guarded, almost embarrassed about what I am doing, yet I am excited and want to share with others, the power of the experience. There is trepidation yet a feeling that there is rightness, a comfort in my approach to both sculpture and life.
On reading an international sculpture magazine (and feeling so alien to what seems to be going on “out there”) from my rural, out of the mainstream perspective I wonder if I am Indeed alone, carving in my own sculpting bubble.
I am a stuck that this sculpture process is to me not about product, about money. ( although I certainly do appreciate money) I feel that I am connecting to my personal purpose, with almost a duty to express.
Parallels to life are available everywhere I work. Life’s truths are everywhere. AHHHH! I feel it overwhelming to attempt to relate them so I just note them to myself, chuckle and carry on.
I’ll leave the description of the sculptor’s process here for now as I am feeling a little overwhelmed, as I the describing of the experience will take as long as the experience itself … and then where would I be?… not experiencing life as it could be unfolding today…I know, I KNOW, ANOTHER PARADOX!
… to be continued…