- What a month! Knitting like a demon, finding the Knitting Goddess and Handpaint Country encouraging me to use even more color in my work. Writing a book about chainsaw carving that needs to be ready by the end of the month. Coming back to life after two month’s artistic hibernation and gestation. Fixing up my house to support even more creativity. Ice storm and isolation. First possibly serious chainsaw injury, stopped by my chaps. $75 initial cost, 3 years, $howmanythousand for the avoided ER visit and follow up.
- Duck show sold my space so I have my booth rental back. Whew. Very glad I’m not out of town this weekend and I can focus on other art.
- All of that is a bit of a run-on. Maybe I should take it one at a time.
- The knitting continues at a furious pace. Finishing the red sweater I started between Christmas and New Year’s and setting up a mostly-blue one next. Hanging out in the yarn stores again. Expensive habit. Buying knitting books as eye-candy; loading the database for the next project after this one. Maybe try a new form of knitting for me? Patchwork catches my eye, with other people’s fancy hand-dyed colors instead of my own intarsia blends. Not sure yet; haven’t cast on the blue so there’s plenty of time and I am able to stick to my resolution about not buying ahead of myself.
- Found The Knitting Goddess courtesy of an amazon.com search on knitting books. Deborah Bergman majored in comparative religion; it shows. Links the ancient goddesses who had fiber anywhere in their story to our lives today; completely engrossed me. Off to my Bullfinch to find out more about these stories.
- I frequently haul glossy magazines home to use as raw material for my color notebook and sculpture idea book. I’ve learned which ones are the richest source material (Architectural Digest, Veranda) and which to leave alone (Organic Style, most travel magazines, Gourmet). Found a new-to-me magazine: Dwell in the glossy recycle yesterday. Brought it home. Nothing of interest for my own art. Noticed a paragraph of editorial content about My Architect, a film about the life of Louis Kahn. Left three families when he died; the movie is his son’s search for understanding about Louis’ life. This is the story featured in the Law and Order episode over which I blew up a TV. Website for the movie links to an interview with Nathaniel Kahn who talks about creativity in architecture and film; rich material. Hope the movie comes to Raleigh or they release the story on DVD. This may be one I have to own and watch a few times. Hungry for more information, any information, about how other artists have experienced their own drive to create.
- It is also not lost on my that my formal training in creativity is in the field of landscape design and as such I have an affinity for architects that not all artists share. Worked in architects’ and landscape architects’ offices for two years when I first came to NC.
- February “drop one add two”:
- Dropped several magazine subscriptions, not so much that I didn’t enjoy them (National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, Sunshine Artist, Saturday News and Observer) as much as I have too much to read anyway and I don’t need a regular dose of something from the outside distracting me from what might be coming up from my own resources.
- Added a workable office space–new desk chair, better lighting, typing table that’s at the right height and lets me hand-write and work at a keyboard without having to move my PC out of the way.
- Added colored pencil to my journal entries. (This appears trivial even to me but I suspect it’s going to turn out to have a profound impact on my ability to create 2D art. Inability to make 2D art is a major source of frustration to me today.) (Also, the colored pencil appeared on its own, rather than being something I “thought up.” Practicing the art of listening to what shows up on its own.)
- Took a break from the saw over most of Dec and Jan and got back to it yesterday because I have orders for two bears that don’t need to wait for additional Ridgway inspiration. My 16″ bar is still out of commission and now I really need to get it into the shop. My Stihl 260 is great for blocking out but not for carving, as I discovered after two hours’ work. Leaned around the bear to check the back of his ear and felt a “pop” on my left leg. Shouldn’t be anything hitting me. Looked. Wow. That’s why we wear chaps. 1″ nick in Kevlar would have been an ambulance ride and a lot of stitches in denim and flesh, not to mention not carving for a MUCH longer time than it will take me to get new chaps. Glad I had my camera in my hip pocket and not in my chaps pocket! Three years, first moving chain-on-a-saw injury.
- I am finding the idea of being an author of a real book infinitely more seductive than the actual work involved in getting from point A: the idea to point B: the finished product. Pricing printing–Ouch!! This is real up-front money! Endless spell and grammar checking. Even more reorganization; the more I write the more I can see how it can all fit together more effectively. Except that I’d really rather be: installing a new light assembling my new chair shopping for shelving for the bathroom walking the dog keeping up with email anything else on the planet and I have a month-end deadline and people will be more likely to buy if they have a finished product to look at. Wouldn’t be surprised if some of the reason for the chainsaw cut was to send me back to my PC. Page count is dropping to something reasonable (perhaps 250 or so) as I print and read and realize there is a lot of duplication. Stay tuned. Another ice storm or two would be useful.
First, the undercut question. I carved Braddan Flame earlier in the summer and it’s been sitting on the front porch where I can see it from my desk for a few weeks, sanded and finished and just about ready for color. Last Sunday morning, it struck me that the braids would be more clearly defined if I undercut the crossings. Wow. Showed a friend what I intended to do and he nodded but clearly didn’t see the potential impact; guess that’s why I’m a sculptor and other people aren’t. We may or may not have discussed the impending deadline and when does one call a work done because it has to get into the show? My experience with Centerfest and Work in Progress does not incline me to try that experiment again–the public does not respond well to work that’s not finished all the way.
So I carved more. Didn’t take long. And the braids absolutely JUMPED off the wood, with MUCH greater impact than any of my previously-carved knot work. Wow. I’ve been carving knots for two years now and I only just saw what else the carvings needed? Sigh. So I ground the new cuts and sanded and finished and sat the carving where I could see it, and then again this Sunday, another modification jumped off the wood and into my eyes. More piercing. Could well, in hindsight, have skipped this step–I used a drill and the piercings are too obviously round. Killed a die-grinder in the effort to make the holes flow with the carving and two days later, I can see where more adjustment is needed. Next time, use the saw from the get-go. Progress. Nevertheless, openwork makes the carving come alive. Still need to figure out the color scheme for Braddan. Want to carve this again, too, with more arcing in the knots.
Took $400 and a week’s vacation to indulge my color addiction with Bob Burridge‘s Loosen Up and Paint Like Crazy class at Jerry’s Artarama in Raleigh last week. I had tested my reaction to Bob with two short classes at the Art Expo in November last year and knew the full-week class would be good; didn’t expect the results I discovered.
One: Came out of the November class all charged up with color and ability and tried to paint little pictures of chainsaws and bombed. Chainsaws are tricky; many more surfaces and angles than coffee cups and if the parts aren’t right, the painted sketch doesn’t read as a chainsaw. Suspect I got distracted by the Tour and then Christmas and didn’t paint that much.
Two: Read an article by Betsy Stroud in Arts Calendar about her response to the truism that one has to paint 1000 paintings before really feeling comfortable with paint; if so, then paint small because you’ll get there faster. The article reminded me of Bob’s admonition to paint six 5x7s every day as a warm-up, and I realized I needed to be practicing or I’d likely waste much of the full-week class getting used to paint and paper again. I set myself a goal of painting 500 5×7 paintings by August.
Somewhere after 130 paintings, I found myself stalling and bored. Wasn’t sure what the problem was but I certainly wasn’t enjoying painting anymore and I didn’t like the work. Thought maybe I was just being resistant to the path and reread George Leonard’s Mastery. Got distracted by summer and Blues festivals and then there was Moscow and there are always reasons not to paint, if you want to find them. Forced another 30 or so out of my brush and onto the boards just before class so I wasn’t stone cold, but still no great paintings.
Three: Class week. The 8-hour Loosen Up class devoted roughly two hours each to hearts and coffee cups, florals, landscapes and abstracts; the week-long class devoted a day to each with the addition of a morning on marketing and an afternoon on collage. (Bob also teaches week-long classes on each segment, or at least abstracts and collage.) Monday was mostly settling into class and playing with the sample paints and figuring out what else I should have brought from home; didn’t care for much I painted. Bob talked about value–1-10, light to dark, and gave us red plastic to check the values in our paintings; I realized this was one of the problems I had with my work. Sure enough, checking my inventory showed I’d completely missed value contrast–lots of color, but when viewed through a red filter, it all went to one tone. Oops.
Started working in black and white on Tuesday, with color overlay, and gained a bit more insight into moving the eye around a painting. Showed a few of my paintings to Bob and talked about the troubles I’d experienced; he suggested working with palette knives because I wasn’t doing very well with brushes and sometimes people who are sculptors underneath do better with a more physical approach to paint. By the end of the day, I was working as much with my hands directly as with the knives, and much happier with the work.
Something shifted in the course of our work on Wednesday and I realized I didn’t much care for painting landscapes, and if I was having trouble fitting my florals on the page with enough room left for a vase and tabletop, then I just didn’t have to paint a vase and tabletop. Wow. Why has it taken this long to see that? Class got more interesting again, and I started a series of paintings about hooping; swirly things with sparkles and lots of movement. Will do more on this. Bob recommends working in series, even on bigger paintings (not just the daily six 5x7s), to keep an idea moving and allow oneself room to play with variations without fear of ruining any one expression of an idea. Observe how my sketch starts out puny and as I add more and more paint, the movement gets bolder and fills more of the page. I have seen this happen before. With paint, one CAN add more. Doesn’t work with carving, but now that I think about it, my carvings are often improved by removing more. Interesting. Clonmacnois is much better today, thinner, than it was when it left Ridgway in February.
Friday was supposed to be collage day and I found myself increasingly miffed as the morning was lost to marketing talk, most of which I knew well enough to know it didn’t yet apply to me. I am placing all the 3D work I can create, so finding galleries is not yet a problem; no body of work in flat are (yet) so I can’t do anything on that front. Swallow irritation at people asking the merit of gallery vs. street fair when they’ve never sold anything.
After lunch, a few of us turned to collage but most of the class spent the time finishing up paintings they’d started, and Bob spent his time circulating rather than teaching. I forged ahead, playing with tissue paper I bought, running out into the store for acrylic gel (have a gallon at home and didn’t think to bring it; borrowed my bench-neighbor’s clear gesso but it quickly became apparent I would use her whole bottle), tearing up the paint-stained paper towels I’d saved all week. Bingo! Created more work (square-inch wise) with more fun and more energy in two hours than I had in any half-day all week, and I like the (not quite yet) end product much more than anything else I did.
Someone asked, Have you done this before? and I said, Not since third grade. It was Saturday before I looked at my collection of idea books and color play and realized these are essentially collage, and the need to make collage has been bursting out of me since June 2002. Wow. Suspect the impulse originates from the same energy that makes me a sculptor; I do not do flat art but am still constrained by the tremendous amount of effort that goes into carving and preparing a surface to take color. Plus, I just can’t carve on Sunday mornings (three churches abut my property) and I need a quiet art form.
Where to from here? Don’t know. Waiting a day or two and then registered for Patti Brady’s class on collage at the next Art Expo. Patti works for Golden Paints and she’ll be teaching how to use the various materials Golden makes for collage. Also signed up for Jeanne Carbonetti’s class on creativity; have taken her courses before and like how she teaches. Need to make more collages in the next three months so that I arrive at class with good questions; don’t see making them at a 5×7 size and don’t know what will turn up. Played with adjusting the color of tissue paper and Nigel got into the act by shredding my colored paper towels for me. Today, I am full up with show prep–three shows to install over the first two weekends in September, and nothing finished today. 95 degrees on the front porch when the sun is out so I’m coloring in the dining room. Stay tuned.
- Long time no write. At least, not writing in here. In the process of building the new website–KarenTiede.com, after owning the domain name for two years and paying for hosting for four months. My work has outgrown PittsboroPenguins.com and it’s time to move, which means as much of a reorganization of files and pictures as would be involved in a physical move. I have decided against at least one physical move of the studio itself because it felt like more of a distraction than a step in the direction of more and better production, but the same has not been true for the website. It’s overgrown and even I have trouble finding my own work, or where to put new art. Maybe I’ll buy a real blogger program one of these days. (2011 update–Ha! that took three more years!)
Off to Russia soon–traveling with my family on the occasion of my new nephew’s adoption. First time out of the country since the trip to Antarctica in 1999, which indirectly started this whole adventure in art, and the parallel is not lost on me. Need to plan an artist’s itinerary. Soon after that, a week-long painting course with Bob Burridge, also expected to shift my skills and perspective (based on two short classes with him in November of 2004). Art could be very different very shortly.
Artistic turning points since the last entry: Bob Burridge classes, Studio Tour, introduction to blues and an end to musical anorexia, first visit to the Smithsonian Craft Show, hoop dancing. In that order? I think so. We could throw in Match.com, but that’s a bit outside the scope of an art website so you’ll have to ask me privately about that.
Bob Burridge–8 hours of instruction and I get that I CAN paint, and that with a bit of practice, I can probably manage to stay conscious for a entire week of his teaching. Sign up for his class at Jerry’s Artarama in August 2005; make a decision to paint 500 small paintings to work on some of my own stopping points. By now, I’ve painted 150, which is better than nothing. Sold two and given away quite a number to good reception.
First year on the Chatham Studio Tour. Modest success.
Blues–Run up to DC over Easter visit my sister and take an evening with Bob Margolin, Mookie Brill, Bobby Radcliff, Billy Wirtz, and Joe Orr at the State Theater. Something shifted inside; no clue what how or why now and not before. I like this music. How did I make it to 46 without knowing that? (Progressed moon into Taurus and 5th house could have something to do with it.) CD collection has doubled since; almost all blues. Unfortunately for my art, I find a new way to spend weekends–Delbert McClinton at the Eastern NC Blues Festival, Abe Reid and Keith Frank (ok, Keith is Zydeco) at Shakori Hills (and catch the bug for hoop dancing at the same time); Abe Reid and the Holmes Brothers at the Carolina Blues Festival, plans to blow off Caldwell County in favor of the Durham Blues Festival.
Chatham Arts asked me to show at ClydeFest, so I had the weekend of the Smithsonian Craft Show free for the first time since I started carving (not having to prepare for the three-day Sanford Pottery Festival). ClydeFest was rained out near enough, but going up to the Smithsonian turned out to a very useful lesson in what it takes to show at the best venue in the country. My chainsaw carving as it stood at the time is never going to make it.
Talked to some artists who were very encouraging and helpful; saw others whose production gave me chills (ie, wouldn’t mind taking $80,000 of orders but not if it means doing the same thing over and over). Interesting to note that any exhibiting artist who cared to give me much attention recognized me as an artist studying the venue, not a craft shopper. Somewhere in the drive home and then the next day’s trip to Greenville to hear Delbert, I started thinking about making rustic furniture and other forms of art; the idea of adding my jewelry and textile work to this site shows up.
Nothing like seeing 120 different artists and their work to give a girl insight into her place in that community. I am not a production artist. I have made a few iterations of pieces that sell well–the fish, for example–but I’m off to something new pretty fast after that. Maybe if I ever “get good,” I’ll be happier about cranking out one form of art. Maybe not. Maybe I would be better served to find a different model for making an income from my creativity. Still working on this problem as I write.
Aspects: Increasing trouble with my hands suggests I’m not going to be making a living from a chainsaw. I am not interested in doing enough strength training to be able to handle big wood consistently. Tired of hauling my work around the county only to haul it home–chainsaw carvings need to be sold out of a shop, not a 10×10 booth (I bet I’ve noted this before in this blog). So I’ll take the painting class and I showed up to a free Dona Kato demonstration and that left me inspired to play with polymer clay again. The dining room table is covered in clay tools and I have to clear the ironing board of in-progress paintings if I need a crisp shirt (my friends may have noted I’m in more knits than normal…).
Finally (?), hoop dancing has caught my attention in a way that I can’t remember anything doing, exercise-wise, in a while. I saw Spiral and Beth dancing at Shakori Hills and walked away thinking, “I HAVE to learn to do that.” Lots of people were carrying hoops but only Beth and Spiral were dancing; found out later that Spiral had just taught a workshop and sold hoops. New dancers weren’t up to hooping in public so soon after learning, and I understand that now. A bit of web research and a few weeks later, I found a class in Chapel Hill, and now I’m a hoop dancer, too. Professional, too–just had my first paid gig!! at the BRAC party in Goldsboro, NC. (Base Realignment and Closing–Seymour Johnson AFB was NOT on the list.) My friend John Hogan, working the party as Ubi the Clown, suggested bringing my pile of hoops down. I tossed them out on the grass and started dancing to the Country band, and within 15 minutes, the hoops were all in use. At the end of the party, the Coastal Federal Credit Union event sponsors gave me a picnic basket because “You worked so hard! You never stopped dancing!” It’s not Burning Man, but it’s a start.
(Dancing is as demanding of studio space as chainsaw carving, as my newly broken living room lamp will attest. Need to solve the “loud music for dancing, outside, sleeping young children next door” concurrency problem. Or maybe change the lamp.)
Church is almost out so it’s time to eat and get to carving for the rest of the afternoon. Hope it’s not another year before another post.
- Friday morning, we took the ferry out to Friday Harbor, both to wander the island and to meet up with two friends from Oak Harbor who were vacationing on the island for the weekend. We had lunch, and they showed us some of the shops (lavender, hot sauce) and went over to Roche Harbor to see the changes in the Inn and the old Lime Factory, and we wandered a bit more and then parted. We had an hour before the ferry home and walked around town a bit more, visiting galleries.
- Elephant Crossing, an Asian importer, had a fabulous mirrored and gilded carved goldfish in the window. I have carved a few fish in my time, and this was an amazing flowing fish and I thought it would make a great model. I also realized I was in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. “Upscale” doesn’t begin to cover the prices, so I didn’t think I had to worry about getting the fish home. We went in and asked, “how much is that goldfish in the window?” The shopkeeper said, “Funny you should ask. It’s broken, so we’re selling it at cost. You can have it for $70. Normally, it would sell for $350.”
- I was fully prepared with a “I love it, but I have no where to put it” answer, which I’ve heard as a vendor many many times myself (alternate: “If only you had a pair!”), but $70 for that much fish, mirrored, gilded, and totally over-the-top fabulous as only the Thai or Vietnamese can go, was something I couldn’t pass. I asked, “Can you ship?” and she said, “Yes.” Many of her customers fly to the island on sea planes with tiny luggage limitations. Others arrive on boats–large boats, in relation to the ones hauled in and out of Jordan Lake on a Saturday afternoon, but boats nonetheless, and few boats have much extra room. Of course she could ship.
- So now I’m awaiting arrival of my gilded mirrored goldfish, and I don’t know where I’m going to put him, and I don’t know how my art will shift as a result of this addition. I am sensitive to the effect of artifacts in my home; sometimes I tell myself I’m a carver/sculptor now in part because of my experience at Mount Rushmore (1997? 98?) and all the postcards of Rushmore I had around the house afterward.
- When I moved into this house, I decorated the living room in a fairly “suburban” palette, all red and dark green and eucalyptus and peach. It’s been a bit stale for a while, and I have wondered what it would be like to live in emerald and ruby and sapphire and amethyst. Might be time to reupholster that couch, once the fish arrives. (I am not sure how I can do this using recycled material from the swap shed, but that’s an idea.*) Again, stay tuned. Perhaps fortunately, I have a new house to rennovote (rental property) and I need to get the house finished and occupied ASAP. After that, who knows?
- In a bit of a rush with two penguin commissions coming due, so I’m up late grinding and sanding and shaping wings and thinking through all the steps that require drying time and curing time and planning how best to fit everything in and maximize the gaps–paint first, go to the movies while it dries. Etc. A lot of penguins have flown this coop and while these three birds (one pair, one singleton) have some new features, I’m familiar with the basics and can do the final stages reasonably automatically.
- So maybe being on automatic pilot allowed me to consider the question, “Does my art reflect anything about my life?” At this stage, there isn’t a whole lot of activity on the penguin front, to be sure. Let my membership in the Old Antarctic Explorers’ Association lapse, for lack of attendable meetings. Wouldn’t hurt to have a bird or two on hand as inventory; a friend was concerned that the people who commissioned these birds might change their mind. No problem–they’ll sell. I don’t ask for a deposit if I know the art will sell.
- At this very moment, there’s a lot of transition happening in my view of the world. Had one of those doctor’s appointments last week that leave a body feeling, if not actually “old,” at least “older.” The MRI next week will tell the rest of the story: is knee surgery in my immediate future or not? Regardless of what shows up on those pictures, the xrays prove I’m not what I used to be. Happened to read Kathy Reichs’ Cross Bones last night, and the section about dating a skeleton by the xrays of teeth (age at death, not time since death) struck me–my teeth tell the same story my knees do, even if I continue to hide my gray hair with blue. (“Redefining ‘blue hair,'” I call it.)
- So what does this look like in art? I don’t see it with penguins, frankly. Practice is never a bad thing, and sold art has benefits all its own, including freeing space in inventory to make yet more. The best artists make the most art, in general.
- No clear answer today. I had a very clear flash about not wasting any more time; that no matter how far away, the end is nearer than I want to think (gene pool runs to longevity so I’m not too worried). Simply that there just isn’t enough time to spend any of it recklessly, doing things that don’t ?? pay off? I don’t mean financially there. doing things that bore me?
- We had planned to renovate the bathroom this weekend, and we’re halfway done and wiped out on Sunday morning. Took out the old floor and laid deep blue vinyl tile over the layer under that and removed and replaced the toilet and learned an awful lot about 430 Clear Pro adhesive for vinyl tile. We will probably reschedule the rest of the renovation to give the tile more time to set up; don’t want to be pulling the sink out only to discover the floor’s moving. Needless to say, the first step took longer than expected… Nothing like replacing a toilet at 11:30 pm when it’s a one-bathroom house.
- Which leaves today free for more art. Three commissions in need of attention; plenty to do. Thinking while I wait for church to let out about my latest art understanding–Edison’s 1/99 rule. “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” I have ideas. They come at me faster than fire ants; I can’t walk through a crafts fair or flip through a magazine without seeing more inspiration than I could follow up with in a lifetime. I keep notebooks of ideas; maintaining the notebooks is a time sink all its own.
- In the unexpected free time this morning, I observed an idea in mid-growth and thought how the 1:99 rule applied–a hose dragon. Some years ago, I saw a picture of a basket made from cable ties and garden hose by Emily Dvorin; her baskets are sculptural and highly textured and start with new hose and fluorescent ties and are beautiful. (There’s the 1% right there.) I made one. I’ve described the next steps in my Garden Art page. (Making one doesn’t quite take me to 99%, but it takes a lot more time and money to create a real tangible basket than it does to think, “I can do that…”)
- I went on to make a collection of baskets, and some hose sculpture from dead garden hoses, and it was fun, and the work didn’t sell, and I moved on to other art. There’s a lot more on the 99% side. I still have a large pile of donated dead hose and access to much more hose, and an idea to make a large garden dragon out of the hose. A dragon needs more framing than can be provided by tomato cages tied together. Although I’m surrounded by welders, I didn’t want to ask someone to build the frame for me, so the pile of hoses sits in my yard and the idea waits.
- Just last week, I saw a notice about a one-day “welding for women” class offered at the Arts Incubator in Siler City. Bingo! Sign up, clear a vacation day, shop for supplies (I have everything except welding glasses already.) Then this morning, perhaps as a result of the lesson taken in laying a new bathroom floor: Perhaps I should think this through a bit more. Just HOW am I going to build a dragon and what will it look like? What exactly will this framework look like? It might not hurt to have a good idea of what I want so that I’ll have better questions in class. I’ll hit my design notebooks in a bit and start problem-solving.
- Time to fish or cut bait on a problem that has long stewed in the back of my mind: Just how do mythological creatures with six appendages manage to hang them all on a vertebral column?!? (Sidebar: I have an appointment at Cary Orthopedic on Tuesday. Maybe I’ll ask the MD for an opinion… he will know a lot about bone structure…)
- Pegasus–legs and wings. Dragons, ditto. Do they have two sets of scapulae? I could take an easy out and build him with one pair of legs and one set of wings, but most dragons have front legs too, or else they’re pterodactyls. One author takes a stab at this anatomical structure by saying that forelegs are specialized wings and showing that both appendages connect to the same joint, but in the real world, that wouldn’t work. The pectoral mass necessary for flight would interefere with foreleg motion, and there isn’t room for (nor any biological example of) a double-ball / single socket joint. What about Centaurs? If normal humans have trouble with the spinal curve at our hips, how on earth do Centaurs make the curve from spine to hips to the scapula that support a horse’s front legs, and what does the heart look like–a human heart in the human’s thoracic cavity can’t possibly provide enough flow to power a horse… Satyrs, in comparison, are fairly straightforward, if you don’t question diet and intestines too much. Yes. I really do spend time thinking about this, and asking people who might know enough to have an opinion, like my dogs’ vet. For the record, I had the hardest time figuring out how penguins and seals worked, because most of the penguin picture books did not show the birds’ skeletal structure. Flippers are hard to work out without a picture of the bones, too, but we found several flipper bone assemblies on the peri-Antarctic islands so I could see what was inside.
- I should say at this point, that my boyfriend is not sympathetic to this question. He think that the fact that dragons are “mythological” creatures excuses them from the basic laws of physics and physiology.
- So I will think on the dragon problem and study my notes and learn to weld and probably make a few structures before I get the framework right. Then there will be color choices and texture and wrapping patterns and I have no idea at all of what I’ll make the wings out of (chicken wire?) and maybe one day there will be a hose dragon in my yard. And people will walk by and think and a few will say, “where on earth do you get your ideas?” and only a very very small number will understand that it wasn’t so much an inspiration at all, as it was an enormous amount of implementation.
- A conversation continues about whether being “mythological” is a valid anatomical structure. A bit of web research reveals that many flying creatures (Pegasus, Smaug) are drawn with wings “just stuck” on the creature’s back, with no particular attention to joinery or musculature. That’s ok, I guess, but it doesn’t solve my problem. If you are going to build the rest of the dragon and make real-world decisions about how various parts look and therefore work, how can you simply take a deus ex machina approach to any other part? I mean, I AM making anatomical decisions when I construct a foreleg–I am imagining bones and joints and muscles (Q: What do you call the structure that makes an insect leg move? Is it a muscle when it’s in an insect too, or are there different names for that?). Ditto for heads and ears and tails and nostrils. I can’t simply “stick” a pair of wings on a back and make no provision for flight muscle attachments. Or even load balance. Form follows function.
- The really interesting moments in sculpture, certainly in furniture construction, come at that point when you say, “Well, how are you going to hold those two parts together?”
- Curved Carved Chair, and its related chairs, are prime examples. Ripping the boards was the easy part; even finding legs wasn’t too hard. Attaching seat TO legs, so that the entire structure would support the forces of sitting human AND respond to dimensional changes in wood with temperature and humidity shifts, took that work of art’s 99%.