Reflections Prior to Leaving for Italy

I’m not sure who my readers are, besides my mom and a few close friends. Up to this point, I’ve used this blog as a way to tell stories about my work that I think are of interest to most people interested in the visual arts, either as creators or as patrons. Now, for awhile at least, I’m going to be using it as a way to form my own thought about what I’m doing. It will be more like a conversation between the various voices in my head, and you all, my dear mother and other readers, get to listen in – if you want. I’m telling you this partly for my own accountability. If I tell my readers that for the next 6 weeks I am going to be posting at least 3 times per week, it will be incentive for me to actually finish posts.

So, I’m telling you now, I’m going to be posting 3 times per week until at least October 15th. After that, we’ll see what the fruit of this experiment has been and make a new plan.

About what will I be writing? I will be writing about what I am making and why it matters. I’ll also be writing about the artists I meet in my travels – particularly sculptors who work in the human figurative tradition and traditional stone carvers. Oh, and reviews of coffee shops. I’ll be reporting on the coffee shops in Italy from which I will be blogging. Very interesting. Very useful.

So, let us begin. What have I been making in the past few weeks?

Plein Air Painting in Franklin, WV
Plein Air Painting at Haines Point in DC
Plein Air Painting in an Alley in DC
Cast the “Our Lady of the Vestry” Statue. The first casting was unusable (see the flaws in the stole?).
Wrapped up the lettering and botanical pattern exercise stone carving.
Hung the Panorama Show at Dos Gringos Cafe in Mount Pleasant, DC
Gary Taylor’s framing shop in Adams Morgan, DC

Plein air painting, human figure sculpture, and stone carving. Also, getting my work out there. The share of my work is part of the work, so I’m going to talk about that too.

Stuff. I’ve made some stuff. Most of our houses are full of stuff, stuff we want to get rid of. And, this stuff, the stuff I make isn’t even useful. So, why am I making more stuff? I don’t even like stuff. I’m a pathological getter-ridder. My life’s ambition is to always be able to carry the entirety of my possessions on my back.

Here’s the thing, what I am making is something more than the physical object. Let’s say you go to the symphony: A bunch of people with instruments make sound waves for a couple of hours. Nobody asks, “Why are they making these sound waves.” On the contrary, people pay lots of month to go and have those sound waves effect their ears. Why? They want the experience of listening to music. The musicians aren’t just making sound waves, they’re creating the experience of listening to music. Or, rather, they are presenting the opportunity to experience music.

So, what is a visual artist presenting the opportunity to experience? The sense organ in question here is the eyes. Sight. What a wonderful sense, sight. And yet, sight is perhaps the most detached sense from the human heart. Touch, taste, smell, hearing – in all of these, the sense has direct access to a persons body. Touch represents physical contact with the skin. Taste and smell both involve something entering the body. And, hearing involves the direct movement of the eardrum, a part of the body. Sight, on the other hand, merely involves the stimulation of parts in the eye to light. But, sight interpreted by the brain, interpreted by the mind, filtered through the imagination. It’s still an experience.

OK, so this is a start. I’m making the opportunity to experience something. I’m making something more than the physical object. More to come

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