Art Is A Battle
The 30-hour ankle is done. Actually, it’s never done. To get it perfect, I could have spent another several hours making tiny, minute changes that would still not have produced an exact match to the original Charles Bargue copy. But in the end, that wasn’t the point–to make a perfect match. The point was to get it as close to the original as possible while achieving something in the learning process. The point was to train the eye.
What I learned: Slow Down. Drawing requires the mind and the body to work together. The visual sense must first register what it sees so the hand can listen and the pencil can respond. It’s all very step 1, step 2, step 3. You can’t rush it or you’ll miss things. Patiently layering the HB graphite, I could achieve the necessary depth to transform the lead into the smooth soft stone of the cast.
The lesson of slowing down is essential and one I hope to remember. The other take-away: Art, as in life, will never be complete. When Sammy Davis Jr. was asked which of his songs was his favorite, he responded, “the next one.” There’s always more. It’s what we call self-mastery and it’s what makes life worth striving for: We don’t live to create, we create to live.
Creativity is an ongoing evolutionary process. It is a birthright. All children are born with the innate gift to create. They’ll do ANYTHING. Paint macaroni and string it on necklaces, run their hands through finger paint, glue glitter to paper hearts. We don’t need special permission to pick up a pen and write, or a pencil to draw. Everyone has a story. Everyone has something to contribute.
If you think time is the enemy, your wrong, resistance is. Slow down. What do you want to create? The process of making anything, if done slowly, can be art. Art transcends time itself.
Vincent Van Gogh said, “If you hear a voice within yourself say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
As I move onto my next project, the words of Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, come to mind…
“I say let me never be complete, I say may I never be content, I say deliver me from Swedish furniture, I say deliver me from clever arts, I say deliver me from clear skin and perfect teeth, I say you have to give up! I say evolve, and let the chips fall where they may!”