Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Altered Dreams - A Self Portrait, Reversed Engineered

In a couple of weeks, the Worcester Art Museum, where I teach beginning calligraphy, will be having their annual Open House for the Summer session. (Don't ask me why they call May/June summer, but they do.) There is always a faculty art show. In the past, I've exhibited framed pieces, altered books, Christmas ornaments and whatever else I could think of.

This year, the museum is having a Faculty Works in Progress Exhibition. Faculty will be able to bring in sketches, thumbnails, contact sheets, etc. Pretty cool, since I haven't finished working on the piece I was going to submit to the show. I was in the process of creating a doll, a wooden sculpture which was to be called Altered Dreams, A Self- Portrait. Yeah, I know the emperor is naked.

The design for the doll is all laid out in my head. She is painted and partially assembled. So now I find myself in the position of having to reverse engineer my project to create a sketchbook. Reverse engineering is the process of taking something apart to see how it works with the idea of improving it when the work is reassembled.

Himself was making fun of me. Telling me Leonardo DaVinci wrote his journals and sketchbooks before and not after the fact. To which I replied: I'm the artist! I can do this any damn way I please. Artist or Artiste?

I found a half-used, charcoal paper sketchbook (9" x 12") with just the right number of pages to describe the parts of the doll, and how she is put together.

This is the first page, the Concept page. The idea came a year ago (2007) from a couple of lines from the movie The Natural. (I was going to submit the doll in last year's faculty show, but for some reason we didn't have one)

Roy (Redford): "Life didn't turn our the way I expected."

Iris (Close): "I believe we have two lives. The life we learn with, and the life we live with after that.

So, I started thinking about dreams. What I wanted (want) to be when I grew (grow) up. The things that held me back from some of the dreams: fear, self-doubt.

While browsing through Michael's I found some unfinished wooden boxes, and a light bulb winked on. I could make a doll! A doll with a wooden box for the body, and arms and legs made from spools.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is artiste when you're snarking back at Himself. :)