I was kind of stalled on starting another piece. In my studio I have shelves where I can view my current work. I kept looking at my most recent pieces which use the organic shapes to form a kind of "living organism." I have really enjoyed these pieces but was secretly wondering where I was going with them. Was I going to keep going on in this way? How many more will I do? I am not bored but where am I headed?
Thinking and reflection are good tools for anyone to cultivate but especially creative types. It's good to know what you like and why you like it. If you can name these things and talk or write about them then they provide a pathway forward when you are stuck. (I am skeptical of other creatives that can't or won't talk or write about their work. It makes me wonder.) Anyway, I realized that I was kind of missing what I think of as a more 'narrative" style piece. Now, I am not good at literal narrative work nor am I good at absolute abstraction (think Franz Kline and his action paintings.) My ideas fall somewhere in the middle and mostly reflect things that I have read about or seen. Somehow those things mix around in my head and come out in shapes. It's very personal for me but I think enjoyable for the viewer who can put their own interpretation into the piece. Everybody gets their views validated if that makes sense.
The above pic shows the sketch that I did to get started. I didn't have anything in mind but simply started pulling out leftover shapes from my box. I started cutting them and arranging them until I had a loose composition. I felt that there was something viable and decided to just proceed. You know, what the hell right? As I worked on the piece, what emerged for me was a kind of a whale image and a person that I thought was inside. Well, I thought of Jonah and the whale from the bible. Everything else flowed from that: the ship that Jonah escapes on, the leaves from the tree that God sends to shade Jonah's body, and some hands and wind that are sort of tossing the boat about. (Listen, I had to look up the story in the bible OK? I didn't know any of it either.) Because I am me though I also added other stuff: a nuclear reactor/beaker shape that holds some bacteria, some amoebas/mitochondrial shapes at the bottom, and some irregular cell shapes at the top. Oh, and there is a worm/serpent lurking in those leaves. As I said above, it's all the stuff that I have been thinking about. I like that I blended science and religion. It makes me chuckle a bit. I think they go hand in hand very nicely:)
Tell me what else you see. I'd like to know.