Friday, January 26, 2007

Building Block Process: Elimination

1. To get rid of; remove:
a. To leave out or omit from consideration; reject.
b. To remove from consideration by defeating, as in a contest.
2. Mathematics - To remove (an unknown quantity) by combining equations.
3. Physiology - To excrete (bodily wastes).

My friend Derek has suggested that I show (and discuss) the sketches that I am ELIMINATING from the set of Botanical Bioform Building Blocks. Great idea, but, unfortunately for me the concept of sharing my rejected drawings goes against every fiber of my being! Then I realized that was exactly the point! That is the reason why I absolutely have to do it. I need to do something *different* in order to expand my development as an artist. I have recently given thought to the fact that all of the art I created in 2006 had an alternative purpose; each piece was designed with a specific audience/client/market in mind. In other words, it wasn’t art for art’s sake; I have been making art to sell. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with that in general; BUT, the result has been that my recent art has been a bit “safe and predictable”. So now that I have hundreds of medallions in stock at the studio and in the stores as well as a large number of paintings currently exhibiting, I feel I have finally earned the time to create something dangerous and unpredictable! Okay, so I’m not sure how one accomplishes that with plants as inspiration but I will do my best! At the very least I hope to create something different that truly satisfies my soul.

So what will I do different? I am going to take risks. I’ve started by doing things I wouldn’t normally do, like discussing my creative process here in the blog; I am sharing my thoughts, revealing work in progress, outlining concepts and introducing inspirations as they happen with out (too much) concern for the end result. I am desperately clinging to the notion that the experience gained from the journey will outweigh the risk. I’m trying not to think about the “what if’s”. I certainly won’t know unless I try. So in the spirit of risk taking, and the quest for creative knowledge, I will reveal ALL! Or most, well, at least a pretty good portion of it anyway.

Here are a few of the drawings I have ELIMINATED from the Botanical Bioform Building Block set:

The drawings (Fine Point Sharpies on 8.5” x 11” Cardstock) above were rejected from the final set of 50 Building Blocks because they felt *wonky*. I wish I could offer more intellectualized reasoning, but that isn’t usually the case when it comes to my art. I am basing the majority of the elimination process on gut feeling. You may note that I included (now eliminated) some sea life (and the fossil). I realize that these objects are not exactly botany but they had interesting qualities and they still qualify as Bioforms (I’ve obviously wandered beyond the wildflower meadow for my sources of inspiration). It is difficult to define what I’m looking for in the set, other then the guidelines I listed in the previous Building Block discussion: variety of shape, form and texture as well as a well rounded spectrum of life cycle stages.

At this point it appears that all of the Building Block drawings (including the sketches I plan to keep) are looking a lot more like traditional botanical drawings then anything especially *Amyesque*. I’m not sure if it is the medium of pen that feels traditional or if it is the fact that I am still being safe and predictable. It is very possible that I am subconsciously influenced by the notion that the set of 50 Building Blocks will also serve as the designs for a new botanical medallion collection. As Exalted Beauty Medallion designs the objects must remain fairly conservative to appeal to the majority of my customer base. However, I am not especially disappointed by this realization because I have convinced myself that all of the really great abstractions have their basis in reality. Meaning, I remain optimistic because I am looking at the completed Building Blocks as sources of inspiration, not as the end result for the Botanical Bioform paintings.

The development of the set is still in progress, I plan to continue to draw and eliminate until I find a collection of 50 that works well together. And then? I’m not sure what. I’ll keep you posted!

1 comment:

Derek Andrews said...

If these are the ones you are eliminating, I think we are in for a treat when we get to see the final cut.

thanks for sharing