For nearly 20 years I’ve created a life as an artist. I have created bronzes; designed furniture, jewelry and handbags; and rituals and altars. I have two books – my ceramic dream masks series and another on my two month camping trip through Southern Africa. I will write more about these later, but first I want to introduce you to my busts.
This is Autumn and she was the first formal sculpture created in 1995 and cast in bronze in 1998 at my husband, Doug’s, insistence. Autumn I created and she sat for years as clay just collecting dust. I was never sure if she was a good, or just pleasing to me because she was mine. My husband often praised Autumn, but I didn’t initially trust the objectivity of his praise and belief that I was an artist and should pursue the life of a professional creative. I am thankful to him for believing in me and pushing me to trust myself as an artist.
One of the impediments to my confidence is that I cannot draw and the requirement to have drawing skills to enter a training program, to create brainstorming sketches, or to call yourself an artist. Not being able to draw was a tyranny and setback to my confidence and self-definition as an artist. But my lifelong relationships with artists always kept my creative juices flowing. I thank them.
I am often asked if someone modeled for Autumn. My experience was that as I handled the clay she let me know what she wanted and my job was to deliver. Initially I thought she was to become a boy, but she persisted in being feminine and I was grateful for her insistence because it taught me to listen and be responsive to the intention of the clay. It was a love affair and we were committed to the process. I knew when she was happy and when my work was finally done.
She began in oil-based clay and because it never dries or drips I could work on her on my dining room table over long periods of time without worry.
There were times when I’d be working out a particular facial feature, like eyelids, and I’d stare at people everywhere, noticing interesting similarities, details, and differences. I loved studying faces but had to be careful that people weren’t offended that I was staring.
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