Friday, November 18, 2011

From Vacation to Sculpture

It is strange that the best ideas come when I am not pushing for one; when I am not concentrating on anything and not even thinking of anything at all - simply allowing my mind to wander.  Magically a thought, image, feeling, concept or idea just shows up floating in the foggy landscape of my mind.  This is the creative spirit part of what I do. 

To simply go with that first idea is not enough.  The original concept must be developed and matured.  This is the training and experience part of what I do.  I am sure many, many other artists work this way.  It is a major difference between true art and so-called "art" that is just a gimmick.

To continue from the last post in this blog, I was at the beach 'thinking' of literally nothing; just feeling the life of the moment.  I was in such a non-thinking state that I did not realize my hands were sculpting the wet sand.  To the left is what came to be.

The sand shape is nice but not special, in fact it is predictable.  The top part has 5 somewhat equal lobes.  Predictable.  The bottom part tapers to a predictable finish.  The whole thing is nice, but boring. 

Four years after the shape flowed out of my mind, I came across this photo and saw potential.  Not as it was, but as it could be.  I scribbled many different designs based on this shape in the sand, eventually morphing the shape into the finished piece shown below.

             "They Know the Language of the Waves on the Sea" 
                                   measures 6 ft. x 4 ft. x 2 ft.

As the weaving progressed over the next 3 months or so, I felt transported back to that fabulous vacation on that fabulous beach.  I felt I was floating on the soft undulating waves as I wove the undulating shape of the basket.  I felt the aqua sea around Bonaire as I pulled each piece of rattan out of the water it was soaking in.  I could again see the hot sun reflecting off the clear water, turning the sea into a glowing liquid universe.  And I felt the tiny sparkling splashes of the peaceful waves. 

I also thought about ancient south pacific sailers that somehow were able to travel between islands so far apart they could not see land.  According to archeologists, they were able to navigate by 'reading' the boat hull vibrations (caused by the waves) against their bodies,  This was before radar, sextants and even compasses.  Back when humans were more connected to the earth than we are today.

In the end, the piece included the waves, color, sparkling light, undulations, breaking wave splash, even a journey between islands.