Searching for emotion in art
Each time I create a new piece, I feel a motherly attachment to it. I feel joy and pride at having brought it into the world. Yet like every mom who wants to see her child be everything she can be, I need to take off my rose-colored glasses to view my art where it is in its development path. My work is an infant crying for some nurturing so it can grow to be amazing.
This is a “Gothic Rabbit” sculpture that I created last year and I feel such a connection to her. She is one of my first 3-d sculpts. Yet from the moment of her “birth,” I felt she was unfinished. She lacked that spark of life. I couldn’t really put my finger on the problem. Of course, there is the obvious limitations in my sculpting ability, but I think that the key to “life” in art lies in something deeper than technical proficiency.
This week, I started working through the free course “Ways to Wow” on Voila. It is 6-month exploration of emotion in art that seems tailored to polymer jewelry artists, yet because the course isn’t about techniques, it seems applicable to a broad range of interests. I’ve never done one of Christine DuMont’s courses so I’m not sure what to expect, but the topic seems to fit where I am in exploring my artistic voice and so far it really has my mind hungrily working through he first pre-work assignments.
I chose the “Gothic Rabbit” as my baseline work to start the course, although I am equally excited to use the knowledge on my non-figural pieces. Even though we are only in the first week, I’ve already had some self-reflective “ah-ha” moments. I realized that I never had emotion in mind when I created the rabbit. I created the Gothic-style, polymer-covered chicken egg first ,and in my minds eye, I saw a medieval princess holding the egg so I created the rabbit princess around the egg.
I love the flow of her dress, the tiny details of the lacing on her bodice, and the abstract chain-mail link pattern on the egg. What she is missing is an emotion. I never considered her back story or what she was feeling in the transient moment that I immortalized in clay.
- Did someone just surprise her with the egg as a gift?
- Did she just discover the egg and is in awe of its very existence?
- Does she feel a magical power emanating from the egg?
- Was everyone in her village just slaughtered and she is a sole survivor clutching one last cherished belonging?
- Is she about to lose the egg to her wicked stepmother?
Depending on the specific emotion/story, I would make different design choices. Image how differently each of these scenarios would be portrayed. In each case her hands would grip the egg differently. Her head might tilt. Her eyes would be different. The colors may even be totally different. Such cool possibilities!
I can’t wait to start Week 2 on Sunday! You can still jump in if you’d like. You don’t even need to register if you aren’t interested in participating in the forum discussions. http://www.voila.eu.com/