Category Archives: stone

universal upgrade, part 1

some time ago i made a commitment, to get some work done and really give my love of stone sculpture my full attention for a while. it seemed that would be the only way i could make enough progress in this tough and challenging medium. it is an art that takes time and physical energy and patience and the willingness to be dirty. the results occupy space and time in such a hard and formal way, even if the gesture is soft and lovely. to make this commitment, i had to let some other interests go. tattooing for one. so i may not get to have work on myself as often for a while, oh well, that is a sacrifice i choose for now. then i asked the universe to give me some support if this is the right choice for me, and got busy with my rocks and hand tools. i had started to speak of my journey with stone in my previous entries.

i’ve come back so many times to the love of the subtractive carving process and the way it feels very complete to me, being so physical, and sometimes so slow to see results, it takes me out of my mind. i hear the sound of the tool in rhythm with my mind’s eye and the physical ability i have to execute that visual relationship. now i’ve made a deeper commitment, followed through with some action, asked for support, made some progress. i’ve received support, encountered challenges and set myself up for a year or more likely a lifetime of sculpting with the tools and techniques and new material, but especially with the feeling that there is so much more to learn and say within the medium.

wow, so what exactly was the upgrade? things went so full circle and surprised me–i’ve  learned recently that people i respect in my community have been reading my words, here. okay, to step back a bit, where i left off, i was working on the ‘angelheart’ sculpture. what a stone–the detail, the polishing, it is like glass, very crystalline! i’m happy to say it is finished. renamed ‘Ananchel’ or angel of grace. Ananchel means divine grace, and she is here to offer us the experience of an open heart allowing the love of the divine to pour in. “she awaits to bathe us in a state of ecstasy, when every cell in our body sings praises”  and offers gratitude. “Ananchel provides the state of grace which allows the angels to fill us with love, inspiration, wisdom and rapture.” the color of the onyx really does vary from white, to a soft peachy color as shown in the photos, depending on the light.

   

what happened is that after i made the commitment and fumbled around with my motivation to put the energy into it, that i had the first upgrade; the pleasure of being commissioned to create a piece in stone for an indoor water fountain made of slate and built into the corner of a wall. i put the other pieces on hold, and went for it, finding the right stone and getting it approved, eventually having enough awareness of the project and the material i started carving. (this part took a while, looking at the rough rock in the shadowy corner, and trying to ‘see’ it in my minds eye) i loved working the stone, pyrophyllite. the consistency and color and smooth, tight grains. the idea of water and the shape of the fountain informed a feeling in me of where my eye and tools wanted to go together. also, there was a lovely patch of red on the top corner of the stone that the client really liked, however the red was pretty shallow and toward the front, so had to find my way around that brief red coloration and not overwork the area, a thought i dreaded. the following pictures are: the fountain, the sculpture, and the fountain with the sculpture.

  

i then encountered a problem with my growth. i made too much dust in my home studio environment (that was our garage and yard) and had to look around for a new place to work. i heard about Pratt in Seattle and looked into it for a studio rental. i rented the stone yard there to finish my piece and am so glad i did. it is a great place that has everything i need to continue my exploration of committment to stone sculpture, the tools, the air, the water, drill presses, the six inches of dust, etc. i have had the place to myself, except for a few random and changing artists and the department technicians which have been most supportive. this place allows me to keep busy and have more resources and and a good atmosphere to work in, as it is surrounded on two sides by a community park on the other side of which is a great local coffee place.

that is why you may not have seen or heard from me as much in a while. i’m encouraged to continue writing along with creating sculpture and visual art, and recently i contributed to a group show at artwalk in Issaquah, completed another five-day figure sculpture intensive and am getting ready to have a place in the local annual salmon days festival in one weeks time. events that are requiring me to finish pieces and consider how i want to represent myself and grow.

i heart Art!

pages and pages of days go by
in this writer’s life
cut and paste world
collage of ideas
layer themselves into a vision
sculpting time into Art
i heart Art!

art is the vehicle that carries us back and forth through time. we become time travelers when we look at a piece of art or read what’s been written, as it has been completed at a fixed point in time, even if that time is ten minutes or many many centuries, back to petroglyphs and cuneiform. we create future time, with our ideas, both in imagining, describing and depicting other possible realities, as well as the more subtle shaping of the next moment by our choices and actions, our creations. that is the future, an extended idea of the now.

writing, sculpting, painting, collaging and music, also the process of understanding and  translating what other people’s needs are into skin art,  these are my teachers, friends that inform me along the way.  my capacity to understand the world grows with each expression, and the world grows with me.

the sculpture in the photo above is a great example for me of time travel and growing the world. titled ancestor, it was made during a time i was taking a class on mesoamerican art and architecture. the rough stone,  a mineral called serpentine, that left to nature’s nurture, would eventually become jade, was gifted to me concurrently by a friend, a jade carver. many of the colossal heads carved by the olmec culture in mesoamerican antiquity are carved from serpentine. i felt inspired by the rich, earthy green colors and interesting striations, and just dug in with my chisels and mallet. it is a fairly soft stone. when the piece, ancestor emerged, i felt surprised by the obvious influence of the ancient art i’d been looking at for three months! i realized that my own small percentage of hispanic heritage had found an opportunity to connect, in geologic time, to it’s roots, through the hand working of this stone. thus the name, ancestor. i had reconnected to myself and a part of the world culture. i am pleased with the original work that will always call to mind my remembrance.

in the law of time, when we are harmonious with nature, the only law that exists is time factored by energy equals art. the creative energy that exists is the same creative energy for us all, regardless of our medium, our skills or talents. that is why many artists say they have channelled their art, or gotten themselves out of the way somehow to let their creation flow. that, of course is why it has been said there is no original art. though all creative energy is from the same source, it can only come out as a unique expression when tapped by any individual. ah the beauty…