It took me years to declare myself an artist, even though I 've been engaged in making and selling art since before I was twenty. It took me longer to decide it was a useful pursuit. It wasn't for lack of passion. I went to art school and earned an MFA in sculpture. I've taught college level art classes for over twenty years. I've heard students declare themselves an artist after a few courses in art. After pursuing this impulse, this passion, into my forties I finally felt I had the skills and maturity to call myself a sculptor.
Metal has always been my material of choice. I work with bronze because its historical aspect is important to me. It is both beautiful and enduring. I am attracted to the arduous work and ritual pouring of the molten metal. When I cast, the fiery stream I pour connects civilizations past and present. Often, I will combine the cast bronze with stone, stainless steel and copper to create a rich contrast of materials.
It took me years to declare myself an artist, even though I 've been engaged in making and selling art since before I was twenty. It took me longer to decide it was a useful pursuit. It wasn't for lack of passion. I went to art school and earned an MFA in sculpture. I've taught college level art classes for over twenty years. I've heard students declare themselves an artist after a few courses in art. After pursuing this impulse, this passion, into my forties I finally felt I had the skills and maturity to call myself a sculptor.
Metal has always been my material of choice. I work with bronze because its historical aspect is important to me. It is both beautiful and enduring. I am attracted to the arduous work and ritual pouring of the molten metal. When I cast, the fiery stream I pour connects civilizations past and present. Often, I will combine the cast bronze with stone, stainless steel and copper to create a rich contrast of materials.
Creating requires a struggle and interplay of many factors. Some of my sculptures, consciously or not, evoke themes associated with a specific idea. The figurative pieces allude to the dream world, our human desires and the ideal self. Some works, not readily definable, identify areas of life and the universe that are not completely grasped in the intellectual realm. Yet, the nature and order of their design, the vigor of their presence demands our attention. Often a piece “feels” like something familiar. It becomes a vehicle to relate an emotional expression, one that is open to conjecture and the creation of stories.
The work can be psychologically compelling or intellectually engaging but most importantly, it must be held together with a strong sense of design. Intellectually, the impulse to create may simply be novelty. It can be the experience of creating something unique or the enjoyment of learning a new skill or process.
Emotionally, the impulse is an artist's thrill of seeing form and texture coalesce into an arrangement that is an abstract sculpture. It seems esoteric. A thrill that only the artist can enjoy. The motivation is to produce art that provides a sense of personal satisfaction. The completed work brings the artist fulfillment, an end to the impulse to create. The work is enough. Isn't it?
Creating sculpture is an individual pursuit. Yet, it is not done in isolation. A sculptor is not separate from the greater community that is humanity. The final urge of the creative impulse is for the artist to share what was created. When one is early in an art career that urge may be a search for validation and identity. In mid-career it is the hope that others will see the beauty, the design and thrill in the experience of sculpture. I hope to convey what is "ideal" in our culture, expressing both our temporal and spiritual nature. Our nature is one of endless creativity. We all have gifts to share.
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