On the Easel


It had been a year or so since I had worked on any of my art. What changed? I don’t know I can answer that. I guess you could say the creeping depression and lack of sleep may have played a part. I just gravitated toward my studio in the past week. Initially I figured a still life might be the best first project. I wasn’t happy. I took a look around the house and saw the tang horse. The rest just went from there. I spent a few hours sketching and developing the piece. I always go to pastels as my comfort medium. They are interesting to work with and you can work a piece pretty rapidly. They are also closest to sculpting for me. I use my hands quite a bit as I build the base and create the depth of color I am looking for. They are also filthy to work with. In short they are a lot of fun. The horse came together over a period of 3 days. I didn’t have more than a couple hours each day. I returned to it each morning when the sun was creating perfect lighting. I wrapped up the first Tang horse piece today. I knew it was just going to continue from there. Tang horses have always been my favorite. I love the horse distilled into a highly stylized sculpture. Throw in the San cai glazing and coloring and they are perfect. I have sculpted and drawn them on and off since college. Seems a perfect choice to jump back into my work. I’m happy to be creating again but wonder why I don’t create when my head is in a good place. What is it about depression that it unlocks my ability to draw from my creative self? It has always been like this. The more depressed I am the better the work I produce. It is as if some faucet gets turned on up there. To create is such a subconscious act. I know there is the actual skill of putting a pastel to paper. That is very much in the here and now, but the force that drives a piece to completion with good results comes from somewhere very different. It is either there or it isn’t. I cannot turn that on at will. Wish I could. Instead I work when I feel compelled to. This week I have been drawn to pastels. I am happy with the results. I hope to continue on and finish a series of the Tang horses.

Completed Tang Horse I.


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