Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oh I don't have to paint inside the lines?!

Last night I was at the studio- looking in on Amy Sanders' class and working on painting my Dia de los Muertos skulls. With my lastest series I had drawn butterflies on their heads and painting them took more attention with all the designs and patterns I had drawn..and I was not enjoying it at all!!! It felt like work staying inside those lines.

A fellow potter came by, Pete, and I was complaining to him. And then another friend Liesel came by and said something like, well if you are not enjoying it the universe is telling you that is not the way for you.
OH? OK!!! Right, why did I assume I had to paint in the lines? Very funny the assumptions we work on in our lives!! My favorite creations are pieces I have a conversation with, where I continue to explore whatever I am expressing in that piece.
My bottom shelf is filled with unglazed work from over the years. Which I find interesting. There was never an answer to how they should be glazed.
And when I started exploring these pinch pots and the surface design, what opened up for me was it was continually evolving, and alive at each step... Creating the piece, glazing it and even during the firing...because even then it changed again. If you look at the last post, one of the first pieces I did, what thrilled me so much was I wanted to explore the surface and glazing. There was an answer for me. I never knew what would burn to the surface or not. And I find that is what I love about these pieces.

In this photo below, another thrilling thing I found is the copper oxide that was applied on the inside would have a conversation/interaction with the clear glaze applied on the surface, turning green in parts, black in others, and not interacting in others, so ALIVE.
Back to those pieces on the bottom shelf,... after the piece was created, it died for me ...there was no answer or life to them in the glazing. No doubt I was still exploring and learning...but it obviously was not the way for me, it was not ME....they were pieces that taught me about how to construct work..the technical aspects...which is needed...but I had yet to find the work that would come to life for me.

So, when I found out last night that I did not have to paint inside the drawn lines of the butterflies, and I could apply the same brush strokes and surface design I enjoy- that feel layered and filled with memory and time (not boundaries and restrictions)...well the life surged back in - and I am excitedly looking forward to seeing what happens to the Dia de los Muertos Skulls and their next life!!!
One of my favorite raku pinch pots. This fits into your cupped hand.


Becky said...

Wonderful to read this!!! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!
I, too, am trying to loose those ties that bind.-- painting inside the lines, ON the lines, etc.
I'm so happy you have found a new freedom. How like your butterfly that must be?

Elaine Spallone said...

Yea, I think they taught me the lesson. I so enjoyed drawing them...