I admit it – three quarters of the time I start working on a piece, I’m just playing. In more serious moods I call it ‘experimenting’. Nah – it’s playing. It’s diving joyously into a pool looking to see what works there.
Now, the quarter of the time remaining, I start working believing I know exactly what I’m doing … yeah, most of the time I’m wrong and I end up playing anyway. For me to predict exactly what a given technique is going to achieve is like a weatherperson saying they know exactly what second NEXT WEEK it’s going to start raining; there are just too many variables. Until last summer I had only so many balls to play with, and I knew how each of them bounced, so I had a fair idea the direction I might be taking a piece even if I was playing. As I’ve learned more, however, I’ve got all these new balls. I dare say I have ten times the balls I used to have, and, because they’re new, I mostly only have the vaguest of ideas how each of them bounce. So now, it REALLY is play!
* * *
I had something more serious in mind for the bunnies – something more akin to last year’s ‘Marked Down Man’ that is on exhibit at the Soulard Gallery for about another week. But as I’ve said before, all it takes is the most subtile shift in lighting or subject to completely throw off how one work unfolds in comparison to another work that seemed to be, but turns out wasn’t, identical. There’s a point while playing when I expect something artistically serious to emerge, and I expect it right up to the point it doesn’t. And then it’s just school at recess.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.