Sunday, January 22, 2006

Soul Mate in Another Medium

My public library has a small gallery space used to spotlight local artists or artists with a local connection. These exhibits stay up for quite a few weeks, which I love. Unlike a quilt show, which is pretty much a one-shot deal, these longer running exhibits allow me to go back time and again to study the pieces from many perspectives. Often what I thought was stunning first time around, doesn't strike me as strongly at a later date. Or I will pick up on some small detail I missed in a previous viewing. Works run the gamut of artistic mediums; I find it stimulating and informative to see how artists with a different set of skills interpret their world.

There was a feature story in the paper about the newest exhibit, one of tiles and other clay works. The pictures led me to believe this would be worth a look, but didn't begin to represent accurately what was really on display. The "tiles" are actually "carved clay" done in muted earthtone and in all the shapes and motifs I've been dreaming, studying and working with in my own work. Landscapes with sinuous curves, trees, leaves...willow leaves! Yes, among the triptych, boxes, groupings of squares, and pottery, there was the exact rendition of scattered willows leaves (right down to the same color palette) that I am working towards, beginning with my own "Willow Leaves."

The artist is Deb LeAir of Minneapolis, MN. Unfortunately, she does not have a website and the few pictures of her work that I could find don't show these latest pieces that I viewed, but this link will at least give you an idea of how she is working: http://www.claypeople.org/sep01a.htm

I was pretty pleased with my reaction to her "Black Willow Leaves." Instead of thinking what I often think (dang, somebody's beaten me to it and I may as well forget about pursuing my "original" design), I found myself thinking, ok, I must be on the right track; I can hardly wait to get back to my own willow leaves. No doubt I was not thrown into depression because she is working in a totally different medium from me, but still, this felt like progress in my creative journey. In a way, it was affirming to see that the design I envisioned actually works well in reality, since I often have trouble taking the design in my head to a successful outcome.

My other reaction was that I really wanted to own that piece! How cool might it be to have her rendition and mine hanging side by side? But then again, I hardly have nearly $700 to invest in a whim like that! I love her work though, and plan to go back several times to study and learn from it.

1 comment:

Mad Max said...

Picasso said, "A good artist borrows from his fellow artist, a great artist steals!" You have to recharge the batteries from time to time.