Some of you may already know about the commitment I made in May to focus the year ahead on completing the ever elusive “body of work”. It’s not like I haven’t been making art all this time but I know there have been times when I lacked direction and others when I simply let myself be distracted. No more. As Mr. Peck said to Mr. Niven in The Guns of Navarone, “You’re in it now boy. Right up to your bloody neck!” That’s probably a paraphrase but you get the idea. I don’t expect I will ever let up from this point on.
This blog post is titled “Inventory” and with good reason. Making art is one thing, selling it is another. My dad taught me you can’t sell if you don’t have inventory, which means you better be prepared to work. Some of my more prolific friends out there are rolling out a painting a week or even every day! I never thought I could keep up with that pace but now I do know that doesn’t really matter anymore. The main thing is to get in there and make art.
I like the idea of looking backward in order to achieve my goals. I dream of the end I have in mind and work backward to the steps it took me to get to that point. This type of thinking has helped me to achieve success in many different ways.
The ceramic sculpture, “Standing Figure” has now been constructed. To give you an idea how long it has taken for me to do this sculpture, the design was originally sketched out in 1990. This is the curse of a brain that is rolling along like a locomotive, keeping journals of drawings and ideas for the last 40 some odd years. I tell myself I will get back to this or that one but up until now, that hasn’t happened. Now it is happening.
The kiln load of ware is ready to be fired to bisque. Fall is officially here and this is the time to be firing. This coincides very well with my production schedule: make ceramics during the hot months and fire during the cold ones. The rest of the time I’m painting and drawing.
I’m back to some functional pottery in the form of beer steins and mugs. Additionally I’m returning to several bottle and box designs from 2011, long overdue to be produced. Once completed, all works will be posted for sale here on the blog. Many of these will be carved and accented with underglazes. My style could be compared to the Arts and Craft movement that flourished in Europe and North America from 1880 to 1910, later to be replaced by Modernism in the 1930’s.
I’m continuing new works on canvas, greatly influenced by my new surroundings here in the hill country of Texas. One of my favorite things to do is explore the many hidden roads around the area. Each trip elicits surprise, wonder, and a magic that is in the heart of the places I visit.
All this while Mary and I begin intense activity in the back of the house, creating a raised bed vegetable and herb garden. We plan to install gutters to conserve water for the garden, kept in plastic barrels.