Wednesday, September 14, 2011

next project...

My next project involves this:
It's a page from the Book of Kells featuring the writers of the gospels in their symbolic forms (clockwise from upper left: Matthew the man, Mark the lion-yes, that's a lion, John the eagle and Luke the calf). The art in this masterpiece is utterly stunning, but I also have to include part of an email from my pa that perfectly encapsulates some of the more unusual stylization methods the artists used:
"I did have one observation. Didn't anybody back then know how to draw eyeballs?? The pictures are all great, but then it looks like they needed some coffee when they got to the eyes, and called over their 4 year old kid and said: 
Gawain: would thee likest to scribe some eyeorbs on yonder face?
Yes daddy! Should I make them widest open?
Sure lad...
(Goes and gets coffee...)
(Comes back...)
Look daddy look!!!
(Dad faints...)"

- - - - - - - -

I've noticed, and come to embrace, some things about my "process" of artymaking. I often start a new project with serious zest and energy and focus, and then hit a wall (I get sick of it, run into some sort of issue, etc.) at full speed and completely abandon working on it for weeks, or more likely, for months. The piece mentioned in the previous post is an example, actually. I think I started it around the beginning of the year, got tired of poking holes (gee, I wonder how that could've happened), and filed it away. I'd actually forgotten about it until organizing my studio a couple months ago. Then I was like, "Oh yeah! I should finish this!" and dove in once again. But it's rare for me to finish projects on the second go-around - usually I have to rediscover something every four months, work on it for a few days or weeks, and then abandon it again, over a period of a couple years before it's finally finished. 

I used to feel really guilty about this, but now I realize that it's important to give pieces (and ideas) time. Most of the time I abandon a piece because I hit a problem and can't figure out a solution- often I can't figure out the solution because I'm already thinking about the piece constantly. But if I set it aside, my brain can continue to process ideas consciously and subconsciously while I throw myself into another piece, and then I'm able to think about it without any sort of stress.
So all that to say that I spent a couple weeks engrossed in this project and have since abandoned it. :) Hopefully I'll pick it up again soon, but I have five or so other projects that I can work on in the meantime.


Marli said...

I saw the animated film Book of Kells last summer - they did a wonderful job of playing with the artwork. I think you'd enjoy it (though the plot had some ups and downs).

kristin said...

You mean the Secret of Kells? I loved that film- the animation is aamaaazing! :)