A big part of the joy of creating art can come in experiencing the reactions of others. I enjoy watching people in the gallery approach my figure sculptures for a closer look. They have the exact opposite effect of an expansive painting where a step back will get the best view. Their scale as art dolls requires the viewer to approach, crouch down, and perhaps walk around. It is in this intimate proximity that each piece can reveal all the little surprises and details I have worked in to the final design. It is rewarding to have those who appreciate my work take note and tell me and others what they see there.
I experienced several of these moments at the opening reception of Go Figure! One woman viewing my piece “Cello”, asked if I had myself played the instrument. I replied that I had not, and asked what had made her ask. She said that she had played the cello, and that I nailed not just the posture of the figure, but that her hand, wrist, and finger positions were spot on. I told her that I had in fact spent time pouring over images of cellists for that exact reason.
A couple was looking quite carefully at “Getting Lift”. The husband asked his wife to walk this way to see the stitching on her helmet, just as the wife told him to come to the back so that he could see how I had laced the wings on to her back. They both told me that it truly appeared that she was just about to take off from her base, and inquired what the key chained to her belt unlocked.
Others remarked that they didn’t truly appreciate “Secrets” until they were able to get up real close and see the expression on her face, or the fact that her boots just happened to match the fabric of her dress bodice. Of “Lacing III”, one viewer told me that she could really see the dancer’s concentration to her task.
A number of people told me that they could place themselves right in the moment I tried to capture with “Sunshine on a Cloudy Day”. They all noted the joy and freedom of the figure despite the weather she was probably experiencing.
Perhaps most rewarding, were the comments that surrounded the show Go Figure! itself. Most saying that beyond the obvious connection of human figures, that there was a brightness and strength of spirit that tied all of the artists work together.
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