Thursday, April 11, 2013

An Artist's Palette

I attended an exhibition years ago about the palette of various artists.  It was sort of a behind the scenes look at where art comes from.  Since not every artist uses the traditional kidney shaped palette board with a hole on the side it was also a presentation of the artist's working space.
In some cases the exhibition recreated the work space next to the painting that it produced. Other times it was just a picture of the palette or studio of the artist. What I came away with was the idea that no two artists work the same way... and usually their creative space is rather messy and disorganized. To me it seems very obvious that out of chaos comes creativity.
I always cross my fingers when I call myself an artist.  I can't get past the idea that "artist" is a term bestowed on a person by others rather than a title he gives to himself.  That is not a dominate idea among the creative community, but it weighs on me. So I am uncomfortable when calling myself an artist. 
Nonetheless, it was time to give my partner Bob a face lift and since I have some time I decided that I would attempt the process myself. In keeping with the idea that a work space sometimes defines the project, here is a picture of my makeshift puppet studio which is actually a corner of my office.
Doctors Office
I have restored, repaired and created my own characters for many years. After studying the work of my mentor Art Sieving and René, the maestro, I felt fine about tackling the work. I find that it is really a therapeutic and bonding experience. Not with out frustration and unexpected complications but having a hands on experience painting and superficially repairing your instrument is a process I would recommend to any puppeteer or ventriloquist. 
My biggest challenge is waiting.  I have a hard time with this thing called drying time. My control freak nature does not make me comfortable with the idea letting something take its own time without my constant dabbling. A few missteps were made just because I messed with a coat of paint before it was ready to be messed with.  The temporal intervention necessitates a re-coat and the whole process time resets so it becomes even more of a wait. This frustrates the over active AADS qualities in my personality. I have been forced into routine of working a couple of hours in the morning... and the rest of the 24 hour period is drying time.  
Dermatological treatment for
Wooden Americans
FaceBook is full of these kinds of pictures... vents and puppet makers posting progress shots of their work. I understand why. The lessons you learn by having a hands on experience with your partner/instrument are esoteric. You kinda want the world to know that you have had this almost religious experience.  It is either that or it is the effect of breathing paint fumes while I am typing this blog. Either way it is rather pleasant. 
Thanks for the teaching, Bob.... but this time... take better care of your yourself. You have to do your part. I am doing all I can to protect you from the TSA monkeys at the airport.

As you were,

1 comment:

P. Grecian said...

This was TSA damage? Damn. Please give Bob my best and tell him I hope he's feeling better soon.
I still do some work on my figures...but it always scares me. I completely redid a Lovik and right now have a Jackson in the workshop. The Lovik went from a black woman with a European style jaw to a white old lady with a slot jaw. The Lovik is getting a monocle and a different haircut. Again, my best to Bob.