Monday, August 8, 2011

Before and......after?

It's no secret that I haven't sculpted anything for over a year, since the reining horse. Life, or is it entropy, or both...has a way of wearing you down and distracting you from who you think you are. I *was* Sarah Rose, the equine sculptor. Lately I'm Sarah Rose, what is it I am again? Health issues with myself, my husband, and most notably one of my best friend's husband's lung cancer have been like a big distraction bomb in my life. I totally lost focus on my art, and have been somewhat adrift for over a year. It's not that I never think of new sculptures, or that I never feel inspired, it's...well, it's hard to put a finger on.

Lately I've been trying to fit something creative into each day, whether that is taking a few photos, trying a new recipe, or honing my digital art skills. Slowly I've been warming up to the idea of sculpting again. So, I unearthed ol' Andre from the closet, started back in '07 before the economic downturn. I thought "hey, he is almost finished, I can get him done and feel like I accomplished *something* this year." It sounds so naive now.

Sculpting doesn't always come easily. From looking at finished sculptures, mine and other artist's, it may seem that the sculpture almost made itself. That rarely happens for me, it's more of a battle that is waged month after month. Little voices in my head saying "I hate bases, we are never doing another horse with a #$%^&*@ base again!" or "they (hobbyists) won't like him because hos breed is too vague, I need to settle on a breed, I need to settle on a type" or "what in the world have I done?". Lately it is the last thought going through my head, that and "I've completely lost my mojo".

The above photo shows Andre in 2007, when I must have still had some mojo. He is full of vitality and pleasing to the eye. He isn't very breed specific, and he will need a base.

This is poor Andre currently, after deciding to force him into a more typey-type of heavy European draft horse. That meant he had to have his legs and neck shortened, and his body biggened. Somewhere in his time in the closet he lost his eye and ears. I think I over-shortened his left rear leg. I don't like him at all at this point...barf....

These feelings, and this 'ugly duckling' phase are nothing new, almost every sculpture I have ever done goes through this period where I don't see how I can salvage it, that I should just start something new. I think it is a big part of why I am so slow, I go through this over and over. Typically I only share photos of what I consider 'good' phases along that way. I thought I'd post something completely honest, about how much of a struggle it can be along the way. Hopefully Andre and I make it to the end :)


Bob said...

I think it is good that you are slowly getting back into the swing of things, sometimes life can hit us pretty hard and it's difficult to get back in the saddle so well done for doing so! As for Andre, I think he was lovely the way he was in '07, but having said that if you released him that way this year he would probably be considered too similar to the peasant stomper so I think you are right to be reworking him to something more typey. Keep at it, you will get your swan in the end :)

Sarah Rose said...

That reminds me, the other voice in my head is the "this is looking too similar to *insert resin name here*. I worry less about other people's work, because I feel that my work looks like my work, even if it were somewhat similar. For example, if I were to sculpt a standing QH would everyone be saying "that is too similar to Carol Williams' QH1" or would it be unique in that it would be *my* standing QH. I think it would be my work, with my style. With that being said, the sculpture that haunts me most is Oberon, as in "please don't subconsciously make this into Big Oberon"

Ocelota Studios said...

I really liked this guy before and actually I really like where he is headed still... It would be nice to have traditional "real" heavy draft, since so often we do end up with draft resins that can kind of be several different breeds, but don't *really* fit into any one breed. I am wondering if maybe the high-stepping trot looks a little out of place for a heavier guy like this? If you are worried about similarity to other resins, what about moving him into a canter? That would be really neat! Either way, I hope you feel like you have your mojo back soon!

Aldreahart said...

Ruts are hard to get out of,had a hard time after loosing my gelding last summer but after a while (with the help of my college courses) I was able to start the creative juices flowing again, even tried my hand at sculpting. Great art doesn't always create its self it can be like waging was with your piece. Your horses have always been unique and easy to recognize as a Rose horse. Given time things will level out and become alright again.

Keren said...

Personally, I think your horses have such a unique style that you need not worry about any similarity in pose: people will see, and recognise and WANT a Sarah Rose horse.

I perfectly understand what you say about 'losing your mojo' - i feel the same way about my sculpture work, but mine is of a rather longer standing!

I think Andre is a considerable progression from Oberon, whose proportions - if you will forgive me - were rather 'off' (much too short in the back). Andre is much better in that respect, but as has been said elsewhere, I personally do not like the highly raised foreleg. Such extravagant trots are not usually seen in European heavies, who are bred to put their energy into their work, rather than being showy. Dropping the foreleg would give Andre more 'gravitas' and also reduce any likeness to Oberon.

Just as I see it, anyway.

Stacey Tumlinson said...

Oh my goodness Sarah~ I have said this exact paragraph over and over a hundred times. I have struggled with sculpting for 3 years now because of my illness and wondered if I've totally lost my abilities. Poor Aerosmith has been about 10 different horses. I feel like I'm really going crazy sometimes. I especially get sick when I see pics from a year before and he looks BETTER than he currently does.....It's shocking how much your words are my life right now. I guess we are not alone :)