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In the heart of an artist ….
Art is supposed to make you feel something.
I will never forget the awe that I felt as I entered the room containing Monet’s Water Lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris.
I was inspired and dazed all at once.
It was as if I could feel the beauty of this group of large canvases circling me in this wonderful, oval room.
These paintings have influenced my work ever since as I am always looking to feel the beauty in my own work.
Something deep inside leads me as I feel my way around the work.
I can feel when a piece is almost finished, and this is very helpful as it is often hard to know when to stop.
Feeling that something is beautiful also means feeling that something is not quite right.
Sometimes recognizing an error or an imperfection comes with a feeling of dread accented by a slight frustration as you slowly come to the realization that you will have to do it again.
Followed, hopefully, by the determination to get it right the second (or perhaps even the third) time.
Yet sometimes you recognize an imperfection but believe that it holds some sort of truth.
You might feel that this defect in the piece portrays some human “faiblesse”, and you leave it because somehow it belongs.
I always spend some time looking for the weakest angle in a sculpture, this is when I wish I was a painter and there were only two dimensions to consider.
The bottom line is that an artist must see and feel the piece.
There are questions that only the heart of an artist can answer.
While the skills can be taught, these feelings are different.
You either feel it or you don’t and the resulting work will speak for itself, creating a clear divide between an exercise in technique and a work of art.
It is tough to really see the Angels when they are in wax as they are so fragile that to lift them up in order to view them involves a great deal of risk.
They may fall apart and if a piece should hit the floor it will shatter into a million pieces.
The feelings of dread that such an event conjures up are not indifferent!
Needless to say this scenario results in some very intense feelings coming to the surface (as well as the potential use of some fairly folkloric vocabulary!).
However, it must be said that it is in the foundry that I experience the widest range of emotions, from the delight of seeing a successful piece for the first time in bronze to the devastating realization that the piece before me has failed to some degree and may be compromised or even lost.
The heart feels as the hands and the mind create, yet the greatest feeling of all is the emotion of watching the viewer inspect the piece.
The sculpture is the medium through which we sculptors reach out to you.
It is our way of telling a story.
By Blake & Boky
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