That fish in “Toy Boat” from 1994 (the first post in this series) also took me into another area of exploration of and challenge in figuration. I began making animal shapes, sometimes part animal, part human, or in conjunction with human forms to create little vignettes with a bit of a mythic feel. It may have been because of the interactions between the clay figures that I did not feel a need to add found objects.
I have been asked to go into more depth regarding my process. Fifteen years ago is a long time. On the other hand, even though exact motivations may escape me, as I get older I realize that very little changes in my work methods. I worked fast back then, making a piece within a matter of a couple hours, then moving onto another while the clay of the other dried. Initially, I wasn’t too interested in detail, but that changed over the course of time, eventually becoming comparatively persnickety. Excited by potential, I push, which eventually can be exhausting, yet when I finally pause long enough to see where I’ve been, I catch my breath and move on at a slow, more deliberate pace.
Archiving has necessarily brought back memories, and just as when I read poems I wrote in the 1980s and wonder how the hell many of them came into my possession, recovering the moment of the below creative acts has lost its immediacy, Perhaps, when I am done with this archiving I will have spent enough time with the work to relate cogent autobiographical details that will shed light on the work.
Classic Fish Pose
Bottom Feeder I
Bear Hug/Fish Kiss
(It was also during this period that I returned to drawing and painting. If I could sculpt a human, fish of a pig, then I could certainly at least draw a semblance of them. These drawings/paintings would eventually find their way into a later installation work, “Speaking of the Dead.”)