Friday, February 4, 2011

Post Holiday Blues

Haven't updated in a bit, and had a big creative slump after the holidays.  Just got so busy in November and December (mostly with custom requests) but also with really fun original stuff. . . and it was exciting and fun.

But then. . . the elation dissipated and I just felt exhausted and gloomy.  Spent the first two weeks of January in an uncharacteristic mopey couch/TV state.  I didn't create anything new, though I did continue the "factory" like task of making the "Love in Bottle" things (along with the 'Shroom in a Bottle.) 

But, maybe that was for the best.  Maybe it's like a field lying fallow, or how in yoga the resting corpse pose/savasana is how you restore and integrate the hard work you've done with the active poses.  I've finally been working on a few things recently, but I felt my creativity "click" when I spent 5 hours sitting in the cold sand at Ocean Beach the other day just playing in the sand and making abstract sculptures, erasing them, starting over, enjoying the pure play of immediately disposable art and the "connected feeling" of having my fingers in the ground beneath me while listening to the crashing waves.   After I got tired,  I just sat for another couple hours in open eyed meditation, watching the surfers.  It might have been the most "clear" and connected to "the big Om" I've ever felt.

A little over a week ago I had a custom request from a friend and artist I really admire.  It was not a complicated request. . . it was for an Amanita mushroom.  I have been primarily doing magical creatures, and the mushrooms I've been doing lately include faces and are called "Spirit Mushrooms."  I asked my friend if he had a specific image he wanted me to work from or how he wanted it to look:  realistic, or cute, or like the Spirit Mushrooms, etc. . . and he said to make the Amanita Mushroom in any style, fashion or form I wished.

This stressed me out a bit because this artist/shaman/poet/philosopher/wild man  has been a big influence on me and I wanted what I made to be "right."  I literally pondered for a week when I settled on pushing myself to do something different and make the mushroom as realistic as possible, including little details like the gills.  I looked at lots of photos and then remembered I had a deck of "Famous Mushroom Playing Cards" my wife and I found at Far West Fungi.  I pulled it out to see if the deck included an Amanita.  Of course. . . and fittingly, the Ace of Spades!  It was exactly right, and was what I based the sculpture on. 

This mushroom has an interesting mix of wool. Some of the brown wool is plant dyed locks I picked up in Chile, and the white wool is raw wool from a farm in Oregon, and the creme merino locks are from a farm in Illinois. Finally, there are mud and moss effects done with translucent thin layers of hand-painted merino from the Etsy shop handsandnotion, a fiber artist from Michigan. Lastly, the red wool is corriedale fiber I got at Urban Fauna in SF. 
I feel like I'm myself again and have several challenging and fun idea's I can't wait to start working on!

1 comment:

  1. I love the mushroom! It would be neat to have a whole botanically correct series.