Archive for technique

No New Ideas

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 26, 2012 by scratchyb

I was doodling at a show one day and came up with a sketch that I thought would make a cool pyrography painting. Then my girlfriend bought me a t-shirt on Threadless that had the same elements, same concept and motifs, but different design. It was just close enough to kill my enthusiasm for that particular design, but it got me thinking a little bit about the nature of ideas, the old saying that there are no new ideas. That saying pre-dated the Internet, but what happens now, when we are all basically tied into the zeitgeist, and the zeitgeist is composed of all of us?

I get my ideas from the outside world, just like we all do, but I also go to great pains to keep from being derivative. I usually let an idea stew for a few months, even if it means potentially missing the opportunity to be a “leader” in a trend and not just another dude on the bandwagon. And why should that matter anyway? How many innovators were overrun by the people who copied and then improved upon their innovation? Truth be told, I’m doing the same thing, as are most of us. But part of staying creative includes realizing this, and making the effort to keep the pool of influence wide enough to avoid clear and obvious influence.

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Further Experimentation

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2012 by scratchyb

Image

I have also been playing around with the engraving nature of pyrography.  Here’s a clock I did that I then painted over with gold paint mixed with a little black, to create a brass color.  Then I cleaned up the details with a dry, stiff brush to bring back the fine lines.

The Value of Tedium

Posted in Art, Process with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by scratchyb

I’ve been working on a project that requires some very repetitive detailed patterns. After a couple of hours, I’ve realized I’ve completed 10% of what I need done.  In short, it’s a very tedious process.

I’ve always been detail oriented to a certain degree. When I first envision an image, the detail pops out at me, but what comes out in the initial sketch is usually just a basic outline. That’s mainly from the haste of getting the idea out on paper. Then I can solidify the actual patterns and particulars during the execution of the actual piece.  And sometimes I end up committing myself to a pattern that is more than I had originally anticipated, and can eventually become very time-consuming and dull to replicate.  I almost always like the end results, provided I didn’t take any random shortcuts along the way.

There’s a number of artists that inspire me to carry on with my process, and take it even further.  For years, I’ve followed the work of Richard Kirk, who uses a meticulous and antique process called silverpoint,  which is actually drawing with silver wire on a specially prepared support.  And then just yesterday I took inspiration from wood sculptor Maskull Lasserre, who I discovered courtesy of the Dudecraft blog.

I think there’s a lot to learn from working at the detailed level. It definitely teaches patience, which I tend to run short on, but also the value of perseverance. I know from experience that the work I’m doing will pay off in the final result. And that’s a lesson for life.