Resumption after a break…to be a bit lazy

Today’s music is the album Bismillah (translates as “in the name of allah, spoken before any undertaking), by Peter Cat Recording Co.. Here’s a link to the album on Apple music.

https://music.apple.com/ca/album/bismillah/1509634619

No apple music? Try listening to this one track from the album, available on YouTube.

Liked that one? Try this:

The singer needs legs, so using canon of proportions to decide how long they need to be…roughly. Also pictured is the so far headless cowboy and the armature for a skipping as yet undefined figure. Lying beneath is sculpture #1, a reminder of what needed to change. Poor dear.
These legs seem right.
My new smartphone holder for making videos…if only I could find a pink skateboard & a Malibu beach tshirt.
Set up with blueberry jam in background
Sound on test of new video setup. (With broken weird glasses found in a ditch)
In this 28 second fast motion video, I’m preparing the legs by attaching them to the interior armature, covering them with smaller gauge wire to ready them for clay addition, and glueing them to frame. While doing this prep, I decided to have a seated singer, mostly because I didn’t want to have to solve the problem of an external armature/support. You can see that my cat is visiting me while I’m working, which I think attests to my concentration and emission of alpha waves…is that what cats love to bathe in?

In this quick video, another fast motion, I’m securing the legs to the edge of the dress with clay, then adding a ridge of clay along the bottom edge of the dress. While working, I decide to fatten the legs with the addition of aluminum foil. I hadn’t been thinking about that until this stage.

Adding aluminum foil. I know I used the word “fatten”, but really, those legs are damned skinny…
Legs…and a tongue!
A yard sale find…several baggies of real human hair…the grey seems suitable for this figure.
Refreshed eyes and tongue. The bright pink settled down into something more tongue-like by the next morning.

The bright green backdrop is part of the tripod kit I bought. The folds, I am told by the accompanying literature, will go away in time, and I’m not to iron them out (probably because the heat of the iron will melt the fabric). So, I’ve hung the fabric on the line where I hang the awaiting armatures, and will see how long it takes for the folds to disappear.
Anyway, the green is not meant to be a permanent backdrop, but merely a place holder so that I can edit the photos or videos that I make with the green backdrop by a background of my making or choosing.
So…the next step, is it to find editing software that I can work with, change the background, create “sets”, write the libretto for the opera, engaging all the characters in some kind of “processional”…because, yes, I’m thinking that the original wooden characters from FIN 131 are not only the inspiration for these current characters (who will likely be the inspiration for another cast of characters made with something else as I move forward), but also function as the prototypes within the opera that I write for them. Now, there’s a big statement…someone who understands very little about music is going to write an opera…hmmmm.

The gauntlet has been tossed on the ground…

Back to the cowboy, now…

Notes to self: This cowboy has animal ears. I think I added ears because I was too impatient to take the time to make a proportionate human head; it’s “easier” to create a fantastical creature because I don’t have to really pay attention to proportions, or getting something right. I seem to be more focused on making something a little bit strange looking, rather than making something “right”. Is this a fault? “Should” I be trying for perfection? I think this habit is in part related to lack of skill, but also related to lack of knowledge about how to work with the media I’m working with. How can I make things look better…for example, how do I get rid of or cover the cracks with this medium that dries so quickly? Could I be putting a coating of some other medium over the clay before I paint? Should I have a clearer sense of the outcome I am seeking, and work diligently towards that outcome, instead of letting myself go with what occurs to me as I’m working? For instance, I had intended and visualized a human cowboy, but as I was working with the head, I allowed myself to be distracted by a non-human head that was forming in my hands. Should I push against that tendency and guide my hands back to making a human head?

How do I get better working with the medium, yet maintain the “rough” look?

…some of the questions I ask myself while I am making relate to the struggle between process and product…

I find myself getting impatient to finish, and not only to finish, but to move on to the next piece.

Because there is a next piece, a new armature, waiting to be filled out. I create the armature for the next piece because I am “afraid” that if I don’t have something waiting for me to do, I’ll not do anything at all, I’ll lose the drive, I’ll lose the ideas, the creativity.

But by having the next thing to do on deck, I’m also in a constant state of excitement about moving on to that next thing, to see “what will happen next”, and of course to continue to build the cast of strange characters that is populating my apartment, and giving me amusing things to look at.

So, what’s this “amusing things to look at” about? Each piece I make is imbued somehow with the intentions I had for the piece, the process I engaged in to make the piece, the challenges and decisions I made about the piece, the thoughts I had about the characters and their personalities as I made them, and an excitement about how the most recent piece would “fit in” with the existing pieces. When I look at each piece, I can see the story of that piece.

I can’t overstate the depth of curiosity I feel about the growing field of characters that are filling up the upper reaches of my living space, and I imagine them moving around, dancing and talking to one another, coming alive. I find those imaginings to be entertaining, and I get a lot of pleasure from knowing that I have created those creatures who cavort, either while I am watching them, or just on their own without me.

I have a sense that I am not finished making these pieces, some more human than not, and some more not human, but imbued with human motivations yet not constrained by the mainstream of society…because of course they don’t won’t “fit in”, and so they’re free to be the goofy strange beings that they are. Lucky them.

Too much writing.

The opera singer is sitting behind me, the cowboy is on the table beside me. They would like me to write them an opera (libretto), and all the other characters need their lines, too.

How the heck do I do that? Write a libretto. Sheesh.

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