Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whatever Happened To...?

This guy? The PAS that I completely ripped apart numerous times and had been wrestling with for many months? Well, I'm sad to say that I've put him down for a while, and I don't know when I'll get back to him. I also set aside the Percheron medallion I'd been working on, after what should have been a minor adjustment turned into an almost complete re-do.

The reason I've set my sculpture projects aside has to do with a realization I'm coming to as I get older and have been thinking about my art and where it's going. I have a problem, and it's that I want to do it all. I want to be a great model horse painter, a great fine art painter, a great sculptor, a great digital artist, a watercolorist, I want to do it all and be great at all of it. But the fact is, there are only so many hours of the day and I can't do it all. I only have so much time and energy in one day to work, and somethings gotta give. It kills me to say that, but I know it's true. I can't do it all.

Now, I've been painting and drawing for a long time, so that comes naturally to me, and I feel I have the best chance of getting great (or at least really good) at that. Painting a 3D horse sculpture was a stretch for me at first, and I'm still learning techniques and ways to work, but it still feels natural to paint them, and I can see improvements with each piece. Sculpture, on the other hand, is very difficult for me. I struggle with every second of it. I believe that in order for me to get really good at sculpting an entire horse, I'd have to spend at least 4-5 hours a day at it for several years, plus have very easy access to a live horse. That's just how slowly I learn. Digital art is the same way, I love looking at it, would love to do it, but the learning curve is so high that I would never be able to get anywhere with it, without spending 4-5 hours a day at it (or more).

So, I could either spend some time every day with all of these artistic pursuits, and probably never get better at a couple of them, or I could focus more on the things that I'm already pretty good at and really strive to improve in those areas. And that's what I've done, basically. I'm limiting myself right now to painting model horses, and painting flat artwork. I want to get really good at those two things. I'm going to limit any sculpting to the occasional mane/tail customization, maybe an ear turn or head movement or something like that, but nothing major. Maybe in the future I will get to the point where I feel like I've gone as far as I can with painting, and then I will turn my attention to sculpting, but for right now I have to set it aside. It makes me sad every day to know that I have to give something up, but I think that in the end I will get more satisfaction out of the artwork that I am working on, because I can focus on it more and give it more attention.


Erin said...

I think it's great that you have the ability to step back and prioritize your art. Selfishly, I am glad that painting model horses is staying at the top of your list! You're SO amazing at it, it would be a shame to lose you from our already small pool of good finishing artists.

Are you coming to NAN at all? Either way, expect a bunch of Hazel pics after the show! She's going in *everything*, hehe!

Carol H. said...

Oh, don't you worry, I'm planning on sticking around for a while ;-) As long as I don't have to get a job, I should be able to continue.

Unfortunately, I am not going to make it to NAN this year. Good luck, though, I sure am going to miss it!