Look's like he's choking...
I wonder if he'll Survive...!
Every once in a while, an artist has a niggling feeling that things are not going in the direction they should be going. That the project is just a bit off. But, until it goes beyond the "niggle" one just has to keep going. You keep going because often the feeling goes away as the work comes to completion. It's only then that you realize it turned out better than you thought it would. You were just concerned and worried as you'd never done this before. Self doubt and all that.
But, what if the niggle at some point confirms that there is defiantly a problem. Meaning that, as you progress on the sculpture, you begin to see more clearly how it will actually turn out, if you keep going in the present direction. This clarity then removes the niggle and is replaced by an unavoidable decision that has to be made. That the present course will not result in what it was you wished to say or achieve when you began with the piece. So you have to stop and re-evaluate the situation.
Now the problem turns on the question of resolution, this be what's involved in getting this resolved? If, in fact, one continues on the present course, what is this new thing the piece is really saying and will say when it's done? Can I go with that? Will the impact be the same? Do I agree with or feel good about the new message? If not, Can I still use the existing piece to make the changes necessary so the original intent and message is restored? Or, must I start again from scratch?
This is exactly what happened to me with this project. After I'd placed the wolfs head on this figure who is supposed to personify evil, I began to experience the "niggle" moving... and stopped my work. I then decided I had to do some research on wolves and particularly the alpha wolf style of leadership.
I know, I know, it was kind of silly to make the head, place it on the figure, and do the research later! That was the mistake. I had made some assumptions about wolves which in the end proved to be wrong for my purposes. The wolf head was to illustrate pure and unadorned evil leadership. The worst of the worst, sitting on the magnificent throne of evil, the throne of swords. Did I ever get a wake-up call!
Do you know that there are organisations working with street kids who use the alpha wolf leadership style as their model in teaching and mentoring kids in leadership skills? They also use these principles in running the whole program itself. That was not a good beginning and was not what I had expected to discover!
And that's only the beginning of it. Many businesses and other groups do versions of the same thing.
Then I researched the wolf's themselves, doubts now crowding my mind regarding my decision to use a wolf head on my evil guy. Bottom line, the alpha wolf' sleadership decisions are all made on the bases of what's best for the pack. He leads on the decision to hunt, and is point wolf on the hunt itself. He leads when they travel as a pack. He hunts and provides for his mate and the cubs when she's nursing. Also providing food for the older cubs as they grow up, so his mate can hunt and eat to strengthen herself again. His whole existence is to keep the pack fed, healthy and protected. Even his getting to eat first on the kill, is for the good of the pack, making sure their leader always has the strength and health to lead the pack. Every decision is for the good of the pack! I had no idea he was such
a "good" guy!
It became very clear that the wolf-head for this evil guy was not the answer for my purposes. Notice, under the photo above how I wondered if he'd survive the choking. Well, he didn't!
I have to go another route. My research continues.
Welcome to the "reality show" of an artist's life!
Next week I will let you know where this "let's get evil" research takes me.
"...So the Priest shall make atonement for him regarding
his ignorance in which he erred and did not know it, and it shall be forgiven him." Lev. 5:18
Photo by Cliff Derksen
Taken in June 2013