Monday, January 09, 2017

Artistic Extensions

It's just over a week since the new year started, and I have to say the resolutions are going pretty darn well! One of the ones I contemplated but discarded was a regular zentangle practice. I decided against making it a resolution as I already had enough daily activities planned and I didn't see a way of doing it less often than daily. One of the projects I did resolve to do, however, was to extend a steer skull. I say "extend" because I think of it less as an embellishment of the skull and more as an extension of its essence. In a way, it's my own version of the Chicago cow parade.

Originally I thought to cover the surface with cut and polished stones or kiln-formed glass. But lately my vision is morphing into a zentangle skull. Don't ask. I'm not sure how my mind works some time. But I just have a picture of a series of beautiful tangles skimming across the landscape of the skull that I can't shake. I also still want to incorporate glass and stone into one or more other skulls, but I don't just want to put them on the surface. In my mind I see parts of the skull replaced by cut stone, cast glass, or even inlaid wood. And, heck, why use only technique at a time? The only medium I'm currently working in that I don't see incorporating into a skull is fiber. Maybe it's because fiber is also an animal product which makes too much similarity in theme. Whatever the reason, no wooly cow skulls.


Bill said...

Will you expand into other skeletal bits?

Brenda Griffith said...

I would really like to. The problem is that I don't want to do the processing from flesh and bones to just bones. I could do the cleaning itself, but I don't want to have the act of the cleaning become part of the object for me and have an impact on my vision of what it is. The death doesn't bother me--that's part of piece. And the natural cleaning by scavengers and bacteria don't bother me either--they're just NOT part of the piece, and I don't want to have to artificially stimulate them to get through the process faster. Does that make sense?

It is the image of the animal as it was when it was alive that I want to expand. It's going to sound gross, but I saw a several-days-dead deer on the side of the road today as I was coming home and thought about its skull. But there's just no way I could get through the activities of collecting and cleaning the skull and then be able to expand upon it with any equanimity. It would be limited in my mind by the act of removing the flesh. In a perfect world I would come upon bones picked clean by nature and time as I walked in the woods and I could collect them. But as that's not happened to date, I don't expect it to suddenly start now.

Bill said...

In all truth, I can see where you are coming from. The action you describe will change how you view the object, and modifies what you can do with it. I see this as neither good nor bad, just different.