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Saturday, August 10, 2013

I Do Faces

“What are you going to do when you grow up?” Children must get weary of the question. For one thing, how can any child know? Children are not fortune tellers. Oh, yes, I’ve heard of some children who know what they’ll do and stick to it but I was not one of them. Another thing, just when is anyone “grown-up”? I feel like a child even now and it surprises me to see photographs of myself. That’s me? No way! Still, pictures don’t lie, the saying goes. Tell that to anyone who just saw his picture on a new driver’s license.

When I was a child and people would ask me what I planned to do when I grew up I did know this much, that I wanted to be an artist of some sort. When I discovered the thrill of finding faces in clay I finally knew but I got sidetracked, moved to Minnesota, to my old home town, and built my dream house. I named it DONE RAMBLING. My dream house got sold when I got married the second time. The little downstairs studio where I had a work bench and kiln got left behind. The rambler in me wasn’t done after all. 

At last I’m getting back to doing faces. So far the market for them has not opened up, although they are in a gallery. This doesn’t worry me. When it does I’ll be obliged to go on and now I do faces for the right reason, the love of it. Remember Shakespeare a few blogs ago? Well, I couldn’t recover him. It just didn’t work, but I did salvage half his face and the other half, the new half, turned him into a Lawrence of Arabia kind of fellow. When he’s done I’ll show you. 

Nowadays my studio is wherever I can find a chair and set up a tray table. Trouble is I need to keep house but when I sculpt I let the house go and eventually I must give up doing faces long enough to get the house in order. Every blank day on the calendar promises that, but then I find myself blogging. Blogging is something like sculpting. It’s neater, however. A blog starts with an idea like What am I going to do today? Then it ends up like this. Nothing much said so I try to find a deeper element in it. 

Today’s blog makes me wonder about the faces of the ones who will read it. I’d love to look at your faces, visit with you, watch the play of light in your eyes and know what lies behind them. Faces tell so much about  people yet my clay faces look like they’re holding back even more. Behind them are unknown histories. It’s a shock to realize they have none. Or do they? I call them “Old Souls” because they could be just that. People who have lived somewhere in the forgotten past and people who have taken their memories with them. I record some of my memories in my blogs. Still they, too, tell so little. 

And so little does my own face tell as well. One thing is for certain, I’ll probably never stop doing faces. Unlike when I was a child and told not to stare at people, I can stare at my faces all day long. Especially when they're coming out of the clay. I'm feeling that magnetic pull to the tray table, but no! Housecleaning, you win. 

1 comment:

  1. No one is going to remember whether you cleaned house or not on a given day. But they might remember a face that you rescued from a blob of clay!!