Pacer or Trotter?



I don’t go to an office everyday, or have to be there at a specific time or sit at a certain desk and talk to the same people day in and day out. Not that I couldn’t, I just don’t. I go to a space without a desk, no humans to interact with or a set time to begin or end my day. Oh and my companions usually are within earshot, my dogs. So with this freedom during my day I set about moving foam or clay into an artwork. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t.

Early in the start of my day, I go into the studio and turn the heat up to warm the clay while I make some coffee and listen to the news on a podcast. As my art day begins I’m anxious to get started on the model but I wait a bit, the calm before the storm.

Most of art making is problem solving. How do I make this, fix that, get it accomplished and then move on to the next step. I enjoy the challenge of an inanimate object, a piece of clay, and pushing it into an expressive statement of an idea. I do have issues with timing though. I have to pace myself, the steps to completing a work has to be methodically adhered to or it falls apart. Sometimes literally. Not really anymore for me, I’ve learned over the years to avoid those pitfalls. But, because I’m usually two or three steps ahead of the actual piece I want to get there and get on with it.

When thinking about art, I might be more of a pacing horse than a trotter. I try to avoid the methodical in the movement in my pieces. Like a trotter. Trotters may be a bit more of a thinker rather than a doer. A pacer uses a stride perfectly suited to conserve energy thereby dashing to their goal. A trotter is measured in it’s footfalls. And yes, both have to be careful where their feet go or they would fall, but bear with me I’m trying to make a point.

While pondering my work, sometimes my head races ahead at a wild pace. But I know it’s not going to go well if I give into my desire to get on with it. Reining in my desire to wildly outpace the methodical construction of the artwork may be difficult for me to do, but I do it. In the end though I want it to look effortless. So you know now, it’s not.

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