“The first line on paper is already a measure of what cannot be fully expressed.” -Louis Kahn, architect
After reading Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way, I decided I would take myself on artist’s dates. She suggests that a creative should set aside at least two hours to nurture their creative side. Google “artist’s dates” and you can read many hippy dippy “dates” you can take yourself on. I’m new to this whole creative thing, so taking black and white pictures of my stapler strikes me as advanced stuff. Also, I think too old to start doing drugs. For now, I’m focusing on field trips.
I love a good field trip.
Last week, I went to Dali Museum in St. Petersburg to see a sculpture exhibit of Eduardo Chillida’s work. I know nothing about sculpture. I’ve seen a few. I mean I’ve been to plenty of parks and official buildings. But when you go see one in a museum, they hand you a headset and a narrator helps newbies like me have some clue as to what we’re viewing.
Chillida was a Spanish sculptor who studied architecture in the 1940s and then decided to be an artist. Early on, he also worked with as a graphic designer. The quote above is from a book he designed for Louis Kahn. I love this quote, because it describes how I feel while writing. It’ll be awhile before I put it so eloquently though.
My favorite works were the ones that took his architecture background and made sculptures that looked like dwellings. You can see in the picture above that he has cut a small, square cave into this alabaster piece. You can feel him controlling the light and the weather of where the people would live.
Maybe this idea stuck with me because the day after I went, Hurricane Irma began threatening my entire state. The idea of controlling mother nature became very desirable. It’s always been fascinating how someone decides to be an artist. They must know it’s unlikely they will make a living off of it. They know people will call their work shit. It’s one thing to decide you want to spend more time after work discovering your creative side. It’s another to toss your architecture degree, so you can carve stones. (Later, he gets into iron work which sounds so physically hard I sweat thinking about it. Even when he had help he choose to be right in there with the workers.)
Of course, we can never know exactly what drives anyone, but the thought of having even the slightest control over nature’s materials sounds thrilling. Perhaps it’s one of those things all artists know, the thrill of controlling something uncontrollable. It stuck with me and for a few days, I wanted to learn everything I could about sculpture. But mother nature beat me out of my house for a few days. Luckily, my home was still there and dry when I got back. My motivation to become a great Spanish sculptor waned, but not the need to see what I can do with my mind and my hands.