Joseph Campbell wrote, "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." The underlying question for me as an artist is then, "Who am I?" and more significantly, "What do I have to say?" I am not aware of asking myself these questions while I'm working; however that is what happens subconsciously. I believe in learning as much as I possibly can and seeing as much as I possibly can, then figuratively stepping back and allowing the art to happen.
While sitting at my work table in a puddle of light with my hands in the clay, I lose myself in the process. Everything else goes away. The roof could cave in and I wouldn't notice. That to me is the best part of being an artist. I'm absorbed in the weight and texture of the clay, always aware of the elements of design and form and waiting for the moment in the process when the clay seems to come alive in my hands and mysteriously begins to tell its own story.
Although I've explored various media over the past many years from weaving tapestries to painting and printmaking, it seems my work has led itself toward becoming three-dimensional. In sculpture all the elements of design, from line, form, and color to texture and balance can work together for unique results. Sometimes I start with an intentional narrative and sometimes I just start. I try very hard not to finish a piece in my head as I believe that sets limitations on the possibilities of the work. There should be a story, but it can be a mystery. If I use a personal dream metaphor, the narrative may be a mystery to everyone except me. My intent is that the viewer finds his own story in my work. I consider that outcome to be a valid result.
Photo by R. Villegas