Sunday, October 9, 2011

One thing after the other

This piece is such an illusion. It stands there, looking all calm and peaceful... all poised and harmonious... you'd never know there were struggles, drama and crashes galore before this shape could finally pull itself together.

A few weeks ago, I arrived at the edge of the Ausable river in a place I had not visited before. The banks were composed of fabulous fragments of what appeared to be a kind of sandstone. The stone lined the entire width of the river making it exceptionally clean, clear and free of debris. I was in heaven. Because of the abundance of good stones to work with, I got ambitious. I tried one crazy stack after another. Always they would get just nearing completion then I'd get cocky and try to add one more stone and the whole thing would come down.

The sun was warm, the river cool and pleasant...what did it matter? I kept at it. Four tries ... crash! Maybe I shouldn't try to make it so tall... OK ... just more... stone....CRASH! Five tries.

OK.. THIS time, I'm going to go really slowly and make double, triple sure I've got everything just right. I worked very carefully for about 15-20 minutes watching each stone rise in perfect balance. It was working beautifully. Finally it was complete and astonishing! And as went back to the bank to get my camera and tripod to bring them out into the river to shoot the stack.... CRASH ! Six tries.

Now the sun had dipped below the treeline. It was still warm... I was laughing so much at the sheer silliness of it all at this point that I decided I'd try just ONE more time. (Seventh time is the charm, right?) I'd be really conservative in the design and just do something simple. After I had pulled all the fallen stones out of the river, cleared away all the ones I knew would not be used, I began stacking once more. This went up in just under a minute. It is about 60 inches high but since there is nothing to give you a sense of scale it could be any size. I like that.

Yes... just as calm and peaceful as can be. Inscrutable.

I like the meditation of stacking stones. I do them fairly frequently. I don't usually photograph them because they are for me, more about the experience of creating them rather than the finished object. They are my private offerings for the River Spirits and I like to mostly keep it that way. But this one had played sooooo hard to get, I just had to take the photo. It would have been far prettier drenched in the golden sunlight with the afternoon light glinting off the water, but apparently it had other plans!

This sculpture is also the perfect metaphor to use to talk briefly about what I have been working on these past weeks/months. There have been so many things going on and like this sculpture, I have many times gotten near to the finish line only to have it all come crashing down and I'd have to start all over once more. But now some of these projects are finally coming to completion and in the next few weeks I'll be telling you about:
- 12 new greeting cards that feature Autumnal images
- a new service being offered for those who like to send out personalized Holiday cards
- TWO new calendars (my own publications done thru Lulu)
- a new project being developed with Faerie Magazine that will be loads of fun for Faerie House collectors
- an update on the book
- a brand new series of sculptures that I have just begun.
- a new limited edition print of one of my dragon paintings (yes, some of you may not know I used to be a watercolour painter/illustrator before I started sculpting)
- a raffle for one of my sculpture prints
- and at last... after many requests, I am finally ready to take orders for my custom Faerie houses that I am co-designing each client. These can include some very special optional features... some of which you have seen here but some are new developments I've worked on this summer. I very much look forward to sharing these with you.
- and finally, (as of this writing), in December I will be able to talk about a secret art project that I've been working on that may be of great interest to those who also like puzzles...

So there will be lots of news from here over the next few weeks. I have been so busy on so many fronts these past few months that writing in the blog always seemed to be just outside the circle of what I could accomplish in a day, consequently, it has not gotten a lot of attention this summer. But the fall leaves are turning to gold and orange now and soon will be coming down and it will be time to put the gardens to bed and get the place ready for winter. Perhaps I can find a better rhythm soon rather than feeling like I'm trying to sprint through an entire marathon!

Hope you all have a splendid week!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stacking stones as private offerings for the River Spirits.....such a wonderful thought!
Best of luck for all your projects!

Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.