Monday, March 31, 2014

A Birdhouse Vision Of California

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I had a custom request for a "California" birdhouse, something I had never given much thought to before.  I live here. I often don't see something until someone from out of town comes and mentions it. However, if you consider it closely enough, it could open a whole genre of birdhouse ideas. Sometimes we are just too close to the forest to see the trees.

"California Birdhouse," right front angle
After many hours bringing both my vision in line with the client, I have finally decided to quit before I add too much and the simplicity of the idea gets lost in minutiae. As any crafter knows, THAT is easy to do. One small detail leads to many!!!

As I mentioned before, I have always been fascinated by the majestic waves of the Japanese artist Hokusai. Somehow the minute I read the request those waves sprang to mind. Then adding the things he wanted and I wanted I soon had a birdhouse unlike anything I had ever done before. Adding feet gave me a little more room to work with and on side allowed a small beach with palm trees.

It has taken me awhile to free myself from a rigid it has to look like the real thing to a sense of many elements that also create the "feeling" of what the subject should show.

As I am learning with each new idea and birdhouse it is the presentation that makes all the difference in the world. You either like it or you don't. That's what art and artists are all about!

"California Birdhouse" rear angle view
Part of the adventure, for me, is that while this was very carefully sketched out, it wasn't exactly what I had initially drawn. I am still very happy with it and amazed in so ways in how it turned out. I look at it and am almost in awe. Sure there are some things that need to be improved. My ability to draw figures is suspect but I do manage to give them a unique personality. That so many things could be combined to create this birdhouse vision makes we want to try a few more and see how the subject could be portrayed.

New York City with the Statue of Liberty, the new Trade Tower, Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge...all on one birdhouse? Seattle with the Space Needle, Car Ferries, docks or San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge spanning several sides with the "city" underneath and behind it and what about Washington, D.C.? Ah, the possibilities are endless. Yet, there also has to be a limit. Probably the best avenue is to do a few and invite custom orders for additional places.

If any lesson has been learned here, and there were many, its that we should never turn down an idea at least until we've tried it. Not every idea is a good idea but in art, its safe and rarely puts anyone in danger.

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1 comment:

  1. LOVE it, Alan! You are SO right about understanding when 'enough is enough'!