Monday, 29 July 2013

The thorny road to journey's end.

I've realised that when I'm very close to finishing a mask I will find every possible excuse to be doing something else! That's not something that happens when I'm working my way through a piece. Even when I come up against difficulties and problems during the creation of a mask, I will stick with it through thick and thin, no mater how crazy it's making me! I love that challenge and I wouldn't run away from it :)  Even when I'm having to do something for the piece that is rather repetitive and boring, again I'll keep going with it. But when it comes to that time, when there are only a couple of small things to do to complete the piece, well I find that so, so difficult!

I feel I understand some of the reasons though. I know the finished piece will never come up to my expectations, will never fit the image of it in my imagination. So there will always be a strong sense of disappointment mixed with the feelings I have for what I have managed to achieve. Then there is that strange feeling of loss I experience when I realise that there is really no more I can do for a piece. When you have to let a it go (and I'm not talking about selling or gifting), just that moment when you have to stop and say 'that's it, it's done'.

Take as an example 'Visions I Blue', as she is the mask I cannot break with at the moment. She and I have shared a long and eventful journey together, and it just feels so difficult to say any sort of goodbye. She has been one of the most intensely personal masks I've ever created and she has taught me so much during our time together, both on an emotional level and on a more practical creative level. She's really quite different from previous large masks I've worked on. I've used and devised so many new techniques in her creation. She's been a real turning point in how I will make future masks and that seems to be making even more difficult for me to part with her than it has been before. She and I have been such close companions for so many months, it's not easy to feel her moving away from me.

There is still a photo shoot to do, and that is always fascinating, as actually wearing the mask will I know give me a whole new insight into her and the stories she has to share. But right now I feel rather sad and a little lost. I know it will pass, it always does because there are always other masks that want to be made. "The Storyteller" has been waiting very patiently in the wings as it were, for me to take her up again and we will begin a new journey together very soon, with no idea of the adventures we may share together. But for now I know I must just get my head down, get on with it, prepare to say my farewells and finally finish my "Visions"!


  1. so interesting this companionship you have with your masks ,probably because they are no "normal" pieces of art but a piece of art which is made to be on someones 'face. It's strange you are lost , just like writers who are sad after a long journey in a book ,

    perhaps it's important little by little, piece after piece to work on "this disappointment "moment , once a piece is completed . And thinking instead ; I'm sure it's going to be completly different , a,d perhaps surprisingly good if different. And thinking about all the difficulties and challenges solved instead of the goals not achieved , when you start thinking that way , in the long run you work better and faster , trust me , and you stop focusing on your first original amazing but virtual foggy idea, regretting it , and you think this one is real in the flesh and isnt bad at all , the next one will be even better
    (without beiing selfcontent or pretentious , it's not about that of course but about beeing fair with one s'self )

    (and you are less afraid of finishing it this way ;because you know it won't be perfect anyway but il will be finished the better it can be today ;)and works in progress, never finished are not interesting ,Do you remember Balzac 's short story about the painter who never could complete his painting ?.. ;)

    (these butterflies are very beautiful and delicate )

    1. Wise words indeed and so very true. I thank you so much for them, they mean a lot :)) In fact I did get my act together and she is now finished!!! All except for her ribbon bits so she can actually be worn, but I'm picking up what I need for that later today:)The feeling of sadness is already leaving, it does only ever seem to last for a short time. Now I feel more able to stand back and see her as she is, and I'm actually very happy with her. I really enjoyed making her and I think I have surprised myself with how well I feel she has come out :)) I have plans for her but don't want to jinx them by talking about them yet, just keeping everything crossed that I can make it happen!

      Now I feel my attention already being pulled back to the 'Storyteller' mask and I'm getting very excited about her. It always feels good to start on another mask and to have the fun of new challenges, although I have to say that "Visions in Blue" has really given my confidence a boost as I learnt so many wonderful new techniques whilst creating her. She's really opened up some very exciting doorways for me for future masks :))

      So as you say onwards I go to tackle the next project! And yes I do remember that Balzac tale, well worth thinking about ;) XXX