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"!