I learned a few things creating these little stone tablets. Here they are.
1) When I cannot edit myself, I write in a different voice. I deliberately get rid of some grammar and ornamentation. The clay doesn’t like extraneous decoration.
2) The restrictions imposed by the finite size and by the quick-drying nature of the clay pages adds a lovely sense of urgency to my stream of consciousness prose. I cannot ramble.
3) I forget my audience with ease when I work this way. There are too many personal leashes in play for me to expend mental space on a set of people not currently in the room.
4) I am spiritually uplifted holding physical words in my hand. I like this page size. It fits my palm, filling it with artifacts from my left hemisphere (or maybe they are coming from the right). This tangible joy is regrettably lost when the pages are assembled into a frame. I need to fix that.
Here are the cheat sheets for these two sculptural paintings. Look how similar in size are the two blocks of text. Cool.
The art on the side is the stuff that gets made when I am not looking: free of intent and expectation. Better? Maybe. More surprising for sure. More satisfying often. And sometimes, more representative. Less tentative but also less vehement, less passionate and that is interesting. Strong conviction requires thought, sure, but passion? Hell, yes! Passion is bland without brains, but is invigorated when released from expectation’s net.
Little lessons: See Jane run. See her struggle with a few home truths. Not once, but many times. “My life is mine to make, mine to break,” she says, trying to stop checking the wings for someone else to blame. Another thing our Jane knows is how far her ability to lie to herself outstrips her ability to lie to someone else. “It should be the other way around,” she thinks. Today she learns the lesson a bit more. “Next time I will know better,” she says.