Thursday, December 31, 2020

Transformation 2020

Coyote Mother started out as Girl with Two Dogs WalkingI loved the fierceness of the girl, her blouse covered in red splashes(blood?), and the two tough little snarly dogs next to her large bare feet.  I worked for several weeks fine tuning the figure:  The head made from a grafettied wall with just the right lips, the two small eyes next to the large grafettied eye, the hair made from snake's bodies, and even the angle of the leashes had to be adjusted and then readjusted--not too tight, not too loose.  Finished, I was ready to glue it down. But then, when presented to my husband, it got a lukewarm response and I backed out with images of the piece sitting in my storage for the next twenty years, unloved and unseen.

Next came this image:  Woman with Two Dogs Walking.  Dogs stayed the same, the hands and leashes stayed the same(although I made the hands smaller) all else changed.  Again, I spent a long time fine tuning the image, printing out head after head to get just the right feeling of  bewilderment and confusion as the two dogs took off in different directions.  What could I keep from Girl and what had to go? The lovely Red splashed top went, the hug bare-feet, the perfect little green miniskirt, all  back into their prospective boxes to (hopefully) be used another time.  Finished at last, I called in my husband again, and, while I didn't get a lukewarm response, I didn't get wild approval either.  Then, when I compared the two, I actually liked Girl better, not quite so saccharine.  Despondent, depressed, ready to throw in the towel, I thought to try one more time.

Coyote Mother unfolded herself, and a mother coyote, out for a walk with her two rambunctious pups made her appearance. The hands, the dogs and leashes(but not the dog's heads)and the basic central format stayed the same, but all else changed.  This time the piece came fairly quickly, decisively.  The little snakes on the ground showed up to remind us that you can't ever be too watchful as the pups check in with their mom, looking for reassurance and guidance. The trees and the animals, everything in the image, are all made from and of nature. Then today, while working in my studio, hearing our dogs barking hysterically, I glanced out the window to see a male and female coyote loping easily along on the other side of the our fence. And I knew that this time, at last, I had gotten it right.