Gifts of Gold

My daughter, Brooke Marchesseault, represented Martin GT Magnet Middle School in the Wake County event called Gifts of Gold  with a sculpture she made of a jaguar.  Yes, that’s right, a sculpture.  In this event, each art teacher from each school in Wake County can enter a single student. This was a great honor.

I had never laid eyes on this sculpture of hers until last night at the show. It is beautiful. She worked from a small, flat photograph and produced a prowling cat. in clay. She used underglazes to create a gorgeous, spotted coat on her jaguar. 

The show is currently on display at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium on South Street. I’ll post a picture of the sculpture as soon as I’m able to take one.

I’m so proud of her.

Pinch me, I might be surreal

Wish Granted, cedar chair with swivel by Kim Marchesseault For an artist, there is a haunting pressure to choose a genre and work within it.   It can easily feel as though you have to suck everything in while someone laces the corset so tightly you can hardly breathe…no. I will not draw as I am told.

I want to be observant of what happens intuitively in my own work and amplify it rather than force myself in a narrow direction.  Some call this finding your voice.

It requires a good, long look in the mirror, and to avoid defining self based on the countenance of another.  For me one of the big issues is not that I let others define me. It’s much worse.  I allow them to stop me.

My work appears as many styles heading in different directions, yet there is this common philosophical, psychological element among each piece. Usually there is the unexpected. Often a transformation is represented. I sometimes place it subtly so not everyone picks up on it. Is this skill or lack of it?

I think it’s fear.  Keeping it subtle, keeping it small makes it easier to avoid being noticed. Horrors of my childhood sometimes leave me afraid to express and create. -Paralyzed by fear of failure and fear that someone will destroy or take away what I work hard on. I struggle but have made great strides recently to break free.

Some have looked at my work and tacked on the labels art deco/ art nouveau because of Letting in the Light by Kim Marchesseaultthe lines in my pieces. Absolutely, I have leanings toward those styles and the wonderful flowing lines. Some label my work Classical realism due to the detailed nudes I sculpt using live models. I love Michelangelo, Dr. Seuss, Disney, Lalique, Picasso.

I simultaneously finished the piece called Letting in the Light and it’s counterpart, A New Direction. Right there before my very eyes was the influence of O’Keefe’s florals in one and the soft edged buildings she’s known for in the other. A New Direction by Kim Marchesseault I’d been looking at her paintings right before I made those and was oblivious to the impression they’d made on me. And then there is my abstract, geometric work.   This is complete relaxation for me. These are all parts of my personality and expression.   I have had these separate parts meet up in some works much to my pleasure.  These are the pieces I find most thrilling. I love finding connections between things that from a shallow view appear to be completely unrelated. I love combining unexpected elements to share with others an idea.

My very first figurative sculpture is called The Pawn and is a woman/chess piece. The Pawn by Kim Marchesseault The model who posed for this piece began to cry at the end of the last session because she had a very ill pet whom she started worrying about so I changed the head (as though she wouldn’t have to cry anymore once I made this change). I divided the top of her head into three sections in a decorative manner unaware at the time I’d allowed psychology an entrance. My second piece is named Agony. My third figurative sculpture is called River’s Dawn, a reclining nude with flowing, long hair that becomes water. My fourth is a male standing with waves crashing against him looking up toward God in anguish. It’s called Why?

I also sculpt crazy techno bugs, and recently dandelions with buildings and skyscrapers as the petals. My latest figurative work is called Free Diver, a ceramic, floating, nude male designed to hang from the ceiling.

Who am I? I despise labels yet I seek one. I  loathe boundaries yet I search them out. Perhaps I should instead simply enjoy this journey of getting lost in art and finding pieces of myself. One day those pieces may fit together as a whole.

Filling in the cracks

OK, I’ve written and deleted about 20 lines so far. I guess I have to just face yet again the fact that I’m ordinary and no work of literary genius is going to spill out onto this page. Even naming this blog was a matter of looking around the room here and spotting a tub of spackel. It fits. I have a lot of cracks.   It’s like when my friend, Gene, wanted to name his new kitten.  He asked his family for suggestions and they were tossing around great ideas. His 3-year-old grandson looked over at the kitten and observed it eating and he came up with the name that stuck. Food Cat became a most beloved, furry member of the family.