Gilding the Lily (or the Rose)


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Are we there yet?

Some sculptures seem to have a finite amount of embellishment that makes sense.  I follow the lines, add where necessary, know when it's done, and walk away content.  Others, like my latest piece, seem to have near-endless possibilities, and it all comes down to taste.  As it is now, I value the simplicity and the negative space, drawing the eye to the focus of the piece.  I like that... right up until I don't like it.  Then the little voice says, "oooh... and you could put tiny flowers here...  maybe in an accenting color to really make it pop... and then you could balance it out with more here... and here... and here!"  It's problematic.

 I've already added a little shimmer to the petals, mica powders to the leaves, and chalk pastels to the base... but maybe just one thing more...

I've already added a little shimmer to the petals, mica powders to the leaves, and chalk pastels to the base... but maybe just one thing more...

 

In any medium, there is a need for walking away when the piece is done.  We get so concerned with wanting to jazz it up or wow the viewer that we can get carried away with embellishments.  How do we know when to stop dressing it up?  In this case, I'm going to forego the tiny little accent flowers in my head because I know that they are not at all necessary to what I'm doing with the main body of the piece.  I have the colors, feel, textures, atmosphere, focus, proportions, and execution that I need to do what I had set out to do.  The fact that there is space that could be filled in no way means that the space should be filled.  We need a little room to breathe.  That's my final decision.  For now.

The real test may be taking the piece out into the wild.  If it sells this weekend, then I'm definitely done with it, right?

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