By: David Pauls
I like not knowing where I’m going or what lies ahead. The excitement in the unknown is what drives me to create. Whether the final product will be a success or a flaming piece of crap is beside the point. The process is an addiction– it is where I learn and where I can experiment with new ideas. It is where I stumble in the dark trying to figure out what to do. Focusing only on the end goal destroys the fun and makes a much less satisfying end result.
Not knowing where I am going awards me unlimited possibilities. It drives me to find what works together to form a successful piece. This also takes a lot of energy and time, which means by the time I am done with a project, I usually have a love hate relationship with it. Much like Gollum and the Ring.
The area that I have the most love for is creating and manipulating space. The media I find the most compelling and adventurous has always been three-dimensional art, specifically working with metal and wood sculpture.
An example of one of my three-dimensional pieces is this piece, “Cascadia,” which came from working in the sculpture lab. The idea behind this project was to use an old drawer and fill it with something or expand it. The inspiration for filling it with multilayers of fir trees and clouds came from sheer chance and an underlying love of nature and growing up in Oregon.
This piece began like most things I do, with just a doodle or scratch. In this case, it was messing with a band saw and chuck wood. By the time I was done, the piece had turned into multiple trees. I then made clouds and decided to base the whole project off the wilderness and the rain in the Pacific Northwest.
Many of the choices came from the layout of the trees. I had to decide how to attach the layers and choose what to paint or stain. This layout attempts to produce the most depth using the interesting negative space shapes that were possible through the forms I made. Painting the trees seemed like an attempt to hide that they were wood so it made more sense to me to exhibit the beauty of their knots and grain since they are tree forms.
Overall, I’m happy with the project. It was a fun process and I was able to use wood in ways I hadn’t before. It didn’t turn out too bad either.