On the Poppet Planet forums, someone asked me how long it takes to paint Poppets. " How long...?" is the question asked more often than any other when I exhibit art. I must confess, after about thirty of these I'm fairly likely to put on a Zen face and answer, "moo." (Mu)
Not so much that it's a dumb question, but that it's a question without an answer. Sure, it doesn't rate with "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Still, it requires travel.
In other words, the answer is complex.
The techniques I use are based on layers of color, ( which I hope to demonstrate on the forums eventually) and were developed over many years. Because of that, I'm capable of working quickly.
Given a Poppet and paints, could I paint a Little Red Poppet in five minutes? Yes. and No.
Yes, in a "vacuum" with no curing or drying times, no preparation. But, with a system in place,(e.g., a paid staff) could I paint 100 Poppets at an average of 5 minutes each? Possibly. Would I want to?
I'm gonna say no, or at least, not today.
Some pieces take longer than others. Titania took what seemed like forever, because she was the first in a series (Midsummer Night's Dream.)
Let me explain why this matters.
Creating a series is a rather big undertaking. First, because it carries several obligations to my collectors.
When I start a series, (like the Wonderland Poppets) I'm committing to create as many as it takes for collectors to complete their sets. At some point, when I stop making them (and I definitely will) I'll give collectors who already have partial sets the opportunity to complete.
Now, that said, I also must make each character unique in some way. I must rethink the character each time I make one, so there's some facet that's not present in any of the others. Sometimes easy---sometimes not so very.
In addition, I must choose and commit to a painting style and color palette for each series. Which brings me back to why Titania took so long. I had to find a palette that worked well for this series' theme and that would set it apart from other series. I established patterns and colors for Titania that could be modified to work for the others in the group. Then, I have to stick with it throughout the series. Not always easy for the traveling sort of mind.
And finally, records must be kept of how many of each character was created, when, and where it went when it left the studio.
So, when I calculate the time it took to paint Titania, if I'm to be accurate (You can take the girl out of the laboratory....) I must consider work experience, product development, research, time spent thinking about the work and finally, execution (which includes curing and drying times.
It's why sometimes I really enjoy going 'off track' and making strange little single Poppets that don't quite fit anywhere except that they're Poppets.
Original works (the gallery pieces) are very different from collectible works and carry a whole different set of considerations.
I'd say, with the exception of a few experiences, the majority of time spent for every work I make(including and especially the gallery pieces) is the thinking about what, why and then, how.
In other words, the creative process, like time, is not a constant.
If you'd like to delve into this aspect of creating art, or have any questions, come to the forums and we'll dig deeper.It's full blown desert hot here today. Time to hit the water.
Time to replace all our lightbulbs with CFL's.
* * * ravyn here * * *
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