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  #76  
Old 11-01-2006, 08:53 AM
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Blacksun Blacksun is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

A story of why I feel that way???? I've known alcoholics & drug users (and I'm not getting sidetracked into discussions of medically nessecary paharmacological assistance....we all know what we're talking about here...). Alcoholics and drug users generally are a serious waste of space, and a misuse of oxygen. At least all the ones I've known or had the dis-pleasure of sharing some temporary space with. My opinion.

I feel anyone that feels they have to imbibe in mind-altering substances in order to create is probably lacking a true creative spark. Of course it would explain a lot of the conceptual crap I've seen exhibited over the years. Again, my opinion.

Last edited by Blacksun : 11-01-2006 at 08:55 AM. Reason: typo
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  #77  
Old 11-01-2006, 11:25 AM
G. Murdoch G. Murdoch is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Attached are some photos. The group shot shows my daughter Gabrielle, JOY is lower left, the Ankhs are upper right, THE INNOCENT & THE EROTIC is lower right, DANCE TO THE BEAT OF YOUR HEART is center. The Ankhs represent the type of composition I carved before LSD. JOY and the other figurative works represent the type of composition I carved after LSD. WONDER is a green marble sculpture I carved last year, a dozen years after the LSD experience, three years after becoming completely sober.

Graham
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  #78  
Old 11-01-2006, 12:26 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacksun
A story of why I feel that way???? I've known alcoholics & drug users (and I'm not getting sidetracked into discussions of medically nessecary paharmacological assistance....we all know what we're talking about here...). Alcoholics and drug users generally are a serious waste of space, and a misuse of oxygen. At least all the ones I've known or had the dis-pleasure of sharing some temporary space with. My opinion.
Hmm.... true, alcoholism is an illness and is very tough for the person and his surrondings, including people around.
False about the waste of time, countless people were alcoholic and true creative geniuses.
Have you seen the film Chiwaseon? In french, it's "Ivre de femmes et de peintures" and is really impressive about art and creative process and artist life.
http://www.chihwaseon.com/
and DVD refs http://www.amazon.com/Chihwaseon-Pai...?ie=UTF8&s=dvd

Quote:
I feel anyone that feels they have to imbibe in mind-altering substances in order to create is probably lacking a true creative spark. Of course it would explain a lot of the conceptual crap I've seen exhibited over the years. Again, my opinion.
hehe.... direct blow ;-)
well... alcoholics and drug users are coming from vastly different places: some are using recreatively, some creatively, and some as "refuge" - as a way to protect themselves and shield them.
It's common that people with a high sensibility cannot cope with society and then seek (false) promise of protection through drugs or alcohol... (read "The witch" of Michelet for an account on sensitivity and social abnormality). But not everybody using drugs fall in that category.

On my side, I don't sculpt but rather draw when I'm high... but I did sculpt some clay vessel while stoned, was a really intense experience as all the sensory information was uncalibrated and very abnormal... very strange feeling. For some sculpture, i consider taking drugs too dangerous to mix with sculpture. Safety is the limit for me. But definitely, even 10 years after my last trip, my vision is clearly changed by these few (2) trips.
Given the fact that I had read a lot about the products and approached them without fear or psy problems (at that time ;-) at least), I got one thing out of the experiences which relates particularly to sculpture:
a profound faith in the fact that each people has his own perceptions and that the "reality" of my works are in fact as multiple as there are viewers. So I work in keeping each work "open" so that people can see what I mean sometimes but also can share and interact with the sculpture themselves.
(ok, that's very hard challenge and rarely i'm satisfied ;-)

love
phil.

PS: Sorry Tluis, indeed i was not laughing at but making a bit of irony in a post before, i think i hurt u, sorry again.
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  #79  
Old 11-01-2006, 05:07 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Gotta disagree with 'ya there Phil.... practicing alcoholics and druggies are seriously not worth a minute of my time or consideration. And "Disease" my ass...it's a character flaw... If it were truly a disease, there would be no "cold turkey" former alkies or junkies. Can it be a symptom of a mental illness...sure, but only a symptom, not the root. Again, let me stress this is only MY opinion, validated by 49 years of MY experience and observations. It is anecdotal evidence at best, but in the COURT OF THE BLACK SUN , MY anecdotal evidence has the highest credibility.

Last edited by Blacksun : 11-01-2006 at 05:08 PM. Reason: typo
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  #80  
Old 11-01-2006, 05:23 PM
mark pilato mark pilato is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Graham great work, I would love to see the ones on the floor bigger.
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  #81  
Old 11-01-2006, 05:24 PM
mark pilato mark pilato is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Today was a great day in the studio. I sculpted two lovers in a moment of release. My mind was clear, and as my tool moved over the form chasing curves I was brought once again to a holy place.
I just came up minutes ago, fried up some onions and threw in the rice. Now I am sitting here with you thinking about this thread and what i have said. I cant help but think that i am not saying it right. If I were to go back to when I smoked, I could see myself skipping over these words i write.
I will face this fear even no it's hard to hear. This week wile I sculpt i'll figure it out. When I am done I will post more words and a picture of my work.
All the best,
Mark
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  #82  
Old 11-01-2006, 06:18 PM
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Smile Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Oh Blacksun your generosity of spirit towards your fellow man is astounding!
'a waste of space' 'a misuse of oxygen' - clearly you've had some experiences that have left you bitter.
I hate to spoil an ill informed opinion but addiction is not a character flaw, like most thing its a little more complicated than that. Addiction is a complex mix of biological, psychological & sociological factors. The role of dopamine, genetics and sociological risk factors is well established in the scientific literature. As a registered nurse of some 30 years (the last 16 specialising in addiction medicine) I can probably speak with some authority on this.
I do agree with you however in that I would not choose to live or share a studio with someone who was drinking/using in a dependent manner but then again I wouldn't choose to live with a bigot or racist either. Its about the behaviour. Its not always easy but if we can separate the person from the behaviour then we can still respect the person as a fellow human being but not accept the behavior/attitude etc. Trust me I'm no saint, sometimes I get angry, hurt, disgusted, disappointed etc with people but in the cold hard light of day I believe every human life is of value. My opinion.
The other thing thats useful to remember is that the vast majority of people who use any drug do not become addicted. So drug use does not equal addiction.
Also linking drug use to conceptual art is just plain dumb.
Anyway its great to see the wide variety of views being expressed in this thread. Basically it seems that some people find a variety of different drugs useful to their art practice and some don't. No big deal.

Hey I wonder if you placed 10 works of art in a gallery, half by artists that used drugs and half by artists that don't, would we be able to spot which was which?
James
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  #83  
Old 11-01-2006, 06:39 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

I think that first rush is close to epiphany.......just doesn't quite make it. I can understand why some do feel inspired while high.

Today I saw something I had been looking for, for weeks. Like a flash it was there and I knew what I needed to do. I wouldn't call it an epiphany but it was at least a flash of inspiration, a spark in my brain. If I had a buzz I probably would have missed it, lost in the feeling of almost finding it.

Thatch
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  #84  
Old 11-01-2006, 06:40 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Quote:
Hey I wonder if you placed 10 works of art in a gallery, half by artists that used drugs and half by artists that don't, would we be able to spot which was which?
BINGO! Reputation and history do skew judgement. JamesW 's other points are equally important. Black/white thinking and right/wrong labeling always points to strong emotional bias.

jOe~
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  #85  
Old 11-02-2006, 07:23 AM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

James, my opinion is that addicts forfeit their right to my sympathy, compassion, and concern the moment they crawl up into that syringe, bottle, or baggie.

You can spout all the academic literature (I've read 90% of it... )you wish to show that it's not their fault, but freewill is a precious gift and some people misuse it. Addiction and the waste of life / oxygen that results is first and foremost a voluntary action. Quitting is a voluntary action. Lack of character strength is all that stands between an addict and a former / recovered addict.

Blacksun - Former Police Officer, Ex- Military, B.S. Criminology, Graduate Legal education, Former Director of Human Resource Training for a Florida State Law Enforcement Agency, grandchild of alcoholic / addicts. - now a happy Sculptor and Realtor. I've seen and experienced more addictions related crap than you could possibly concieve. Addiction is bad...but it is a personal decision to begin, continue, and to hopefully, if they've got the personal integrity, to quit and rejoin the human race.

Last edited by Blacksun : 11-02-2006 at 07:25 AM. Reason: typos - big calloused hands & fingers - tiny keys
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  #86  
Old 11-02-2006, 10:40 AM
G. Murdoch G. Murdoch is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Hey Blacksun,

I was wondering, did you enjoy Santa Fe? Get a chance to see the miracle staircase?

My experience with booze & dope followed a pretty typical path: Fun > Fun with Trouble > Trouble. Reached a point where I simply didn't want to live that way anymore, sought help, now I'm clean & sober with no desire to go back to the hell of active addiction.

At every point along the way, I encountered people who took a stance of openminded compassion, and people who took a stance of self righteous judgementalism, and every shade & nuance in between.

Nothing anyone said to me meant a single thing, until I had reached a point where my self inflicted suffering reached a level I was unwilling to bear. Then change became possible.

Once I decided to change, the people who helped me most were the ones who had experienced the hell of active addiction themselves & lived to tell the tale.

I guess my point is that for an addict in active addiction, neither compassion nor scorn mean anything, the opinions of other people are irrelevant. For a recovering addict, peer support is paramount.

Graham
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  #87  
Old 11-02-2006, 02:45 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Graham, this is something that adds water to my mill. I understand the truth of what you said about neither compassion or judgment can help when in the hell of it. Now here I prefer compassion and not just in the vague but also for all of you who went through difficult times.

Do you think there are in your sculpture some things that are identifiably linked with this trouble you went through in your life?

Love,
Phil.
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  #88  
Old 11-02-2006, 03:40 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Graham,

Did not make it out to Santa Fe as anticipated....have a monument authorization I'm trying to shepherd through Congress, and wound up spending my "vacation" time in DC. I have read about the staircase and it is on my definite must see list when I do make it out there. I know there are miracles in the everyday world even now...I'm really looking forward to seeing this one.

Glad to hear of your clean & sober life....it illustrates what I was saying....when you got tired of that life, you stopped. I'm sure it took help, but you made the decision to start...and you made the decision to stop.... Glad to meet 'ya now rather than then...
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  #89  
Old 11-02-2006, 06:51 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

We don't sculpt on marijuana in Muskogee.
We don't make art while tripping on LSD.
We now love things like bio feedback.
Cause our minds work better,
When our brains are chemical free.

Everybody sing!


Thatch
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  #90  
Old 11-02-2006, 08:54 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacksun
Graham,

Did not make it out to Santa Fe as anticipated....have a monument authorization I'm trying to shepherd through Congress, and wound up spending my "vacation" time in DC. I have read about the staircase and it is on my definite must see list when I do make it out there. I know there are miracles in the everyday world even now...I'm really looking forward to seeing this one.

When I went to Santa Fe years ago, I wanted to see the Loretto, but the Chapel was closed at the time. I was able to see it from outside the Chapel, but would have loved to view it from the inside. That structure has got to be, IMO, one of the most marvelous pieces of engineering that I have ever seen. It is also, in my estimation, the most beautiful archetechual staircase ever constructed. Did you know that the carpenter built the staircase without, screws, nails, main supports or handrails? A couple of young nuns climbed the staircase to the loft after it was finished, but were so scared to come down that they crawled down on their hands and knees! After ten years, another carpenter added handrails. They never found the original carpenter after he finished the staircase. He just disappeared with his donkey and carpenter's tools. Maybe the carpenter was from Nazareth.

BTW, I doubt whether the carpenter was using anything to enhance his abilities, except his desire to complete the task.
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  #91  
Old 11-04-2006, 12:19 PM
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philpraxis philpraxis is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatch
We don't sculpt on marijuana in Muskogee.
We don't make art while tripping on LSD.
We now love things like bio feedback.
Cause our minds work better,
When our brains are chemical free.

Everybody sing!
Thatch
Yeah! Right on brotha and sistas!

We don't like dogmas and prisons,
We'd prefer people to use their reason,
Out of the normality we sculpt to live,
And live to sculpt however we want - for lifestyles a damn we don't give!

We don't force people to say we,
So by "I" let's replace all the we,
And I'll fight for you all to express,
Whatever ideas or feelings you possess,
be them merciful or merciless.

cheers all, let's rejoice ;-)
phil.
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  #92  
Old 11-20-2006, 04:45 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

To each their own.
I am sure that many wonderful and great works of art were created under the influence of some intoxicating substance, (stronger than sugar or coffee).
If you are an artist that needs or desires a conscience altering “high” in order to work then I believe that you are at a disadvantage simple because you have convinced yourself that you require an external motivation in order to work.
If you moderately indulge in a glass or a smoke then it may be helpful and is probable “normal,” as most of us like a glass of wine or two, and in some cultures a smoke (marijuana) is as common as wine is in others.
I develop allot of my ideas while I meditate and that is a “high” I only need practice in order to get there, but I like a glass of wine or two and so long as I don’t over due it I may come up with an idea that inspires me. I think that counts and I think that is OK.
Drugs and the process, yes and no.
Everything in moderation including moderation.

The main part of creation for me is the 9 to 5 idea. Get to the studio and get to work every day from X hour to Y hour. It is this discipline that is my creative drug.

Yet here I have to qualify the above opinion, in that many people suffer from a certain terrible illness that makes them dependant on a substance, I don't suffer this illness so I can’t say I understand it but I sympathise with anyone who does suffer from it, and in this case total abstinence is the only way to live and create.
Blake
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  #93  
Old 11-20-2006, 08:39 PM
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Landseer Landseer is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Quote:
Originally Posted by HorseModels
Did you know that the carpenter built the staircase without, screws, nails, main supports or handrails?
As a woodworker I can tell you there is not much of a mystery there, dowels, pegs, wedges and other joints- some quite fancy and complex, both hidden and visible have been used for eons, even animal hyde glue has been used for ages and if used right is stronger than the wood it's gluing.

Nails, screws and the like are fairly modern, they are convienient and add strength, but are not the only way to build something like this stairway.
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  #94  
Old 11-21-2006, 04:23 PM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Mark,interesting thread,your friend will never make it as a full time artist

Anatomist,great take and honesty

Graham,also great take,keep up the pasion bro

When I was 12 I saw a family member wig out on Acid,by the time I was 15 I saw my first junkie shoot up,the only good thing was the experience keep me pretty grounded and scared of the really hard drugs.Now I am no angel,but drugs and arts have always been around,you just have to be a strong person when oportunity arises.Smokin pot and drinking can not be put in the same class as a junkie,cokehead,or meth head,just different world.

My worry is todays Meth problem.Could this create a new bread of artist that work no stop,totally geeked up.How many artist that are pressured by show deadlined will turn to crank to pull off a show.I believe they will use it as an excuse to justify taking it.long term use will eventually "weed" them out of a career,guarenteed.

I have had the pressure of shows for twenty years,as I said I am not an alter boy,but I am proud to say I did not have to turn to hard drugs,coke,crank,herion,pills,ect to pull of not one show.Like Graham,I might have drank a boat and smoked a bale,but as you mature as an artist you do not need it to "kill the pain" or"dull the stress",basically it will hold you back in the long run.I am only 44 and I am sounding like an old fart,but old fart did not get old by not being a little swamp wise.

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  #95  
Old 11-21-2006, 04:41 PM
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WeiMingKai WeiMingKai is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Blake Wrote:
"If you are an artist that needs or desires a conscience altering “high” in order to work then I believe that you are at a disadvantage simple because you have convinced yourself that you require an external motivation in order to work."

I have to agree with this whole heartedly.

If you look to drugs as the gateway to your creativity then what does that say about how creative or worthwhile you are to begin with? Are you talented or not, or perhaps more importantly do you believe you are talented or not? Is getting high a way of getting around/alleviatiing your self doubt in your abilities? If so then the drugs have been substituted for your anxiety and the world still isn't seeing the result of 100% of whatever genius you have in you, there is still an 'interfering' contaminant.

Compare the scenario with psychiatric patient who requires Lithium or strong anti-psychotic drugs to 'function ' at a more normal level - the result might be in many ways better but it isn't really them.

Does the unadulterated, unpolluted essence of YOU posess the capability/confidence to produce satisfying art? If yes then what purpose do the drugs serve besides creating some you+chemicals version of yourself that then creates work? After the chemicals wear off - who made that work? You or the chemicals, if there is any doubt as to which entity has the talent, that could be viewed as cowardice - if only by the artist themselves.

I am all for recreational drug use and having a good time, I like to recreate when I get the chance with those substances I like best, but I would never attribute my work or ideas to a drug because in my opinion that somehow degrades or casts doubt on just what is being achieved (creativity or stoner brain vomit). I never bought into the moralizing against drug use by others just because it was made illegal in some cases, I believe in live and let live (as long as you aren't harming anyone), but the in vino veritas thing refers to some loosening of inhibitions, not the birth of truth or beauty.
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  #96  
Old 11-30-2006, 01:45 AM
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Aaron Schroeder Aaron Schroeder is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

As an artist, I make things that influence how people feel and think and I do it by stimulating their senses. Loosely defined I make drugs.

When it comes to the topic of drugs, I think about the law, the role of government, the market place, supply and demand and the boundaries of individual freedom and the meaning of life, liberty and the pursuite of happiness.
I want to live in a country where I don't have to worry about " extremist " busting down my door and putting a stop to my displays of weak character. Just like yesterday ( and even today ) there are feeling and thought police judging what I can and can not sensually experience. I'll sense anything I want to sense, Any art, media,food,drug,people,info, I maintain my right to it all.

I also want to live in a country where I can drive down the road with out having to worry about intoxicated drivers.

I figure compromise can be zoned and scheduled.

For me the question is not yes or no but where and when.

I keep a private studio and bedroom and what happens there is no ones business but my own. I stand with those who defend a private life.

Am I afraid of those who would censore my thoughts, feelings and actions? Yes I am.

Even now there are places where drawing a picture is wrong and the image maker is punished.

I could go on and on. Give me liberty.
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  #97  
Old 11-30-2006, 02:22 AM
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Aaron Schroeder Aaron Schroeder is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

My hats off to those artist working under the influence. And I'm not just talking about the influence of drugs . Sounds dogmatic but every artist is under the influence of something when they make their art. Regardless of the influence, the fact that an artist is sticking to their discipline and doing something gets my respect. A group of artist I really respect are the artist of ww2. During the war America briefly had a policy that no commanding officer could tell an american artist what to paint or how to paint it ( no army in history has had that policy ). While under the influence of war these artist made art that was not pretty. They made horrible art. But it was true and honest and as a society we fought for their right to show it like it is. I expect my artist and scientist to go to the edge and beyond and to bring me back some document of what they felt and thought while under the influence.If you're an artist under the influence of love, drugs, parenthood,the market place, a tyrant, etc. and you're getting handy, making something, a document of that time and place, then my hats off to you, you're a real artist, you're awesome. Show me some influence free art, please.....somebody.
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  #98  
Old 12-02-2006, 06:19 AM
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Well I guess we know now who we will and will not be drinking with at the next big ISC shindig. Of course yes AND no is the answer. Confessionals, testimonials and self-righteous proclamations aside, it is obvious every individual feels different about this. great art has come out of every possible lifestyle as has plenty of art that was nothing but a waste of time. Maybe it would be a good idea for some of us to back off the anebriates a little for the sake of productivity...and for some, an altered state of mind now and then might be just the kick in the pants their art needs. My confession? beer, not as often as I'd like.Oh, thats right, we're counting coffee too, two or three a day.

Last edited by evaldart : 12-02-2006 at 06:30 AM.
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  #99  
Old 12-12-2006, 10:10 PM
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Tired Iron Tired Iron is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

QUOTE=Aaron Schroeder]As an artist, I make things that influence how people feel and think and I do it by stimulating their senses. Loosely defined I make drugs.

This whole thread has been a pleasure to read. There are many passages and stories I will store away in my memory banks. Aaron, however, really went where I was headed.as far as responses go. My "drug" of first choice is ....SCULPTING....it is my addiction, it is my next anticipated fix, it is what I spend all my non-sculpting time thinking about. It is my release, it is my therapy, it is something that stimulates MY senses. In my Welcome statement I said it was like being in love.........I'm incurable

The opinions expressed here are as diverse as the sculptures we all create, and I am really happy I found this Sculpture community as a place where I can go and learn and relate. It is theraputic as well! Viewing all the pics in this site is like a dose when I am too bushed to sculpt but not quite ready for slumber. Thanks for sharing all, y'all.
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  #100  
Old 12-13-2006, 07:32 AM
mark pilato mark pilato is offline
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Re: drugs and the process - yes or no

Tired Iron,
There is nothing like a sculpture buzz, it starts in the mind and travels through the fingertips, I am also a sculpture addict, its my drug of choice. For me the high comes slow, the sensation starts as my hands touch the clay then it builds as my minds flow releases imagination, form, and structure. Thats the high Im looking for, f--- all those other drugs, they cant touch this. they just skim the surface. My drug brings me home. lets build a prescription for all those who have not tried. add to the list so we can get it made. lets get the ingredients before we make the brew.
who's game?

1. Two pounds of clay
2. a touch of optimism
3. a dash of self confidence
4. an open mind
5. a dose of courage
all the best,
Mark
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