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To wrap up this week of rough stuff, I am going to do something I usually avoid and show you what is essentially derivative work but definitely with an effort to create one’s own version.
The piece here is by Debby Wakley but the texture was derived from Eva Haskova’s “Earth Layers” series in which Eva created punched and tooled layers on domed lentil style beads. I choose to show Debby’s version because I think it shows a fairly direct translation of what we can see in Eva’s work, but the changes Debby made give her work a different feeling.
Eva’s work is very cleanly finished. Even when the edges are rough, you get a sense of control over the material that makes every element and every tool mark feel deliberate. Debby’s adaptation is a lot looser with freeform shapes instead of Eva’s balanced circles and then there is the imperfectly removed paint used to bring out the texture. Although Eva’s work shows a mastery of the material that is deservedly admired, I think Debby did justice to her inspiration but going with a loose, organic approach that looks to be more in line with Debby’s work as a whole.
It is obvious that Debby takes a lot of classes and most everything she posts can be linked back to a well-known master and teacher of polymer. But you can see her efforts to break out and create her own work. I find that promising and hope, in time, to see her process all the techniques she has learned into her own vision and expression. As you may have heard me say before, I am not an advocate of posting working one did in a class but if you are working towards your own variation, there may be some merit in showing how you translate what you learn, especially if one has the long-range goal of finding their own voice down the line.
Weekly Inspiration Challenge: Let another person’s work be your jumping-off point. Don’t copy but rather adapt what you like in any one piece by an admired artist into your preferred forms, colors, and techniques. You can emulate them as closely as you need to at first but set aside these exercises after a few runs and create something that is definitely and purely your own.
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