On painting, and other media all mixed up

Sometimes I wonder why I’m so drawn to clay when my inspiration is so ethereal.

It’s more difficult to represent — either realistically or abstractly — such wispy notions with a substance that turns to rock after you’re done with it. Painting allows you to create transparencies on a surface that much more accurately mimic the kinds of light I’m so attracted to in the case of thunderstorms over the prairie.

However, I still want to create a way to beautifully and imaginative portray said supercells with sculptural materials. I believe it can be done, if I’m able to give more time to the idea. Recently I’ve been doing a little bit of painting anyway, as a way to think through the problem. And because the clay around the house (almost all of it reclaim) was either too wet or too dry to work. And I haven’t found a new supplier yet, though have one in mind.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

2 Responses to On painting, and other media all mixed up

  1. Julie says:

    Time to slake! Fun!

    Clay’s a tough material for your subject matter. Maybe paper clay? Just add paper pulp to clay slurry. But why not paper pulp by itself? I love clay, too, but I am realizing that it’s not always the suitable medium for whatever idea I have in mind. That’s good news and bad news. I’ll still keep working in clay because I *love* touching clay. But I may end up working predominately in other mediums. It’s quite strange to ponder.

    Another thought is to simply abstract it a lot further. I don’t know. I’ll be curious to see what you do.

    • pcNielsen says:

      Part of why I’m still attracted to clay with respect to clouds is that soda firing, atmospheric firing in general, seem to be a good representation of the colors in a thunderstorm at sunset or sunrise. Unfortunately I haven’t had access to those kinds of kilns since college. And, like you, I love the feel of clay in my hands, and the ways I can manipulate it.

      Of course, I also still refer to myself as a mixed media sculptor more than a ceramic sculptor. We seem to be in very similar boats.

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