Well, you have to start somewhere. I started with a lump of clay, lovely mucky pliable stuff, and I created the shape you see above. In reality it was only the size of your fist. But I liked it so I photographed it.
And then I squashed it and made another shape, and then another…
That’s what I was doing for a while, to try to get some new ideas or to create something new. But what I was missing was colour, the joy of colour. Clay is a wonderfully expressive material but… well it’s just grey, isn’t it. So I added the colours into it with Photoshop. (Yes, I used Photoshop again – but no, I couldn’t say if it was a sculpture, a photograph or… a piece of fine art, even?)
Of course, it’s just a lump of clay again now, but actually, it started with the idea of hands covering a face. And then I gave it a title: ‘Brón’ (Sorrow).
I was reminded of those muddy endeavours recently when I came across the work of the American artist Stuart Shils. He’s a great painter and printmaker but he also experiments with bits of paper stuck on a window, with shadows on the floor and indeed, with anything that catches his fancy. Nach fánach an áit a bhfaighfeá gliomach! (meaning: you can find real treasure in the strangest of places)
And I think that’s the answer. If it helps in the creative process, shur why not give it a go. How do you like his images above? The first one is his studio floor, with the light streaming in and the second, a building site, perhaps. But they both look like abstract paintings to me. Loads more good ones on his website at: