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Old 09-20-2008, 11:54 AM
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Alfred Alfred is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pomona, California
Posts: 454
Re: IS the life of a painter easier? and other stuff

Hey Furby, the majority of my friends (outside of cyberspace) are painters, and most of them are quite successful at what they do. I've talked about this very thing with them before and we sometimes get into a debate, but ultimately I win because it's true that painters have it easier than sculptors. The way I explain it to them is (this only related to those of us who have to cast their work to get the final result) A sculptor has to create the original sculpture, which sometimes goes through the process of sketches and moquettes. Then there is the mold and the wax copy, which then has to be cleaned up and sometimes further details added to areas that were hard to reach before. After that comes the bronze which has to be chased and re- textured in the areas of the welds. Finally, there's the patina... which can be the life or death of a sculpture if done poorly. All in all, a sculptor has to create their work 3 different times just to arrive at the final sculpture (that's not including the sketches and moquettes). A painter creates their work once and it's done. Sure some paintings take longer than others, but they still only have to do it once.

Then there's the matter of real-estate. A sculpture demands space in your home. It lives among you and forces you to move around it. A painting is relegated to the walls and places no such demands on your environment. This is a crucial difference when it comes to being successful. Paintings are much easier because they cover wall space. A person can put five or six paintings on one wall (depending on their size), but they couldn't put five or six sculptures along one wall. Even if the sculptures were the same size of the paintings (in width and height). Mainly because the sculptures would demand too much space into the room. and steel away valuable real-estate for the home owner. Paintings also cost less because of the process involved. Sculpture has a lot of overhead built into the process. This is another way for painters to do well. They can crank out a painting (especially the "contemporary" painters I've seen recently) sometimes taking only a matter of hours to finish a work. But the cost of the painting is not reflective of the time put into it. A sculpture not only has to cover the raw materials, but the process involved in producing those raw materials into sculpture.

Even knowing all this I still choose to make sculpture, because it's what drives me the most. I draw and paint on occasion, but it's sculpture that always calls me back to the studio. And I do tend to make a lot of stuff that I just destroy after making. I take pictures, but that's the only record that exists of my work. I probably only cast about 20% of what I make, because most of it is done just for the fun and challenge of sculpting. People who draw and paint can put 1000 creations into the space I use for a model stand, but I'm limited to however much flat, open space I have available in my studio (and that's not much).

Alfred
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