Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Inspiration: 58 days and counting

Sometimes I see images on the internet and just have to stop and be completely absorbed by their beauty. This photo of a fox frozen in ice is completely heartbreaking, but I also found it overwhelmingly beautiful. You can read the full article HERE

Monday, February 3, 2014

Symbolism: 59 days and counting

I use a lot of symbolism in my work. I used to labor over my symbolism dictionaries, trying to decide what animals worked best in which pieces. And then one day I just starting trusting myself. I took the images that I was envisioning and just made them. Usually when I looked up the symbolism later, the animal I had chosen made perfect sense with the emotion or idea I was trying to convey. Here are the animals I am working with at the moment...

Bear: bravery; strength; self-restraint; cruelty; evil influence; a problem of difficulty; obstacle; violence; solitary life; martyrdom; stubbornness; melancholy; the dangerous aspect of the unconscious

Bird: the soul; the spirit; time; creation; aspiration; love; freedom

Deer: timidity; gentleness; the soul; searching after the truth;

Fawn: innocence; defenselessness

Rabbit: skepticism; suspicion; watchfulness; humbleness; a victim; resourcefulness; hope

Wolf: hunger; hypocrisy; lust; cruelty; fraud; deceit; war; cunning; ferocity; corruption; darkness; greed

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bear...: 60 days and counting

Well it's begun, again.  I started this piece in 2012 originally, but it didn't feel right so I let it dry out and tore it all down. The image is of a bear tearing out its own heart. The title, Coup de grĂ¢ce, means "blow of mercy", or the death blow to end the suffering of a severely wounded person or animal.

 I've started again, first with the above sketch, which is slightly altered in expression from the original one. I took the hand not holding the heart and rather than have it out in space, I made it touching the spot that the heart was just pulled from. It seems more fitting.

 Next I started a small scale clay maquette that I will likely take to completion. It has already helped me work out some proportion issues, which is nice. But in true Darla fashion, I've jumped the gun and have already started the big piece, as you can see in the photo below. I am three five gallon buckets of clay in and will need to recycle clay faster than I have been. I hope to finish this by the end of the month. Its really important to me that this piece be in this show. Its the epitome of everything I am feeling lately...about everything. So I need to get it out...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brace for Impact: 72 days and counting

72 days. I have 72 days to finish up a body of work for my upcoming solo show, Brace for Impact. Originally, I was supposed to have a solo show in November 2013 at Liz Afif Gallery before it closed. Between the gallery closing and being over loaded with work at the Sculpture Gym, I never proceeded with finishing the work.

I had the idea to schedule a solo show and within the same week Steven, the Gallery Director at PSG, asked if I'd be interested in showing in PSG Gallery. I agreed....to April....in January. Crazy, considering the amount of things I want to accomplish, but normal when compared to the rest of my art career. Everything seems to have always come together on short notice, so I'm hoping to put together a really amazing show.

I've got a number of things started and hope to edit down from a larger group. I've also got some crazy ideas lined up for this show, so we will see what plays out. Either way, I am excited to be making things... Its been very hard lately to have not been making, creating... I know I am working on the Sculpture Gym, which is a space for others to create, but in order to feel whole I need to be making art. So here I go, again...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I'm back...

Image by Marion Di Quinzio
Oh hello there. It's been a while, no? My apologies. I've just been so busy with...EVERYTHING. Truly the last year and a half of my life has been INSANE. I've had multiple major life changes occur, some good, some not so good. I've opened up a small business while raising a 3 year old. I've lost and gained perspective on things. I've realized very important things about myself and others, only to forget them periodically and have to continually remember to remember them...(confusing, I know!) And the most important thing that I keep remembering and forgetting and remembering again is that I am, in fact, a human. Just like anyone else. I try not be too hard on myself for mistakes I've made or people I've inadvertently hurt, but part of my character is that I am a harsh critic when it comes to being me. It's good in some ways...but I've realized lately that I need to take a step back and be easy on myself. I need to re-prioritize my life and certain things fit in (raising my daughter, making art, running a business, taking care of myself) and other things don't (worrying about EVERYTHING, countless hours spent on social media, and other time sucks that I can't remember at the moment.) SO I'm starting here, because in truth I do enjoy having an outlet to say what I'm thinking about or show what I'm up to. And I'm saying goodbye to other things...like twitter (I don't even understand Twitter...why was I on there?!), like Facebook (this one is slightly anxiety inducing as I do enjoy connections with people....but I'd rather spend the time making actual connections with people...like writing letters, or meeting for coffee instead of having a false sense of connection), and last but not least my beloved Instagram...The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym will still have these things for the sake of promoting the business, but running two of everything is a lot to keep up with. So if you'd like to catch up, or see what I'm up to, call me, text me, email me, write me a letter (I LOVE GETTING MAIL!) or check out this blog... I think scaling back will give me more time to focus on what I love, like O'Rae, making art and building the Sculpture Gym. Thanks so much to everyone for the support you've shown me, over the last year and a half especially. I cannot put into words my appreciation.
All my love. Darla

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Black Friday Sale! For 25% off all sculpture in my Etsy shop, use coupon code 'BLACKFRIDAYFANCY'.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Filling cracks with gold

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.

I saw the above quote tonight and it stuck with me...I feel like everything I hear and see lately has been informing this new body of work...that I'm seeing everything for a reason. Usually when starting projects things get sorted out as I work on the piece but this time everything is unfolding really quickly so I feel compelled to start the work as soon as possible, despite being busier than ever. This idea of "aggrandizing damage" really strikes me, because when making art I feel like thats what we are doing anyway, aggrandizing our emotions. Or atleast what I'm doing. I'm wondering how this will all play out...my goal is to do EVERYTHING myself....build all the armatures alone, make the pieces, make the molds alone (including one of an 8 foot tall grizzly), cast alone...Usually I have help from Justin or fabulous interns but this time it's been in my head that in order to be fully successful, I need to do it all myself...
wish me luck...