I perceive my “inner artist” as a separate, mysterious entity with boundless energy that wanders mostly hidden in the recesses of my mind, and regards me as simply the “meat person” to carry out its wishes…which is fine by me.
Philosophically, I’m a big picture kind of guy. I find the parade of daily headlines—indeed the whole of human history—to be inconsequential compared to the wonder of existence itself. The atoms in our bodies were forged by unimaginable forces of heat and pressure in the cores of collapsing stars! Then, after billions more years of primordial trial and error those same atoms were woven into our DNA molecules, the custodians of instructions for the highly orchestrated assembly of the most complex thing in the known universe: the human brain. And we each get to have one! But even this amazing structure is superseded—by orders of magnitude—by the phenomenon of intelligent self awareness we experience within our minds. It’s a phenomenon that resists quantitative explanation, but I think it’s a perpetual illusion that sustains our perception of ourselves from cradle to grave. Bottom line: Our imagination hosts our sense of who we are!
From my own inner experience (epic dreams, for example), and the relayed experiences of others, it appears we have virtually infinite powers of imagination. What an awesome tool to have at our disposal!
I realize I’m probably asking *way* too much of artmaking, but I’d like my work to have something to do with appreciation and celebration of this freakishly astonishing phenomenon I experience each and every moment I’m alive—as I observe firsthand my very own complex system of atoms contemplating the cosmos that forged them billions of years ago!
“We are the universe, observing itself…”
I’ve been a full time artist since 1995, with studios in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon. I’m fluent in several media, and always up for learning yet another one! The most recent skill I’ve picked up is hammer forming metal—hand hammering flat stock into compound curved forms and riveting them together. Now I can add it to my bag of tricks to use in conjunction with other media and techniques I’ve practiced professionally over the years such as: letterpress and silk screen printing; graphic design (traditional and digital); drawing (countless life drawing sessions); painting (including portrait commissions); many years as a professional wood sculptor; sculpting minutely detailed brass dies for the embossing trade; large sculptural lamps; along with my partner and fellow artist Jackie Hurlbert, in 1995 we founded/managed a high-end handmade ceramic tile business and I sculpted over 300 bas relief designs for it (sold the tile biz in 2014); moldmaking, casting, patination and finishing of various media; large scale kiln-fired ceramic sculpture; and hammered/riveted aluminum sculpture…a background which lends itself to cross pollination and confidence with a wide range of media.
—Steve Eichenberger, artist