Yesterday I received an assemblage art piece from artist/sculptor Willem ‘Bill’ Skrips of New Mexico. I am so happy with it that I decided to share how it came into being.
For some time, I had been admiring Bill’s artwork on facebook. So much so that I messaged him about how moving I found them to be. After a couple of conversations, I became obsessed with owning one good piece of art from this artist I so admired.
When I asked about commissioning something from him, he asked a few pertinent questions like general size and shape, color palette, price range, and time frame. I answered as vaguely as possible so as not to cramp, inhibit, or limit his creative process. After all, it was his spontaneous inspiration that I was commissioning as much as the actual finished work. But most importantly, and I cannot emphasize this point enough, we shared an aesthetic – battered, frayed, worn, eroded, but with an underlying charm. When choosing an artist and commissioning an artwork, having this in common helps to ensure your end result will be positive.
So, I put in my order and purposely forgot all about it. I did not want to begin imagining what it might look like ahead of time and in fact, had him ship it to me sight unseen!
When I opened the crate, I immediately had chills. He had included some unexpected elements which have personal meaning for me and about which he could not have known. I was amazed.
I have not asked Bill about his interpretation of this piece or his personal inspirations behind it because it belongs to me now and I have imbued it with my own meaning and am buoyed by my personal interpretation of it. Not everyone approaches art in this way, it is just how I do it. I believe he will be posting this on Instagram during the coming week and will share the title and possibly more detail there, if you are curious. https://www.instagram.com/billskrips/ Eventually, I, too, will be curious! But for now, I want to enjoy my own personal time with this creation.
My interpretation of this wonderful piece (the short version):
Ladder – I had a vivid dream years ago about my artist grandfather, who lived far away and I was never able to know (I remember him from very early childhood before my parents’ divorce) which featured a ladder leading up into a dark void filled with stars and me following him up as we climbed this ladder.
Face/Mask – I have an interest in the persona/personae we develop and by which we present ourselves to the world and how we also use them for protection.
Patchwork – This is featured as the ground (the many locations we wander through during our lives) and as clothing (what we are is patched together by and through our experiences and relationships).
Hands (one turned in and one turned out) – We both give and receive according to our temperaments.
Rabbit Ears – I mentioned to Bill about possibly including a rabbit or a reference to rabbits (my totem). Curiosity, productivity, imagination.
Left Eye – Corresponds to the right hemisphere or creative side of the brain, which (being a naturally linear, planning sort of person) reminds me of the sometime arduous journey I undertake each time I begin one of my little paintings.
Prominent Nose – Which I associate with my family and with determination.
String tied to the Ladder – The skills we develop and the tools we acquire to help us live our lives to the best of our abilities.
Variety of Color – Wards off the boredom, pedantry, dogma, rigidity, and other proclaimed limitations/criticisms proffered by ‘experts’.
Bill is a joy to interact with and provided me with updates and shipping info. The art was shipped in a box constructed to fit the piece and to ensure it’s safe arrival. He also came in under the estimated price!
This experience with Bill exceeded my expectations on so many levels. Supporting the arts and buying from independent artists is a very satisfying experience and one I highly recommend.
After the holidays, I will find the perfect place for my newly acquired artwork. But for now, she is traveling around the house, trying out various locations and keeping me company!
Links to find out more about Willem Skrips: