I don’t think I have everything remotely figured out yet, but I did have a small revelation today about my process that I think is getting me closer to where I want to be. It occurred to me today that in my last photography session with Marianna that I wondered how I would ever get fifty unique expressions in sculpture: I had her do about fifteen expressions during that session and in the end many of them felt fairly similar to each other. The photographs I took during this session were also much more posed; because I was shooting for sculpture references, I had her hold each expression and then shot that expression from multiple angles. By contrast, for the drawing references, I had her simply act out cycles of expressions from which I shot very quick, continuous snapshots. Therefore, it makes sense that the sculpture references were coming out less dynamic and spontaneous looking than the drawing references.
So I asked myself today: why not simply use the drawings as the references for the sculptures? Afterall, the drawings are essentially studies of the original form. I have no idea if this will actually work, but the thought of working from the drawings (as opposed to photo references) to me is already more appealing. I think I’ll be less tempted to concern myself with accuracy, and I think it will provide more liberty to invent forms. I like the idea of the sculptures as being the “second generation” of images, an interpretation from an interpretation. I’ll still use some of the photo references as back up materials, but I’m going to try working the majority of the time from the drawings.