Here’s a close-up video of the eleven players on the “Football, circa 1890” monument. Still have months to go. Love the fine tuning process. As Rodin said about his “Gates of Hell”, “How can I finish it when I haven’t had time to forget it?”
I’ve taken inspiration from hundreds of vintage 1800’s photos.
When I first met Janette, I knew she was the type of woman who did not need to wear make up…her beauty was natural. Many mornings I find her the most beautiful when she wakes and her hair is a mess. Seeing as how she would never let me sculpt ‘that image’, I settled for a more elegant pose. She looks great in pearls.
Been married seven years now….
Love my “Baby J”.
This next piece on the sculpting stand is an idea given to me 7-8 years ago by a collector (I love a great idea). I sat on the idea for a few years. Finally, I got around to roughing it in around 2012…..but then it mostly sat still, until “The Revenant” came out this year. I was inspired to take it off the shelf, and have another “go”…. and push it farther down the road.
Untitled (Open for suggestion) 22″ high x 47″ wide x 16” deep
This piece was started about a year ago. Built it up…tore it down….built it up….tore it down. Got disgusted with it….researched rearing horses out the wazoo. Looked at 487 pictures of rearing horses. Set it aside for five months. Spent two weeks on it….set it aside again. Would sit in “my sculpture looking at chair” for hours, pondering this piece. Finally saw what was not working…..here is my best effort.
Would it surprise you to learn that, during the sculpting process of every piece, I turn off the lights, and sculpt shadows? I learned this technique in 1992 from Mehl Lawson. If it’s pitch black outside I’ll use a candle. If an area is too dark I will add clay and if it is too light I will create textures that darken.
I still have two or three months to work on this piece, but it’s starting to have the magic I’m looking for.
Football (circa 1890)
It’s about 20 inches tall and 34 inches wide.
“THE FORGOTTEN MAN”
One morning, at 6am, I was brought up short seeing a man sleeping on cold asphalt…..he was embracing a bottle of liquor. Where does the mind go with this? “Pity, shame, judgment, step quick and get away from this human debris.” ”What can I do?” “Should I do anything at all?” “How did he let this happen to himself?”
A gentle realization came to me, it was as if I heard a whisper, ”He’s forgotten”. Not that ‘others’ have forgotten, but rather, he’s forgotten himself and has become an island of misery unto himself. Yes! It may take another to show him the way (be an example), but ultimately it is ‘he’ that ‘must remember’. To remember what? To remember that he can exercise the greatest of all gifts…..the ability to choose differently. He can say, “No” to the past. I have felt for years that within the parable of The Prodigal Son, six words hold a secret: “And when he came to himself….”. Could this possibly mean, “and when he awoke to his divine nature”, or, “and when he let go of his ego mind”. Oh, to say, “I have come to my ‘Self’, surrendered to Divine will, and forgotten the natural man.”
I could have easily called this piece….”Judge not the wounded soul”.
13″ wide x 3 1/2″ high x 8″ deep
Edition of #30
Painters face the ‘blank canvas’. Sculptors stare at an ’empty mold board’. What to do……
From my last post you’ve noticed I’m beginning an 1890’s, eleven man, football team.
Below is a video of the first draft of head #1. I go over each head 5 + times.
I’m going to let you into the inner sanctum of my approach to sculpting. COMPOSITION is EVERYTHING! A lot of it is instinctual but it has also become a rational decision making process. I’m starting a new mutual-figured piece. 1890’s football team. Having a blast researching it out. If you boil it down to very simple geometric shapes, one could easily make an abstract work of art out of the entire thing. If the composition, balance and design is not there…..I can guarantee you the piece will be weak and people will not connect with it. I’ve learned that people “feel” great composition, rather than see it.
Notice that in the above drawing are two large circles that intersect and create a vesica piscis. MasterCard uses that symbol for their logo.
There are a lot more geometric shapes than I’ve drawn. It’s fun to discover them as I’m sculpting. There are lots of figure eights, large triangles and diamonds.
In the studio. Still a month to go on this bad boy.
I love the fringe side of the old west. Truly, conquistadors roamed the North American continent centuries before a cowboy ever through a loop over a steer.
“For Spain, Glory and Gold”
Below, I included a video with this post. I pray it works, as I would like to include more in future posts.
So, I had the folks at the foundry begin a piece for me. They welded an armature together, put foam over it, trimmed the foam and applied the initial layer of clay. I arrived at the foundry (6 AM) to have them load it on my trailer. I figured it best to drive it to the studio in the cool of the morning. I’m quite certain this piece will be in the clay for about a year before it’s finished. It’s going to be a cowboy riding hell bent for leather on his horse.
I thought it be fun to pull over in Sardine Canyon, south of Logan, and take a picture.
So….. I’m often asked by people, “Do you ever sell the clay sculpture after the mold is made?”
The clay, on the left, is headed to the foundry tomorrow. I thought it’d be fun to show how it will look as a completed bronze, with wood base and cast tag.
￼It’s a funny thing I’ve noticed about myself over the years. Often, when I come up with a concept that I feel strong about, I have to sculpt the subject two or three times to exhaust my mind “off of it”. Otherwise the idea haunts me. Such was the case with this one…..it is my second bookend. I’m finding I may have a third one in me……of a woman in a chair, as a book end (we’ll see).
I tried to upload a video in this post. I’m not sure if it will work or not.
“Rescue” gets a new patina.
At the foundry with my patina man, Kike. Going for the European old school look.