Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's a matter of balance...

 I let this piece rest a bit as I finished up my latest book, "Bully Goat.". I'm glad that I did too. There was something about the piece that wasn't quite what I was looking for and needed the time and distance to mull it. I am trying to achieve the same sanguine feel of "Ascension" but there is a fine line between calm relaxation and stagnation of a pose. I came to the conclusion that the the pose was looking a bit too much like she was levitating instead of rising...there wasn't the balance of dynamic tension that I needed.

So I began to smush, cut, twist and turn until I got a pose that still is sanguine and relaxed, but now has some forward energy. The woman is leaning slightly forward as she ascends and the fabric that will be her support is going to trail backwards, giving a bit more movement.

I'm very glad that I decided to do this maquette (clay sketch) before going to final art, as it gave me the opportunity to practice and work out some problems, which will allow me the pleasure of pure sculpting on the final piece next week! I am going to take "State of Grace" down to my foundry and base shop tomorrow to have them verify that the balance of the sculpt will work in bronze and get some base ideas too. I'll also have the pleasure of picking up my first two finished bronze "Ascension" pieces!

Next, I'll be off to the hardware store to get a few odds and ends to finish up the armature before starting the final 18" version of "State of Grace".

Below is the newer pose with more dynamic tilt to her body and flow of fabric behind her:
Here is the original pose. While I liked how quite and relaxed and in repose she was, I was concerned that the overall feeling was more of stagnant levitation instead of active ascension. What do you think?


  1. what do I think?
    I think .... I think I just wrote a comment on a two year old entry, that's what I think.
    hey... I'm an artist, not a date watcher.
    As it turns out, I commented on the piece on your sidebar (at etsy) at the bottom left hand side.
    The larger woman.
    You had considered the spontaneity lacking in your first construction, and I went on and on about the two sides of that story.
    (looks like I wrote two years too late to alter your attack, but, that's OK because I just like art.
    Even written art. Like the idea of using two/too/to in the same sentence)
    (well, like I said, I'm an artist, too. We're really quite easy to entertain, yes?)

    NICE work!

    Ascension vs. levitation.
    what have you got against levitation?
    In a book (Voodoo, by I don't remember because I read it lifetimes ago) there was a description of a fellow that walked into the office of the author, cane in hand, he put it directly in front of him, and slowly raise first one leg then the second leg, so all that held him up was that single wooden cane.
    The author went to him and walked around him as the man spoke...
    I think, "yes" but then, since reading that passage, I have endeavored to cfeate the effect.
    Pretty exciting...but, it may yet go incomplete.
    I have too many sticks in the fire to be dancing around a magic trick.
    But then, I guess our art IS magic, sometimes, yes?

    Was I meant to come here and write to you?
    I dunno.
    But, my mailing address IS Sheridan.
    Unfortunately, that would be Indiana...not Colorado.
    Oh man oh man. Am I ever jealous!

  2. Interesting thoughts. Agreed, there is nothing wrong with 'levitation' and could be a neat concept/image. However 'levitation', to me, means to stay still, in one place, to hover. And in these two pieces, I wanted to portray a quiet growth, a movement upwards - pulled towards something without apparent effort...in effect a self-portrait of how I feel when I am sculpting. So therefore, 'levitation' wasn't quite what I wanted visually. But now that you mention it, it sounds like something fun to consider for different body of work!

    Thanks so much for your very insightful thoughts!
    (And I hope that things are well after spring storms in Indiana)

  3. Lori.. a masterpiece in the works here.. love the way you handled the hair .. I love the way you've made her look as though she is floating.

    1. Thanks so much, David. I've decided to sculpt this one using the 18" Truform armature. I bought the armature some time ago, but haven't tried it yet. I'm working out how to make the head and arms removable, since they aren't at this smaller size. Maybe use two sizes of square brass tubing and epoxy the larger one to the main skeleton and the smaller one to the appendage bones so that they can come off. That was something I really needed in Ascension, as I built my own armature (first time) and then was stuck trying to sculpt in REALLY awkward and hard to reach places! 18" is a step up in size, but I'm looking forward to the 'room' it will provide to move clay around ;-)

  4. Hi Lori,
    love your avatar photo and your works.
    I am responding to the words which have generated your imagination on these two pieces. I like poetry of the word like boneman: the two/ too /to /thing!
    To ascend the stairs means we move upward under our own physical power. Your titles are tantalisingly Christian, but for all I know you may have a Christian freind who has inspired those.
    When the biblical Christ ascended into the heavens, he is portrayed upright - as he does this by means of his own Godly powers. Your ascension reminded me more of the Dormiton, (translated as "the falling asleep")where his Mother the biblical virgin Mary is assumed upward, but as a human has no power of her own to acheive this.Your sculpt reminded me more of the subjective "falling asleep". And so I found the two provoking yet contradictory.
    Are we meant to feel the woman is powerful despite her apparent physical weakness?
    I wondered if your own understanding of the two had got somehow fused?
    "State of Grace" usually pertains to the state of a soul in spiritual growth. So I like the upward movement like a young sapling bursting through the earth toward the light in this one -mind you - you may have been thinking more of a "state of grace-fullness" which could mean something different again!

  5. Thanks for your powerful and well-spoken insights, Sylvanus! Yes, I am Christian...however I want people draw their own conclusions as to what the sculptures mean to them. My titles give insight into what my heart was saying as I sculpt, however I believe God speaks to everyone in the language (or religion) that they understand....so what a title, or sculpture or movement/pose may mean to me, may mean something else to the viewer.

    I only hope that it means something lovely and spiritual to them and leaves a positive footprint on their heart.