Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ten minutes of looking....

The first ten minutes of work....I hate waiting and when I see a problem I want to jump in and fix it immediately. 

Or if an area isn't as finished as the rest....but waiting ten long minutes to assess everything as a whole is important work. 

So ten LOoooooong minutes before picking up the clay, tool or brush is time well spent.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sculpting Sacagawea

I've been posting to my webpage blog and forgetting to post here too. So I'll combine a few of my web posts for you here.
Started sculpting Native American Sacagawea in Clayette Soft. This is a really creamy and buttery clay that I would recommend for larger and looser works. I didn't intend to finish this and thought it would be a quick study but I ended up liking it so continued. I feel the clay is far too soft for detailed work this small. In fact I ended up switching to Jmac medium and hard for the dress and purse details because Clayette soft was simply too soft for this.

That said, I really do like the clay a lot. Perhaps medium would have been a better choice for me but I now have a lot of soft on hand. So my next sculpt will be large so I can use it as it was intended.

I really wanted this sculpture to be about putting myself in Sacagawea's place and feeling what she may have felt. If you remember your history, she was abducted from her Northwest Coastal tribe when a young girl by the Sioux and taken east as a captive. She was eventually married to a French Trapper and just before beginning her adventures with her husband and Lewis and Clark, she had her baby, Pompy.

So I wanted to capture her expression as she came to realize she was finally home. Surely she felt apprehension, anxiety, hopefulness and happiness all at once. She did, indeed meet with her brother and by accounts it was a joyful reunion.

The working title for this piece is "Do you know me still?"

Friday, April 1, 2016

Starting a horse sculpture

Because I won First Place and Purchase Award with "Eleanor" at the Scottsdale Artists' School Best & Brightest Show this year, I received a scholarship to the school for a workshop.

This year I had decided that I wanted to branch out from purely portrait and figurative works to include animals and wildlife. It's always a good idea to try to learn and be exposed to new techniques and styles whenever possible too.

With that in mind, I chose a horse sculpting workshop by Rod Zullo. It featured new techniques in armature building, making a portable sculpting stand to take on location and sculpting using silhouette.

He recommends Jmac Clay in brown but as I had a lot of Jmac Tan in stock, I chose to use that instead. The bonus was that the cream color of the tan didn't absorb the Arizona heat like the dark brown clay does, so my work didn't melt and sag in the heat like the other clay. Happy accident. I simply like the lighter clay because it is easier on my eyes.

We started by building a simple but sturdy armature and then went on location for observing and sculpting horses from life. We were very fortunate to go to a lovely estate with some world-class horses to sculpt from.

After blocking in a simple straight silhouette form of the horse we selected a pose of our choosing and went to work fleshing out the work. While the photos may make the work look larger, this piece is about 22" long, I think. It is currently being crated and shipped from Scottsdale to my studio in Fort Collins so I can continue working on it soon.