Sunday, May 24, 2015

#96, Remembering dad

I posted this sculpture titled "Remembering" a year or so ago while it was being cast, but this statue has significant meaning to me as it was my father's favorite sculpture of mine as it portrays a US Marine, my father was a Marine. It was the reason he came to CO in the fall of 2013, as we had planned on installing the sculpture together, driving to Nebraska, however the project wasn't finished in the time he was in Colorado so we could not drive out together. 

On April 30, 2015 I sold a second casting of this statue and a few hours later David J. Betti suddenly passed away while walking his dog Sarge. It was a day of a high and a low, to both extremes, and a day that I will never forget. "Remembering" will forever remind me of dad.

#95, Natalie relief

Natalie, 20" height

What I'm after when I sculpt relief portraiture are not just interesting forms and compositions, but capturing the essence of a model through pose. I usually have the model take many poses before something strikes me. I can never pinpoint what it is that I'm after so modeling sessions are usually haphazard. But I think this is the way to approach it as I believe this is how I get to really "see" what it is I'm after. I don't usually come to the table with an idea I would like to express. It's more like "let's try this" and see where it takes us.

I think this portrait of Natalie works well because it makes use of dynamic angles which leads your eye around the relief. Her bent legs and arm, slight turn of the head create a zig zag that keeps your eye inside the piece. Then when you are ready to leave you follow the pointed foot to direct you to the exit. Generally, successful art has this composition. A place for your eye to travel within the artwork, some interesting stops, but not too many or you'll get overwhelmed (as the critical Emperor pointed out to Mozart in the movie Amadeus: "there are only so many notes the ear can hear in the course of an evening").