Category Archives: sculpture

Change is the Only Constant

Hello Everyone!  It’s been a while since I have last posted. Life caught up with me and a lot has happened: personally, professionally, geographically – really complex changes – yet, this is not the place nor the time to talk about it. It goes without saying, that it’s stressful while you are in the midst of things (hence no posts), but at the end of every tunnel is usually light and I made it to the other side and came out just fine – if not better. So, no worries. I’m back and here comes my next post:

Here are a few pictures of a sculpture (a work in progress at the time) that unfortunately did not survive my last move – that’s life.  As a wise man once said:

“Everything flows, nothing remains.”Heraclitus of Ephesus


Sometimes when I photograph my work I see it differently. Mainly it helps me to see “mistakes” that I hadn’t seen with the naked eye. For example, in the following pictures I noticed that her forehead seems too flat and the arms seem not quite proportional.   Have you noticed it too, that photos help you to see your art differently?

Drum Roll Please

It’s award season, no doubt.  First the Liebster blogging award and now this.   😀

Remember my post from June 12th?  I announced the Best of Gage show here in Seattle and that I had submitted a sculpture – and wooaaahhhh – I WON – 3rd place (sculpture category).

He’s only the 4th sculpture I’ve ever done and my first cat, so I am especially pleased and happy. Here are a few pictures of the winner.


On the Prowl | Ceramic | 2012

DSC_0146 DSC_0145  DSC_0151 DSC_0152 DSC_0155

Seattle – Best of Gage 2013

To everyone who lives in the Seattle area:

Please join us this Friday, June 14th from 6 pm to 9 pm to celebrate the Best of Gage, showcasing drawings, paintings and sculptures by Gage student artists – at Gage Academy of Art in Capitol Hill.  There will be drinks and snacks.  Awards are given in seven categories.  I have submitted a sculptures this year, my first time, wish me luck   🙂

Here a link with details:

Last year about 600 people visited the event.

Hope you will drop by and enjoy some art.

Double the Fun

One homework assignment in Foundation Sculpture was to sculpt a bell pepper. Now, that sounds boring – or so I thought. The twist was that we had to double it in size in the process and for an extra kick it was encouraged to find a bell pepper that had especially “sexy” and complex curves.

Unfortunately I did not get a photo of the original bell pepper. These little buggers spoil pretty fast. I was very busy sculpting and forgot to get a photo at the time. So, to give you an idea how large it is I put a regular size pen right next to the sculpture. It is a pretty amazing experience how doubling a 3D object turns out. Just by looking at my original pepper, I did not expect the sculpture to be so massive.

Also, sculpting a bell pepper is much more challenging than one would think. There’s no rule to all these curves and little “hills” and “valleys” and the object is much stranger than we think it is. Of course we see bell peppers all the time in daily life but have you really looked at the intricacies of one? I mean, really looked and thought about them?

Doubling it in size makes copying the object even harder. There’s a lot to compute and it’s quite a workout for your powers of observation. If you are interested in learning to sculpt and have never done this exercise, I strongly encourage you to do so – it’s much more interesting and educational than you would think.


I worked in water based clay, the sculpture is roughly 13″ in length, 4.5″ at the widest point and 3.5″ at the highest point.


It turns out that the shapes of a pepper can be very similar to those of the human body. Somehow it does look sexy.   🙂


Mein Liebster

I – or rather my blog – got nominated for the Liebster Award. THANK YOU charcoalblue for nominating me. The whole thing caught me completely by surprise. I am still somewhat at a lack of words and it took me a few days to gather my thoughts.

liebster award

I have never been nominated for anything and I certainly did not expect to receive an award for my blog.  As I explain on my “about” page, I started this blog to document my journey into fine arts.  Writing about it for everyone to see was initially more of a psychological trick that I played on myself.  As Simone (charcoalblue) writes in one of her posts, I too have a relationship with Procrastin Ation (he seems to get around, the dog) and I thought making “things” public would help me stay focused.  In a way it did.  I still enjoy discovering fine arts in general and fell in love with sculpture in particular, just finishing my first year of a sculpting foundation program at Gage.  So, I feel especially honored that Simone named as her reason to nominate my blog, “Jutta has some beautiful art but I particularly love the sculptures.”  Thank you again, Simone.  Your kind words are encouraging and most appreciated.

Reading Simone’s blog it seems we have a few things in common; a love for learning and drawing for example.  Her drawings are beautiful.  I am not saying this to flatter, the drawing of the nude is so very sensual, emotional in a way, and the sleeve drawing shows a great deal of skill.  Seeing her art makes the Liebster Award that she sent my way all the more meaningful to me.

Now, there’s work to be done in order to really “own” this award and pass it on to others. It took some searching … and thinking … and editing … but I did it.  Here we go:

The First Step for the Liebster Award is to tell 11 things about yourself.

1.  Since everyone seems to start with a food related revelation – I have a soft spot for ice cream.  My dad and I bonded over eating tons of delicious ice cream when I was little. Unfortunately I can’t do this any more because over the years things have changed and …

2.   … I am now dairy intolerant – one more thing Simone and I have in common, it seems.

3.  As some might have gathered from my name, I’m originally from Germany.

BTW “liebster” is a German word and in this context it means “my dearest” or “favorite” – mein liebster Blog = my favorite blog.  I did some research and it seems the award was created by a German blogger a few years back.

4.  I have brown eyes.

5.  I am the youngest of five children. My oldest sister is 16 years older than I.

6.  I really don’t like shopping, especially shopping for cloths.

7.  One exception: I like shopping for shoes, especially those I really don’t need or that I will most likely never wear because the heels are too high and/or they are way too dressy for (my) daily life. I used to buy shoes just because I loved them so much. I took them home, never wore them, just looked at them once in a while. Hell, I have a book subtitled A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers & More. Thank goodness I got older and wiser. Now, I look at them, try them on and put them back on the shelf.

8.  I love the sound of the piano.

9.  A few years back I studied voice and sang at Tula’s Jazz Club in Seattle a couple of times – it was great fun.

10.  I love going to the movies, especially during the day and when the theater is empty.

11.  I was super fascinated with Star Trek (the original with William Shatner) as a child, in particular the sounds they came up with (for doors opening, beaming, ring tones and so on). I used my mom’s powder box as a speaking device and pretended I was Lieutenant Uhura on a mission. BTW, isn’t it fantastic that their communication device looked just like a flip phone, they basically foresaw the cell phone.

The Second Step for the Liebster Award is to answer the 11 questions asked by the nominating blogger.

1.  What is a fond childhood memory?

It is summer. I am about 5 years old. I lounge in an oval tin laundry tub filled with water in our yard under a tree.  My lower legs and arms are hanging over the rim of the tub and my head is tilted back. The water is pleasantly warm (my mom had heated water for me and added it to the cold water that I had filled in with the hose). I stare up into the branches, watching the sun glare through the leaves – and time stands still.

2.  Your favourite movie?

I don’t have one favorite movie. There are so many great movies. Three that would be certainly in my top ten are:

  • Gosford Park – simply delicious.
  • The Godfather Trilogy (wait, that’s three already) – brilliant on so many levels.
  • Forest Gump – simply for Tom Hanks outstanding acting. He did not have one single tiny moment where he was not 100% in character in the whole movie, he was just unbelievable.

3.  If you could do/be anything – what would it be?

I really don’t know. It’s been my big dilemma throughout my life that I just can’t make up my mind what I want to be or permanently do. As a result I’ve studied several different subjects and worked in at least three different fields in the past years.

4.  Most common item you buy that is under $10.00

I’ll have to say “food”. Lunch, to be more precise. Since my kids have moved out and my husband is usually not home during the day I treat myself almost every day to lunch. Nothing fancy though. I usually stop by Whole Foods and eat something from the hot bar – love their mango something sauce – that over rice, veggies and a little bit of chicken, mmhhh… healthy, yummie and always way below $10.

5.  Something that annoys you.

Sometimes when I chat with my son (on the computer) he gets side tracked (checking other things on the computer at the same time) and spaces out for a few moments. Then when I stop “talking” there is this “silence” which seems to last an eternity until he notices and responds – drives me nuts.

6.  Something that gives you pleasure.

Sneaky question.  I’ll have to go with the harmless answer – chocolate.

7.  Find your self daydreaming about ….

… the usual; sunny beaches, tons of money and what I would do with it, the unbearable lightness of being …

… mostly though, I am pretty content with my real life; we don’t starve, have clean water, a warm bed at night, cloths on our backs … do I have to keep going?

8.  Where do you get your ideas for your posts?

From my own day to day interaction with art, art students, teachers and artists – gaining new skills, making art, reading about art etc.

9.  Which do you enjoy most, pondering the possibilities or narrowing down the options?

Narrowing down the options – seems more productive and brings one closer to a decision.

10.  Favourite novel?

Again, I don’t have one favorite. There are so many good books and I usually like them for different reasons, two that I thought of right away are:

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker – I was not only fascinated by the story (it was not really what I expected) but also by Stokers writing, choice of words and the format; it’s told as a series of letters, diary entries and so on.
  • Ender’s Game – really well written story, enthralling with a great twist.

11.  Advice for a mum who will one day have 3 teenage sons – at the same time?

I raised two boys, now 21 and 23 years old. It was not always a pleasure cruise and it does not get easier when they get older, sorry. However, to use a short dialogue from “Shakespeare in Love”:

  • Philip Henslowe:  “… The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.”
  • Hugh Fennyman: “So what do we do?”
  • Philip Henslowe: “Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.”
  • Hugh Fennyman: “How?”
  • Philip Henslowe: “I don’t know. It’s a mystery.”

No, seriously – one way or the other it’ll all turn out well in the end. Here are some of my thoughts – mostly in hindsight, which is always 20/20, right?

  • Make a point of enjoying your kids (with open eyes) every day. In the midst of everything it’s all too easy to forget to “stop and smell the roses”.
  • Be in the moment and spend quality time with each one for at least a short time every day (e.g. the famous reading before bed time or just listening to their thoughts, you know). A focused short time means usually more than hours of “half attention”.
  • Try to get to know them as the unique beings that they are.
  • Good parents listen, the others preach.
  • Now that might sound stereotypical or cheesy but the bottom line is; if your kids feel loved and trusted unconditionally as well as understood when it’s crucial (which does not mean that you have to agree or condone) they will keep the conversation going.
  • And when they get older and once in a while seem monstrous and unrecognizable, take a deep breath and remember that these are the same kids you posted all these cute snapshots about – everything will turn out well in the end.

The Third Step for the Liebster Award is to nominate 11 bloggers with relatively few (less than 200) followers.

Here are my nominees, in no particular order:

jakobkielland – he is on a “Lunch Wrapping Art Quest” (his words), great idea. He makes me smile. I hope this award will encourage him to keep going, I want to see more of your creative wraps, Jakob.

Lady of the Cakes – what can I say, I just like her blog; it’s a mix of very interesting info (mostly about food), multicultural insights, good photos – very enjoyable.

taralynjaiyeola – Tara is a very talented artist, her illustrations are funny and touching – see also her website

BLUEBRIGHTLY – is one of those rare combinations of beautiful photography and really good writing. I can’t decide which I like better, the writing or the photos. Lynn’s posts are beautiful, thoughtful, informative, relaxing … but never boring or meaningless.

Eva Tenter, Power of Positive Thoughts – her blog is authentic and inspiring.

Amanda’s Work in Progress – Amanda is a fellow student at Gage – so, I know her work first hand. She is a dedicated artist with a fine eye for detail and I appreciate her knowledgeable insights.

Tres Marias – a photography blog by three sisters ranging in age from 8 to 21 – what a cool idea. Their photos are unpretentious and very well done. Looking at the snapshot of the three (see “about” page) one can see a lot of love and happiness and I really appreciate that they let me into their world.

darcytozier and the anatomy of living – Darcy is an artist and teacher. I am very impressed with her felt sculptures, fascinating work.

ARTSTORMER – Now, this blog has more than 200 followers but still not so outrageously many that I think it’s okay to include her, I had to. Betsy finds the most fascinating art and blogs about it. Her posts are informative and inspiring. I love this blog.

Stereoskop – nominating this blog is bringing the Liebster award “home”. Julius is a 20 year old Germanics student (in Vienna) and an aspiring journalist. His professional resume is quite impressive already and I hope this nomination will encourage him to keep writing his blog.

ALANALA – Alan is self-taught (his words), I admire that. He mainly focuses on street photography in Hong Kong. One day I will travel there. For now, Alan gives me a glimpse into another world through his fascinating photos, thanks Alan.

The Fourth Step for the Liebster Award is to ask your nominees 11 questions:

1.  Do you play an instrument?  If yes, which one?

2.  It is quite possible that some company will offer commercial flights into outer space (or to the moon) within our life time. If you had the money would you do it?

3.  What sound or noise do you find pleasant?

4.  Do you cry at weddings?

5.  Restrictions aside, where would you rather live, big city or countryside? Why?

6.  Which other language than your mother tongue would you like to speak? Why?

7.  What profession would you absolutely not want to pursue?

8.  What makes you laugh?

9.  Do you have a bucket list? If not, have you thought of writing one? Name one thing that would be on it.

10.  Why do you think you have to tell 11 things about yourself, answer 11 questions, nominate 11 blogs and come up with 11 new questions for this award?  Isn’t 11 a rather strange number – and may be just a tad 🙂 excessive?  I asked myself that question but could not come up with an useful answer.  My hope is, that you can.

11.  What is your present state of mind?

Headless Beauty

My second attempt at sculpting the female body.  I focused on the torso and legs – so, she has no arms or head.  Sometimes one has to make a choice.   😉

Please click on thumbnail to enlarge.

Wire and Clay (Warrior)

Remember the post Gesture Sculpting from November 18th. I posted pictures of little wire sculptures. I made them to capture the gesture of the model in 3D. Now here is an additional way to work with them. Tack (use staple gun) the wire man down on a piece of wood so it can’t fall over and add clay around the wire. It’s an easy (you already have the gesture – which is a lot) and quick way (we had about an hour in class) to create a more defined sculpture.

Looking at it now, I’m fascinated with the contrast/combination of (the now rusted) wire and clay. I like the unfinished slightly unproportional look, the dried cracked clay – all of that gives it a raw almost surreal look. I named the sculpture “Warrior”, somehow it has that feel to me – well, you decide for yourself.


Warrior | Clay, Wire and Wood | November 2012






Gesture Sculpting

You remember the post before the last one where I was talking about gesture drawing, how to do it and why. The principle can be used in sculpting as well. All you need is wire.

You make little figures – we made them about 16 inches tall – and then you can “gesture sculpt”. At school we had a live model and every gesture took about 5 to 15 minutes. It takes a little longer than gesture drawing because you have to bend and shape using pliers. As always, with time and practice it becomes easier and the wire sculptures get more complex and expressive.

The added dimension (working in 3D) makes you think much more about the directions that the body parts go, the tilts and twists a body can show. Note in the following picture how the pelvis tilts to the left while the shoulders stay straight.

It’s fascinating how much information one can capture. Is it a relaxed or tense pose? Which way does he look?

When they stand on their own it means you really found the line of gravity that goes through the body – which sounds easier than it is, trying to be fast and accurate at the same time.

And here the whole gang.


First Sculpture

I took a short sculpting class over the summer. I chose Intro to Figure Sculpture with Mike Magrath at Gage Academy. The pictures show my very first sculpture produced during the five week class (15 hours). It’s far from perfect but I’m really fascinated with sculpting. It’s a very complex and captivating process – and still so much to learn.

Women Sitting | Clay | 2012

Her face looks a little bit like a figure from Avatar 🙂 unintentional of course, it’s only roughed in. So are hands and feet, for lack of time/skill at the time. I was very busy just getting her posture right – as I said, it’s a very complex process.

I like her back the best.

Enjoying the view.

Portrait – Drawing and Sculpting (Mouth)

On June 26th and 27th I posted sculptures of the nose and ear. Here comes the mouth.

As a reminder: the purpose of sculpting parts of the face (in this exercise) is to understand their shape better – the plane breaks, the volume, the relationships of the parts of the face to each other – consequently it helps to become better at drawing (the face). In addition one can practice drawing from the sculptures – drawing from a 3-D model – e.g. the following photos show how the shape of the mouth can create shadows on the face, it also shows the “hills” and “valleys” of this part of the face quite well. You could also draw the feature from different angles – e.g. practicing drawing a foreshortened view etc.

The following photo shows well that it’s really only a sculpture of the mouth. Neighboring features of the mouth are only developed as much as necessary to understand the relationship hence the nose in this sculpture is really a rather undefined lump of plasticine serving as the “boarder” to the north (casting a shadow) and showing that the philtrum groove of the mouth connects to the nose – although it doesn’t show the details of how exactly it connects to the nose as this information is not needed for drawing the mouth.