Tag Archives: create

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.

Be a Renaissance Person

Throughout my life I struggled with the fact that I was curious about everything, had several talents, couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted to focus on as a career (consequently had several throughout the years), learned something about everything and became a “Jack of All Trades” – instead of focusing on one thing and becoming really super good at it.

In the past two years however, I learned to make peace with this “curse”.  I finally understood that it was a good thing to have many interests and talents if one could just manage  to “tame the beast” somehow. For me it was learning to have more discipline which would help me getting through those times when it gets a little harder for a while, just before you go to the next level – if you know what I mean.

I discovered art for myself and found that it seems to be a bottomless well of inspiration on so many levels that it never gets boring. It seems to combine so many areas of expertise and life. There is always something new to learn – mentally, philosophically, historically, even physically (when learning a new skill or technique using my hands). Art involves your intellect and all the senses and is present always and everywhere.

I was happy to find the following blog post and a person who seemed to have “suffered” from the same malaise throughout the past and learned to embrace it. The following is from a blog written by Anthony Mazzocchi. His blog is called You Only Do This Once, Keeping the Learning Curve AliveFor the full length post go here:  http://weonlydothisonce.com/2012/11/03/embracing-a-renaissance-lifestyle-part-1/

Here are some bits and pieces, whenever you see this … I edited content. Please go and read the whole post on Tony’s blog, see above link. Here we go:

I found that a Renaissance person excels in a wide range of subjects. While this title can mean a “jack of all trades”, this derisive term in our modern world implies a master of none; the traditional Renaissance person mastered one and often more subjects while being competent in many others.

Some people now will argue that hundreds of years ago, when the term first came about, the amount of human knowledge was rather small and thus a person could master many fields of knowledge. I believe a modern Renaissance person doesn’t necessarily need to “master” all subjects, but in our age of “specialization” (more on that later), we can strive to be very competent in a range of important subjects.

Don’t you sometimes feel that many of us know something about a very limited number of things in our culture … such as our job training …

Which skills should we focus on in life? I learned that Renaissance men in the 17th century strove to do a few things:

-defend themselves with a variety of weapons
-immerse themselves in the arts (instruments and painting)
-debate politics and philosophy
-advance knowledge and the sciences
-practice as an author and poet

21st Century Goals for our Renaissance person lifestyle should be:

  • Never Stop Learning.  Every day is an opportunity to learn something new or hone an existing skill set.  Don’t let a day pass without learning something new.
  • Learn An Art.  Art comes in many forms; Music, painting, writing, poetry.  Learn to express yourself through an artistic medium somehow.
  • Learn To Build Things.   Learn how things are constructed and how things work mechanically.  If something breaks, try to fix it yourself.  Learn how to use a hammer, drill, and screwdriver.  Build your own bench..start there.
  • Reach High Levels of Physical Ability.  Renaissance men of old were not only great minds, but great bodies as well.  You can simply get out and keep your body in relatively good shape.  How you do that is completely up to you.  Hit the gym on a somewhat regular basis.  Take up hiking or climbing …
  • Learn To Speak Really Well.  While you are at it, learn to speak another language, too.  Learn to be a great communicator and orator.  This is a skill that is quickly becoming extinct.  Learn how to be persuasive and humorous with language.  Learn to write in complete, grammatically correct sentences.  Also, learn to spell, or at least become proficient with the spell-check.  You might have the most interesting and profound things to say, but if they are misspelled or written like a grade-schooler, you will not be taken seriously …
  • Read.  Just read.  Read everything.  Keep reading.  Feed your mind.
  • Learn About The World.  Not just geography.  Learn about the rest of the people in the world.  Learn about the religions and cultural practices in countries other than your own.  While you’re at it, learn about your own country and the religions and cultural practices in it.  Learn to be respectful of and even admire the differences between yourself and the rest of the world.
  • Learn History.   Learn it in a different way than you were taught in school.  Try Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.  One of the more important books ever written.
  • Learn About Politics.  Learn about the different political systems. Read some information written by the founders of other systems as well as your own.  If you think you live within the greatest political system ever created, and that there will never be a better one, you are very likely not thinking broadly enough.
  • Learn To Appreciate Fine Things.   Fine art, fine food, great literature, superb athleticism, a brilliant equation are all examples toward which the renaissance man endeavors.  How will you know how to be great without knowing and appreciating what greatness is?  Learn and appreciate all things excellent, and strive to achieve excellence yourself.

I really like this list and promised myself to strive being a Renaissance Person. I particularly like the last two sentences: “How will you know how to be great without knowing and appreciating what greatness is? Learn and appreciate all things excellent, and strive to achieve excellence yourself.” 

Since I’ve been studying art I had a few humbling moments that taught me what greatness was. For a moment or two it had a discouraging effect on me.  I felt, I’d never be able to be that good so why keep trying.  But that’s not the lesson to be learned here, is it. Thankfully I recovered and – fingers crossed – I am still at it 🙂

LEARN AND APPRECIATE ALL THINGS EXCELLENT, AND STRIVE TO ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE YOURSELF.   NEVER GIVE UP.   DISCOVER & CREATE.

Steal Like an Artist – Happy 2013 !

Steal Like an Artist – 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative is the title of a new book by Austin Kleon.

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Kleon examines and shares inspiring advice on how to make (good) art. 140 pages long, it’s a quick and rewarding read.

In the spirit of this book I wish you a productive and inspired 2013.

As Jane Fonda once said, “you always regret what you didn’t do”. So, go ahead and do it, don’t let anything or anyone discourage you.  Be inspired – discover and create.

HAPPY NEW YEAR !

 

 

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.

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Warrior | Clay, Wire and Wood | November 2012

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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.

 

 

Gesture Drawing

Gesture drawings are usually done very quickly. The exercises we did in class ranged from just 10 seconds to 5 minutes. It’s not about getting technically everything right, one does not necessarily aim for exact proportions and so on, it’s even in your way to think along that line. Gesture drawing is an exercise where it’s helpful to loosen up. It’s more about feeling “things” out, understanding what the subject or object is all about. The speed forces you to let go of thinking too much, decisions have to be made in a split second. However the more skilled you are at drawing – and of course, the more you practice gesture drawing itself – the better your gesture drawings will become. All the hard work will eventually show in those ten seconds. A gesture drawing can be done of pretty much anything, be it a person, a chair, a tree or a coffee cup. It’s all about capturing the essence of the subject/object, the expression frozen in the moment; you might even say it’s an attempt to capture an emotion. Here are a few gesture drawings of people (from class) and chickens (homework). The drawings of the chickens took less than 10 seconds per chicken, the gesture drawings of the models are 5 minute drawings.