Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daphne continues, a watcher and a snake

I have been working on several proposals for public art opportunities this past week. That has taken some time away from Daphne, but here is some of the progress I have made... When I am carving an area, I mark on it with black china marker or crayon. On the hand I draw the high point of the fingers -it needs to slope off on either side and this helps me to better see the form. I also draw around the knuckles, shading areas that need deeper carving.

On Daphne's right hand I had the center too high, this made the hand look too narrow. Lots of times when carving stone if one area is too large the eye doesn't necessarily read it as too large, it will read adjacent areas as too small. Once I realized what was wrong and lowered that area the hand looked much better.

I have defined the area between Daphne's arm and the tree limb with a die grinder as well as getting a better shape around the hand and thumb. I still need to better define the ends of the fingers.

I define the edge between Daphne's belly and the bark of the tree using a die grinder, then an air sander followed by sanding by hand with 80 grit paper.

I am working Daphne's hair on her right side. I have been getting better movement and deepening shadows with angle grinders and die grinders.

I was working on the sculpture the other day when I could just tell someone was watching me.

I looked up and saw that I was right, I was being watched!

This praying mantis was on the sculpture, watching me so I moved it away so it wouldn't get hurt....

I nearly ran over this snake crossing the drive. I think it is a black rat snake. The day was fairly cool so the snake was pretty sluggish, it didn't give any trouble when I picked it up and set it over in the grass.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Daphne refinement and baby pictures my Nephew has a birthday

I photograph either side of Daphne from the front to check the detail from one side to the other.

This side needs a little more definition and dark shadows in the leaves.

I photograph the sculpture from all angles on a cloudy day to see if I need to darken shadows in any area. I see a few areas that just need the shadows to be a bit deeper.

Don is in the background tweaking a sculpture he has sold.

I found some of Daphnes baby pictures and I thought I'd share. Here she is 11 years ago. She was just started. The fact that she is a willow tree is but one departure from the Daphne myth. She was also born from an elephant. An elephant stone actually. The stone she came from was split from one that became a juvenile elephant holding a stick over his head. That sculpture was commissioned from my first elephant Ely. And it was the man who commissioned the second elephant that put Daphne into my head. He had told me about a painting of Daphne he especially liked and his description of her was so vivid she lived in my mind for a while. I tried to work her out in clay and in sketches but had no luck. Then, one day I happened to look at this stone in just the right way and realized that Daphne was inside.

Another view of Daphne 11 years ago. The sculpture has been carved direct, there has never been a model. I drew the outline on the stone and started there. I have worked small areas of stone away first with air hammers and angle grinders, later with a hammer drill and die grinders. I wanted to have as much movement as possible so I couldn't remove too much stone at once. I would look at it at various times of the day and when I saw an area I thought should be removed I would color in the area with black crayon. It has been a long slow process of getting her to her present state but I am very happy with her.

My nephew, Joe, just had his 6th birthday and celebrated it by hosting a party at 10 Pin Lanes Bowling Alley in Louisville Ky.

There was pizza and cake and then presents and then........
more bowling! It was the first time bowling for most and they all had a lot of fun.
I found this among the leaf litter. Not sure what it is (fungus maybe) but it's really interesting. Each one is about 1/2" across. It looks like tiny eggs in nests and the one on the right looks like the eggs are covered with a blanket of sorts. Strange!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Daphne and a lizard

I am working on Daphne's right arm, shaping the forearm and refining the upper arm. I use a diamond burr on a die grinder to do this. I, then, go back with a pistol grip sander and 12o grit sandpaper. I use the sander on edge to get the area smoothed out, and then, go back and hand sand the area with 80 grit paper. I do this on an overcast day. The even light helps me to see the form on the right side of the sculpture.

I usually go wide of the form. I see the arm needs a little more definition in the forearm. I will work on other areas (leaves, etc.) and come back later with fresh eyes.
This is an area of leaves near the base on Daphne's left. I have been refining the area and adding shadows. Just needs a little work here and there..

I use a die grinder with a mounted stone, to make interesting areas inside the sculpture.

Daphne from the front. I work on her late in the day, so that I can have the even light of an overcast day. This helps me to see the areas of the face and the right side of the sculpture.

I have been working around the base of the sculpture. I am utilizing the existing form in the stone, and changing it here and there to add interest.

Don was moving architectural salvage and found this tiny Fence Lizard. It was a cold morning and it was pretty sluggish, so I held it until it warmed up and ran away...