Wednesday, March 18, 2015

tweaking the lion, more conversation girl, the dancer and lots of rain

I have marked in crayon the areas that need additional definition.  The foot is too flat, I will use a pistol grip sander to take down the stone along the outside and inside, working the sander on edge this will give me a smooth, rounded depression on the outside and inside of the foot and the definition I want.

I have worked the shoulder and leg defining the area around the joint of the leg. I used a grinder to define the shoulder muscle then went back with a pistol grip sander to soften and smooth out the marks left by the grinder.

I have worked out the front foot of the lion and am cutting back some places on the rear leg of the lion I felt were too full.

I realized the lions left eye was just a bit too wide so..

I crayoned in the areas I felt needed work, but just to be sure, I put the photo in adobe photoshop to check changes I need to make, the eye is moved over a little bit, ear trimmed, muzzle thinned a bit, I just realized I didn't clone out the ruff, ah well....

I have been working on Conversation cutting down the hair and the arm...

There has been a lot of rain lately, this is what happens when you cut wet stone, the dust clumps all over it...

I check this water clay piece periodically to make sure he is drying okay.

There has been a lot of rain, which combined with the melting snow has meant flooding.  This is a view of the lower field in front of the house.

This is a house just down the road - that's the Ohio river behind the house.

A hawk

A tree at sunset.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

More snow and cold but spring is not far off...

The snow and cold have kept me inside so I have kept busy with this water clay of dancer Sergei Polonin.  I have also been fascinated by dance and as there are lots of photos and videos online, I thought I'd try my hand at a portrait.  I am going to do a series of small bronze dancers and I will use this as reference for some of the work.
The head and chest were made hollow to begin with, a wood dowel runs the height of the piece to stabilize the head.  After I added hair I realized it was adding a lot of weight and could be an issue so I split open the head and removed the excess clay, filling the void with damp paper towels.  In this photo I have added arms which are supported by pieces of clay and wooden clay tools.

I rearrange the supports as I work using an upside down cup which offered more stability.  I have a second prop under the hand.  I scooped out the clay from the arms by using a wire tool to slice off the tops of the arms stuffed in damp paper towels then put the slices back with slurry and worked strips of clay where the cuts were made.

Now that the arms are lighter and the clay has begun to dry a little and stiffen up I can remove the supports.  The supports left deep marks under the arms which I filled with slurry and clay.

He is almost finished, just a couple of bit of finishing to go.

My  maquette for Earth Dreamer has been drying ...

Pretty soon I will be able to get back to the Lion.  There are a few areas I want to refine and his teeth need to be defined...

There was another snowfall followed by temperatures near zero.

The road was plowed but not much more than one lane.

A tree in the lower field casts its shadow on the snow.

Icicles on the house seem to cage the birds which come to eat the seed I put in the front yard.

A bit of mud trapped in ice.

Ice in the bark of a tree

Finally the snow is melting and temperatures are getting more spring-like.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It's still cold, so.....

We have had a bit of snow and cold lately with more on the way according to the weather forecast.  This is the predator from Predator and Prey peeking out from the snow.  No carving outside when there is this much snow on the ground!
Ice has run down the back of the Lion.

A few icicles but for the most part the lion is not taking weather, except....

There is some precipitation running down the side of the sculpture.  I have not beveled the top enough in to keep rain flowing to the back and away from carved areas.  I need to move the scaffolding back to this side and recut, I haven't been able to remove enough stone by working on top, I need to work from the side so I can better judge how much stone to remove and the angle of the cut.

As I can't work outside I have been working inside on "The Kid" (that's a working title).  I bought shoes so I can more accurately represent The Kids footware.

I make the shoes a little big and carve back the forms.  I am also doing laces instead of Velcro fasteners.

I tip The Kid back to work on the underside of the face, neck, arms, etc.  Amazing how much work I discovered!

I enjoyed making my last clay models so much I decided on another as I am a bit snowbound in the house.  I discovered a video on youtube of Sergei Polunin dancing to "Take me to church" by Hozier.  I have also been fascinated by dance and gymnasts and so decided to try my hand on this portrait of the dancer.  It starts out fairly horrible, I have constructed it in a similar manner to the Earth Dreamer, the head and chest are hollow, filled with damp paper towels, with a wood dowel that runs from the board to the top of the head for stability. 

Better though still fairly horrible.  I am working with reference from the internet.

I move the piece from the computer to the front room and work from memory.  For some reason  I do better (sometimes) working from memory.

I add an arm...

And another arm.  Both arms need a lot of work.  I am using clay as a prop under the left upper arm and a wooden clay working tool and clay as a prop for the upper arm.

With these wintery conditions, I seem to spend half my time feeding birds

A sunflower seed fell into melting ice and refroze.  This is on a partially finished pink marble sculpture.