project something, day 7 – 1 week down

oh man, there is never enough time. one week into the 4 weeks, and fumbling my way to knowing who this person is.

i get overly philosophical sometimes – there is something about squishing clay that lets my mind wander free and it is far more presumptions than i am in real life. but i discovered this person didn’t seem to have eyes which started me thinking about a blind sword fighter as a metaphor for life – and i really liked that – grace, alertness, and never able to see what is about to clobber him… so started with just leaving the eye area blank, then gave him a blindfold, and now i’m playing with a hood like falconers put on hawks and falcons. no telling if he will keep it for the whole month, but i like it for right now. got to figure out how to braid 7 or 9 strands correctly though…. or fake it better.

the armature is really in the way to work on the back of him, or to take pictures in the round, so i may take it off now. not sure how sturdy he is.

blind sword dancer

blind sword dancer

blind sword dancer

project something – day 3

I’m starting to like this guy – about 20″ tall if standing upright – and i’m starting to see a chinese dragon – or an insect like dragon that he is fighting.

thinking a bit about some overthetop gothic leather and buckles clothing – maybe —— saw some outrageous half-corset black leather things that had no practicality at all….. or maybe he needs some variant on chinese clothing? simpler to leave him nude – but what kind of idiot goes to fight a dragon nude?
chinese sword fighter in chavant nsp medium

chinese sword fighter in chavant nsp medium

chinese sword fighter in chavant nsp medium

looking for an ADD sculptors group — Project Something, day2

or should it be ADHD? my family is dyslexic. And half of it is obsessive/compulsive. which is what i need some of but didn’t get any….. i can’t seem to stay focused on a sculpt for long enough!!

I think that maybe i just need to give myself a week between projects to just play around and do quick sculpts and then decide which one i want to develop. except i’ve spent so much on clay the last few months, and each of these use up so much. i’ll have to get better at just tearing things apart and reusing the clay.

So this particular sculpt seems to have captured my fickle interest, and i’ll try to stick with it and give it a month. (I hope)

working from a picture of a Chinese sword fighter – he looks rather insectoid to me. we’ll see what happens. needs his proportions worked on most definitely.

sword fighter

sword fighter

sword fighter

sword fighter

project 3 – day 2 – maybe?

I carefully set up a nice classical male stance armature, and started laying on clay. had all kinds of fits with the armature – I desperately need more practice and knowledge there…. just couldn’t get enthused with the piece at all. Have been really down for a number of weeks – did a terrible job at a workshop, and missed a chance to connect with someone i really respect – came away knowing i really showed my dork side. I wish i was all cool and darkly strange – but i’m really truly am just a dork. found myself setting up another armature and laying in clay for this little baby – she makes me smile. i don’t know if its possible to make her be anything but dorky too, but maybe thats what i need right now – a little honesty in sculpting?

chavant 2face baby

chavant 2face baby

chavant 2face baby

chavant 2face baby

chavant 2face baby

chavant 2face baby

month end for project 2

interesting process. I ended up liking the sculpt quite a bit (and hating it quite a bit too). every time i took photos i would find so many more things that needed to be worked on. but its the end of 1 month – so i need to mostly set her aside and start working seriously on the next project.

biggest things i learned –
1. i like having lines of flow – watching the way limbs lead to the body and such…
2. i am really bad at armatures.
3. still don’t know how to finish off the sculpt – how to make the surface look finished, and the way i want it. don’t want it to be perfectly smooth – but not sure how to give textures that look intentional in all areas.
4. anatomy is fun – but easy to mess up. muscles on her arms for example – still not right. but better
5. need to learn how to make tiny bits (like fingers) stronger – tired of knocking her fingers and toes off all the time.

here is a sort of 360 of her, sure shows up a lot that needs to be done.

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

project 2 month end photo

Project 2 day 14

I’m torn between kind of liking how she is turning out, and being terrified because her month is half up and every time i work on her, more things need to be done.

worked a lot on her back and arms (I think her elbows are off by about 20 degrees each!) but not ready for pics. Also started playing with detailing her abdomen – even though her feet are way behind. bad thing to do! this keeping her all at about the same level is hard. trying to give her just a hint of a 6pack but it is too even right now, as are the ribs – no serratus anterior in place yet – and hardly any latissimus dorsi showing wrapping around.
day 14 reclining lady

project 2 day 11, project 4 day 1

ok back on project 2 a little – definitely helped to step away for a few days – but time is passing so quickly. Rebuilt her face – not so lopsided. this next week i have to work on her back and hands. build up her arms a bit more too.

started thinking about a raised dragon tattoo on her back…. not sure i can work that small/finely. but maybe if i work on cleaning up her back while i think about it, at least i’ll get her back done!

a little clean up on the reclining lady
a little clean up on the reclining lady
a little clean up on the reclining lady
a little clean up on the reclining lady

worked on the armature for the other sculpt – that was a disaster! i need to learn to make sturdy, non wiggly armatures. trying to use the nsp medium clay, and after working with the nsp hard it seems terribly soft.

was thinking about falling – got to imagining a 2nd figure below her, its curves echoing hers – not sure if it is human or not yet…

falling lady

falling lady

falling lady

adding 2 new projects

i’ve got a couple of issues that keep me from being a good sculptor.

1. I have no idea how to finish a piece. once i’ve got a line that i like, or a mood – i tend to just drop the piece and move on. I really need to work on my skills at bringing the entire sculpt to the same level, and truly finish it.

2. I have no belief in myself as a sculptor. I love pushing clay, making shapes – i can’t seem to not do it. totally a part of life like breathing. but each piece is a race between the part of me that loves bringing the shape into existence, and the part that asks who i’m trying to fool – why am i wasting good money on clay and wasting time that could be used for useful things, making sculpts that aren’t worth it.

so i don’t finish much, and toss a lot. the 2 issues feed each other – if i never finish a piece, it doesn’t have to be judged by other folk, and i won’t have to admit its not very good.

part of my problem is lack of realistic goals. I really admire graceful, gentle, beauty. in classical sculptors – I would love to have some portion of Bernini’s ability to engage you and pull you in. But those aren’t my skills. I need to accept that . I need to figure out what my strengths are, and work on making the most of them, even if they aren’t strengths that i want or admire in other peoples’ work.

i think i’m back to thinking there should be a 12 step program for artists. one that has you admit you have a problem, then gives you steps to work on dealing with it.

so all the blithering aside — i’m kind of stumped on the reclining woman – and want to give her a day or 2 to ferment and hope i figure out what to do next. I started another armature last night and hope to start claying it tonight – and meanwhile – have a household project of plastering walls that is requiring i clean out 2 spare rooms that i’ve got random stuff stashed in. found a cat i started awhile back and decided it was worth trying to work on some more. the clay is sculpture house’s non-sulfured plastilina (oil-based) and its really soft. if nothing else, it will give me some practice in working with sticky clay.

cat slink

cat slink

Project 2 Day 6

got to work on an attitude adjustment! between work being difficult, and needing to do house and yard work, i’m in a foul mood lately. I have a slight (ahem) problem with getting rid of stuff. and right now we are going thru all the rooms in the house and the garage, and the attic, and discarding stuff so i huff around the house being surly. add on that we are going to be plastering 2 rooms so everything in those rooms that can’t be stashed in closets is being moved to the room i’m using as a workroom, and boy am i grouchy.

oh well.

got a few hours to work on this piece. meant to start another armature and didn’t get to it – maybe tonight. really need to work on this one’s face – she is starting to look disturbingly Nefertiti-ish. Forest Rogers sent me a link to a magazine with these incredible lace ruffs – so got to wondering how this one would look with one on. The thing is, with it on, i get this disturbing feeling i’ve seen an image somewhere, some time, sort of like this. The perpetual problem of sculpting – trying to be certain that i don’t inadvertently use other people’s ideas…

oh well – got to think about it. would want the lace to be very delicate and lace like, and how in the world would you cast something like that?

reclining lady with partial neck ruff

reclining lady with partial neck ruff

reclining lady with partial neck ruff

reclining lady with partial neck ruff

project 2 day 4

rough week at work. and so has all kinds of household projects we need to work on. excuses, excuses….

pulled her head off, lengthened her neck, roughed in a slightly larger head (needs to be more delicate) and roughed in her other arm and hand.

need to do better light. not really sure where i’m going with her still – very tempted to start another project but don’t know if its because i want an excuse not to have to figure out how to finish her, or because i legitimately need to just set her aside to simmer for awhile.

might start another armature this weekend and have 2 going at the same time?

day 4 of project 2 - chavant reclining female

day 4 of project 2 - chavant reclining female

day 4 of project 2 - chavant reclining female