Posted on July 21, 2017
The most intense ‘drawing’ experience I have had is when I am carving directly into marble. This piece was done from photos with some simple measurements I took with a set of callipers as a guide (not easy with a baby – generally done while she was asleep!) With marble carving any wrong move would ruin the whole thing and a months work, making it pretty stressful but a great discipline. Because of that pressure I think I improved my ‘looking’. For me drawing is about making a mark, and then checking it, and checking again, and deeply looking at the subject. I even feel that the depth of the looking etches the subjectivity of the artist on the media they are working, be it drawing, painting or sculpture. I don’t know what that subjectivity is but its an emotion, and its possible to embody that emotion in a work of art. Making a sculpture in the round is like doing hundreds of drawings simultaneously. Without drawing, or when the drawing is lacking, the painting’s ruined.
In my experience CUTTING CORNERS with drawing is the biggest waste of time and I have probably wasted YEARS of my life throwing good after bad in paintings, going over and over attempting corrections when all the effort could have been saved with earlier checks. Its the ultimate false economy..
‘Drawing includes three and a half quarters of the content of painting… Drawing contains everything, except the hue’. (Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres) from Art Quotes
Posted on May 2, 2013
Dawn by William Reid Dick
I like this carving of a sleeping child, and the neat wrapping of the head with folds of fabric. The stone is given a nice fleshy quality and the carving feels as if its been done so tenderly, as the artist literally felt his way around and over the folds of the child’s head. The contrast with the base highlights the beautiful smoothness of the marble’s surface. Stone made into flesh. I don’t know if the title is the name of the sculptor’s daughter or alluding to new life.
Posted on April 21, 2013
Alice’ carved in Carrara Marble. 20x25x20cm. The sculpture is created from photos – One master photo, and then others to guide the 3D form. When someone smiles the cheeks get pulled up, they then narrow the eyes, the ears get pulled a bit, the neck creases.. All these things need to be pulled together at the same time to create the piece. Working in stone always makes me think of a Nichiren Buddhist quote: ‘It is like the case of a fishing net: though the net is composed of innumerable small meshes,when one pulls on the main cord of the net, thereare no meshes that do not move. Or it is like a garment: though the garment is composed of countless tiny threads, when one pulls on a corner of the garment, there are no threads that are not drawn along.’ The 2 milk teeth were fun to carve, but I need to get some really small chisels to carve inside the mouth
Posted on April 21, 2013
Working on ‘Alice’ – Usually I’m wearing a huge mask, and you can see I’m being showered with little chips of stone in a dust cloud. I use a nylon mallet, which shouldn’t be so misshapen, but for some abuse with the wrong chisels. Hammer headed chisels have a very small end to them which leaves dents in the mallet when you are really hitting it. Mallet headed ones are best but this mallet has served me well for 23 years and has a few more million hits in it yet (as long as the handle holds out)!