FINALLY – – I’M BACK! • • April 14, 2017
At last, I’m back in my own studio, slipping around in my ink slinging and trying to find new traction! My mark making has turned shockingly raw and chaotic. Geez. It’ll be a bit before I show you anything from the past week’s effort. I don’t know what to think – my brain must catch up to my hands, even as I press on.
Soon enough, LOTS of new stuff will begin appearing on my website! In fact, I hope it’ll be a kind of continual avalanche. Right now though, I want to show you what took me away from my own work for 6 weeks!
A dear friend of mine, Joe DeVito (he is a truly fine artist and sculptor), found himself facing conflicting deadlines which is rough, especially since he needed the income. Thus, I was contracted to refine and finish his commissioned piece for the Catholic Church. This was a looooooong way away from my current creative pursuit, but I once was a sculptor too, so in about a blink I found myself reworking and grinding away on the Holy Mother and Baby Jesus!
My first photo is of Mary and Little Jesus finished, and just out of the van after delivery two Sundays ago. I’m on the left and Joe is the one with paint on his clothes. Have you noticed that most of my clothes are black? The ink spots don’t show! I have known Joe for almost 40 years – it’s an incredible and very dear friendship.
Here is Mary’s face as I began work on it – I had to rebuild the whole right side, because the casting was badly distorted! I also needed to soften the details of Mary’s face, so she had a more gentle and accepting appearance. All told, quite the challenge.
She is almost done in this next view. Her right cheek, dimple and jawline are fine, smooth and elegant. Notice how her eye brows, the creases in here eyelids and the edges of her lips are also much more understated.
And here is little Jesus almost finished, although I still had to re-carve his toes, as well as the dove he is holding.
There were so many defects and stress cracks caused by mold degradation and the uneven curing of the casting material. And there were thousands of bubbles that had to be filled. My sweet Reidun even pitched in (you can see her in the background patching away). Without her huge contribution, we would never have met the deadline.
Patching and sanding, and more patching and sanding – it seemed never ending for awhile. The folds in Mary’s robe were quite lovely once final sanding was completed. In this view (below), things are well along:
I especially like how Mary’s foot turned out – I completely re-carved it (the photo was taken before patching, so her toes have lots of bubbles). This sculpture will be on an elevated base. Many who pray will grasp that foot, so I gave it special care.
And here we are at the end of our short tour. Once this piece is painted and sealed (it will remain a warm white), it’s going to a large church in Fort Meyers, Florida. Installation is planned for early next month.
The whole project took more than three times what I thought it would. That’s fine. This lovely, moving work by my friend will be a focus of faith for generations. That required respect, and my best effort.