Congrats, you found my “Back 40”

Things may come and go here, like a messy desk where I put things I’m not sure what to do with yet, or that I just need temporarily.

It's great to see a piece finished, but there are intimate little enjoyments along the way too, such as these fine tiny spirals of leather hard clay (from shaping Reprieve's ears). They're about 1/8" to 1/4" across.
One of the quick clay sketches I made during a portrait workshop taught by Philippe Faraut

Notes from 2007:

— Think more in terms of planes. Don’t “round” everything.

— Use clay tools (esp. ribs) for finish strokes in addition to my hands…especially on larger work where fingers don’t make broad enough marks for the increased scale. Sculpt “painterly.”

— Do millions of maquettes. (Start with simple stick figure to decide on gesture, then lay on muscles, mass in belly, head etc. to support the aim of the gesture.)

— If my work looks “stubby” or awkward, keep working with it until it doesn’t. Start all over again from maquettes if necessary, until flow and balance are achieved. Work for a good profile line to start with, refine from there.

— Continue to develop focus, determination, resolve, workmanlike habits, positive attitude…challenge myself, believe in myself. Get invested in each piece. Commit.

— Strive to develop something unique; something I can put my “signature” on.

— Develop finishing strokes that look confident and fluid. Resist the urge to smooth everything, resist going back and refining too much of the piece–leave it fresh.

— Never give up. Don’t give in to discouragement; instead, consciously convert any negative energy into positive energy, and apply it to proactive, sustained, hard work at improving my artistic abilities.

— Waste no time. Invest every minute possible in bettering myself as a sculptor. Withdraw from non-essential commitments; minimize time spent on chores, cleaning, computer, yard etc.

— Sculpt, sculpt, sculpt. Keep at it until I’m satisfied. Discard and start over as needed. Know that even “successful” artists struggle…it’s not just me…and it would greatly benefit me to learn how *not* to get mired in a state of berating myself…this only detracts from the energy available to move forward.

— Sketch and/or make quick maquettes every single day to develop visualization and conceptualization skills.

— Get bigger. Broaden. Wake further up each morning. Available energy is largely a decision, a choice. Shake off all shackles (fear of failure, berating myself, resistance, avoidance) and get busy exploring the vast new territory stretching infinitely before me.

It’s maquette, not macquette.


Newest in Gratitude series measurements: 43″ high, 21″ deep, 12″ wide