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.

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It’s maquette, not macquette.

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