Saturday, May 26, 2012

Celebration Continued!

      Celebration, a commission of a couple soon to enjoy their 50th wedding anniversary, is out of the studio and off to the mold maker.  For over six weeks, their clay presence has filled the room, dominated my thoughts and activities, and created an ongoing dialogue within and with them, asking for their feedback, and the additional information needed to create a satisfactory portrait.
Detail of heads
"Celebration" - finished clay.
     The choice of pose was a good one from the beginning, solving their extreme height difference, and expressing their pleasure in each others presence with a sensual subtle grace - one of those "couldn't be any other way" poses - it was pretty much the first one they took, thus the most "natural" one. My measurements and photo references got me 2/3s of the way through the  work, with her likeness coming easily. His, though, was more difficult, as the right side of his face was hidden from view. The  requested "head shots" he sent separately helped me "see" the problem, and I totally reshaped his head!  A good lesson was learned for future commissions - take not just the measurements, the full and close photos of the pose, but separate shots of the heads especially, like mug shots. With that information, a good representation can be formed.
Wrapped for transport
        For transport to the mold maker, the clays would remain on the plinth, with arms separated, wrapped carefully in bubble wrap and cushioned in a large box for their trip up into Sangres to his studio. The rubber print coat (the very first coat) records every finger print, finger nail gouge, little piece of clay in the wrong place, things to deal with at the wax stage. .  In this case, the torsos will be molded together, arms separately, and probably all four legs cut off and molded separately, with her thigh left resting on his perhaps. Her head will also be separated to give access to both faces, and of course the bench is another mold, in all 5-6 separate molds. Brian is an exceptional mold maker among other things, enabling me to sculpt with little regard to what problems I may be creating for his process.
In about a month, the molds will be ready, and the wax work begins - and that's another post!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Artist accomplices Celebrate 30 Years!

      Accomplices William Preston and Marianne Hornbuckle,  artist-partners-in-crime, choosing and leading a self-motivated, creative, supportive, and eventful life together for 30 years, celebrate  today to honor this accomplishment - not what I intended to blog about, but this is what came up.
 A little back-story - both previously married (13 years or so) and then divorced, 6 and 5 years respectively,  they met in Houston, he an artist from Maine with a young adult son, she beginning her art career in Texas with two children, a boy 13 and a girl 11. They married 5 weeks later - yes, believe it - accepting the risks and believing in the future, and possibilities, and adventures this artistic union would bring.  Too, they were firmly committed to having a partnership that could be tried but not broken..
     The first fifteen years of their marriage brought a rural life north of Santa Fe, complete with chickens, vegetable gardens, flower beds and a wonderful gallery, exhibition, landscape exploration in her work for Marianne, and for Bill, an adjustment from East Coast to desert landscape, from watercolor to oil and an opportunity for immersion in his second love, classical guitar, and continued support from his previous galleries on the East Coast.  Interspersed with summers of teenagers and springs and falls of travels in the Four Corners, Utah and Colorado for camping,  drawing, photographing, and painting the landscape,  they traveled to surrounding states and the East Coast for exhibitions and enrichment.
     The mid to late 90's brought the big transition, final shows in galleries, and the desire to expand artistically and explore new mediums for both, with a general change in the times leading the way.  Calling her transition, in hindsight, the muddling time, she explored tinwork and nichos, floral portraits, and the pecularities of acrylic before landing finally in abstraction.  His transition, more informed, was from oil painting to the challenges of  sumi-e.  Their need continued to generate income, so none of this messiness was concealed, and was accompanied by usual activities of independent artists, with open studios, alternative venues,  independent promotion, and varying degrees of success.  Her early entry into the mysteries of computers and art marketing served them both well and their freedom from commercial gallery needs fueled their artistic expansion, if not their incomes. Study of Vedanta and other mysteries of the Eastern philosophies supported them spiritually, emotionally, and philosophically.
March 2012
Fall 2011

    So here they are 30 years later, though the bumpy times and the best, with no regrets for choices made, even where mistakes incurred losses,  she happy with her dual output of both figurative sculpture and abstract painting (though unable to defend or explain) and he achieving a exceptional mastery of ink, brush and rice paper, and personal pleasure in music-making on the guitar.  Forty and fifty-two when married, they remain committed to the art life and their con-joined paths thirty years later and hope to continue the growth and creativity they have always believed comes with risk-taking.
To longevity and perserverance!
Marianne and William

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