This is one of my favorite sculptures. It was made as a commission for a patron in Florida who went so far as to request a very specific pose and theme for the sculpture. At first I was a bit skeptical about taking direction from him on the look and design of one of my sculptures. As an artist I have always felt I should make what I need to make and what I want people to see, then show it to the world. I never wanted to fit my vision into someone else’s box and be constrained by the ‘eyes’ of someone else. But after a few long phone conversations about pose, theme, design and look I got comfortable with this clients vision and actually enjoyed the process of collaboration.
As you can see from the two images below the first one is the unfinished and in progress sculpture. It gives a view into the basic working methods I use when constructing a sculpture. You can see that there is paper taped with masking tape to the frame of the ‘waves’. This is something I do every time I am working with sheet metal as it gives me a sense of how the sculpture will look and take up space before committing it to steel. It is also a very helpful tool in cutting and bending the sheets to the precise size because I have ready made templates for each piece when I am ready to commit them to steel.
Another thing you will notice is the frame like shape of the figure. This is also a very important part of my process of building figures. When I make any figure, whether 30-feet-tall or 3-feet-tall I construct a figurative ‘frame’. It is a quick sketch of the figure and defines each muscle group, mass, character and pose for the sculpture. I can then asses the overall look and feel of the figure and make changes before I have the whole things finished. It allows me the option to tweak the arms, legs and all parts of the body to refine and prefect each piece.
The last thing to notice is the finished sculpture below. It is a wonderful figure rising from the waves which carry her out of the water. The sculpture takes on the movement of the forms with the powder coat color and leaps to life. This was a very pleasing and different piece for me and one that I will always remember as being almost perfect! It also gives a very good view into the process I employ in creating a sculpture and shows a peak behind the scenes.
Nereid, powder coated steel, 39″ x 60″ x 8″, 2009