Monday, March 31, 2008

Plumber Manor Bronze Sculpture

I took a video and photos of some of my works at Plumber Manor today. I thought I would test out the video on blogger!

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Martyrs from Dorset

As an addendum to this I recently read about some more Catholic martyrs from Chideock. There was once a castle there and was a significantly Roman Catholic area in the first Elizabethan era and to the present day. (Picture borrowed from the Chideock website.)

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Ceramics and Sculpture

This delightful group, picture courtesy of Jan’s Antiques in LA, is after a model by Clodion and illustrates Terra Cotta (Baked clay)
A fun mug on the right from Jerusalem, a gold fish in the bottom, about 1953.

This is parian ware again (Baked clay) from a collection at Athelhampton House.

This is a child’s "night light" 19c.

Detail of two ducks on the plate below.

I just love it. Someone tell me its origin?

This is all in response to Chris Miller’s ceramics, I think I need to justify my feelings for ceramic materials. My wife likes this mug above, I think it very dull. The use of Terra cotta can be just wonderful.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Sculpture Figures and Animals

Building one’s own website is a bit frustrating. I am now going “live” with mine at last. "Under Construction" so please forgive.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rodin's sketch book

I am again indebted to Chris Miller for this delightful link to Rodin’s sketchbook. I wonder how many gems like this there are on the net?

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Female Artists

I subscribe to Digital Consciousness and in their news for April 2008 I spotted this

New Renowned Artists March is Women's History Month in the United States, and the 2008 theme is "Women's Art: Women's Vision". In honour of this,biographies of the following female renowned artists have been addedto the list of renowned artists. See 1. Laura Alma-Tadema (b. 1852), British painter. 2. Sophie Anderson (b. 1823), French-born British genre painter. 3. Sofonisba Anguissola (b. 1532), Italian painter of the Renaissance. 4. Marie Bashkirtseff (b. 1858), Ukrainian-born Russian painter and sculptor. 5. Cecilia Beaux (b. 1855), American society portraitist. 6. Anna Boch (b. 1848), Belgian painter. 7. Fanny Churberg (b. 1845), master Finnish painter. 8. Evelyn De Morgan (b. 1855), English Pre-Raphaelite painter. 9. Adelaide Labille-Guiard (b. 1749), French history and portrait painter. 10. Maria Sibylla Merian (b. 1647), naturalist and scientific illustrator. 11. Marianne North (b. 1830), English naturalist and flower-painter. 12. Liubov Popova (b. 1889), Russian avant-garde painter and designer. 13. Faith Ringgold (b. 1930), African American artist, known for painted story quilts. 14. Olga Rozanova (b. 1886), Russian avant-garde artist. 15. Rachel Ruysch (b. 1664), Dutch painter of floral still-lifes. 16. Jenny Saville (b. 1970), English painter and a leading Young British Artist. 17. Beatrice Wood (b. 1893), American artist, dubbed the "Mama of Dada".

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Anteros, (Eros) Shaftesbury Memorial, Piccadilly.

As Punch so well shows, watch your back Felipe!

Alfred Gilbert who I have mentioned before is one of my favourite sculptors. Not all his work is to my liking; however Eros had a special place in my heart, long before I started my career as a sculptor or considered its aesthetic merits in detail.

He, like most artists, had trouble with critics; none less, than the trouble with Eros, probably the most well known and loved sculpture in the world. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto should do well to remember that.

In 1986, The Royal Academy of Arts laid on an exhibition of Gilbert’s work, strongly supported by The Queen, her government and many others including enthusiastic owners and galleries. The supporting catalogue (no ISBN number) is a mine of information from which I now quote.

Gilbert was, it might appear, a long suffering Sculptor dedicated to producing works of importance in London. The trouble he seems to have had with bureaucratic Londoners in the 1880s would do justice to today’s pedantic planners. The critics at the time make Felipe sound quite tame. It seems that he had committees and county councils interfering in every detail and it is surprising that it was ever built at all. Due to the government reneging on gunmetal for casting Gilbert was forced into debt in an early stage of his career. So much was the design altered from his original that he wanted it scrapped in the end. Thankfully that did not happen and time did tell. What ever you may think of Gilberts’ Anteros (Eros) personally, it is very popular.

The Earl of Shaftesbury was a much loved philanthropist. Anteros (Eros) is one of the first public monuments in Britain symbolic simply of an idea; the virtue of Christian Charity. Gilbert conveyed this first by the monument's form, an overflowing fountain to sugest the abundance of the philanthropist's love of mankind; then in the figure of Eros, or Anteros, as Gilbert himself called it, ancient symbol of selfless love; and finally in the inclusion of drinking cups as the embodiment of one of the seven acts of mercy.

Yes it has bird droppings all over it. I wonder how happy a tree would be there? As for a nightingale singing from its branches to an adoring tourist or a taxi driver awaiting the traffic lights to change, I think it unlikely to be heard Senor.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

No Mr. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, more Sculpture please

It interests me that such a celebrated academic of international dimension should cast such a shadow upon the hard working sculptors of Great Britain in his article in the Evening Standard on the 7th of March.

It has taken that long for me to count to ten!

I do not need to defend any sculptor’s work on display in our green and pleasant land. I love trees too but we have so few sculptures that we are again “the poor man of Europe”. Historically we have been a nation of abstainers from the frivolity of fine sculpture so favored by the Catholic countries. Only the very rich could afford sculpture in their gardens. Public funds were often controlled by Puritanical spend thrifts who did not believe in wasting it on such things as fountains and sculpture. Mr. Armesto’s is a traitor to his other country where there are some delightful works to see.

I will not deny there is plenty of sculpture that Anthony Gormley does not like; but others too have an equal right to an opinion. I am not that keen on portrait monuments to the great and good but a beautiful work of art to celebrate an event or just to “celebrate” is part of our need, as humans, to express our emotion.

To advocate the replacement of public sculpture with trees is like suggesting we drop the “Proms” in the Albert Hall and replace them with academic lectures of marginal interest because “they are better for us”. Or perhaps you could ban our pop concerts and replace them with political rallies. That would go down well!

There are plenty of people who are getting bored with the same old stuff and it is important for Mr. Gormley to remember that; especially when he casts another plaster replica of himself.

Sometimes I am tempted to agree with Filipe; "The Liver Bird" funded by the BBC to the tune of £66,000 by Miss dirty bed, is one in mind, but I do defend her right to express herself and Gormley to caste as many of his bodies as people will pay for. If it is bad sculpture then it is in the eye of that beholder; to others it might be good sculpture, both will get the pigeon treatment.

We do like sculpture as a nation you need only look at the numbers of visitors to exhibitions and sculpture parks to see that.

Fine Art Bronze Foundries are near extinction in this country I can hardly say the same for garden centres! So, no Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, more Sculpture please.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some Spring Flowers

I am neglecting my blog, but working very hard on a large figure and a stallion, both must be finished urgently!!

These are for Marley, who asked if it was spring yet over here in England. The answer is; "sort of", flowers and birds think so but the rest of us are gritting our teeth facing a cold spell with a mixture of sun, frost hail and even snow in some places.
A Friend has just retured from Maine after a short visit and tells me it is still snowy and cold there.

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