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  #1  
Old 04-20-2005, 02:45 AM
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Blake Blake is offline
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Inspired by Michelangelo

Requesting comments on a work just cast in plaster, not sure if the supporting structure is right. Would like some feedback before I make the rubber mold.
Inspired by the Medici Chapel in Florence.
Any comments? Don't hold back
Thanks
Blake
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Last edited by Blake : 04-20-2005 at 02:46 AM. Reason: Spelling
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2005, 09:10 AM
warren01 warren01 is offline
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Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

Blake, I really do not know much about what you are doing, but from a untrained art mind I think the feet look rather large. Especially the foot that is sticking out from the back. Her position of her arm behind her looks like a position that the arm is being held back or bondage, not natural, it does not look like it is supporting her. What is the star in the hair?
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  #3  
Old 04-20-2005, 09:28 AM
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iron ant iron ant is offline
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Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

Blake,before I even read the response my first problem was also the hair.The female figure flows pretty nice and it does not seem to go with her hair,too me.Other than that I think it is pretty darn good work.I like what she is perched apon.Check into Fredrick Harts work on the Cathedral in Washington DC,his figures explode into visual wow.
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  #4  
Old 04-20-2005, 10:10 AM
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sculptor sculptor is offline
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Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

Hey Blake
nice
couple things:
MichaelAngelo's figure bespeaks an awakening dreamer, whils yours seems more a scheemer.
He was great at creating nice meaty sturdy feminine legs esp-hams and thighs--with dancer's calves attached, while his female torsos dispelled the guietude of the work----to me, it always looked like the breasts were stuck on as an afterthought--(perhaps this seems an odd view of a subtractive process)
but---
--I like your feminin torso a lot more--it is sturdy and well muscled-well proportioned and posed, (posed could be a drawback)
while the eyes and lower leg gives the disquietude of the piece.

however:
your work is a lot more dynamic--tense--ready for action---(not dreaming)
and therefore the tense foot and calf add to the intensity

his-----"she could doze off or invite you to join her"
yours---"she is ready to let her body follow her gaze or voice her thoughts"

intelligable?

more pix please

rod
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Last edited by sculptor : 04-20-2005 at 10:16 AM. Reason: epimetheus
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2005, 09:30 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

Blake - Copying or mocking the masters always has been popular. Honestly, I prefer the original, but I expect yours will be well-received.
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2005, 01:27 AM
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Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

Thank you for all of your comments I have found them all very helpful, I can't tell you how wonderful it is to get some serious feed back from people while the piece is still in plaster and can be reworked before I cast in bronze.
The piece is one-quarter life size and measures Length 95 cm Width 35 cm Height 60 cm.
In response to some of your comments,

LostNYC I as well felt that the figure sat somewhat precariously on the supporting sarcophagus and that was my main concern, don't quite know how to repair it yet but I will think about the possibilities. The hair is very difficult and I like to portray it in an abstract manner which often gives it a “wild” look I shall reconsider this aspect, although am unable to change this feature in plaster, thank you for your insight.

Warren01 You have a great eye, the feet are bigger than they should be, this is a personal thing that I like to do as I feel that it makes a piece more expressive, perhaps it is inappropriate on this work I will look at it again. The arm position follows the pose of the master and the model was able to hold the pose pretty much as you see it although it was uncomfortable for her. The star in her hair stands out in this plaster copy as it is made of oil-based clay as apposed to plaster. The original figure wears a tiara type ornamental in her hair that has stars on it (reference to the heavens?), I wanted to hint at this detail without putting anything ornamental in, in bronze it will be difficult for you to see it as the colour will be consistent. I like to hide things in my pieces.

Iron ant I guess I need to think about the way I am doing hair Thank you great food for thought. I will check out Fredrick Harts Cheers

Sculptor Interesting comment about her as schemer I was trying to get the almost awake almost asleep effect that the original possess, I guess I fell short, as I don't know how I could change this, but I shall think about it. The pose was the most wonderful part of doing this “study” the master found a wonderfully difficult and twisting position for the model and I have learned a great deal from copying him.

Fritchie I can assure you I am not mocking the artist (who am I to mock anyone let alone a master) I started this as a study and did the best I could. I learned a great deal from this exercise.

I have included some other angles. Thank you all so much for your time and assistance
Blake
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2005, 02:14 AM
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Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

Good piece of work...but isn't it interesting...the original piece is, I believe, over a doorway, so the hidden arm can not be seen..in your peice...from your last photos posted..the hidden arm looks like it doesn't belong to the figure...we are however looking at 2d representations of a 3d piece of work and this may not be the case in reality...

Question! You mentioned this is a plaster..is it built up on an armature..carved..rasped..and sanded???
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"Important artists are innovators whose work changes the practices of their successors; important works of art are those that embody these innovations."
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Last edited by oddist : 04-21-2005 at 02:36 AM. Reason: added question
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2005, 12:04 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

Blake,

I enjoyed looking at your rendition of Michelangelo's figure from the Medici group. I did want to offer an opinion that I didn't notice anyone else touch upon. The major difference that I see, individual styles aside, is that you have posed your model after the original, but that is what is most apparent to me....it is posed.

Michelangelo allowed his figures to sink into the pose and become fixed in such a way that the effects of gravity bound flesh and flesh and fabric and flesh together. What this did for his sculptures was create a connective energy even in areas with small amounts of contact. Simply, he brought surfaces together in a way that made them join visually. The areas where this seems the most lacking in your work is with the arms and their relationship to the rest of the body. I can feel the discomfort of the way they are held, rather than the relaxed connections that Michelangelo has made. Additionally, your figure seems in places unconnected to the fabric beneath her. Now these are small adjustments that I'm refering to, but they make the difference.

Augustus St. Gaudens and Daniel Chester French, to name a couple of sculptors from the 19th century, were adept at finding the most natural aspect of any pose and using it to greatest effect. Look at French's sculpture "Memory". It is an excellent example of the natural look that flesh sinking into fabric/flesh has when handled in this way. Really this is less about the actual sculpting process and more about the perceptual/design process that goes on before and during the sculpting. Another sculptor whose work is almost ignored now days but was one of the most talented in Europe at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century is Josef Valclav Myslbek. Given your desire to follow a classical/traditional path, he is an excellent person to look into. Books on him are hard to find and usually exspensive at that. Still, I have learned much from studying his work.

As an after thought, don't be afraid to use artistic liscense when you are discribing the form. There are some passages in your form where the reality isn't as pleasing as it should be and those are places where you can lend reality a hand. A leg or arm can be enhanced slightly to create a more pleasing positive/negative interplay. A little more volume can be added if the model's lacking in a particular area. The end result doesn't have to be photographically faithful. Michelangelo's weren't, but we feel and see the power, energy, and beauty he mean't for us to see that weren't a part of the reality he worked from..rather they came from within his heart and mind.

All in all, I applaud your effort. Thank you for sharing your work.

Jason
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2005, 12:49 PM
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Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

Oddist
Thanks for your time, the original is on the floor under an alcove that contains a sculpture of one the Medici brothers, she is placed on a sarcophagus, I have only seen pictures of the back, which is not finished and the arm that is behind the figure was never carved so it is hard to tell. I will include a photo from the back so that you can see the arm. The hand has just been placed on the arm as I will cast it separately and I have changed the hand, closed it instead of it being open as shown here.
The photos are of the plaster original, that was cast (by waste mould) from the clay original. I have included a photo of the clay in early stages of development. I leave a very thick surface coat of plaster so that I can carve any changes into the plaster should I desire to make some alterations, although it does change the surface texture and I have to be careful not to make it noticeable.

Jason What a fantastic critique, how right you are, the piece is posed and fails to sink into the fabric. This is exactly the type of thing I was looking for, you know it is easy to get to close to a work and you fail to see it… and the best part is that I can still repair this as the bottom supporting structure, the sarcophagus is a separate piece and I can rework the fabric to allow the figure to sink into it more. Of course I don't think that I will be able to achieve the same effect as Michelangelo but I can improve the piece. I shall investigate the references you have made. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and recommendations
Blake
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  #10  
Old 04-25-2005, 05:54 PM
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Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

the armature wowie zowie-----i like it

with which you built your sculpture as though she were floating on air

that's probably why she doesn't seem to be sinking into the fabric---bench---....

and refers back to the comment ...(posed could be a drawback)

the bodies reaction to pressure-----from resting on a surface, or being grabbed, or leaning on or holding an object--- is the stuff of binding the figure to the object...
...jason's "figures to sink into the pose and become fixed in such a way that the effects of gravity bound flesh and flesh and fabric and flesh together."
but not just gravity....a blending a joining...etc.

I'm enjoying your work----post more larger pix?

rod
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  #11  
Old 04-28-2005, 12:10 PM
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Re: Inspired by Michelangelo

LostNYC
Thanks for your input, sorry for the late reply but I am traveling at the moment. I think that the example of the hair is wonderful, I have studied the way J.B. Carpeaux sculpted hair but I was unable to duplicate the effect, I thought that perhaps I could fashion a special tool in order to make the hair look like that but to this point I have been not been able to get a good result. However, I have realised that I need to concentrate on this area if I want to "get it right" and I certainly think that your point is valid.

Rod
The armature is home built in steel, and I would be glad to share the design with you and suggest improvements to the design if it would be helpful. I think that Jason is definately right, the figure does not seem to sink into the fabric as the bottom supporting piece was created seperately from the figure. I have learned from all the feed back that I must pay allot more attention to the problems that arise from creating a piece in two parts, I don't know how I would sculpt the clay differently as I like to be able to work the under the figure as well so I need to pay more attentin to joining the two parts.
Let me know if you should want the design for a one quarter life size armature. I can't seem to enter any larger photos due to the memory size restrictions.
Regards Blake
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