Monday, December 28, 2009

Anatomy and Line

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Although I have not spoken much about this, I am not trying to make a copy in marble of an actual human being. While I am thinking about anatomy and using real bodies for references, I am constantly looking for that beautiful line.

The depressing thing about doing art of a more representational style is that people judge the piece for what it is not more than what it is. I mean that the tighter a work gets towards recognizable, the more people critique it for the artist’s mistakes. If would not matter if someone creating an exact replica of a specific person that was 99% accurate (on a scientist’s terms I suppose). The viewer’s eye would immediately find that 1% inaccurate part and it would ruin the rest of the effort.

It was not until my first visit to the Benson Sculpture Garden in Loveland, Colorado, about a decade ago, that I realized that there was a limit to how far I wanted to depict reality in my own work. Too much reality bored me. Art is in the details, but the KIND of details makes a world of difference. In Italy, especially, I have been learning to understand the difference between art and copying.

So, anyway, these images that follow show you how I am inspired by Nature’s anatomy, but that I am seeking a line that flows beautifully. In the latter two images, I have drawn the line of the legs that are covered up by the hands. This not only helps me to shape the legs underneath the arms and hands, but also helps me know how close to carve the hands and how much more marble I must remove.

The most difficult thing to do in stone carving is to have two things touch without overlapping in a weird way or becoming too far apart.

Enjoy your New Year’s celebration.


Andrew said...

Excellent post. I think what you describe as the the difference between art and copying is what separates an artist from a technician.

Casey Klahn said...

Matisse said it well:

"Exactitude is Not Truth."

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

"Clark, the lights over there are not twinkling." "Yes, thanks for pointing that out."

Wonderful post, Kelly.

Dale said...

A lot of artists are way too intent on detail at the expense of line and form. I have been guilty of this to some extent myself but I finally realized that adding detail to an image that is less than beautiful hurts more than it helps. Too much detail sometimes can detract from the overall effect of an image that is otherwise near perfection. There is a sculptor in Dallas (whose name I would not mention even if I remembered it) who does marble sculpture that you can look at next to a picture of the model and it is an exact replica of that person down to the tiniest detail. Even though the models are in most cases beautiful the sculptures are not. I can't explain why I feel they are not.

Kelly Borsheim said...

Wow, I must be preaching to a choir ;-)
Thank you -- all good points and quotes.