Friday, June 24, 2011

Bug Spawning on Marble

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Yesterday morning, I set my stone carving tools on my work table, noticed the dew, and bent down to blow off a few small insects from the table, and then turned around to take a look at my marble sculpture, “Gymnast.” She was covered with tiny black insects! What a sight!

Was this because of our recent rain after a long drought? Or was this just some coincidental random insect spawning? Does anyone know what kind of bug this is? They are tiny creatures with wings, not little black ants as I first suspected (but then fire ants pretty much take care of those and I am stepping in their beds far more often than I find entertaining).

I found myself more curious about what kind of bug this was than disturbed and went into the house to get my camera. And the good thing about working on a fairly large sculpture is that I have plenty of other areas that need attention. So, I worked on the base yesterday morning. The insects were almost gone during my evening carving shift (I work indoors during the scorching middle of the day). They were completely gone this morning. Any clues, anyone?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Valentina Charcoal Drawing

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I have been sifting through my piles of life drawings from models that I drew in Italy and trying to figure out what I can do with them. I want to keep many of them as studies or pose ideas for future multi-figure works that are brewing in my head. Others I simply like as they are and consider them finished works.

This next charcoal drawing is one of those. Usually I put the dates on my work, having a memory that focuses more on emotion than data. This one I did not, but I suspect that I drew this figure art in early 2009 when I was hosting an Open Studio for artists in Florence, Italy. If it was not 2009, then it was in 2008 near the time that I did a drawing of Francesco on this same-proportioned paper. [You may view the framed hands of Francesco here.]

I have drawn Valentina many times. She is a terrific model and a fun person. This horizontal composition of a lovely woman’s torso as she reclines with her arm resting along her body’s top edge is available framed for only $150 + $15 shipping (sales tax added, if applicable). Surround yourself with Valentina’s luscious curves…

“Sketch of Valentina”

6” x 17” (framed)
charcoal drawing on watercolor paper
copyright 2008-2011 Kelly Borsheim
$150 + $15 shipping (and maybe sales tax)

P.S. Please pardon the glare on this framed image. It is so hard to photograph some things! Here is an image before she was framed:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3-D Challenges Stone Carving

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

When painting, the difficult part is often creating a believable figure from one vantagepoint. When working from life, this can be frustrating since even the best models inevitably move. However, when I carve stone, I do not use a model. I suspect the two major reasons would be obvious - the time involved and the dangerous flying chips.

Working in the round means that as I move around the figure, the view and the line must flow in a way that fits. Anatomy may be “wrong,” but if the artist is either lucky or clever (or both), the viewer will never think of these things and simply admire the work.

As I have mentioned before in my art newsletters and in the descriptions on individual works presented on my Web site, often the view most helpful to me as the creator of the work, is the one least likely to be seen by the viewer. That is, the view from above. In this first image, I am standing behind the “Gymnast” marble carving and looking down her rib cage to see the shape of her hips.
Not entirely happy, am I. You may see that the bum sticks out behind the figure on the left more than on the right in an unflattering way. Perhaps you may see the brown crayon mark denoting the separation of the gluts. I have drawn a pencil line to the left of this where I will carve off extra stone to remedy the form problems. I must be careful not to get too “efficient” because not all of the cheek needs to come off. It is only from that ONE vantagepoint -- that one edge -- that needs removal of material.

The next two images show different views of the same area. The first is a profile from the left and the form looks very different! Just a side note: in my markings to myself as a direct carver, the back and forth squiggles indicate places I will remove stone, while the circle is an area I wish to keep. I mark the latter sometimes because it means that I am getting close to the final surface, in relation to the areas surrounding it.

The last image is taken at eye level with the hips. Can you see that this viewpoint gives me a completely different batch of information (while lacking others)?

What a first day of summer in the North, eh?