Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sentimental Journey

Since the hospitalization and death of my mother early last month, I’ve been on a real sentimental journey. Going through her photos, address books, and precious mementos has brought back many memories long buried to add to those which have surfaced naturally as I think back on my relationship with my mother and what in her own life molded her into the person that she was.

So, when this little clay sculpture turned up in my dresser drawer this week, it took me back again to one summer when I was fifteen. A friend and I took a summer art class for high school students at Eastern Michigan University, and this 4 inch high sculpture was the result. It’s a shame that the ears were lost long ago which makes him look a bit odd.

What’s remarkable about it is how good it is for my young age and how it shows that I already had a firm grasp of the anatomy of the equine head. It isn’t perfect but it’s good, and that’s why I kept it for over 50 years. I’ve even put in that facial vein that is so prominent on the face of just about every horse. I didn’t grow up around horses nor was I involved with them much at the time. But, I had already developed a keen eye for observing details and form that has contributed greatly to my development and success as an artist over the years.

If you want to be a realist artist, learning to see the details in your subject and then combining them into a cohesive form are essential.

I’m grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity to take this summer class, for paying for riding lessons and horse day camps and for allowing me to have my first horse. If it weren’t for these gifts, my life might have taken a different path.

If you want to read about my journey as an artist from childhood on, visit my biography page, and from there you will find a link to more of my early art. I promise that you’ll find it entertaining.

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