14 July 2012

Chains of Darkness: The Human Condition

Here is a sketch of what will be my largest wood sculpture to date. You see here a black angel, his wings burned off, wrapped in shadows, holding to his heart something lost, and dissolving in black flames.


This is my opinion of the human condition.

I do believe I hinted at some darker, edgier stuff to come. Well, there was a sneak preview.

The plan is to build up the wood with slices made on my table saw, laminate them, then carve them down. I have been finding that is the only way to get a large piece that has the structural integrity to hold together. I estimate this figure will be fairly near life-size. I'll be using redwood for the wings and a combination of oak and ash for the body. I am also planning on either scorching the wood with a blow torch or painting it black. I may use a combination of the two and contrast that with polished, unpainted wood. I am not sure how I will render the chains, but I am leaning towards something like the wrapping of a mummy rather than chains, despite the title.

Hmmm... Perhaps it should be "Shrouds of Darkness."

As you can see, I do not bother with fussy detail in my sketches.

When it comes to artistic production, I am not a patient person. I want results, and I want them yesterday. I am much more interested in the overall effect. Besides, I do not require much information to start carving.

For this sketch, I departed from my usual sumi-e technique and went over it here and there with some white acrylic paint, following that with a bit more black. In Photoshop, as always, the only thing I did was manipulate the contrast so the white is brilliant white and the blacks are dark black. I am, in effect, simulating on the computer screen what the eyes see, for scanning tends to gray things out.

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soulfire said...

Your work is beautiful and inspiring. I can't wait to see the final piece. Keep on posting!

Richard G. Crockett said...

Thanks much!

I always like to visit and comment on other people's blogs whenever they comment on mine, but when I followed your link, I saw that you had not started one? Let me know if you do, huh?

Also, I'm trying to post at least twice a week now. Next: some drawings of horses and thoughts on riding!

Geoffrey said...

I like it ... dark and moody. I like also the intended use of a laminate which, apart from providing a strength and planar appearance also imbues the object with the sense that the human condition is itself comprised of interlocking and integrated layers forming an object or expression far larger and grander than the individual pieces.

I look forward to seeing it.

Richard G. Crockett said...

Thanks, Geoffrey. I had not thought of the lamination as anything other than than a technical necessity to achieve strength, cantilevers, lightness, spaciousness, and durability, but now that you mention it, there IS a correlation. That interconnectedness is part of what makes us human. Marvelous.

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