bronze sculpture

More thoughts on horses and sculpture

I have loved the idea of a true horse/ rider partnership since my childhood days of dreaming of one day owning a horse. It was a romantic fantasy born of the novels and T.V. shows of my childhood. Where people understood horses and horses understood people, to the point of being able to save the day after some dramatic crisis! OK, not very realistic but it started my desire to have a sane and sensible, go anywhere, horse that worked with me, rather than being just controlled by me. Many years later I still aim for co-operation through communication rather than force. It may be a little fanciful but we all need something to strive for and this is mine. It’s been a lifelong passion which will never truly end and the process of learning has been, and will always be, the reason I ride horses. I take every opportunity to learn from the horsemen I admire and I learn every day from my own horses and fill in the gaps with my best experience of watching and observing.

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Two Dimensions Versus Three

People are always surprised when I say that I can’t paint or sketch. The fact is, colour doesn’t really interest me, so I have never spent the time to learn to paint. I love form, obviously- I’m a sculptor! so I love detailed pencil drawing and I have done some and want to do more. However I find ‘sketching’ really difficult and when I make a new sculpture, I never sketch it first. Sometimes a client will ask to see sketches and when this happens my heart sinks! 

The Sunday Workhorse

The Sunday Workhorse

The truth is, it’s a good thing I can show an extensive back catalogue of work that I’m proud of, because no one would ever employ me on the strength of my sketches! I have thought endlessly about this and the conclusion I have come to is that I think three dimensionally. It’s obvious really; in my mind I can see what I want to make and I retain that, while I’m working. Why would I turn it into a 2D drawing, with all the issues of perspective and angles, so I can turn it back into a 3D sculpture? Now I understand this, my struggle with art, until I discovered sculpture, all makes sense.

Now, I prefer to work directly in clay and for a large sculpture I start with a small maquette. I like to think of this as a three dimensional sketch and enables me to work in the round from the start.