Today was a day of hurling clay onto the armature. My goal was to sculpt a life-size head of Mercy in just one day. Quite a tall order. But this frees me up somewhat. You can’t be expected to get a likeness in only a day. And sculpting Mercy is such a pleasure. There is no client, and hence no imperative to get an exact likeness. I can use her as the inspiration for my sculpture. It is very easy to keep on working on a portrait – sometimes it helps to stop at a stage when a lot is still left to the viewer’s imagination. When there is a lot of movement in the clay. When you can take a flight of fancy and push the sculpture beyond the sitter. My chosen pose today was initially inspired by a dancing pose. As we worked on it, it reminded me of Degas’ ‘Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans’. But in the making it changed, with Mercy’s neck extended forward, her head a little upturned and arms lifted behind. By the end of the day, Mercy was sprouting wings.
Okay, I didn’t manage to complete the sculpture today. But I only intend to spend one more hour on it tomorrow. I will cast it in plaster, and work on it further. Most appropriate given we are sculpting in Dora’s ‘Plaster Room’. Tomorrow we will embark on a longer, different pose.