A frosty sunny morning, lovely North light, a warm studio, and a cafetiere of coffee – a perfect start to the day. Dorich House is feeling like home. Have I only spent two days here so far? Feels like I was born to sculpt in Dora Gordine’s ‘Plaster Room’.
Nervously I remove the covering from Mercy’s portrait sculpture. Will I like it? Is it any good? Although it has only been a few hours since I last saw it, this rather irrational fear emerges at the start of any sculpting day. As soon as I see the sculpture and dig my hands into the clay, all is forgotten. It is me, Mercy and the clay.
I am so enjoying this pose that I decide to stick with it, rather than starting a new portrait. So much for only spending one further hour on it. But this is my week. I can indulge myself.
Brenda Martin, the curator, comes in to view our progress. She kindly encourages us to visit the roof terrace given it is such a gorgeous day. Stunning views across Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common greet us. The murky weather at the start of the week has given way to clear skies.
Inspired by our time on the roof terrace, Mercy’s sculpture takes on a new life. She starts to gently blow the clouds away, in readiness for flight.
Time now to work further on the small portrait of Mercy. I am using it as a ‘maquette’ ie a model to help set up the next life-size portrait. Mercy and I work on the pose together. Turning the re-worked sculpture around on the turntable helps me realise that this pose has more than one ‘front’. In other words, it works from more than one side, and would work well in the round. I will be in before Mercy in the morning to get some clay onto the armature and get going on this new pose. Can’t wait.