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I enjoy writing. It helps me clarify my thoughts. Every sculpture I create is really a story I find irresistible that finds expression in stone.

I usually have a lot of excess brain space when I am sanding and finishing a stone sculpture so I begin to write the blog for that piece in my mind. Having done quite a bit of research for each sculpture, I start by riffing on ideas.

I define the most important aspect of the creation process. Sometimes it is the story of the animal. Sometimes it is an experience I had with a particular individual. Often it is the story of the making of the sculpture. Every picture is worth at least a thousand words.

Lastest Entry

Cavalluccio Marino (Sea Horse)

“Cavalluccio Marino” is a privately commissioned stone sculpture carved from Italian Ice Alabaster, and inspired by a special horse named Meri. The title is Italian for Sea Horse. Meri’s owner, Laura, describes her as “a protector and a big hug.” Her goals for the sculpture are a feeling of purity, illumination, and liberation.

Inspiration

Laura gave me a breath-taking description of the personality of her horse, and I felt as if I already knew her. SRC American Xxpress, also known as Meri, is an 11-year-old Friesian-Arab cross, a gorgeous combination of breeds unfamiliar to me. She was a show horse who moved like a ballroom dancer until arthritis in one of the small joints in her foot left her unable to carry a rider. 

Laura and Meri, peak performance.
Laura and Meri–Showtime!

Laura is a midlife therapist, and an enthusiastic and accomplished horsewoman. Meri is her Heart Horse. She knew through a horse psychic that Meri did not want to retire to pasture as a brood mare. Rather, she wanted to help her owner in her therapy practice. Meri’s big heart, quiet strength, even temperament, and serious work ethic will serve her well as a therapy horse. She far prefers pats to carrots, and loves attention. She is solid, steady, confident, and sensitive to peoples’ feelings. All these virtues point to success in her new career.

Laura and her Heart Hores, Meri.
Laura and her Heart Horse, Meri.

I had the pleasure to meet Meri when I delivered Laura’s sculpture to her home. Meri was instantly friendly, sweet, and asked for a hug only minutes into our conversation. She is very generous with her attention and most satisfying to pat! I do not have much contact with horses any more, only by sculpting them, so a horse “fix” is a rare treat for me these days.

The Pose

I chose to present Meri in this standing pose, head turned to face Laura, left front foot raised in anticipation to join her in her therapy practice. Meri wears her show braids in mane and tail. I felt that she is a formal horse who always wants to look and act her best.

She has the longest tail I have ever seen, it trails behind her for several feet along the ground when she moves, giving her an elongated and floating appearance. She holds all the best characteristics of her Arabian and Friesian breeds. Her powerful legs, rounded chest and hindquarters are Friesian, with abundant flowing mane and tail. She has the sculptural finesse of an Arab; her face has a shallow dish; her neck is arched and colossal with calligraphic curves.

Italian Ice Alabaster

Meri’s psychic friend told Laura that Meri sees herself as white, even though she is dark bay in color. Italian Ice Alabaster is an opulent translucent stone. It glows when lit, and one can see opaque veins, masses, and fused lines deep beneath the surface. It is a luminous, ethereal stone perfect to represent this extraordinary personality.

Meri also has a spiritual bond with the ocean, so I added Blue Onyx elements to the base to represent the sea. Meri could be mist, sea foam, and cloud formations. Cavalluccio Marino/Sea Horse.

A Revelation to the Maker

I enjoy working with clients to realize their personal ideas in stone because it expands my perceptions of stone sculpture and my relationship to the world. It gives me a connection to a special person, their vision, and a special subject through my art.

I am oriented to the earth and look down when I walk. Meri’s sculpture feels like I am metaphorically looking up. I would never think to sculpt a horse from a stone that feels like air or mist or spirit. It is outside my experience and my notions of stone, and therefore important in my evolution as a sculptor to do so. It was exciting to carve this illusive Italian Ice Alabaster, and comforting to create this special horse during a global pandemic.

The experience of making “Meri” caused me to look up and out and at the boundaries of solid form. It was exciting to make a sculpture defined by shine, by highlights, by absorbed and reflected light.

Viewing this sculpture takes me to another dimension that I will call spiritual, beyond the magic I know in opaque stone. Forms are elusive the way understanding can be elusive. Clarity of thought and feeling can come from ephemeral forms. Some ideas are easier understood in sculpted forms than in written words. 

Meri is ready to be a therapist, like her Laura.
Meri is ready to be a therapist, like her Laura.

Excerpts of Other Recent Entries

“Top Cat” is a bronze sculpture dedicated to the importance of animals in our lives. It is an homage to my cat, Moonface, with whom I shared my life for 15 years. In 2019 I received the Marilyn Newmark Memorial Grant, awarded by the National Sculpture Society for a meritorious body of work in animal sculpture. I spent my grant money to make “Top Cat”. Inspiration “Top Cat” is a monument to all the cats who have enriched my life, . . .
 

“Two Pearls” is a stone sculpture revelation of the comfort one finds in art. American Women Artists invited me to be one of three jurors to pick the 2020 Spring Online Juried Show  in March 2020. This was just as we were discovering the realities of the global pandemic. Inspiration AWA’s Online Juried Show is primarily a show of paintings. There were 1,600 artwork submissions, from which we chose 125 for the final show. We had 3 days in which . . .
 

“Blue” is a sculpture homage to a rescued horse, and a monument to human compassion. Inspiration I have many awesome friends who inspire me. This sculpture is a tribute to one of them, an animal activist and rescuer. She is a gifted writer, and I asked her to tell Blue’s story in her own words. She requested to be unnamed in this post. Blue Blue’s hard luck story has a happy ending because of two kind hearted women who teamed . . .
 

“Fresh Air” is a stone sculpture I made in tandem with “Clean Water”. Both are carved from Andes Blue Onyx—the blue stone represents air in one sculpture and water in the other. They also share a common focus and speak to those things we all want: fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink. Inspiration “Fresh Air” is a sky scape in luminous Andes Blue Onyx. The puffy clouds are sparkling Sivec Marble. A sun is inlayed on the . . .
 

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