A few years ago I read the book; Sargent’s Daughters by Erica E. Hirshler. A biography of a painting. This was the start of my interest in art history. I am sorry but I had never heard of John Singer Sargent before this book. In Holland they teach you everything about Dutch painters, some other european painters, but thats about it. Every country has its own Rembrandt and in my opinion Sargent is the Rembrandt of the USA.
I wanted to make a wooden sculpture of him after my Sorolla buste. My son asked me to make one of Rembrandt next. I might. I also want to make a sculpture of Modigliani in the future. But there are less photos of him available.
Alita: Battle Angel is a science fiction movie based on the manga serie Gunnm (Wikipedia). I like every attempt to make movies with cgi characters in them. Preferably with a twist, like the big eyes Alita has. So I enjoyed the movie and was inspired to make a wooden sculpture.
Not so much went wrong this time. That’s nice for a change.
I went to the Sorolla museum in Madrid. The museum was an oasis in the busy city. I liked his work and saw a few old photographs of him. I thought he had charisma and was thinking he could be the subject of my next woodworking project. The design stage went fine, but the carving not so much. He is missing parts of his ears, so I probably will redo it one day. The woodblock I used was skewed.
There are some photographs I could use as reference but they were all different ages. Sorolla’s face changed quite a bit due gained weight. So I had to mix and match a little.
Die schilder laat zich blindelings door zyn begeerte vangen,
En blyft aan ‘t Jufferschap en zulk gezelschap hangen;
En schildert vorders al zyn leevens dagen niet
Dan Jufferschap; het is alles Juffers wat men ziet.
Inspired by a poem of De Lairesse. Made of an old wooden toy block. I hope my sons will not miss the block.
I still want to reduce the size of the foot, but I don’t have the right tools for it now.
The child is crying and the grandfather offers comfort. Where? I don’t know. I have never been there. In my imagination it is somewhere in the Sahara. Kakan means Grandfather in Hausa. Hausa is spoken in parts of West-Africa. So maybe Niger? Or is this family traveling on a trade route through the desert and ended up in Egypt. Is it today? Or many hundred years ago?
I’m always fascinated by paintings of the old masters; Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, Vasily Polenov, Vasiliy Vereshchagin, John Singer Sargent, etc. But also more recently the movie Zarafa is really inspirational. I did not try to copy any of them but if got only a little bit close I’m happy. Unfortunately I can’t paint. I have to build. Today (3d) computer generated art is maybe frowned upon, but there are so many 3d artist making really beautiful stuff. This unknown and unappreciated group is also a big influence. I hope they get some credits one day. Another source of inspiration is the map of Northern-Africa. If you look at all the places, you will find the most beautiful names; Tataouine, Ghardaia, Al-Jawf and many many more.
This image started in Marvelous Designer. Playing with fabric and wanting to do something more than a short skirt, I started building a tent. Not many images I did in the past contain people in them and I think this is very limiting; people are the most beautiful subjects in art. They are also the best way of telling a story in an image. So I set myself the challenge. I used Poser to pose the grandfather and son. I re-sculpted and re-textured them in Blender, put some basic clothes on in Marvelous Designer and finally imported all the assets into Vue.
No animals were harmed in the making of this image 😉