Category Archives: Style in Portraiture

Consider the Creche

Boxing Day was yesterday and as I gathered  up the wrapping paper and empty boxes from under the tree I also took time to  leaf  through one of my gifts tucked under there.

What a lovely book, by Matthew Powell, O.P.

It is entitled:

“The Christmas Creche: Treasure  of Faith, Art and Theater.”

I found the variety of styles and materials that the Creche has been crafted out of  quite fascinating.  Consider this primitive, carved stone set above by Irish sculptor Kieran Ford,  inspired by ancient Celtic statues and ruins.

Or….how about this one below, which I couldn’t help but think of as Extreme Creche!   How amazing, right?!!!!  This looks like a painting,  but Click closer…..these are actually hundreds of small figurines  in a 3-dimensional landscape.  This is the “Cuciniello Creche” housed at the Museo di San Martino, Naples, Italy.  According to my book: “this exemplifies the elaborate and extensive Nativities of eighteenth-century Naples.”  I’m beginning to think I was born in the wrong century.

It takes time (and money) to create such wonderful works as these.  I would like to challenge you to consider commissioning your own  personal family creche.

Perhaps you might commission one piece of your creche each year to  build something extraordinary  to pass on to your children.

Just look at this beautiful Christ Child cast in wax and surrounded by a real crest of wheat. I love it! I could create a piece like this for you. Maybe it could bear the face of your very own child.

Don’t hesitate to call and just chat. I am always happy to answer questions and describe all the possibilities.  As we approach yet another New Year, I am even more certain that dreams & faith are what life is made of!

Putting on or Painting on

It’s that time of year where we’re thinking about our Halloween faces once again.  On Facebook I’ve been compeled to paint my face a time or two already.

I have a favorite TV celebrity face, and I realized just the other day I love this face because it is almost perfect as a mask!

cnnI simply can not watch CNN without analyzing the interesting face of Anderson Cooper!  There is something inherently stylized in the nearly rectangular top and sides of his head, enhanced by the crisp cut of his hair.  The perfect triangular jaw  is echoed by the V  and the suggested X of his dress collar.  And I am so intrigued by how the lines of the head continue visually down the front of the suit almost as if they  were drawn in the geometricizing technique of a Manga or  Anime artist.

In fact Mr. Anderson Cooper, you actually remind me of the perfect anime man.  🙂 anime-miracle-train I am certain this entitles you to one Free Portrait Bust! You may redeem  your coupon at  any time.


   Face of the Virgin MaryA lilt, a tip of the head, a curve,  a sway…… these gestures give sense of life to something as humble as this gentle Virgin  candle.Virgin, back view



The ancient sculptural technique of the contropposto stance, the sense of the figure shifting its weight to one leg, imbues a feeling of both movement, grace, and relaxation to the human form.

Gesture is everything in portraiture.Three Quarter view

For more information, or to purchase this handmade candle please click HERE.



Portrait by Richard W. Bock

Portrait by Richard W. BockRichard W. Bock was renowned as Frank Lloyd Wright’s primary sculptor.  I often go to the            Bock Museum (which we are lucky to have right here in Greenville, Illinois) when I want a little portrait inspiration.

My favorite portrait is this elegant woman, finished in pea soup green!  Who knew how lovely a green finish could be?  Besides the grace of the elongated  form, and the unusual finish color, I have admired the way Bock sculpted this base. 

At Sculpted Portrait we can finish off your portrait bust any way that you can imagine.  As you can see, the best bases are often sculpted as an integral part of the piece.

Feel free to call and just chat if you are unsure of exactly what you want in terms of finish or base  for the portrait you are needing.

(618) 664-0068

Bathetic~who knew?

As a sculptor involved in portraiture, I find inspiration in faces everywhere I go.  Whether I am at the antique store admiring vintage “junk” or  watching the local high school play, I see expressions that catch my eye.bathos

Something about this mannequin’s expression brings to mind the moving face of an ecstatic saint.  It compelled me to look up the word pathos, and along the way I discovered the word bathos.

Adj. 1. bathetic – effusively or insincerely emotional; “a bathetic novel”; “maudlin expressions of sympathy”; “mushy effusiveness”; “a schmaltzy song”; “sentimental soap operas”; “slushy poetry”

emotional – of more than usual emotion; “his behavior was highly emotional”

A new, useful word for a portrait sculptors repetoire!