Tag Archives: sculptor

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


The Beam in my Eye

Ok, so it wasn’t a beam.  But it was a big splinter that shot into  my eye, and I had to remove it with  tweezers. Ouch!  That will teach me   to never again make just one more cut without the safety glasses!!

Top Bar BeehiveThe top bar beehive I am building is almost finished, and except for the splinter in the eye,  has come together without a hitch.  Download this wonderful design for free at www.biobees.com.  I have ordered bees, which are slotted to come on May 2nd, and I just can’t wait.  Hope they stay with me for at least one season!

As a portrait sculptor, who really must pay attention to the shapes of peoples faces, I have found that eyes blank-eyeare truly the hardest feature to capture well.  It is interesting to note the many different ways that eyes have been sculpted through the centuries.  There is that strange blank stare of many Greek works, and a variety of ways to suggest both corneas and pupils. eye with cornea eye-with-pupilThese three eyes are by Richard W. Bock, sculptor for Frank Lloyd Wright.

Houdon,  the renowned 18th c. portrait artist who sculpted the faces of numerous American forefathers developed a style in which he captured a gleam in the eye. I think that is an important quality, and one I strive for in my own work.  These two eyes below are mine, the second one replicated directly from Houdon.

A  lively feel is achieved through various texturizing affects around the eye & in the cornea, textured-eyeor the addition of a spot of clay before the pupil which is perceived as a glimmer of light.Eye after Houdon

In with the gleam, out with the beam. 😀


(Sculptor:  Lydia Shalanko, last two photos courtesy of Statue.com)

Madonna of the Trail

Madonna of the Trail, Vandalia ILI took a country drive today, to photograph one of my favorite local portraits.   Although it is in the nearby town of Vandalia Illinois,  only a 20 minute drive from home, it is of national significance.

In the 1920’s the Daughters of the American Revolution spearheaded and raised the money for  a large project to highlight the bravery of the Pioneer woman.  Across the terrain  of early America the pioneer mother, traveling by foot and covered wagon, gathered her children round about her skirts,  and settled this big land, along side her hardworking man.

There are 12, ten  foot tall statues of the Madonna of the Trail which were  designed by Arlene B. Nichols Moss, and sculpted by August Leimbach, a sculptor from St. Louis.   They were cast in algonite stone (a casting material which incorporates granite as an aggregate and has a nice rosy hue to it). They were placed along the National Old Trails Highway from Bethesda, Maryland to Upland,  California. This highway was also known as the Cumberland Road.

Personally, I like this statue for its strength of form.  Nothing is weak or half-hearted.  Each element whether the woman’s bonnet, or the hand of the child clutching its mothers skirts, are thick, and strong. The side view of the skirt extended with the  woman’s bold stride, creates a triangular shape which is very grounding.

Having been designed in the 192o’s it certainly bears the formal trends of an Art Deco stylization. For me personally both this formal strength and the message of  bravery of the pioneer traveler,  speaks anew to our own time  of current crisis in America, and indeed across the globe.   It  takes  a special  courage  again to  maintain  a home and to raise a family well,  with so many jobs  being lost  across the land.

The Madonna of the Trail speaks to my own heart  about what is truly essential to live the good life.

Read more about the Madonna of the Trail at Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_of_the_Trail