Works in Progress: The Figures

When looking at the Full Circle exhibition  I realized that my work was taking me in a direction that actually surprised me. I have been making paintings for eons by now, and small figurative wax sculptures for over a decade. The sculptures have always felt more like an adjunct practice, not part of the real body of work; a separate, pleasurable art making activity but one that had no real place in the serious work, the real work. But since a 2011 exhibition when David Butters hung a wall of paintings in a totally ingenious way, the idea of the figures and paintings interacting with each other within the gallery took hold. So in the Full Circle show, figures were placed on the floor, interacting with each other, looking at the paintings. Throughout the run they were moved and rearranged. And since the show closed, the remaining figures have been in a space where they are still in relationship to each other.

Since November I have been working almost entirely on the wax figures, still seeing them in relationship with the paintings, but wanting the figures to be the primary subject and the paintings secondary. Actually, more accurately, the paintings came to seem to be the thoughts/ideas of the sculptural people. So the people, though still small, are a lot bigger than they used to be. The new figures are about 2/3′s of my size, 40 plus inches standing. Their construction poses many problems, and I am a slow learner. I am, however, learning. I am on the fourth figure now and although none are completely done, each one is pretty close. Here are some images of parts of the learning curve and its results.


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