Monday, February 13, 2012


When I travel, which is more often that I would like, I take something with me to work on. Sometimes it is drawings to work on or a study but most times I take a piece with me to work on. On my last trip to China I took two pieces  with me that were barely started. One piece was the one that I have come to call The Mermaid. I consider her to be the sister or at least a close cousin to The Siren. The other piece that I took with me was just a piece of wood at the time. I will leave that one for later. The reason that I took these two pieces with me is that I wanted to keep my momentum going on finishing pieces that I am preparing for the two day invitational Country Craft Fair and Old-Fashioned Market Mercantile. 

The interesting thing about the development of The Mermaid was that it became intertwined with the book that I was reading on Leonardo Da Vinci. I have written about Leonardo before when I published a post about the trip that I made with my wife, my son and his girlfriend to the Buffalo Science Museum to view the exhibit call Leonardo Da Vinci : Machines in Motion. the book on Leonardo that I was reading in China was called LEONARDO, by Martin Kemp. Martin Kemp is one of the greatest authorities on Leonardo Da Vinci  I was interested to read his insightful point of view on Leonardo's work.

I was not disappointed. Martin wrote about aspects of Leonardo's life that are usually not covered. He spent entire chapters discussing aspects of Leonardo's life and art that I have never read about before. At any rate, I will cover this book more fully in another post. It deserves a post of its own.

the point is that my imagination became so infused with art of Leonardo that I could see nothing else in my mind except the beautiful Madonnas that he painted. When I looked at the piece of wood that was going to become The Mermaid I saw the faces and the elegant poses of these Madonnas. As I developed the three studies I would eventually work from it became evident that I was using the painting of Lucrezia Crevelli, "La Belle Ferroniere", as my model.

Here are the studies that I did for The Mermaid.

At this point, The Mermaid was roughly carved. Only the major shapes were done. There was no detail.

Pretty neat wallpaper, isn't it?
I thought that the wallpaper in my hotel room went well with The Mermaid so I took a few pictures of her posing with the boats. It looks like she might capsize a few of them!

Here, she is almost finished. I still need to apply her final coat and them mount her onto base that I shaped to make her look like she is rising out of a wave. I will show that in another post.

I think The Mermaid will be an interesting piece at the Country Craft and Fair, that is unless someone snaps her up first!

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