by Kelly Borsheim
I am interested in the more personal moments of our lives - things we do not often share with other people, or at least, not knowingly so. I am also fascinated by the duality of our nature, especially the idea that two opposing concepts exist in a strange kind of balance. I find that creating works of art in bronze and stone offers me another way to explore coexisting opposites. For example, I like a soft curve in a hard material. I love it when people are drawn to one of my works and reach out to touch it, since touch is the most intimate and universal sense we have.
"After painting comes Sculpture, a very noble art, but one that does not in the execution require the same supreme ingenuity as the art of painting, since in two most important and difficult particulars, in foreshortening and in light and shade, for which the painter has to invent a process, sculpture is helped by nature. Moreover, Sculpture does not imitate color which the painter takes pains to attune so that the shadows accompany the lights."
When I read the above quote on another Web site, I had to laugh. Although I see da Vinci's point, that is obviously the perspective of a painter! But seriously, that extra dimension creates different questions for the artist. Although it is true that creating a work in three dimensions eliminates the "problem" of foreshortening (for the sculptor has the luxury of changing views), I find sculpture somewhat more challenging than painting because
—Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, etc. Literary Works.
1) I cannot rely on the human eye's love of color to emotionally move the viewer or
communicate what I want to express.
2) to work with unlimited space (vs. a finite canvas) often creates more problems in composition—at what point and how does one end something that has no obvious conclusion and still have it be appealing? (I want art to be beautiful and uplifting. If I want to be shocked or disgusted, I will watch the news.) For example, we are so used to seeing those classic sculptures of
women with their arms cut off flat. I hate that, it hurts me. Also, I think the
abrupt end interrupts the flow of the piece. But how would one "fix" it?
Leonardo is correct that Nature aids sculpture by supplying a light source, but that does not mean the sculptor does not consider light any less than a painter does. A sculptor has to consider a light source that is not "built-in" to the work (and that the sculptor often does not create or have control over), yet this light drastically affects the impact of the work. Form and texture create changes in light and shadow.
Also, that third dimension allows us to experience the art not only visually, but also
tactilely. And anything that appeals to more than one sense is enticing. That
is why attending a concert is often more exciting/inspiring than listening to recorded music. Please do not misunderstand me—I love paintings, too. I enjoy color as well. But I do not think sculpture is a lesser art form, by any stretch of the imagination!
Shapes, light, shadow, and textures fascinate me. The fact that we can enjoy touching things thrills me. I am amazed by opposites coexisting, yet somehow accept it.
I began my study of sculpture in 1994. Previously, I had studied the figure in photo restoration and painting and I still study it. The lines and shapes of the human form are intriguing, beautiful, and unique. When I began sculpting for bronze and later, in stone, I expanded my subject matter to include marine or aquatic life. Please click on any of the images or links you see on this page to give you an in-depth look at my work.
My sculptures seem to want to be full of curves. Oh, sure there are triangles there, too (how could there not be?), but I suspect that the much slower process of creating a 3-dimensional work in a "stiff" medium (bronze and stone) forces me to try to create flow and motion.
Many of the pages of the individual sculptures will include some text and images of the work as it was being created. If you would like to see more about the lost wax bronze casting process, please visit my bronze casting page. Thank you for visiting.