All Summer my studio has been bereft of maquettes due to the fact that they’re all on display in my Retrospective at the National Library of Wales. As a part of ‘Puppet Week’ here at the Artlog, I’m posting photographs of a recent maquette I made to serve as a replacement studio aid on my current Hervé drawing/print project… though having made Hervé, I can see now I’m definitely going to have to make the wolf as well!
Below is a medium size unfinished Conté drawing (50 x 50 cms) of Hervé and the Wolf, during the preparation for which the new maquette was used. This drawing is based on a small study (27 x 25 cm) posted HERE:
I’ll keep you abreast with the progress of this drawing in the stages toward its completion.
Finally, to wind things up today, HERE is a marvellous post from Lucy at Box Elder, in which she explores the automata and fantastic architectural creations of Robert Coudray, and HERE and HERE are puppet-theme posts from Leonard at Babylon Baroque, who is an enthusiast and doughty champion to the cause of puppets and puppetry.
My thanks to Lucy and Leonard for their splendidly inspiring blogs.
Clive, I too absolutely love these maquettes, so strong and expressive, taking the puppet concept into a new dimension entirely. Bravo! I also followed your links to Box Elder and to Coudray’s website – enchanting and inspirational – thank you!
Thank you Natalie. You can see that I’ve used the technique I described to you to keep the brass paper-fasteners from disfiguring the face and body, leaving them showing where I think they do’nt matter so much, such as on the shoulders, elbows, legs etc. You should have a go yourself. I think you’d enjoy the process.
Just playing catch up once again. Have been madly plastering walls while attempting to make the old place comfortable (at least as comfortable as is possible) before the arrival of my mom and brother tomorrow night. I could see the toy theatre posts lining up all week!
This maquette feels very powerful to me. For some reason, he also feels rather different than some of the other maquette beings you have created – harder, more angular and refined – pared away and more planar and almost cubist. That is not a criticism, but just a response. Am I dreaming this? I went back to look at this post and the male figure feels so different – sort of round and puffy.
Thanks for posting all of the wonderful links – especially to Lucy’s post at Box Elder. I have just briefly scanned it, but am going to set aside some serious time to study the photos of Robert Coudrays works. I love automata and similar creations – have dabbled very slightly in constructing movable sculptures and such things as mobiles, and have wanted to explore that direction at some point. Ah well, the room I am plastering right now is to be my someday studio. Hope to have it finished by the time I leave so that I will know it is waiting for my return next summer. Still looking for marionaette photos while moving boxes around upstairs, but no luck as yet. They should turn up sooner or later.
Now on to read some more of these terrific puppetry and toy theatre posts!
You’re quite right Bev, the maquettes have evolved since first I started making them. Some of that is just down to getting better at expressing myself in this way…developing techniques to help me achieve my goals. But they also change because they reflect whatever I may have in mind regarding the painting or drawing for which they’re a part of the process. Sometimes they can be rough, sometimes more carefully wrought. Sometimes texture becomes the focus, and sometimes the shapes become the important aspects.
I hope you manage to get that lovely studio in order this Summer, before you take off on your travels again. It will be good to know it’s waiting for you to return, and in the interim you can be thinking on all the projects you have ready for lift-off, confident that you’ll have a great space to work in.
Strange how much power hoary old ideas possess and won’t reliquish. Blind seeing…
We had no internet for a while–construction crews cut the cable between Oneonta and Cooperstown–and you have posted so much in that little interval. All these grand toy theatres…
Thank you so much, and now I’ve been treasure seeking over at Zoe’s!
I love this Herve, and look forward to the wolf maquette too.
Clive your drawing though you consider incomplete is beautiful. The linear structure of the wolf for me is very near complete. A lightness of touch against a lightness of paper in contrast to the dark and heavyness of the boy Hervé.
Thank you Graham. I fear I’m about to spoil it for you then, as I need to go further. Still, it will always be as you like it in the photograph here.
I’ve only recently discovered your work (through a book purchased at MOMA) and am very glad I did, it’s wonderful and inspiring!
Hello Chloe. Thank you for dropping by. I’m so pleased you like the book. Do try to see the exhibition at the National Library of Wales, on until August 20th. There won’t be another one as comprehensive as this for a very long time. (If at all!) The work on show has been borrowed from many private and public collections.
I love those felt and stitch ‘decorations’ on your site. I think our Christmas tree this year will be crying out for some!
I’d love to see the exhibition- we’re definitely hoping to get to see it before it ends, it’d be a shame to miss it!
And thank you for that about my decorations! I’m glad that you like them.
I’ll be back in touch with you about those!
I love this maquette too! Nx
Thank you Nick. They’re vital to my practice, but I enjoy making them too, finding them a relaxation between the intensive work at the easel. Playtime!
Since it’s Puppet Week, here’s another related post, very cool:
Thank you Thom. Richard Teschner’s was an extraordinary talent. I don’t think there has ever been a puppet theatre quite so rarified as his, so esoteric in its every aspect, outside of the Japanese Bunraku.
It’s very cool to get a glimpse into your creative process. Inspiring, really.
Hello Thom. Leonard (see below) found his way here via your blog, and is proving to be a keen visitor and contributor to the comments boxes. Many thanks for the shout. You’ve given my visitor figures a real boost this month.
That’s awesome! Leonard is way cool, a wonderful artist, and his blog is most excellent. I’m glad to have played my part!
All hail Thombeau!
Haha! I’ll take it any way I can get it!
Right back at ya, too!!
I really enjoy the maquettes, do they act as “models” for your work?
Clever way of working out composition and great fun to have such lively attractive characters about your studio.
I mentioned on your FB page that the monograph arrived in the mail yesterday, we were very pleased, the spouse and i bickered as to who would get the first peek. i won of course.
Thank you for the inspiration,
Until next time,
In answer to your question, yes, the maquettes get used as compositional aids. For a comprehensive account of how I work with them, click HERE and read the comments after the post.
Don’t bicker boys! Plenty enough in that monograph for two. Or you could read aloud to each other! (-;
i love this maquette 🙂
thank you very much for the links, i am swooning over the woman playing the organ!
Good post over at Box Elder, huh?
How lovely! I spent many hours yesterday reading through your artlog, with special attention to the maquettes, which I find fascinating. I was also impressed by the video in which you discussed your exhibition at MOMA in 2007. Such commitment and hard work! I’m so happy it has rewarded you with success. Flo Brady
Glad that you enjoyed the film made by Pete Telfer. (That man’s commitment to art in Wales shames the commissioning editors at BBC Wales.) He’s long been recording the lives and endeavours of artists for the sheer love of it, underwriting his passion with ‘paid’ work as a cameraman. He’s amassed an archive of film about the contemporary artists of Wales and their work that is without rival. He deserves to be showered with praises and honours. The Arts Council of Wales should recognise his endeavours with an award for services to Welsh culture. He is magnificent! (The sculptor David Nash won’t have another cameraman or director anywhere near him. He only trusts Pete and as a result Pete has been following DN for a couple of decades making a priceless record of the artist and his projects. The recent superb documentary on David Nash was made from footage Pete has collected over many years.)
Bernard Mitchell has been doing the same job with photographs, compiling a massive and comprehensive archive of photographic portraits of the artists of Wales. A labour of love. Without the likes of Pete and Bernard, there would simply be no record of what goes on at any moment within the visual culture of Wales. Let’s all think about that for a moment. It’s a salutary thought.