I am beginning a new sculpture commission today. I move away from death, which I have been working in regularly for the last year and a half and for a change I have a live subject. I even get to see this subject in person, something that is a rarity in my work these days. I always tell people, “The first sitting will take about an hour or so, I take photographs and measurements and try to get to know my subject.” But I am reminded that to capture the essence of someone is deeper than what one can obtain in an hour. I have not thought about it until this very moment, but I do the same process in sculpting the person from life as I do those who are no longer here. I try to find them long after they are gone from my studio. I count on the love of those that know them, and I search for the essence, the special look that the family wants captured and shared with the world. No easy task.
I guess if I could have my way I would stay with a person at least for a weekend. I had that opportunity once with two children. Though even then we are all on our guard. My job is to try and catch a glimpse behind the veils or walls that we unknowingly construct and show to others.