Two sculpture commissions have been in the studio for the past 6-8 months. I have been commissioned to create a life-size bust in bronze of Jeanine, a 26 year old who committed suicide, and a life-size bronze of Lucas, a 5 year old who drowned in a swimming accident.
Because of the nature of the deaths, both of these were difficult sculptures for me to work on. As part of my study at Vermont College I have been examining the process of sculpting the deceased. One element that seems to play a very important roll in the process is my sensitivity to the emotions of my subject and my clients. Some people might term this part of the process psychic empathy, I have been examining it from many different angles than just the paranormal angle. I often can sense and feel things about my subject and the clients that under normal conditions I should not know or feel.
Working through the emotions involved with each commission is as much a part of the process as sculpting. With the commission of Jeanine I had severe feelings of depression that took a great deal of my energy to try to overcome. Somehow walking through those feelings gave me a better sense of who Jeanine was. I am still learning to deal with this part of my talent. Often the emotional aspects that I feel through the sculptures do not feel like they belong to someone else, but instead they feeling like my own. I know it sounds really strange, but it is true. I have almost come to terms with the idea that I can pick up peoples emotions and feelings, they do not have to be near me either. I often feel mom who lives 2,000 miles away and I have also had several feelings from Jeanine’s mom who lives in Alaska- I live in Texas. But I’m not sure about feeling emotions that surround someone who is no longer on this earth. How does this work? This semester’s study leads me into non-local phenomena.
Here are some photographs of the finished sculpture of Jeanine.