I was delighted to attend Norma’s Birthday Party at Sambuca on Thursday. I planned on taking Friday off, away from my constant search for Norma. You see, I have body parts ready to be put together, but until I can capture the essence of Norma in her portrait bust, I can’t really put everything else together.
There is an old movie called Hook. In one part of the movie there is a magical moment when a little boy is smooshing around the face of Robin Williams trying to find Peter Pan. At one point he says, “there you are Peter.” I have that moment with each of the portraits that I sculpt.
Fnding my subject can be a challenge. Sometimes, I have to step away from the sculpture. This is extremely hard, especially when I have interns waiting to get to work on parts, but I cant go any further until I find Norma. So stepping away becomes part of the process. Thursday, when I stepped away I was delighted to be surrounded by the Zenteno family. I actually began to miss them. It is a bit odd, but I’m not sure if it is me missing them or Norma. I bond so much with my subject it is often hard to tell where they end and I begin, well emotionally.
It is Saturday night, I have sat with Norma’s head in my lap, flipping through images and trying to pull her into the clay. 4 hours later I mushed the clay around and finally said, “Oh, there you are Norma.” Now, I step away until tomorrow, to see how she will talk with me again. Finding the essence of Norma is a lot different than finishing the sculpture. There is SO much to do. We have actually just begun. But tonight I can sleep a little more at peace knowing that Norma is taking the stage in my studio.
This is the documentation of Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon who created the Norma Zenteno Sculpture and Kippy for Zenteno Spirit and Barrio Dogs. You can find the process blog for this project at http://normasculpture.blogspot.com/