The living has been easy in Woodstock this second summer of my retirement. I’ve casually set up studio space on my screened-in porch, and have been working independently. I’ve started a sculpture of a man in motion, working without a model. Fortunately my cousin visited and he took the pose for me while I took photos. And two guys running on my road let me take videos of them! But I’ve ordered a book by Eadweard Muybridge who took photographs of men and animals in motion, so I won’t have to accost the neighbors in future.

I’ve also started playing with pastels. I love blending intense colors, and I’m putting on disposable gloves and blending with my fingers. I realize that I am happiest when making art with just my hands, applying clay to the armature or color to the paper. However, I do have great respect for my metal sculpture tools and sable watercolor brushes. They are essential for creating details.

My newest sculpture is now cast and patinated, and looking ethereal. “Floating” was inspired by Cabanel’s painting of the birth of Venus, but elevated from the sea to the sky. The model provided a fabulous twisted but languid posture. The base is white Carrera marble to evoke clouds, and she’s light and fair as well.

Both “Round Midnight” and “Floating” were inspired by works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an American sculpture and a French painting. The figure I’m working on now is from a photo in a men’s cologne advertisement, Bleu de Chanel. Inspiration can come from surprising places, I see.