Sunday 7 November 2021

Portrait of a smiling boy in clay/Ritratto di ragazzo sorridente in argilla

Why is this boy smiling? / Perché questo ragazzo sorride?

When this young man, all of ten years, came to my studio, he had no trouble keeping a smile for the camera.  I asked him to remember something funny to make him smile, so I could click away with my camera for longer.

After, he explained what his “something” funny was.  He had an annoyingly loose baby tooth, and had used the classical method of tying one end of a piece of string around the tooth and the other end to the door handle. On slamming the door the trick worked and he was quickly rid of the tooth. This chuffed him greatly!
He was also very proud of his asymmetrical style haircut  which many footballer heros of the day were sporting.
So, of course, when making the sculpture, I could not resist making the most of the gaps in his teeth, his self satisfied smile, and his unusual hairstyle.

He is a much loved member of his Brazilian family, who are my neighbours.

Quando questo giovane, di dieci anni, è venuto nel mio studio, non ha avuto problemi a mantenere un sorriso davanti alla macchina fotografica.
Gli ho chiesto di ricordare qualcosa di divertente per farlo sorridere, così avrei potuto scattare più a lungo con la mia macchina fotografica.

Dopo, ha spiegato qual era il suo "qualcosa" divertente. Aveva un dente da latte fastidiosamente allentato e aveva usato il metodo classico di legare un'estremità di un pezzo di spago attorno al dente e l'altra estremità alla maniglia della porta. Sbattendo la porta il trucco funzionò e si liberò rapidamente del dente. Questo lo ha molto soddisfatto!
In più era molto orgoglioso del suo taglio di capelli asimmetrico che sfoggiavano molti eroi del calcio dell'epoca.
Quindi, ovviamente, quando ho realizzato la scultura, non ho resistito a sfruttare al meglio lo spazio tra i suoi denti, il suo sorriso soddisfatto, e la sua acconciatura insolita.

È un membro molto amato della sua famiglia brasiliana, che sono i miei vicini.

 Portrait of a smiling boy in clay / Ritratto di ragazzo sorridente in argilla

Monday 6 September 2021

Exhibition in Munte, Belgium 17th Sept - 17th October 2021


The opening hours are:
Friday -  Saturday  13:30 - 17:30
Sunday  10:00 - 17:30
I will be showing many paintings and small bronze sculptures in a collective exhibition in the little village of Munte, just South of Ghent, in Belgium.
Joke Frima and Alessandra Marrucchi studied under Nerina Simi, as I did, in Florence. Mieke Schaper is a pupil of Joke Frima. The collection of all the works on show will be really lovely together, I'm so looking forward to seeing it.
We will be present for the opening vernissage and the closing Finissage, so please do visit!

Esporrò molti dipinti e piccole sculture in bronzo in una mostra collettiva nel piccolo villaggio di Munte, appena a sud di Gand, in Belgio.
Joke Frima e Alessandra Marrucchi hanno studiato con Nerina Simi a Firenze. Mieke Schaper è allieva di Joke Frima. La collezione di tutte le opere in mostra sarà davvero adorabile insieme e sarà un omaggio al nostro maestro, non vedo l'ora di vederla.
Saremo presenti per il vernissage di apertura e il Finissage di chiusura, quindi visitate!
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Tuesday 13 July 2021

PODCAST - Interview with Sarah Monk











"Materially Speaking"  is a series of podcasts on artists.

I was delighted to cooperate because this gave me an oportunity to speak personally about what matters to me in my work and to describe my artistic journey. 

I was interviewd by Sarah Monk shortly after the first lockdown in 2020.

Here is the 36 minute podcast:

Friday 5 February 2021

Emily Williamson Sculpture Competition.

I would very much like make this sculpture because it combines both my love of portraits and of birds ( Zoology 

My intention with this sculpture is both to offer a recognisable likeness of Emily Wiliamson, as far as we have it from the few images of her, and also to illustrate her passion for birdlife and desire to free birds from persecution by the hat feather trade.

It will represent Emily’s aspirations behind her idea of the pledge to
‘wear no feathers’ that she organised amongst her friends. The liberation of the birds into flight will seek to illustrate the story of Emily’s journey towards an awareness of the ecological environment and preservation of bird species threatened with extinction, and the establishment of the RSPB.

She is a figure both within and beyond the constraints of conventional Victorian womanhood.

Please scroll down to see my drawings and rough model/maquette for the proposed sculpture.

Front view, wearing the dress in the photograph and holding a flowered hat of that time.  

Left side view, with the bas-relief of birds beginning to spiral around her dress.

Back view, with the birds morphing from bas-relief to 3 dimension and flying up.

Right side view, with the bas-relief of birds subtly emerging and taking form as they spiral around the dress and take flight.

Detail of the bas relief in which many bird species can be spotted.

 The sculpture will include many of the specific bird species that she was successful in protecting. They will be depicted in the form of a delicate low or bas-relief in a spiral around her dress. This increasingly vigorous spiral motion will swirl upwards around her full Victorian skirts and hat, continuing up behind her waist and progressively morphing into three-dimensional birds that fly around her raised arm and hand and beyond. 

The low bas-relief birds on her dress will not detract from the portrait or weigh the work down, but as they begin to emerge more clearly around the back of the figure, they offer increased interest for this part of the sculpture, encouraging viewers to observe and enjoy the work from every angle, as well as inviting them to engage with the work by identifying the birds depicted.

Photos of a very rough maquette, showing how the birds emerge from the swirl of movement around her dress and take flight, the smallest ( hummingbirds) being the last to fly away.

Left side view

Right and back view of rough maquette.

Detail of the back of the dress where the different bird species will be dipicted in low relief.

Please scoll down for my recent portrait work and a bas relief of birds. 

For more examples of my sculptures in bronze and my paintings please visit my website 

Low relief/Bas-relief of six curious roosters, teracotta 20 x 27cm

Getting a likeness - portrait in terracotta of Enzo Pasquini, a master carver of marble.

Maestra Nerina Simi,  (1890 - 1987) life-size bronze, finalist in this year's International Salon of the Art Renewal Centre, New York.

Getting a likeness working from only photographic references and memory of my teacher.

Facing The Future, larger than life-size bronze of a mute swan. Also a finalist in a previous year's ARC Salon, NY.

In the Mariani Foundry, Pietrasanta, as the bronze swan is prepared for the final stage of patination.


Monte Altissimo September 2019   Oil on panel 15 x 27cm English:      Since my last blog with lockdown  finally terminated in Italy, I have...