I acquired this piece of marble from Mt. Calder on Prince of Wales island in S. E. Alaska, working together with Gary Williams. I have two others left after I sold 4 or 5 to Don Wilson, a Portland based sculptor. I knew it would be the finest white marble I would ever have to work with. I did not know about its integrity since all this stone was blasted 75 years ago. So I began by hand pitching the edges, inspecting for seams and letting water dry on the surface looking for future trouble. I inspected for variations in color or mottling spots. I still had no specific idea in mind.
|Back right view|
|Front and back|
|At this point I decided to make a drawing of what I thought the stone could be.|
I use proportions that use head size to determine all critical locations on the human form – a proven system that works. The widest point at David's strong shoulders was determined to be 13 inches. His face was to be a young strong man almost still a boy. Note direct sketch on side showing back shape. I wanted a twisted or curling shape suggesting body torque, ready to unravel. Right shoulder lowers, body cocked for action.
Lacking confidence in my ability to carve a head made me want to do it first. If I failed at this end ever all else would be a wasted effort. I managed to get a boyish head but kept the hair long in back for strength to be removed later.
Being satisfied with the head, I undercut the neck and defined his shoulders. (Note lack of stone on the right hand side.) This dilemma made me put the lower half of right hand lower body back allowing left hand side of sculptor to charge forward providing body torque the David needed to have. It all worked out for the best as often happens with problems.
This photo shows finished sculptor body torque
|Finding arms, chest, and waist all by measurement.|
|Further defining back, arms, and legs.|
|Defining right hand arm, hand, and waist location.|
|Same with left arm.|
|It's beginning to look like art.|
|The basic form is completed.|
|Refining details, opening arm cavities etc.|
|I put sculpture back down to further detail back muscles and form strong legs, then drill hole for pinning.|
I am glad I pinned him for he falls backward quite easy . I set him on a block of limestone I had, not a perfect perch but about the right height I think. This is something I am not very good at. I have entered my David in several public art-on-the-street proposals but it was never accepted. Figurative art is not much appreciated in this country. It has been sitting in my stone yard, remnant slab yard now for two years, has probably been seen by 500 or more Oregonians of all types. There has never been one comment since I placed it there. I think that says something, I don’t know what. I am quite sure if I put a wooden totem pole out there, crowds would gather and rave. But I am not going to.
I worked on this sculpture mostly during the cold season in Portland, Oregon, outside on an average of 3 hours a day for about 2 1/2 months. The weather didn't bother me because I was excited about doing the project!