Chas Martin - Paintings, Sculptures, Art Classes

Watercolors, acrylic paintings, sculptures and art classes

Man Turning into Clouds

Poppy Dully

This piece is still in progress. It started a few weeks ago as a quick graphite and watercolor sketch. I know instantly it would have to become three dimensional. I've been exploring sculpture for several months. This in not new territory. In the early 1980s I did a number of dioramas and free-standing sculptures. I always found it far more engaging to work with images in real space.

After the first sketch came a series of variations in graphite. Once I committed to creating the sculpture, I also decided to take my time and enjoy the process. The sculpture was build from left to right. The base rock was cut from layers of plywood. Next was a brass rod structure to provide a rigid armature for the body. The skeletal structure was added as a construction of wire and rigid cardboard to establish proportions. That was bent and twisted countless times as the two dimensional sketch began to find its spacial form.

The head, chest, pelvis, arm, wing, and legs each move on a different axis. As the body was formed from corrugated cardboard, the final pose took shape. At this point, I was still building left to right. The leg positions were still being changed every time I looked at it. The sculpture did not stand up until the legs were in place. The balance was finally established

Once the legs were finalized, I had to solve the cloud problem. I did not know what material I would use or how I would make it stable enough to last. Experiments with assorted fabrics and media resulted in a cloud-like look that is very rigid.

Creating the surface and attaching the clouds are the final steps. As this reaches completion, I now have a model for additional watercolors.

This piece and its component stages will all be on display for the Portland Open Studios Tour on October 10, 11, 18 and 18.

Visit my studio during those days to see this and other characters in development.