I guess its been a while since I last posted and an update is in order!... I recently started work on a carved relief. Here is the terracotta sketch that I'm working from. It is an expression of the sorrow and outrage I feel regarding the tremendous amount of harm being caused by the power elite's seeming addiction to war and militarism... an addiction which destroys not only human lives, but also the lives of so many others....including, as in this particular image, the lives of those in the ocean who have been exposed to the extremely loud blasts of Navy sonar.
This photo shows one of at least 12 Cuvier's beaked whales that stranded and died in May of 1996 during tests of NATO low-frequency active sonar in the Kyparissiakos Gulf of Greece. Before, and since that time, numerous other mass-strandings have occurred as a result of naval sonars.
This photo is from a January, 2005 mass-stranding event that occurred in North Carolina. At least 34 pilot whales (6 of which were pregnant), 2 dwarf sperm whales, and a newborn minke whale stranded during and following US Navy sonar exercises.
And here, one of at least 3 beaked whales that stranded and died on Guam in March, 2015 as a result of sonar exercises being carried out by the US Navy and Japan's so-called Self-Defense Force. The sonar-caused strandings in these photos are just a few of the many that have occurred over the years. An important question to ask is...how many more animals have been injured and killed as a result of exposure to naval sonars, but whose injuries and deaths remain unbeknownst to us for the simple reason that they never stranded? It is widely believed that the dead and dying whales and dolphins that we do see on the beach are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of harm that is being needlessly caused by the US and other navies. I say needlessly, because there are many measures that could be taken to greatly reduce the harm being done, such as simply avoiding sonar testing and training exercises in areas at times when it is expected that vulnerable species are likely to be present. This is thought to be one of the most effective mitigations, but...the US Navy, in its arrogance, simply refuses to do this. And so the great harm to marine life continues, and with it, my need to vent my outrage!
But back to the sculpting....
I'm using more of that nice wide poplar I have for this relief carving....Here it is being run through the planer.
Now that the surface is nice and flat and smooth, I place my scaled up drawing over the board so I can then transfer the design on to the board.
And the carving has begun!
One of the reasons that I love doing relief sculpture is that I find it to be very challenging, as it combines illusionistic drawing with 3 dimensional form. As in most carving work, there are no real sign posts in a relief carving telling you how deep to carve a certain area, and in the early stages of a carving, where things are largely undefined, it is very easy to make a serious mistake that can ruin a sculpture. So, I take it slow and try to establish the major forms and make them relate to one another to achieve, in a convincing manner, the illusion of depth in space that I'm after. Its a challenge to do it well! We'll see how this relief progresses......