The Italian word rontondo (round) coined the term tondo and was used during the Renaissance for religious and mythological imagery. The circular shape has challenged sculptors and painters since Greek antiquity.
I have been influenced by classical sculpture since my student years
at the Kansas City Art Institute and the time-honored tondo seemed
like the perfect format for my new creation – “Flightless Tondo”.
The inspiration for the bas relief was provoked by the discovery of
During the Covid-19 virus shut down I find myself studio bound and
incarcerated like never before. I'm taking advantage of this time
by revisiting startups and works that were set aside for one reason or
another in years past and among the many is a head study of one of the
most interesting birds I have ever encountered afield:
The Secretary Bird.
10"H 10"W 6"D
Edition Size 50
This head study is a nightmare for a mold maker and foundry to cast.
We spent many hours consulting the foundry and relying
on their assistance in the production process.
This study is the result of an unforgettable trip to Tanzania several years ago with a group of artist friends: Jan Martin McGuire, James Gary Hines, John Agnew, Julie Askew, Robert Caldwell, Paul Dixon, Tony Pridham, and Dale Weiler. Trish and I were given our own guide and Land Rover, spent time consuming hours at water holes in search of closeups and details of various species and returned home with over 15,000 digital images. The Secretary Bird is famous for its long black head plumes, is a raptor closely related to the osprey and can be found stomping snakes in sub-Saharan African grasslands. Please type in Secretary Bird in the white blog search box for more info on this subject.
Ecorche - the French word for "flayed" - is a term that refers to the
anatomical study of animal or human form without skin. When the
skin is removed the artist can study the underlying musculature.
When I was a student at Kansas City Art Institute in the early 1960's we made drawings of
the classic plaster cast - "L'Ecorche" - created by Jean-Antoine Houdon in 1767.
Like most artists I have a replica of the Houdon plaster in my studio.
Pictured below are two models I created several years ago for my workshop students.
The top image is a model cast in bronze of the equine skeleton and the lower image
is an ecorche clay model that was created many years ago but was never cast.
While my workshops focus on bird anatomy, it's important to introduce comparative
anatomy of all vertebrates - especially mammals which includes humans and quadrupeds.
For more information on the subject in this blog search for
nature's one pattern in the white search box. Also, look at the website of sculptor Rod Zullo. His recent
work depicting ecorche is beautifully presented in an extensive and artistic manner.
Sandy's "Briscoe Bison" architectural panel was created in 2014 for the
Briscoe Museum in SanAntonio, Texas. Additional information about the
creation of the 10 foot long bronze sculpture can be found in earlier blog
posts by typing in Briscoe Bison in the blog search bar.
The smaller maquette is available for purchase upon request.
1,800 The Boykin Spaniel was originally bred by South Carolina sportsmen to hunt ducks
and wild turkeys. It is medium sized, slightly larger than the Cocker Spaniel and is
known for its rich brown coat. Traditionally, the tail is docked, and the bred is easily
identified by the long, feathered ears that hang close to the checks. The web-toed
dog has a very sweet disposition, is impressive in the field and makes a great pet.
It is the state dog of South Carolina.