Posts Tagged ‘clay sculpture’

New Work by Michaela Groeblacher – Menopause

Posted in Ceramic, Realistic on February 19th, 2010 by Alice – 2 Comments

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In a Flash

In a Flash - Michaela Valli Groeblacher

I received an email from Michaela with pictures of her new series “Menopause“. I just had to share it with you, I know there are many of us out there who can relate. If not because of our own experiences with menopause, then our being there with our mothers, wives, sisters or friends.

Flood Waters Rising

Flood Waters Rising - Michaela Valli Groeblacher

Michaela is such a talented artist, I’m so thrilled to post this update to my previous post about her work. I don’t think these new pieces are even shown on her website yet.  So I’m thrilled to be able to show them to you here.

I know what I don't remember - Michaela Valli Groeblacher

I know what I don't remember - Michaela Valli Groeblacher

Michaela and a friend, poet Kim Stanley, have teamed up for what they are hoping will be several exhibits featuring many of Michaela’s sculptures, including the menopause pieces.

The first show titled “Parallel Tones” will be April 17 – May 29 at the Manhattan Art Center in Manhattan, Kansas.

Their work complements each other’s perfectly. Plus, together they have 104 years experience of what it means to be a woman.

If you happen to be in Kansas at that time and have the opportunity to view this fabulous exhibit, say hello for me.

Popularity: 70% [?]

The Characters of Bill Nelson

Posted in art dolls, Illustration, Puppets, Ventriloquist figure on November 24th, 2009 by Alice – 2 Comments


Bill Nelson is a Facebook friend of mine. He’s always posting something wonderful to look at. He is an illustrator, a sculptor and a ventriloquist figure maker. His work makes me laugh and wish I had just a tiny bit of his talent.

Some of Bill Nelson’s figures have found homes with people we’ve heard of before, Demi Moore, Whoopie Goldberg, David Copperfield and the list goes on.


HIs illustrations have won over 900 awards. You might have seen Bill’s work on the covers for CQ Weekly, The Atlantic Monthly, or Lands’ End.

Bill is listed in Who’s Who in America and created a series of Big Band Illustrations for the Untied States Postal Service stamps.

7519_136276183138_817063138_2511600_771867_n.jpgHe told me that Super Sculpey was his favorite material to use to sculpt his characters.

I wanted to know what he enjoyed most about creating his people. He said, “Bringing the face to life by tinting and coloring, that’s my favorite part. Wigging is almost as much fun because they both bring the character to life.”

I mean, look at these faces……….


Bill said that he doesn’t have any kind of regular schedule for creating his characters unless he has a commission.


He spends part of his time teaching an entire curriculum on the art of dollmaking online at That Creative Place. He also teaches workshops in his home in North Carolina.

Not only will you learn from a master, I think Bill is the kind of guy that will make your learning experience extremely entertaining.

There is more to learn about this amazing artist, so you might want to visit his website, which by the way is one of the coolest I’ve seen.  You’ll be entertained by his work for sure.

I’m leaving you with this one, it makes me laugh out loud. It’s “Boris Karloff between takes”, but all I see is Frank kickin’ back. I’m laughing now.


Popularity: 100% [?]

Michaela Groeblacher’s Sculpture That Helps Us Remember Who We Are

Posted in Ceramic, Realistic on November 4th, 2009 by Alice – 6 Comments
Women and Eggs Series

Women and Eggs Series

I was struck by Michaela’s statement on her website. She said, “I believe that human beings are here for a task, to discover – to remember, if you will, the gift we each came to deliver – the gift that is essential to bring balance to the earth, to restore our souls, to create heaven on earth by realizing and applying our thoughts, ideas and talents. ”

When I was growing up, there wasn’t a day in my life that both my mother and my father didn’t say “I love you” to me. Whenever I would leave the house, my mother said, “I love you, remember who you are.” I always took this to mean that I should be proud of my family, where I came from and who I was as a person. To not do anything to contradict who I was. My mother’s mother, my grandmother,  said the same thing to her.

As the years went on I’ve come to believe that there was more meaning to that statement than any of us realized at the time. I truly believe that if we all could remember who really are and what we came here to do, the world would be that  ”Heaven on earth” that we all are looking for.

Woman and Egg Series

Woman and Egg Series

Michaela wrote to me, “By forming the wet clay, adding and subtracting, I am uncovering the other person’s soul, while at the same time ascertaining myself.”

Woman and Egg Series

“In creating three-dimensional canvasses and subsequently painting them, I satisfy my artistic hunger on multiple levels. My work is as much about the human psyche and perception as it is about color, composition and form.”

I think her work is stunning.

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

Her series, Fire, Earth, Water, Air, deals with the forces of nature. She had this to say about her work. “Since the beginning of civilization, humans have been attempting to explain our existence by answering the questions: who are we, where do we come from and why are we the way we are?”

“For that reason, countless sciences, religions and philosophies have been cultivated in all regions of the earth by numerous peoples, many times looking to nature for guidance.”

“Fire, Water, Earth and Air are called the four classical elements, with Aether (=Space) being the spatial dimension that accommodates them, bringing the number to five classical elements.”

“The four sculptures are my contribution to this eternal question – and – answer cycle. It is my attempt to allegorize the four classical Forces of Nature by depicting them as women”.

Michaela goes on to say, “Additionally, I listed four attributes for each of the women and the qualities they represent in my opinion.”

“Since my artwork has YOU, the viewer, in mind, I invite you to participate by adding to the list of attributes or adjectives that come to your mind when pondering the above statement.”

Fire:  Passionate,    self confident,     energetic,     ambitious

Water:  Focused,      energizing,      relaxed,        curious

Earth:  Creative,      nourishing,      connected,       faithful

Air:  Spontaneous,       confident,        gentle,        musical

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

You can see more of Michaela’s wonderful work on her website - MichaelaCheck back there often for her new series on menopause. I’m very curious to see what she has to share with us.

Popularity: 86% [?]

Sculptures That Rock by Michaele Greene

Posted in Ceramic on October 27th, 2009 by Alice – 2 Comments
Le Jardinier

Le Jardinier

Three dimensional, figurative art work is a passion Michaele Greene. She is the happiest when working with clay.

I was attracted to her faces and her use of color. She told me that she doesn’t use glazes to finish her pieces, but “a combination of acrylic paints, washes, stains and waxes to finish my work.”

“This gives me more ability to coax the look and feel that I want from a piece.   I also love to incorporate different elements into the clay, such as wire, paper, even cloth.”

Day Dream

Day Dream

Michaele says, “The idea of creating movement and attitude is fascinating for me. I love figures that twist, bend, strut or flow in some way or another.” In her recent series called “On Windy Shores” she used wire to suggest wind blown hair on female figures. These figures are probably my favorite.

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

She had this to say about her Rock and Roll series, “For as long as I can remember, I have loved Rock and Roll.  I love the music, the lyrics and equally, the names of the bands themselves.  Songs evoke feelings and memories in most of us, but for me, they conjure visual images as well.”

“This also holds true for the names the artists have chosen for their groups; Pearl Jam for example, makes me smile and think of exactly that -pearl jam.  Rolling Stones embeds a visual in my mind as one who literally rolls stones.”

Lay Down Sally

Lay Down Sally

I enjoy Michaele’s take on this song. I know George Terry who wrote “Lay Down Sally” with Eric Clapton. I think he would like this sculpture. My husband and I have spent several News Years Eves singing along while George played. (me..not very well)  And George was always first to donated his talent to our Highlands Art League’s fund raisers.

You can see more of Michaele Greene’s vibrant work on her website.

Popularity: 44% [?]

Catherine Merrill’s Language of Everywoman

Posted in Ceramic, mixed media on October 20th, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment

Catherine Merrill’s work speaks of the archetypical images in us all.  The fluid movement of her vases compliment the bodily expressiveness of her subjects and hint at our own Persephone, Hestia or Athena. Her life size torsos are visual feasts for the eyes.

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon

Catherine has created her own visual language to express a personal mythology.  The individual story becomes that of “Everywoman” through the universal language of art.

Touch Me

Touch Me

The prominence of the human figure in her work results from the many years when she was a dancer and the body was the artistic instrument to express emotion and ideas.

War and Peace

War and Peace

Catherine believes, ” The role of the artist and of art in our world is no longer mere entertainment or decoration, but an essential force for healing and change.”

The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers

Catherine Merrill is a visionary, helping to create a cultural exchange with Cuba. The following is a quote from the Art of Fire Project website.

“Proyecto Arte del Fuego (“Art of Fire Project”) was envisioned in 2002, by ceramic artists Antonio Lewis (Cuba) and Catherine Merrill (USA). Proyecto Arte del Fuego is an ongoing international cultural exchange project offering workshops, master classes, lectures, residencies and exhibitions in the ceramic arts. It is sponsored by the Fundacion Caguayo in Santiago, Cuba, the Estudio-Galeria Los Oficios in Havana and Casa-Taller Pedro Pablo Oliva, Pinar del Rio.”

Read more about Catherine, her life and her beautiful thoughtful work on her website.

Popularity: 67% [?]

The Archetypal Sculpture of Cheryl Tall

Posted in Ceramic on September 1st, 2009 by Alice – 2 Comments

T 4 2

Fantasy, furniture that moved and animals that talk, were a natural part of Cheryl Tall’s environment growing up, and no wonder, her parents were employed by Disney World!

My father worked on some of the building in Disney World and I wanted to live there, so I relate to Cheryl’s imagination and fascination with the absurd.

As Cheryl began to travel, visting art galleries and museums, and to study art history in college for completion of her Master’s Degree in Art, she was able to merge this early carnivalesqe imagery with increasingly more sophisticated techniques, and incorporate references to pop culture and surrealism.

Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision

When I spoke with Cheryl, I asked her if she would like share some insight to her work. I wanted to know what moves her and she replied, “What moves me is meaningful human contact.  I love to watch the crowds in airports, malls and parks, and see how people interact with each other.

“Absurd things make me laugh” she said, “things that are incongruous.  Charlie Chaplin, funny movies, Cirque du Soleil, mime artists.”



I asked Cheryl what she wants to give the viewer, “I want the viewer to leave with a smile, an intriguing thought.  Things are not always what you think they are, and there are many different levels of reality.”

“I’m frequently asked, Why the medieval clothing and buildings?  I see this particular time in history, say the 12th century, as a reference point.”

“It’s not that long ago compared to the age of the world – not even a 1000 years ago.  Yet all of human life experience was pretty similar for eons:  people walked or rode horses.  They made everything by hand.  They grew their own food.  Heat came from a fireplace or a campfire.  Life was lived at a very slow pace because of all the work needed just to eat and have shelter and clothing.”



“Things began to speed up.  Trains were invented and gas lights and printing presses. Things began to speed up even more.  We got electricity and cameras and guns and cars.”

“In the past 50 years, everyone got a computer, a cell phone, a digital camera, a wide screen TV.  News that used to take a year to arrive now is known instantaneously, all around the world.  We have Facebook, Twitter, emails, phone messages, texting, Myspace, etc.”

Bird Lady

Bird Lady

Cheryl continued, “Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of this.  Then I get my perspective back by mentally stepping into medieval garb and taking a look at all these modern things.  They look like magic, and illusion!  And maybe they are.”

Orange Zinger

Well Cheryl, maybe you’re right, maybe life is an illusion, but there is nothing deceptive in the  fun and delight that your sculptures bring the viewer. Your work is large and that in itself makes a statement about their permanency.

Cheryl works in her studio in Leucadia, CA, she teaches and exhibits her work in galleries around the country. Visit Cheryl Tall’s website for her busy schedule and to view more of her wonderful sculpture.

Popularity: 55% [?]

Linda Ganstrom’s Figurative Ceramics

Posted in Ceramic on July 24th, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment
Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect

Working in figurative ceramics for the past 30 years, Linda Ganstrom explores issues that relate to her personal experiences, yet ask questions and reveal universal truths.


Patterns - Life -Scale Figure

Issues related to these experiences including; memory, family obligation, gender roles, spirituality and personal identity are recurring themes in her work.  The various roles of women in the late 20th and early 21st century, their connection and responsibility to their community and the environment, as well as the changing perceptions of women’s potential are reflected in Linda’s figurative sculptures.


Rapunzel's DNA Ladder

Largely hand built, and often formed of slabs or coils, Linda’s figures have a narrative, storytelling appeal that is enhanced by the addition of mixed media elements.

"Deeply Rooted Friendship - Sias Sisters" Sias University, Henan Province, China May 2005

"Deeply Rooted Friendship - Sias Sisters" Sias University, Henan Province, China May 2005

Most recently, Linda has been traveling to China to dedicate the installation of public sculptures intended to symbolize the friendship between her university and their partners in China.  In addition to meeting and working with colleagues in China, Linda has benefited from art travel to important ceramic sites such as Xian, Dehua, Jingdezhen and Foshan near Guangzhou.  This international perspective has reinforced her beliefs that all mankind is motivated by the same love and fear and that if we are to build a better future, we must respect our differences and celebrate our commonalities in Art as well as in life.  This philosophy has fueled new work dealing with spiritual and religious themes illustrated through the figure.

Linda is a Professor of Art – Ceramics, at Fort Hays State University. You can see more of her interesting work on her website.

Popularity: 84% [?]

The Sculpture of Deborah Rael-Buckley

Posted in Ceramic on May 30th, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment

Deborah Rael-Buckley

I spent quite awhile on Deborah Rael-Buckley’s website. Her work is captivating and holds your attention. The sculptures are quite large, I can imagine how stunning they must be in person. They tell stories with layers of what she terms “the taxonomy of memory: the layering of personal, cultural, historical and biological imagery.” You, the viewer becomes a participant in the stories she tells.

She  creates large-scale, narrative ceramic sculpture, generally in the female form . Many of them have the look of ladders or stairs, almost a suggestion for us to use the ladder or stairs to climb down into our memories but always to climb back out again into the now. The sculpture below is one I found compelling.



This is the second in her artist chair series. Deborah was inspired by Remedios Varo, a Spanish surrealist painter who lived half of her life in Mexico, and was a prolific painter. She often used imagery of wheels, wings, pulleys, wind and other natural elements as metaphors. I was prompted to look for Remedios Varos work and found many websites featuring her work. I’ve given you just one link below.

"El Relojero", canvas (71 x 84cm.), 1955

Remedios Varo (1908-1963)


I hope you visit Deborah’s website and enjoy her work as much as I do. She has a slide show called Anatomy of a Sculpture that shows the process of creating the Varo sculpture. I recommend it, It is very interesting. sor_juanas_dream_frontjpgHer works are in national and international collections, including the State of New Mexico, the Sara and David Lieberman collection of contemporary ceramics and the Sandy and Diane Besser collection of contemporary American ceramics. Her work can also be seen in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, Illinois. Rael-Buckley lives and works in Taos, NM where she has her studio. Her work can be seen at Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and privately in her studio.

Popularity: 38% [?]

Welcome to The Figurative Artbeat

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22nd, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment

I’ll be conducting interviews with fabulous figurative artists. Featuring clay, mixed media, polymer clay, fabric, watercolor and more. Join me as I present a colorful journey into the world of the figurative artist.

Popularity: 35% [?]