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The Observer
395 Watchers516 Deviations

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Sheltered -- Mother and Child by Observer14, visual art

Artist // Professional // Traditional Art
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My Bio
I have had a passion for clay and sculpture for as long as I can remember. Though I grew up in a very technical and computer oriented family, some of my fondest memories are of summer pottery classes at the local art museum. In college, I took a turn toward mathematics and computer science, and over the next 35 years, I followed a fulfilling and profitable career as a Software Engineer. However, I never forgot my love for sculpture.

I am still amazed by the pure joy I experience when I have my hands in the clay. I find that my work communicates on many different levels, from the practical and utilitarian to a simple reflection of the beauty I see around me. It may expresses a response of hope or fear or love, or it may be a simply reflection the little kid inside of me at play. For me, clay and sculpture become a language to express thoughts, emotions, or insights for which I have no words.

As much as I love to create with clay, I also love to teach others to experience that same joy. Young people are naturally drawn to clay, even when their technical skills are simple. With a little bit of instruction and encouragement, they quickly gain the confidence that they too can create something of value. Clay is such a malleable material that the art flows naturally from their active imaginations.

More recently, my journey has been discovering what it looks like to integrate the truth of my relationship with Christ, and my expression as an artist. I am learning to let the creative process develop in such a way that it reflects the complicated dynamic of my Faith–something which is not always pretty or positive or well understood, but which carries underneath it the reality of Hope.

Thus the theme, “Reflecting faith, hope and beauty through art.”

Current Residence: Fayetteville, GA



Favourite Movies
Favourite TV Shows
Favourite Bands / Musical Artists
Enya, Cherish the Ladies,
Favourite Books
Hobbit, LOTR, Narnia
Favourite Writers
Tolkein, C.S. Lewis
I have always been fascinated by how our bodies, and in particular, our arms and shoulders, silently communicate our thoughts and emotions. Working with clay brings us to the fact that the arms are the most slender part of the body, and thus pose some serious technical issues when we create a composition. One of the first things people ask is whether I use wires or some sort or armature. There are some materials where an armature can be helpful, for example, molding in wax to create a sculpture in bronze, or using some of the modern polymer clay bodies, but unfortunately, natural clay shrinks during drying and firing. This can be reduced by the use of either grog, or “paper clay”, which uses paper or cellulose fibers mixed with the clay to reduce shrinkage. However, with most clay bodies, a fixed armature causes the figure to crack apart as the drying clay pulls away. However, there are some other useful tricks to creating fluid, graceful arms. I often start out by building the
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I've been noticing an increase of spam "likes" on comments I've made on other people's posts.  When I look at the account, they are obviously bot accounts, with nothing more than a link to an online dating site or similar, and a few hundred "likes" on various people's comments, as a way of sucking in traffic. I'd like to report the accounts, but unfortunately, they seem to have found a weak spot in the system.  You can report a comment, or maybe even a posting as "spam" or otherwise offensive, but I haven't found a way to mark the "like" they made on a comment, or the account itself as a bot.  I've looked in both Eclipse and the traditional
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WiX Sites?

2 min read
So, just ran across the newest Beta feature -- creating a personal gallery Web site using the WiX platform, and an integrated interface between your Featured gallery on DA, with the gallery on the WiX site. Pretty cool (not to mention a pretty slick advertising ploy to coax you into building a full blown, paid-for account through the WiX platform), and seems to work well. Obviously, they want you to buy a full domain name through them, but for the time being, it seems to work reasonably well (at least for testing) using their default domain. Link to my current site is: One apparent gotcha though... It's no secret that a good percentage of my figure sculptures are tagged with the "mild nudity" adult content flag. One of the coolest features of the integration is the fact that it sets up an automatic feed from your "Featured" folder to the main gallery in the WiX site. However, it appears to filter out any
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Profile Comments 323

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Question for you, So I've been trying to level up my anatomy game, and while I feel like I'm making strides, I'm not particularly happy with some features I've been working on as of late. I was wondering how do you get a more natural feel to the body, I'm finding my work despite being natural or dynamic posing, and even though the faces are relaxed, the body feels too fake or stiff. My last female image I've been working on and still rendering. Feels like she has fake breasts out of hollywood, despite trying for a fashion pose and to keep the image a certain way for clothing and armor. It'll be a base later when finished. I've used different models in the past some even not so toned and a bit more flabby but even still my work lacks a natural feel, I feel. :/ I've not posted up everything I work on. I have a lot of sketches in my notebook and sadly feel I lack body diversity.

There is NOTHING like drawing from life. I had five or six years of almost weekly drawing from life sessions with a local artist here. He started organizing informal classes with a model (clothed, usually in dance outfit). Unfortunately, after doing this for more than 20 years, he's finally bowed out. :-( You can get a little closer by using either videos (some free online resources on Vimeo/YouTube like and I like videos better than still photos because it forces you to act like you are in a live session. You get a lot more of a 3D feel, rather than just tracing out a still image.

Going to something like is also hugely beneficial. They have a huge collection of videos (humorous, but right on target) both for free and some premium content for a price. They have collections of reference photos (I can email you some), and a LOT of anatomy lessons.

I'll also give my own personal bias that you still draw with more fluidity with a pencil than you do with a computer. I know people who do absolutely amazing work on the computer, but I think they first learned with a physical drawing tool. I haven't done much with charcoal (the real stuff), but it forces you to focus on the flow of the form rather than fiddly details.

Body types? Well, some of that is just keeping your eyes open and watching people, and forcing yourself to DO it. Draw lots of clumsy pictures, and eventually they start getting better. I have a pile of little scrap papers that I draw on sometimes. The fact that I know it's a throwaway drawing somehow makes me loosen up a lot!! My wife works in a print shop here, so she collects lots of fragments (eg, quarter sheet size) with slightly heavier paper, so it's better than plain old copier paper.

Awesome thank you for this and the links I am checking the out and saving them now. Also Proko is 404ing I don't know why? I guess maybe I am a little stiff in the sense that I try to put pressure on creating absolutely spot on as much as possible. I'll keep working at it. Did some bust sketches and finally got a more natural looking breast on the computer its much easier with pencil than the tablet like you are saying. 

Hmmm... You'll have to try the Proko link again. I tried it and it seemed to work fine.

Yeah, there's a balance point where you always try to draw a "good" picture, but you're not shackled to the perfectionism of it.

(And yes, drawing/sculpting natural looking breasts is an interesting challenge... ;-) )

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