View Full Version : Henry

max nelson
12-10-2001, 09:28 PM

Crossing my fingers that both images work...have trouble with that. This is an early study I did in a sculpture class several years ago. I think that this was the second portrait that I tried..maybe the third..it's been awhile. The sitter, Henry, was the retired mining engineer who gave me the 'stone' that I used for an earlier post. He had been active in the class sculpting, but his arthritis was bothering him so he decided to pose. He was a lovable character and all liked him very much. He was terrible at posing however, kept falling asleep and his jaw would drop nearly to his chest as he snored. We kept yelling at him, "HENRY, WAKE UP!" He would snap to attention for about 5 minutes and we would have to repeat the process. Henry really liked this piece and during breaks would come over and comment on it so much until finally I caved in and told him that if he liked it that much it was his. After completion of the fired piece I took it to his home and presented it to him. The beam was worth a million bucks!!!
He died shortly after that. I went to his memorial service and was very moved. On several long tables, his family had displayed pictures and mementos of his long and storied career including a stint as a bomber pilot in WWII. In the very center of the display was this piece..his family said that they thought it was his proudest possesion. Hope you enjoy half as much as Henry did.
P.S later I did a caricature that I will post at another time.

12-10-2001, 11:08 PM
Max: I can tell it looks just like him because of the detail, that doesn't make alot of sense, but I feel like I can. That is so professional, that you are a professional! I can very well see that this would've been the pride and joy of that man, and his family. That was a truly good piece, and it was a truly good thing that you did by giving it to him. That, to me, is worth more than money, giving people things that mean alot to them. I really and truly think that will probably be the most important piece you'll ever do, because of what it did, not because of what it could bring you.
Very well done...
Randy (I am moved)

For the future, 'if you want' to place an image beside another... all you have to do is paste the next one beside the first one, on the same line, with no space. You can still go in and edit it, if you care to try it...-R-

max nelson
12-11-2001, 12:18 AM
Randy, ole buddy, you are a wealth of information. I didn't have a clue that you could paste these things side by side. Tnaks, er, thanks. But I never know how big the image is going to be...if they are too fat will I know before I get it uploaded or will it truncate part?? Clue me in. And thanks for the kind comments on the piece. You are absolutely right in the giving bit. If I had gotten big money for one of these it would never equal the satisfaction I got from giving it to him....and I don't believe it was even a holiday or nuthin:D
Max:) Oh, by the way, meant to thank you for a post you gave somebody else on images at google. (I thought that was some kind of topless joint..even better):D

12-11-2001, 05:16 AM
Regarding posting images side by side, please make sure that the combined width of your images is no more than 500 pixels (the recommended limit for a single image). If you post very wide images or combination of images, you will force the screen to display wide and everyone will have to keep scrolling sideways.

Like the portrait, btw. I have done a portrait sculpture in class myself. I think I posted it in this forum, too, some time back. The difference is yours looks very professional. Plus it is professionally presented. Can you tell me how you made the base and attached it to the head. Thanks.

12-11-2001, 06:58 AM
A lovely heart warming story, lots of FGF (feel good factor) on all sides. And what an amazing piece of work!
I just love this, it's as though each wrinkle and bump and line and curve of his face tells a tale ...a memory. The human face is fascinating, his even more so. I look at something like this and cant help wishing that I'd known this person.

12-11-2001, 07:03 AM
Max, this is a beautiful bust!

Wow :clap: ...and thank you for sharing the story. Makes it so much more by knowing the story behind it :) Your skill as a portrait artist is outstanding. It's very easy to see that you have the ability to 'see' more in your subjects than meets the eye at first. Beautiful work and story. Thank you for sharing. now.... let's see the horses???? :D


max nelson
12-11-2001, 06:08 PM
Thanks all for you comments. Before answering the questions just have to describe the beautiful day we are having here in southern Arizona. One of those rare rainy days, cold temps (about 50 degrees..yea, yea I know) and the snow level down to about 3500 feet on the mountains that surround us. The contrast of citrus trees, cactus and green bark Palo Verde trees against that backdrop is stunningly beautiful. Times like this that I wish I could paint.

Sandra..500 pixels combined. Not sure that I have the expertise to do the manipulation required but will give it my best. The base of this was made from what we call here a composition board. It is made of sawdust bound with resins to make a very straight but not very strong building material. Drilled a hole the size of the post thru the top and inserted a piece inside the box to accept another hole for support. Then finished off with several coats of black paint. The post is secured in the open end of the bust by inserting and filling around the post with Bondo...the stuff they use as auto body repair. It is a two part mix and dries rock hard. It can be sanded, carved, scraped etc when finished to dress up rough edges. P.S. The 50 degrees is not like YOUR 50..I was over there for a couple of years..this is not bone chilling. Hehe:D

Imp..when I posted this I hoped that you would see it after your comment of wanting to do one with a 'lived in look'. Henry had certainly done that and with much grace and dignity. Thanks for the comments.:)

Di..love to get those clappies, thanks very much. The horses..they is coming..just looking for a decent pic. Now how 'bout a progress on "Cold Rain" hmnnnn:)

12-11-2001, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the info. So, is the finished bust still the clay or did you cast it. If it's the clay what finish did you put on it? (I know - questions, questions! :rolleyes: )

Citrus trees, cactus, rain, snow and mountains - sounds wonderful. :D

Phyllis Rennie
12-11-2001, 08:50 PM
Love it!

max nelson
12-11-2001, 10:56 PM
Sandra..the piece was in wet clay and fired when finished. The 'patina' is a concoction I just experimented with to get. I had access to several cans of left over auto body paint in metallic colors. Since they had a bronzie look thought they would work. I sealed it first then just applied several tones to get the look you see. It was mistaken for a bronze piece more than once, so guess it succeeded in that part. How's my old home away from home Grosvenor Square? Sure would like to get back there one day to see how London must have changed in ###years.

Phyliss..thanks for the kind comment:)

12-11-2001, 11:10 PM
Had to come and have another look at this, it's (he's!) great.
I cant believe taht you used car paint!!! impossible to tell from sitting here.
Makes my fingers very itchy ...I want some clay!!!:D
Hope that you took some photographs of your great scenery there. Snow and Cacti, the mind boggles!

12-13-2001, 03:44 PM
"The horses..they is coming.."

they'll be comin' 'round the mountain when they come....she'll be riding six white horses......she'll be riding six white horses.....

Sorry, but you started it :D
(think I've had too much tea today)

12-13-2001, 06:27 PM
awesome work Max... !!!!!!

max nelson
12-13-2001, 06:44 PM
Di..wish I had a good retort...quite..I'm thinking. Nothing, I just hate it when that happens.:D

Jan Michael..thanks very much for your comment. And again, let me say how glad we are that you threw you hat into this forum as well as the others that you are in.

:) :) :) Max

12-18-2001, 12:42 PM
Randy suggested I come over and check out your sculptures the other day. Sure glad I did. Especially since this is the first one I visited.

Sir, your ingenuity matches your talent! You've sure made this wonderful piece look like first rate bronze. Also, to capture the details of this gentleman's face (especially when he wouldn't hold still) really shows us how talented you really are. Like those awesome charcoal sketches you did in 15 minutes! :) :) :)

Well done on the gifting. No wonder it was precious to him.

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

max nelson
12-18-2001, 07:12 PM
greencook..ya better watch out with that Randy..you do know he's been institutionalized:D Actually, he's a great guy and very helpful and knowledgeable. Thanks again for the kindments and the little chorus.:)

12-20-2001, 09:55 AM
Hello Max:

I had some time this morning and looked at both your earlier work and this bust. In my estimation you are really a good sculpture. Being a painter I can relate to earlier work vs current work. The important part is to be able to improve and grow with your artisic ability.
This is a touching real life story of your gift to Henry, and I can understand why he cherished it.
Will look forward to seeing more of your work.


max nelson
12-20-2001, 05:16 PM
MKathleen...thanks for your comments. Yea, that growth factor. It's slow but hopefully steady. But painting..that's what I really want to do!. Fairly handy at sculpting but just havn't got the hang of painting(the way I want) yet. Only been doing it a couple of years and not on a very regular or consistent basis..but won't quit till I get it!:)

12-22-2001, 09:38 AM
Max - great piece, this has been a fun thread to read.

You keep saying that alot of what you are posting is older stuff, are you sculpting anything new?