Friday, August 12, 2016

A Sculpture Named Sheila

Sheila
Terra Cotta by Jane McElvany Coonce
The Art League, located in the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, is having 2  juried shows this month.  One is the landscape show that they have every August and the other is a sculpture show called "Taking Shape."  I was thrilled when my sculpture, "Sheila," was accepted.

I started doing sculpture when my youngest son was just born.  I needed a break from motherhood, so once a week I hired a babysitter and would go to The Art League and take a sculpture class.

One thing about sculpture is that you really need to work from a model.  A photograph doesn't show you the person except from one view point.  In sculpture, ever view point is important.

I captured a woman who had beautiful features, and I put her in a simple garment and head scarf.  She reminded me of a woman from my childhood.  Elnora was a cleaning lady who cleaned many of the houses in my neighborhood.  Although, she didn't clean my parent's house, I knew her because she was always at one of the neighborhood kids' houses.  She was like a 2nd mother, always fussing at us and fixing us food.  I know everyone in our neighborhood had a special place in our hearts for Elnora.  Even in her simple clothes, Elnora was memoriable. This sculpture celebrates all those special people who touch our lives in some small way but who have a special quality that makes them last in our memories until the day we die.  Sometimes, it's just a little incident that triggers a memory and makes you remember someone who made a lasting impression in your life.

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