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  #1  
Old 09-12-2006, 09:36 AM
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Tandigon Tandigon is offline
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Anatomy class

Hello
For those intrested in figurative sculpture it would probably be a good idea to spend time in the anatomy hall of a medical college. This exercise can run parallel to live nude model study drawings ( hundreds of..) and including some of body builders. Another exercise would be making small figurines in modelling wax over wire skeletons. Anatomy theory to learn how many and which muscles are involved in various facial expressions or various actions may help to make your sculpture more credible.
Of course to attend disections you need to have a strong stomach. Have your sketch pad ready / or a bucket.

Tandigon
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2006, 09:39 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

I'd like to propose that anatomy is a highly overrated subject as it relates to figure sculpture.

Or - to put it differently -- clearly it's been important to certain sculptors (Michelangelo being the prime example) and, of course, it's important to those who make medical prostheses -- but it's been tangential if not irrelevant to most of the world's figure sculpture that I enjoy looking at.

It's value is inflated in our current civilization because technical/scientific information is so highly priveleged -- while spiritual traditions are not. (and that's what I would all the great schools of world sculpture -- from Buddhist to Beaux-arts -- they're all spiritual traditions)

It's your job, Daril, in medical prothetics, to make things as convincing real as possible -- and that's also the job for those who make the figures for wax museums -- but the kind of figure sculpture that interests me is about something else.
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2006, 10:49 AM
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sculptor sculptor is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Pardon me in advance if the following seems a tad opinionated:

anatomy is the language, the lexicon , the syntax, spine and roadmap of
figurative sculpture, it is the very core of the art and craft

even if you've plumbed the depths of the human soul, and soared to the heights of universal awareness and understanding, without the language and lexicon, you'd be hardpressed to communicate these understandings

That being said, I've known sculptors who've recreated every bone and muscle of the human body, and in such an intense focuse have lost all creativity and love of the art and found themselves persuing other careers

and throw in the word "class" following anatomy, and you may fall victim to any of myriad minions of mediocrity who infest the educational environs

just passing thought
rod
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2006, 10:57 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Hi, I've been a big proponent on this web site for life drawing and its benefits to an artist as part of his or her art education. While I have met with some disagreement here, I remain a fervent believer in life drawing.
Anatomy is another matter. I have studied it but just briefly and although I think it's a good idea to know what's under that skin, it has almost nothing to do with conveying feeling and emotion through form.
I have seen plenty of GUMBYISH looking figurative sculpture, works in which you can't "feel" bones or any structure under the skin. That makes me think that maybe anatomy class might be good for some artists.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2006, 12:15 PM
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Tandigon Tandigon is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Hey, Hey!

I was really referring to those among you who plan to follow in Michaelangelo's footsteps bypassing the life casting techniques.

That said, for those not interested in that route, a lot of life study is the path. Take for example my personal liking for the horse. I drew and drew and drew from life until drawing a horse became as natural as a signature. That evolved to lines which conveyed the same spirit, until I let it evolve into shapes unrecognizable as a horse but retain the spirit. I guess you could do the same with the human figure. But hey, we are talking figurative.

Tandigon.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2006, 02:44 PM
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Re: Anatomy class

I agree with the others who think that anatomy classes MAY be of help to some artists. I don't know how a disection class is going to help much. I think Michaelangelo would have done a better job with the female form by looking at live models rather than cadeavors. Yet he was able to transcend his limitations there with the Pieta. (the drapery helped)

It is a good idea to have a book on anatomy that shows bones, muscles, etc. to get a general knowledge and as specific reference if needed.

Better than all this is working from a live model, and in my opinion, concurrently studying the best figurative sculpture from the past. I have come to realize how well the Greeks understood anatomy and distilled it to essence rather than exalted extraneous detail. That is how their work arrived at the term "classic" meaning it achieved the highest form. They sought the ideal with the real as a guide. I am also inspired by the late 19th century sculptors derived from the French realist school who got amazingly lifelike form without overkill in most cases.

I may be able to sculpt from memory or imagination, but I do much better when I have a model to look at, to see if my ideas mesh with natural grace and sound construction. Plus the inspirational value of the beauty of a live model. I don't get very inspired by dead, cut flesh. Life is the thing!

Glenn
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2006, 03:10 PM
anatomist1 anatomist1 is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

I've studied anatomy in school, including two semesters of working with dissected cadavers. I've also studied it fairly extensively through exercise and physical training. For me, the experiences in the anatomy lab are what led me to sculpture, although my fascination was with the internal structure itself, not figures.

Today, I can sculpt a bodybuilder-esque figure without using any sort of model that has pretty accurate bone structure and muscles - aside from maybe a few initial measurements in making the armature. Although I doubt anyone would think much of it as figurative sculpture. For one thing, I haven't studied fat or fat distribution patterns much. More importantly though, I don't really care much about figurative sculpture and don't even pretend to be good at it or know much about it. I guess the point is that one can have pretty extensive anatomical knowledge and even sculptural skill relating to internal anatomy and it doesn't necessarily translate into good figurative sculpture. Maybe if I did get into it I would have an advantage... I don't know.
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  #8  
Old 09-14-2006, 08:36 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Quote:
Originally Posted by sculptor
anatomy is the language, the lexicon , the syntax, spine and roadmap of
figurative sculpture, it is the very core of the art and craft
Which sculptors do you think ever made anatomy "the very core of their art and craft" ?

Mass, space, surface, and contour are the language ---- rhythm/tension is the syntax -- gesture/expression is the lexicon --- and something like prayer is the spine and roadmap of figure sculpture -- not just the kind that I like -- but the kind that has entered the canons of art history -- from the Old Kingdom of Egypt, to the age of Pericles, to Wei Dynasty China, to Medieval Rheims or Ankhor Wat, to Renaissance Italy, to Classical modernism.

Anatomy is a way to analyze/explore certain complex shapes that may, or may not, be successfully incorporated into figure sculpture.
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  #9  
Old 09-14-2006, 09:51 AM
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sculptor sculptor is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountshang
Which sculptors do you think ever made anatomy "the very core of their art and craft" ?

Mass, space, surface, and contour are the language ---- rhythm/tension is the syntax -- gesture/expression is the lexicon --- and something like prayer is the spine and roadmap of figure sculpture -- not just the kind that I like -- but the kind that has entered the canons of art history -- from the Old Kingdom of Egypt, to the age of Pericles, to Wei Dynasty China, to Medieval Rheims or Ankhor Wat, to Renaissance Italy, to Classical modernism.

Anatomy is a way to analyze/explore certain complex shapes that may, or may not, be successfully incorporated into figure sculpture.

OK point well taken
sometimes, i toss out a passing thought without thorough refinements
We use these combinations of letters, and words as our language
as did Shelly, Keats, Shakespeare, Po, Byron, Adams, Jefferson, Tolkein, Huxley..Clinton.....etc.
We all share a common communications medium, but some of us use that communications point to tell a good story, Write a pithy poem, create a document for the foundation of a nation, .....etc
Once we have a common foundation, we have the necessary prerequisite for creation based on that foundation----do we all take advantage of that to create? I think not. But without the foundation, many who would create have flaws in the creation that prove disquietind ---like building a palace and forgettion functioning windows or a good foundation
the study of anatomy in one waay or another is only the foundation not the art------

for architecture, give me a sturdy foundation, and i can design a palace, greenhouse, bunker, or warehouse to fit on that foundation----one may be able to claim the word "art" all will be functional

the same foundation
may be necessary for some artists
may destroy the creativity of some artists
may be wholly unnecessary for some intuitive savant artists

as/re which artists...michaelangelo came to a realization that he needed to understand the anatomy under the skin to fully realize the parameters whithin which he could push the art while eliminating the disquieting shapes/spaces
-----this intense (and, at the time illegal) study and desire for perfection and elimination of the disquieting parts is , I believe" what led him in later life to intentionally leave some of these disquieting moments in the art by selectively leaving some parts unfinished----(just a guess)

your "Anatomy is a way to analyze/explore certain complex shapes that may, or may not, be successfully incorporated into figure sculpture."
is damned near the mark--
and siginificantly less verbose than my explanations

the point remains that it is a necessary understanding which preceeds the art?
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  #10  
Old 09-14-2006, 11:15 AM
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Re: Anatomy class

Great post, mountshang!

Glenn
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  #11  
Old 09-14-2006, 02:06 PM
Arnis Arnis is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

I have been studied Anatomy for 2 years and presented in a medical hall.It is useful but not enought.Life drawing is useful but not enough .Knowledge of genesis of the shape is superior in 3D.You have to see the shape in motion and it is change in 3D.Arnis
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  #12  
Old 09-14-2006, 03:45 PM
Thatch Thatch is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Maybe our definition of what figural means differs. To me if there is theme to the piece that shows any representation of the human form it is figural. For instance the Boccioni "Unique Forms of Continuity in Space" is very figural and there isn't much besides the basic form to suggest a figure. Many would consider it abtract, but if anything that is not anatomically correct is abstract then the typical standing figure of Buddah with the stylized narrow waist and smoothed out ribs etc is going to fall into a grey area, and that ( the Budda) is certainly figural.

Studying anything that might help an artist make better art can be worth while. Hyper or super realism is not considered by many to be the most artistic goal there is, but it is a goal. That goal using modeling or carving as a way to get there is probably best acheived through intense study of anatomy.

Anything can be taken too far. One does not need to learn poultry farming before learning how to cook an omelet, or Petroleum Engineering to be able to drive a car that uses fossil fuels for combustion.

I like forms that leave no doubt as to them being based on humans as well as ones that suggest a hip, shoulder or breast and leave a lot to the imagination of the viewer.

Ironman Jeff recently posted a pic of a sculpture that reminded me of a Shaman or Medicine Man. I don't recall there being any features to it that were anatomical anything but it was suggestive of a figure. I would call it figural because there are arms and a head that relate to the human form.
Jeff did this form evolve from a drawing based on a figure? Anatomical references etc?

Thatch
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2006, 03:53 PM
G. Murdoch G. Murdoch is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

I feel fortunate to have received the education that I did in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The cirriculum included Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology from the western perspective, of course, yet perhaps the greatest tangential benefit to my figurative sculpture efforts was the understanding of the flow of Qi through the living body. It is Qi which animates the tissues (and Shen {spirit} which animates Qi), so while a thorough knowledge of structural elements helps, an understanding of the forces at play within the structure helps even more.

Graham
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2006, 09:46 AM
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Tandigon Tandigon is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Many many years ago when I visited the post mortem room almost daily, I looked at the cadavers and seemed to understand the meaning of lifelessness. During those days when a body was shown to (after being found many days after death) for reconstitution of the head, I smelt the rotting carcass and understood the perishability of flesh. In life study, I smelt life and saw the liveliness of the human body.
The anatomy class gives a rounded education. Thus when a marble Sculptor looks at a cold block of marble, it is up to him to bring it to life. This was Michaelangelo's great talent.
However even if the figurative sculptor tends to simplify and evolve the form, it may yet evoke the response to body language, or deeper yet, the soul.
But the human body has many more surprises without and within. The design, the shape, the form, the genius of creation that one finds could simply leave you in awe. That's what happened to Michaelangelo and Leonardo, they never stopped being in awe.
There could be no better teacher than nature itself. But the moment you've lost the ability to be in awe, well........

Tandigon
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2006, 09:08 PM
G. Murdoch G. Murdoch is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Tandigon,

About 10 years ago I was living in Victoria, going to school, and living in the rear apartment of an older brick building. The woman who rented the front half had studied archaeology and anthropology in the early 70's and had: a human skull, several long bones, a hand, a foot, and several vertebrae. In addition to my studies at the Chinese Medicine college I had recently taken a workshop in Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and was very big on bones at the time. She graciously lent me her box of bones and my friend Dave and I spent many hours drawing them. The skull had been sagitally sutured so it was possible to lift the top of the skull off and look into the brain box.

Reading your post reminded me of the overwhelming sense of awe and wonder I experienced while studying these bones, especially the skull. There are 24-29 (can't remember exactly) bones in the human head. The most complicated, elegant, graceful, phenomenally beautiful shapes, woven together in such a way that the human brain is both protected & nourished. Awe, wonder, & humility are words that can only cast a shadow of my response to the miracle of creation. Thanks for the reminder.

Graham
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  #16  
Old 09-20-2006, 11:54 PM
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Tandigon Tandigon is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Hello Murdoch

Too true ! Look at the shapes of the tiny bones in the inner ear, or the ear itself which seems like a flat cartilage curled up this way and that, or check out the cornea. My God theres so much to see, as if I'm in a museum and viewing beautiful sculptures, but it's best to just take one at a time to admire its structure and shape yet remind ourselves that these wonderful forms are meant to provide a function. Thats why I ask myself why my forms should not provide function too.

Tandigon
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  #17  
Old 09-21-2006, 12:11 AM
G. Murdoch G. Murdoch is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Tandigon,

I very much admire what you do for a living, exercising the highest degree of sculptural craftsmanship, with the finished product enriching people's lives in a very practical, tangible way.

My sculptures (I hope) enrich people's lives, yet in a more ephemeral way. My part time job at my friend's wholistic living business (where I practice Chinese Medicine 3 evenings per week) reflects my desire to help people in a more tangible way.

Behold the sphenoid. have you ever seen a work of sculpture made by the hand of man which even comes close? I haven't.

Graham
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2006, 03:37 AM
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Re: Anatomy class

Bless you Murdoch

In your awe you face the work of the master creator. What could be more inspirational. Apart from the literal anatomy class, the teacher is far more profound in inspirational examples. These inspirations are useful to all those involved in 3D design.

Your touch with humans in healing processes such as the one you practice serves to bring you closer to health, well being, illness, suffering and the way the human body responds. It keeps you in touch with reality as we know it.

Tandigon
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  #19  
Old 09-24-2006, 01:37 PM
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Re: Anatomy class

I find the idea that Anatomy is uninportant in the understanding and creation of figurative sculpture to be laughable. Passion and spirituallity can lead to wonderfull ideas but in the execution of those ideas, it is a solid foundation of knowledge which alows for proper rendering and experimentation of the human form. Learning anatomy is a way to help train our eyes to see the forms on the individual models. I don't believe anyone is looking to create figures whos musculature is so defined that they cease to look real; or that anatomy is the only way to good figure sculpture. Art is a collection of all our experiences and knowledge formed into a single moment of collective inspiration. But if in that collection of experiences and knowledge there is a lack of good foundational observation, the work will be mediocre at best. If Rodin did not have a deep understanding of anatomy as a core to his abilities, then the experimentaion he did with the abstraction of forms through the use of gestual sculptures would not have been as succesful. Picasso began with a classical training in figurative art, learning realism and representaion. Only then was he able to diverge from that and arrive at Cubism. If he had started with abstract art or directly stumbled into cubism, his work and his name would not be known today. I'll say it again: Foundation is the key to all great Art.

Alfred
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  #20  
Old 09-25-2006, 08:56 AM
Arnis Arnis is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

A good speech Alfred.I like this for Pikasso.About yours works more proportions .Especially in Self made man.Arnis
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  #21  
Old 09-25-2006, 12:37 PM
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Tandigon Tandigon is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

Hello everyone

Would you like to browse these links?

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/anat/hd_anat.htm
http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/8404.html
http://www.keropiansculpture.com/anastud.html
http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/6aa/6aa315c.htm
http://www.bronze-gallery.com/sculpt...TOKEN=64050951

And one more that I just could not link is 'Dream Anatomy' but if you type it in Google, you get there. Worth the visit.

Thanks
Tandigon
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  #22  
Old 09-30-2006, 04:35 PM
furby furby is offline
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Re: Anatomy class

yeah anatomy study is the way to go. you can't make a decent figurative sculpture without understanding the shapes that move inside the skin & the framework that holds it up & how they connect together. once you know it, it comes out in your work & brings an ease to the viewer. once your viewer stops looking at stuff thats dissonant in your figure, and starts to enjoy the way you've made it live, then your figure has an ease and naturalness thats worth the effort of all your study.
and yes its fascinating to learn anatomy. bones are incredible shapes, and the muscles that string between them marvellous and logical.
a solid anatomy understanding helps with abstracted works too. because we are human, the works we make that have inbuilt felt meaning come from the human figure, else its just design, a pretty collection of shapes. even welded steel works have figurative overtones. IMHO.
i really don't think there's a serious artist out there who hasn't studied it & doesn't think its important. but thats my trad background talkin. but then i wouldn't have it any other way, cos thats what i do and love.
i wouldn't mind doing some real cadaver work, in my artist mind, but in my ordinary mind i think it would be gross! It was Michelangelo or Leonardo who never had any appetite again, after they'd done a bit of dissection... yuck.
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