A Watercolor

A Watercolor

Old St. Martin’s Church in Venice, Italy
This watercolor is a copy from an ad in “American Art Review” magazine. I don’t know who did the original oil painting in the 19th century, but when I locate the information I will post it. My copy is about 10 x 12 and took approximately 40 enjoyable hours to complete.


Tin Man

Suit of Armor

This is a charcoal and pastel pencil drawing of a suit of armor from Westphalia, Germany, c. 1450. It was indicated at the Detroit Institute of Art as being made before the advent of merely decorative use armor. Perhaps then it actually was intended to be worn into battle.




This is a roundel by an anonymous Italian stone carver.  It is permanently embedded into a Medieval display wall of the DIA, along with other roundels and pieces of carved stone from the Middle Ages.

What would you say was the age of this piece?  The 11th, 12th, or 13th century perhaps?

It is late 1800’s to early 1900’s !  I worked for hours on this drawing before checking the date and was very surprised to see the carving might be only a little more than 100 years old.  I don’t know if it was intentionally carved to appear centuries older, or the carver was an unwitting Medieval Master.






This Rock

Bust_of_St. Peter_Alessand copy


Simon was called Peter (meaning “rock”) by Jesus.  Peter was a man of the earth – a fisherman, impulsive, not an intellectual – he put his whole self into his work.  By his own admission he was “a sinful man.”

Peter was like this sculpture: made of clay dug from the earth, then tried through fire to become “a rock.”

This not quite finished sketch is of a terra cotta (Italian: “baked earth”) bust by Alessandro Algardi.




Another Sketch


Here is a quick sketch of a terra cotta bust by Vincenzo Gemito of Italy in 1880.

The subject is Charlotte Meissonier, godchild of Gemito’s student, Edouard Detaille, who became semi-official artist to the French army.  Was Charlotte the daughter of self-taught Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier, another accomplished artist?  I was not able to find out.

Gemito was orphaned as a child but was adopted by a poor sculptor.  He went on to study under two other sculptors and at 16, first sold a work of his own.  He built a bronze foundry in Naples in 1883, but suffered a mental collapse 4 years later.  It wasn’t until 22 years later, in 1909, that he resumed sculpting.  Fortunately, he lived another 20 productive years.

Vincenzo Gemito – an inspiring story of overcoming adversity.

Another Saint

8. Saint Agnes

This is St. Agnes, a martyr at approximately age 13.  She was a beautiful Roman girl who refused numerous offers of marriage, having promised herself to Christ alone.  Not being swayed by many gifts, including offers from the governor and his son, she was beheaded in 304. Even the pagan Romans decried the disgrace of publicly executing one so young and attractive.  She is extolled in the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran traditions.

To honor her, this lovely face was sculpted by Alfred Drury, in England, in 1894.

It is actually not a bronze, but made of plaster with a bronzed and burnished patina expertly applied.

Drawing done at the DIA, charcoal and pastel, in about 4 hours.