For commissions contact LisaThorne@comcast.net
Sculpting is a powerful reminder to me that I don’t always know myself as well as I think I do. I didn’t learn to sculpt, or even know that I had any artistic talent at all, until I was in my late 30’s. I kept finding myself staring longingly at art supply stores. I figured it was just a desire to shop compulsively, so I ignored it. On my 37th birthday, I decided to indulge myself with $25 worth of pencils, paper, and two how-to-draw books. I just followed the directions, and surprised myself at how good they looked. I bought a few more books. I took a class. But I wasn’t happy with how well I was able to make my drawings look 3-dimensional. Then I took a sculpture class, thinking that it might help my drawing. It turned out I took to sculpting even better than drawing. The whole experience has been like a really great dream. I am wandering around my house and open a door that I always assumed was a closet. It turns out it’s not a closet; it’s a hallway. Every time I walk to what I think is the end of the hallway, I find more hallways, each one more surprising and exciting than the last.
Polymer clay doesn’t make a mess so I can sculpt wherever I am: doctor’s office, park bench, karaoke bar, friend’s house, or on a road trip. I always arrange for something to listen to while I sculpt: audio books, a speech, or talking with friends while I sculpt. I seem to be a better listener when I’m sculpting. I also really enjoy people watching me sculpt.
Currently I’m focusing on portraits. It’s amazing to create a replica of a person. I like to do the eyes first; that way the sculpture kind of stares back at me, inspiring me to bring the rest of the sculpture to life as well. In the long term, I’m planning on studying welding so that I can make large-scale metal sculptures. I don’t yet have a picture in my mind of what I would like to make. I just have that growing feeling like I had about art supply stores, except this time I don’t think I need to hold myself back.
Lisa Gehman Thorne was born in
Mrs. Thorne now divides her time between sculpture and teaching math and computer graphics to at-risk youth.
Two of her sculptures will be featured this summer at the Texas Visual Arts Association National Exhibition, and slides of her sculptures will be shown at Viridian Artists Inc. Sixteenth National Juried Exhibition.