1/1 White Rhino in polymer clay (private commission)
Definition of art:
Art is the purposeful expression of human creative skill or imagination intended to make the viewer feel something.
Realism in art:
Realism, sometimes called naturalism, in the arts is generally the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, or implausible, exotic, and supernatural elements. Wikipedia
Artist's statement: Regardless of the medium, I believe it is only art which speaks truth that holds a lasting resonance with the viewer. Therefore, I do demand anatomical accuracy from my work. However, since art is an interpretation, I also believe that my work is enhanced by incorporating a judicious degree of exaggeration. These are my goals.
"...Todd. A fellow traveler in the world of wonders." -Walter Matia
Polymath Artist: I am a featured and award winning sculptor, illustrator, a former black & white newspaper comic strip cartoonist and memoirist.
"Ostinato Rigore" (relentless rigor) -Leonardo da Vinci
I received my formal art training at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. There I studied a myriad of disciplines to include: cartooning, illustration, drawing (all levels), advertising art, design, and sculpture. In addition, I studied human anatomy, physiology and kinesiology for 18 months which has benefited me enormously in giving life to my work.
Following art school, I served an extended seven year apprenticeship under master wildlife sculptor Bart Walter. I also studied under master sculptor Walter Matia for over one year and briefly under artist Phillip Ratner.
As a result of my years of formal training, professional understudy and consistent work, I have come to understand that creating fine art is fundamentally about developing the ability to see your subject--any subject--with uncommon clarity. You will not be capable of imbuing your art with a true sense of life until you have learned to see in this way.
And to do so, you must consciously be thinking about: shapes, distances (i.e. positive and negative space), mass, movement and symmetry as you sculpt or draw. It's an ongoing exercise in problem identification and problem solving and the completed art is the result of that process.
In addition to my personal mentors, the artists that I've been most influenced by are: Jacob Epstein, Alexander Pope, Felix de Weldon, Henry Moore, August Rodin, Alberto Giacometti, Bill Watterson, Gary Larson, Jim Unger, Wiley Miller, John Callahan and Berkley Breathed.
I utilize clay, wood, granite, marble, graphite and pen.
My art results from a need to create and the feeling that I'm wasting precious time when I'm not. I create because I can't not create. ...not for long anyway. It's something I am compelled to do.
Finally, I don't believe that people are either "talented" or "gifted." However, I deeply believe that we are all born with a particular aptitude. And if you work hard and never give up, you can develop your own unique aptitude into an actual skill.
"He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." -Friedrich Nietzsche