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Stone Sculptures - Interview with Carl Wright, Abstract Stone Sculptor

Older than civilization, one art form that has stood the test of time is that of stone sculpture.  Mankind has been creating sculptures since the time of the cave man, so it stands to reason that three dimensional abstract stone sculpture would be one of the popular forms of stone sculpture.

Abstract Stone Sculptor – Carl Wright©

Abstract Stone Sculptor – Carl Wright©

It is interesting to think that this form of three-dimensional abstract stone (along with its many sub forms: geometric, organic, junk objects (urban), and semi-abstract) – brings out both the eye of the beholder and the eye of the artist into a union, leaving each with broad opportunities to increase and indulge in their own private interpretations and exploration of emotions attached to the sculptor’s finished work.

Recently, here at Eye On Life Magazine we were honored to interview an extraordinarily talented abstract stone sculptor, Carl Wright.  Here’s a look inside the making of his world of art and the creation of it:

Interview with a Sculptor – Carl Wright

Motion – installed at the Courtyard Galleries in Portsmouth, VA – Artist: Carl Wright© Motion rises from his base, splits into two and then descends back into one piece.  Constantly rolling along, changing, evolving, but always moving.  This would include the shoppers passing by, cars roaring to their next destination, lovers strolling the store windows to discover their secrets.  It’s all motion and it is all embodied in the sculpture Motion.

Motion – installed at the Courtyard Galleries in Portsmouth, VA – Artist: Carl Wright©

Motion rises from his base, splits into two and then descends back into one piece.  Constantly rolling along, changing, evolving, but always moving.  This would include the shoppers passing by, cars roaring to their next destination, lovers strolling the store windows to discover their secrets.  It’s all motion and it is all embodied in the sculpture Motion.

Why did you start carving sculpture?

Several reasons actually: 

  • I love being my own boss & creating beautiful sculptures that reflect how clients feel or would like to feel.  I am not an artist in business; I am in business as an artist.
  •  I enjoy transforming a lump of stone into a dazzling showpiece that clients are happy with.  Also enjoy how the stones' color becomes richer with each successive process: carving, sanding, and waxing.
  • I enjoy the fact that there a limited number of sculptors to compete with but all have different styles & mediums (clay, stone, bronze, steel, etc.) that they work in.
  • I enjoy the physicality of envisioning a design, beating on, smoothing, & sanding the sculpture to its final form.   It beats working in an office cubicle with artificial deadlines, stale air, and office politics.
Aria sculpture – installed at the Northshore Sculpture Park in Skokie, IL.  Artist: Carl Wright © This sculpture is on loan and will be there until 2013 and is part of sculptor Carl Wright’s musical series.  Aria is seen as a singer, well-trained and confident, opening her mouth to start singing a solo aria in Opera.  Aria is about being a confident person in a competitive environment.  The reason for thinking Aria belongs in an opera genre is the stippling of the upper third of the sculpture and also the sweeping lines which connotes a sweeping costume.

Aria sculpture – installed at the Northshore Sculpture Park in Skokie, IL.  Artist: Carl Wright ©

This sculpture is on loan and will be there until 2013 and is part of sculptor Carl Wright’s musical series.  Aria is seen as a singer, well-trained and confident, opening her mouth to start singing a solo aria in Opera.  Aria is about being a confident person in a competitive environment.  The reason for thinking Aria belongs in an opera genre is the stippling of the upper third of the sculpture and also the sweeping lines which connotes a sweeping costume.

How much of the sculptures do you do yourself? 

The sculpture designs are original to me.  I do the carving, sanding, and final finishing.  Also handle the marketing, transporting and installing of sculpture as well as sweeping up the studio.

How did you come up with your designs? 

Some designs are influenced by viewing other art, some designs are innovations on previously done sculpture, & some honestly come out of thin air. The ones that come out of thin air are the best, but you have to be prepared with pencil and paper to sketch the idea before it disappears.

Why do you carve abstract sculptures instead of realistic sculptures? 

I think that a lot more can be expressed in an abstract sculpture than a realistic sculpture.  With a realistic sculpture all you have to do is get a fair likeness of the subject working at something they are noted for i.e: General Sherman  on a war horse or Michelangelo’s David  with a sling in his hand ready to slay Goliath.

With abstract sculpture, I can show ephemeral notions such as my impression of music, being secure, independence, etc.  My sculptures are grouped in five groups: the Motion, Striving, Music, Tranquil, & Exuberant themes.  These themes are what I seem to naturally design to & carve sculpture for.

Eihei Translation: Guardian or Sentinel, permanently installed, Mount Dora, Florida.  Artist: Carl Wright © Eihei is a protector sculpture.  Eihei, if he was human, would be the one you would want at your side for protection.  From his Hittite inspired top through his stance, he inspires efficiency in his solemn task.  He is a quietly strong sculpture meant to greet guests when they arrive at a house or business rather like the lions in front of the NYC library.

Eihei Translation: Guardian or Sentinel, permanently installed, Mount Dora, Florida.  Artist: Carl Wright ©

Eihei is a protector sculpture.  Eihei, if he was human, would be the one you would want at your side for protection.  From his Hittite inspired top through his stance, he inspires efficiency in his solemn task.  He is a quietly strong sculpture meant to greet guests when they arrive at a house or business rather like the lions in front of the NYC library.

Have you carved many sculptures? 

I have carved over fifty stone sculptures so far.  That does not include some wood/stone sculptures. 

Do you work in other mediums than stone?  

I mostly work in stone.  I also make custom pedestals to put stone sculpture on.  These pedestals are made to be complementary in design to the sculptures.

Is anyone else in your family artistic? 

My dad's grandmother began painting after age 65.  She painted some portraits but was quite good at landscapes.  My dad was a home builder in the 1950's and 60'sFrom my grandmother I got the love of color & from dad I received the gift of shaping space.  Dad shaped space by building houses;  me with stone.

Did you go to college to become an artist? 

I went to college originally as an English Major.  Still love reading, books and ingesting old classics such as Beowulf, Le Morte de Arthur, Decammeron, etc.  Took a five year college hiatus and went back part time to get formal art training along with a college degree.   College helped speed me through all the classic mistakes artists make and on to becoming a professional artist.

Do you teach Sculpture to students? 

Teaching is one of the things I don't feel equipped to do.  Teaching anything is a special calling and requires great communication and listening skills.  I leave teaching to better qualified people with more patience.

If You'd Like to Know More

About Carl Wright's Art!

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