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Update from the Redmond Studio

February 8, 2012

I’m not yet happy with the way this painting turned out, but for the sake of continuity, I’m posting an image (albeit a poor photograph.) We shipped the painting up from Redmond to the Springville Museum of Art, where it was part of the Spiritual and Religious Art Show during the months of November and December. Now the painting is in my garage here in Woodland Hills, waiting for me to finish it. I think it needs more variety and better integration of texture. Also, I’m not happy with the hand in the middle and the drapery surrounding it. They need to push back a little further into the picture plane. Also, I’m not sure how to make the woman read as a Heavenly Mother rather than as Eve. I don’t really want to make her into an old woman. Maybe the God figure needs to be younger. I’ll sit on it for a while and hopefully some answers will come.

Breath of Life (From the Dust) by J. Kirk Richards

The Breath of Life (From the Dust) by J. Kirk Richards, on display at the Springville Museum of Art.

On another note, I decided to try some small sculptures, and actually cast them. Here’s a small Christ head, in progress on the left, and then with a few layers of rubber coating on the right. I made a box to house the plaster mold. Next time I’ll cast the mold and make multiples of the sculpture. I’m hoping to cast it in plaster, in cement, and maybe do some bronzes as well.

sculpture of christ in progress, by J. Kirk Richards

Sculpture of Christ in progress, by J. Kirk Richards

Also, I built a vanity for the studio bathroom, and cast the counter top in cement. I can’t wait to try casting sculptures in cement.

Bathroom vanity at the Redmond studio.

Bathroom vanity at the Redmond studio.

Bathroom vanity at the Redmond studio.

Bathroom vanity at the Redmond studio.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa permalink
    February 8, 2012 7:11 pm

    FWIW, I didn’t read the Heavenly Mother figure as Eve–her place in the composition and the fact that she is robed distinguished her as divine. The age issue didn’t occur to me, so it’s interesting to hear your thoughts. I especially liked that her face is less distinct, reflecting that we know so much less about her, but her figure embodies a sense of power.

    This was one of my favorite pieces in the Springville show. I love how ideas and feelings can be communicated through imagery that are difficult to put into words.

    • February 8, 2012 7:25 pm

      Thank you, Melissa! The painting was misinterpreted by a few people, so I’m glad the message came through as intended to other people including you. Thanks for your feedback!

  2. Joe Parry permalink
    February 10, 2012 3:55 pm


    This might be too radical, but what about having her interact with the Adam figure somehow–draw him forward, lift him up, I don’t know–so that she participates in the creative act. She could even be behind him. But I also realize that you want her to be with the Father, too. Good luck with this!

    • February 11, 2012 1:22 pm

      Joe, that’s an interesting thought. It’s a tricky give and take between the meaning of the gesture, the dance of the gesture, and the flow of the overall composition. I kind of like that she is overseeing the whole process. Christian dogma dictates a directness to the Father’s involvement in the creation. I suppose I was trying to maintain that part of the dogma, but adding the powerful, overseeing presence of the Mother. I’ll have to think more about your suggestion.

  3. February 11, 2012 4:03 pm

    Love these latest projects, Kirk!

  4. February 15, 2012 9:53 am

    I like the idea of a younger (i.e. timeless) Heavenly Father. White beard/hair, but younger looking face – it may tie Him and Heavenly Mother closer, if they have a more visible similar “age.” Just a thought. This is a lovely project.

  5. Richard Oman permalink
    March 26, 2012 10:14 pm

    Your Heavenly Mother concept is very compelling. But I have to admit that I saw her as Eve. Perhaps this is because the theme is almost never done, so it really came out of right field and I didn’t see it coming.
    So how to make Her a Goddess-Consort? How about some connecting with the Father, Her Husband. As in, “Look, our son has become flesh. Good job! I love you and I love him.” I think creation may be more about love than mechanics or a surgical operation. .

  6. June 2, 2012 9:24 am

    I too was kind of lost when it came to the female figure. Eve was the only explanation I good think of. Although that didn’t seem to fit completely either. It could be interpreted as Eve’s pre-mortal spirit awaiting her physical creation.
    I think we mostly associate Jesus/Jehovah and Heavenly Father with the physical creation of Adam; hence the confusion.
    But all that aside, this is a really awesome image. Love it.

  7. July 16, 2012 4:20 pm

    I think that if Heavenly Father and Mother looks more age comparable, the distinction of the woman as Heavenly Mother would be clearer.

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