Paper bags, stockings, sticks and paper plates are some of the simplest building blocks for one of the most indelible memories of childhood. I’ve been intrigued with Puppetry Art from very early on.
When recently I came across a book about it by Bil Baird at a thrift shop I snatched it up and have been paging through it regularly thrilled by the costuming and the way the characters seem to come to life on stage. Who doesn’t remember the scene in “The Sound of Music” where the Goatherd woos the shy Maiden. I still can’t watch it without smiling when the horn player’s eyes pop as they blow into their horns and the couples dance across the stage.
This is a piece I worked up from a black and white photo in the book I mentioned. So much can be disclosed with the angles and depth of carving under effective lighting. Faces that neither move their mouths nor open their eyes can say so much in the hands of a creative sculptor.
The figures that I sculpt and costume always remind me of puppets and marionettes. When I’m busy working on them, and as I painted this piece in acrylics I am taken back to the days when my younger brother had multiple hospital stays and each time brought home a little pink hand puppet. He never cared much for them but my little sister and I would add our own sock puppets and put on a show. It makes me kind of sad to think that at that time I couldn’t wait for my brother to have to go back to the hospital to get another “Pinky”.