Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Life Sculpting Class Update

Reminder for all
that the last Life Sculpting Class is scheduled for Wednesday nite.

Last week we discussed possible new subject matter such as 'the Portrait Head' and 'Casting our sculptures' as well as how frequently we will use a Model in future Classes. We project to charging the present class fee of $25. however the Model will be available and scheduled only after her fee has been accumulated in advance.
Weekly posing for various projects are not always a matter of necessity.

After this Wednesday's class we will pick-up classes around mid-January.
If you will not be able to attend this Wednesday please let me know.
Anytime you have a moment please e-mail me with any suggestions or ideas for the coming year.

Thank you Elizabeth for a fine job modeling. update
See you Wednesday, Bill

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

George Laakso's Sculpture

About Us: New to

Very often in Art History the individual Artist has very little to do with his own legacy; particularly in the case of a relatively short life span. When there is a large collection of work as in the case of George Laakso and an eventful life, which was shared by his surviving widow Ruth, who passed away recently in April of 2007, there is a lot of information which needs to be put in order. The value of this is that the past and present collectors and art appreciators can have some idea of the biographies and extent of the Laakso’s contribution in Art.
You never really know how time will judge an artist. Sometimes they can fall out of view for 50 or 100 years or more before their full worth is realized and then again there really is never a final assessment or value for an Artwork. It might be interesting to note that da Vinci who died in the arms of the French King disappeared from view, as an important artist, for hundreds of years. It was only when a rather small portrait called Mona Lisa surfaced that there was a renewed interest in da Vinci’s paintings and then his codices and later his sculpture. And we can repeat a similar story for Rembrandt.
Did anyone believe in Vincent Van Gogh’s Art other than his brother Theo who fortunately was an Art dealer and yes, of course the one person who purchased one of Vincent’s paintings during his lifetime. So, Art is really the one thing that never really dies. As long as it exists the energy that artist put forth dwells in this object.
Robert Henri author of the Art Spirit said it best, when to paraphrase, ‘An Artist creates an exact record of himself at that moment and such a thing will never be produced again.’
When you navigate this site it is broken down into various categories and they relate in turn to date chronology, bibliography of articles written and known works by George Laakso and collections the work is in.
I was able to go through a complete portfolio of Georges work, as well a countless pictures and notes. For me this was a Labor of Love for I have know both the Laakso’s well since 1969 when I began exhibiting in their Studio-Gallery in Virginia Beach. Although I moved out of the area for many years it was my good fortune to again relocate here and pick-up my friendship with Ruth Laakso.
Ruth and I had recently discussed organizing Georges work, as his life had so abruptly ended of a heart attack in 1981. Ruth continued to paint for another 26 years until being hospitalized, before her death, at age 87. Without question I was impressed as a young man with this dynamic couple and today nearly 40 years later I hope this site will help to define and give homage to their gifts and dedication.
Because the Laakso’s were Working Artists, continuing to create almost daily, there was an endless seam of Artwork and projects in the making. As it turns out there are works by both Laakso’s that have been made and never were released for sale. In the case of George he was working on a sculptural interpretation of the Mythology of Finland, known as the Kalevala. This he defined as his Life's’ Work and it was his final effort.
We are fortunate to be able to offer this and many of Georges artworks, on this site. These works will be listed under Gallery Offerings at

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Life Sculpting Class

Life Sculpting Torso Study
Study of the the Torso continues as we go into week #5 of Life Sculpting Class. Sculptures are about 1/2 life-size and are taking shape at different rates of completion.
Every week we have had Elizabeth posing for us. This is a great advantage for life study as nothing beats working from a live model.
Although everyone may leave the class with a finished sculpture, the detail study and opportunity to explore the nuances of a particular model is really the essence of this type of study.
As the weeks stretch out some students will move ahead of others. Speed of completion is not vital to this study, introspection and personal development are.
There is still time to jump in and begin your study of the nude.
See you tonight, Bill
call for info: 962-4778

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Life Sculpting Class

Our Life Class continues on the Torso study. It's not too late to join the class, you can jump in anytime.


tel. 962-4778

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Life Sculpting Class #2

Life Sculpting Class was held last Thursday but will resume Wednesday nite; 7-9 PM.
We will continue class every Wednesday as planned.
Class #2 introduced our new model Elizabeth.
We also received our Clay Stone shipment from Sculpture House.

The Armature: was constructed by class members from 1 1/2" PVC Water Pipe, measured at 14" in length. The pipe length was connected to a 1" x 1ft sq. board using a small shelf bracket.
The upright pipe was wrapped with layers of wet newspaper. The paper had been torn into 3" - 4" strips. The excess water was squeezed from the newspaper before and during building;- we wanted a nice tight fit of the paper to the pipe. String was used to insure a close bond.

Elizabeth then modeled for the class during the clay build-up. We left several inches at the base, making the overall height of the Torso of about 10". This Wednesday the Torso's will sculpted and further refined from Life.

It's not too late to join the class, every class member is free to proceed at their own speed.
more info: BronzeSea/Whats New

See you Wednesday nite;

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Life Sculpture Class

Life Sculpture Class will be rescheduled to Thursday Nite, same hours 7-9 PM.
This rescheduling is only for this week. We will be changing models and our Clay Stone is not due in until Thursday.
We may in fact make the class available both Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Your input will be desired.
We seem to be having a Model problem as of late. You may know of somewhat who would like to pose (female). They can contact me at: 757-962-4778.

What are we looking for in a model?
The art of life modeling is a practice which goes back to the Renaissance and indeed in this country to the 1700's.
The nude is studied both for it's anatomy and beauty.
Oddly enough even in today's liberated world there are still people who don not understand this art form and question it's motivation.
For those people;- working from life is a serious study which strenghtens the artist's understanding of the media they are working in and the anatomy of people which maybe depicted fully clothed and outfitted in finished artworks.

So the model should be 18 years or older, mature. Have a sense of their body and movement.
Models with no experience can be trained in a matter of a few sessions.

The pay is good, the people,- dedicated artists and the atmosphere is wholesome.
Hope to see you Thursday,

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Figure from Life: About the Class

I will be teaching classes in Life Sculpture at Don Watson's New Studio Gallery on September 26th here in Virginia Beach. These will be small classes so that there will be a lot of individual attention. What our goals are: - is in depth figure and anatomy study, in 2 and 3 demensional form.
We will be using a young model named Brandy who has plenty of experience modeling for art classes around the area. I met with her on Monday and a sketch of Brandy is included on the entry preceding this.
Our first study this Wednesday night will be the Torso. For the 10 week series we will focus on a particular area of the body. This will give us more time for complete study. The Torso will be followed by the Head , Hand and Foot. The Torso is a good beginning point for sculptural form.
Wednesday night, bring a Sketch Pad because before we sculpt and design our Armature we are going to draw from the model.
This is an important class because it familiarises us with the model and her proportions. This will carry through the rest of the study.
I understand from Don that we have between 6 and 8 people signed up. The class size will be limited to about 12 students;- so call or e-mail me or Don to get signed up.
Particulars are on my Web Site:- - look under WhatsNew for all the links.
See you Wednesday night, Bill

The Figure From Life

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Virginia Beach Boardwalk Show 2007

This is the second year I perused the now famous VB Boardwalk Art Show. In it's 52nd year there were about 300 exhibitors and it has to madding for even a Good Judge to evaluate all the Art. Certainly there is no shortage of talent;- some sold well, some didn't sell and many Good Artworks received no recognition at all. From my conversations most of the sales seem to be local but what of the tourists in and on a Boardwalk end-to-end with Hotels. It would be a Good Idea for some of these Hotels to really push the notion of coming to the Beach for that Weekend and buy Art. (We all know you can swim). In particular there are some World Class Artists who would be worth the flight and lodging to Virginia Beach;- really. If you buy a Painting or Sculpture for $3,500.00;- hang it on your Wall for 3 years - you have the joy of it for less than $1.00 (one dollar a day).(Sound like PBS) - The next 10 years of enjoyment are absolutely FREE and in time 'the Art' can be a Family treasure or maybe 'a ticket to ride' - if the Artist hits the Big Time.Onward Irregardless
My Top Ten Favorite Artists from this years Show:
1) A.E. LONDON: "I love an Artist that can Draw... and Annie can draw the pants off a Gorilla! Traveling on frequent Trips to Africa, London breathes life into each and everyone of her Animal subjects. The Elephants, Gorilla's have pathos, personality and the Lions, Tigers, Giraffes are real;- Not Photographically - but Real through the imprint of the Artist (who when she runs out of paint, in the Bush, uses Coffee- no Judging recognition - HELLO-Wake-up and smell the Starbucks Judges!See More:


2) Li Wang: 'Wang can Paint',- he has lush painterly style producing marvelous Still Life's'. Painting in Oil the actual surface of the canvas is as compelling as the picture. An observer of Rembrandt and Vermeer, Li Wang pays great attention to light, the depth of dark and the surface of the object. I.E. a fruit is a fruit and it feels completely different from a ceramic jug. A great achievement of technique, observation and virtuosity.Judging No Flag for WangSee More:
Li Wang

3) Fredy Staal: Fredy is an Artist who relocated to Richmond from the Netherlands. At the Boardwalk she showed her well conceived abstract bronzes. Staal works her shapes something in the manner of Henry Moore or Barbra Hepworth, both good company for inspiration. The casting is done locally (thank God for that) and by a family of sculptors and founders who I have known of for more than 30 years. The sculpture shapes interact and flow by the sculptors touch; the Wegner Foundry provides first rate lost wax casting and beautiful organic patinas.Fredy's work could translate well to the Monumental.No Flag for Fredy-a Judging loss..
See More

Fredy Staal

4) John Costin: A Print can be a work of Art;- John does hand Etching, meaning he works (draws with a sharp tool) directly on a metal plate which is coated with an acid resist. When the drawing process is done, which I can't explain briefly, the plate is inked and rolled with paper through a hand press. These graphics are in color requiring multiple plates and pressings; after that Costin hand colors each Print. The results are beautiful and rich images.Judging: CAC Trustee Award- See More:

John Costin

5) Tom Radca: Architectural Ceramics is Radca's art form and he brings to this ancient craft Art in a big way. There is so much process, technique and unbelievable manipulation to arrive at one of his wall pieces that they are much more of a symphony than a song. Happily, Tom reported good sales in the four figures and was honored with a Sand Dollar Award. Perhaps his grand circular wall hangings shaped the Judges award.Judging: Sand Dollar Award
see more:

Tom Radca

6) David Cochran: It's not often that painters dare paint groups of people in complex settings as Cochran does and does it well. There is a picture of him below with (or in) one of his paintings. I guess the photo says it all because the painting is so well executed that you really don't notice that David is not part of the painting. No Juried mentionSee More:

David Cochran

7) Mauro Pozzobonelli: Mauro is a Sculptor classically trained in Florence and has produced large architectual wall hanging of scenes in high relief. They are colored, cast in hydrocal with fiber resin and are a product that demands considerable skill from a variety of disciplines in that relief lies somewhere between drawing and sculpture and requires the artist to understand how to trick the eye. Beyond that each work is individually pulled from a master mold, so they are signed in editions and then hand painted. The results are colorful, free-form scenic images from around the world.No Judging recognitionSee More:

Mauro Pozzobonelli

8) James A. Skvarch: Etchings;- Skvarch is another first rate engraver but he takes you out of the everyday into his own mind. Even scenes of Rooms or Boats have his own input. They are all inviting and tell a visual story you could listen to each time and find something new and different. James' fantasy etchings encompassing machinery from past centuries are remarkableJudging: Sand DollarSee more:

James A. Skvarch

9) Ed DiCamargo: Artisan;- Saying DiCamargo is an Artisan is to bring to that term it's highest achievement, when the craft becomes art. Working with gemstones, granite and marble Ed combines these materials in functional forms, whether it be a table or floor medallion, they are all rich in natural gemstone colors and meticulously executed. Judging: Award of HonorSee More:
Ed DiCamargo

10) Joseph LaPierre: could be called;- the Beach boy that painted instead of sang- LaPierre's palette knife paintings are perfect for an outdoor show by the beach,- the motifs, the color and texture of each painting are joyful. But, don't be fooled, the ease of this work comes through years of study and talent to spare. In a conversation I learned Joe had been doing the Boardwalk Show for about 20 years always selling successfully. He wondered what happened to little lady painter Ruth Laakso who he had seen every year;- and about Ruth will be my final entry.No Judging recognitionSee More: http://

Joe LaPierre after completing painting above

Ruth Laakso was one of the early exhibitors to the VB Boardwalk Art Show and this June would have been her 44th consecutive show meaning she only missed the first 8 and that was before Ruth and George Laakso relocated from Florida to Virginia Beach to own and run the Studio Gallery which in it's time was the largest Art Gallery south of Washington. George was a prolific sculptor who peppered the local landscape with his inventive sculptures. Both exhibited at the Show for years. George passed away in 1981 and Ruth after a lengthy hospital stay died this April. On June 29th Ruth would have been 88 years young. Her concerns in the hospital were that the stay was conflicting with her painting; - And oh yes, she was to be at a dear friends Wedding on Saturday, the Best Selling Day for the Boardwalk Show. "Couldn't you reschedule the Wedding"? - Ruth innocently requested. That is the Art Spirit and one that we will miss. Thanks Joe, We nearly overlooked Ruth contribution to the Boardwalk Show and that just would have been a damn shame!

RUTH LAAKSO, Impish to the End, "I just want to make a few Good Paintings".
Learn more about the Laakso's at the link above.
Thanks for visiting,
Bill Osmundsen


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Art Spirit

Art Spirit will be the heading and direction of this Blog. Art Spirit is also a book compiled with the philosophy of Artist and painter Robert Henri . Henri's book was shared with me by my girl friend Salli who was also an Art Major with me in college. That's a long time ago now, in the mid 60's when the US was in the turmoil of Civil Rights and the Vietnam War. We thought the ideals and purity of Henri's philosophy was something to aspire to. I began teaching sculpture at that time and that was interrupted by my Navy enlistment.

When you first teach you regurgitate your lessons and this solidifies your ideas. Youthful enthusiasm carries the day. I think though a real Art Journey has to take place out of the classroom and in the real world to have real substance. (Lots of reality in that sentence).

Forty years later is again a good time to teach and kibitz about Art. I still think the Art Spirit still has something to say and I'm still enthusiastic about Art. So lets converse, exchange some ideas and have a little fun.