Occasionally, I have the chance to undertake a life-size full-figure portrait commission. Last summer, I met a man who had seen my work online and decided to visit my studio to inquire about the costs for creating a bronze monument of his friend. We had an in-depth discussion about my sculpting processes and the extensive bronze casting procedures, both of which rarely pique the interest of clients. After a few weeks, the client, James, chose to proceed with the sculpture, a life-size bronze portrait of Bruce.
During our second meeting in Loveland, James took me out to lunch to discuss the sculpture that would honor his friend Bruce. As we conversed, we realized we had some shared interests and quickly formed a friendship.
At the time of our lunch last summer, I had been diligently working on a 1/4 scale maquette called “Chef’s Kiss”. Unbeknownst to me, James had previously owned numerous restaurants in Chicago and was a passionate cook. When he mentioned his restaurants, I immediately brought up the sculpture I had been working on. I later used James as a model for the face of the sculpture. The timing of meeting someone like him was unprecedented.
A meeting of light
Another intriguing occurrence during our lunch was the revelation that we were both deeply passionate about the spiritual aspects of life and the afterlife. I have been reading books on near-death experiences since I was a teenager. I had never encountered anyone with as much interest in the subject, until I met James. Eventually, James invited me to a group session with a renowned and international medium, Rebecca Rosen. The meeting with Rebecca and six other guests was truly captivating. Rebecca knew details about me, my dad, and various other aspects of my life that not many people know about. Not knowing mine or anyone’s name, Rebecca accurately described a sculpture I was working on with James. She also conveyed that Bruce, who had passed away, was very pleased with the idea of the sculpture. For 2-3 hours, she had us all spellbound.
Following our meeting, James and I had a deeper understanding of each other, and I gained a newfound respect for him when Rebecca mentioned that he was spiritually more advanced than many of us. I had already sensed this before the session.
While the sculpture honors a man I have never met, it is projects like these that truly excite me. They provide me with an opportunity to delve into the life of someone I didn’t know, while getting to know friends and family. It is rare to have such an opportunity, but I will always be grateful for getting to know James, and I hope we get to stay friends for many years to come.
Portrait of Bruce is currently being cast in bronze and will be delivered to the clients home in March. Below are photos of the sculpture in clay.