The Birth of Victory

   by Elisa Wilson for Build A Dream (2014)

For the backboard, on which I painted a sky scene, I used the 8"x10" Tempered Hardboard. I then glued the 8" Wooden Mannequin to the painted sky scene. Using about half of the 1 lb. of Van Aken Modeling Clay, I sculpted the form of the winged wolf woman, over the mannequin. I put the rough sculpture in the refrigerator to cool the clay, before I carved in the details of fur, feather, and clothing. Using acrylic paints, acrylic glazing liquid (gloss), and iridescent medium I painted the form of the wolf woman, the Plastic Egg; and some ribbon strips formed from the 9"x12" Canvas Cloth, the 8"x10" Wire Mesh, and the 8.5"x11" Card Stock Paper. Using glue again, I attached the painted Plastic Egg to the sky scene at the base of the sculpted figure, and then attached the painted, stiffened ribbons to the backboard in such a way as to make them look as though they had burst forth from the broken egg.

My inspiration for the project came from a number of places in my life. I wanted to show a theme of transformation. I am fascinated by myth, folklore, and fairy tales, and the things that connect nature and mankind to one another. That is why the figure is a creature who is neither all animal, nor all human, but moving from one into the other. I wanted to give it a positive slant, which is why I used the egg, and the rainbow of ribbons bursting forth, to express rebirth. The wings to express upward aspiration. My dream has been to be an artist and it has taken much personal inward and outward transformation and hard work (like the work of breaking out of an egg and flying) to begin to achieve that dream. It is a combination of those influences, and a love of fantastic realism, that inspired this piece.

I found this project to be quite a large challenge. I have done little sculpture work, and never with this particular clay medium, before now. I greatly enjoyed that this project pushed me out of my usual drawing and painting comfort zone, and forced me to try something hard.