Daily Archives: November 3, 2009

From Maestra and Low to Michaelangelo

 pen art 1

pen art 2

 pen art 3

Good morning! How would you like to walk into a room the morning after and be confronted with something like these sculptures? Grotesque and scary, aren’t they? Actually, I found them quite fascinating after my initial reaction. I admired the inventiveness and creativity of the artist. These pictures were from a set of about fifteen pictures sent to me in an email. There was nothing in the email to identify the artist, so once again google came to my rescue. I entered “pencil art sculpture” and the very first listing was what I wanted. Sometimes google makes things so easy to find.

The article not only listed the sculptor of these fantasy creatures, Jennifer Maestre, but it explains in detail how she does it. It seems her initial attraction was to sea urchins with their sharp spines. To make the sculptures, she sharpens hundreds of pencils, drills holes in them and then stitches them together, like stringing together spiny beads. The pencil ends to me makes the figure look shaved while the points almost give a fuzzy look to the body. I don’t think I’d like to cuddle or pet them however.

Her collection can be seen in her Jennifer Maestre Sculpture website. If you are interested in her work, there are several websites that contain interviews in which she explains her motivation and technique.

I have always been fascinated by artwork. 3 -D artwork or sculptures attract me even more. It amazes me how someone can just sit down with a jumble of ideas and create something out of nothing. Just like my friend, Rebecca Low, who works in metals. Behind her studio is a junk pile. It must have tons of rusted, twisted, tortured pieces of metal from any source imaginable. Yet, Rebecca is able to look at this refuse and see the beauty and the whimsy locked within. One of my favorite pieces in her gallery is Carlotta.


“Carlotta–Seduced by an Automobile” has over 200 hours and 2 years of love put into her creation. She is 36″d x 54″w x 84″h and is composed mostly of antique auto parts finished in 12 high-end automotive paint . Her head is a 1936 Ford truck exposed headlight,  her breasts are 1960 Buick tail lights, her behind is a 1963 Volkswagon Beatle bumper and her platform pumps are 1954 Ford bumper guards. Carlotta has on her gold lame top with her black spandex leggings and she winks, blinks, talks and squeals!


 Rebecca is quick to laugh. I can imagine her at work on Carlotta. She must have been tickled every time she found another piece for the outfit of the beautiful Maiden. Just look at those shoulder pads! I wonder if Jay Leno would laugh or cry at the thought of his beloved antique automobiles ending up at art galleries as Carlottas.

It’s one thing for an artist to have pieces from which to choose. What has always impressed me the most were those who could look at a piece of non-descript stone and see the figure within. Then, with great precision they are are able to place the chisel against the smooth surface again and again and eventually out comes a magnificent human being or animal, complete with rippling muscles and fantastic physique. Some of the earliest scuptures I ever remember seeing in books were the works of Michaelangelo.  
                                                                                       _Pieta_    Pieta                                       David David

 The magnificience of Michaelangeo’s work has always completely awed me. Admiration for his talent is beyond measure. His attention to anatomical detail is amazing.

I wonder how many young artists in our world today are compelled to take the time and effort necessary to produce such exquisite works of art. I think once in a while about our demand for the instantaneous and wonder if there are any more Michaelangelos out there who have the determination to see their insights into brilliant potential pieces of art. I wonder if any philanthropists can see the genius potential and are willing to still be patrons to give these artists the time and funding available to be able to complete these masterpieces. I don’t think I would be quite as resentful of the Wall Street multimillionaires who are drawing such obsene salaries and benefits if I knew they were giving a substantial part of their income to the arts so that future Michaelangeos or even Rebeccas or Jennifers who are walking among us can be recognized for their talents and their art preserved for centuries to come.

Namaste y’all. Attic Annie


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