I'm high on Bob Olley. My latest foray into his world are two of the 4011 Adeptus Mechanicus Servitors he sculpted in 1989.
Painting Olley miniatures is often challenging, but these two were a joy. The facial expressions -- by turns crude, servile and sedated -- emerged from the brush without any specific intention on my part. The wonderful details (like the wires, implants and bionics) were crisply carved and easy for me to delineate. The two miniatures seemed to paint themselves.
It's a reminder that part of the miniature sculptor's art is to help the painter. After all, it is the painter who will have the most intimate, the most delicate experience with the sculptor's efforts. Indeed, few other visual artists can console themselves with the notion that there is someone out there who will spend hours and hours contemplating the most minute details of their work. (I just spent some time in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence where I was confronted with some of the greatest sculpture in human history. But with the crowds seething around me, I couldn't spend more than a few moments looking at each individual piece).
I wonder whether miniature sculptors often get feedback from their customers on the experience of painting their models. I hope so!
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Here is the first of Mr. Olley's magnificent miniatures. This is "Servitor" 4011-06.