Last week, I saw Gary Ruckman working on a horse sculpture in the ceramics studio. The dynamism of the piece was the first thing that registered when I looked at it. It’s incredible! My friend is an expert horse sculptor and it’s always a pleasure to see his newest creation, but sometimes a particular one really gets to you, as this one did with me. The rawness of the piece, unfinished, only added to its appeal. I didn’t think to ask, but it appears to be a draft horse, judging by the legs, hair, and hooves.
What did I like about it? The twist of the lowered neck, the implied motion, strong and sure. I also like the way he works with manes and tails and each horse has a specific character that includes horse hair, along with musculature and stance. I’ve watched Gary’s technique morph over the five years I’ve seen him sculpt horses, but he’s been at it much longer than that. Since I’ve known him, he’s also taken a number of sculpture classes, some from artists who also specialize in horses, and he adds this knowledge to his own. I thought you’d like to see what he’s up to and it seemed especially appropriate, since today is Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse! Gong Xi Fa Cai! (And while I need to reinsert the gallery, you can read more about Gary by clicking here.)