A Young Hound Meets the Equestrienne

posted by Starr Cummin Bright

After circling and baying at Clayton’s sculpture, The Equestrienne, the hound finally ventured a sniff.  Scent didn’t verify sight; no danger here.

Quail Sculpture Commission Ready to be Cast

posted by Starr Cummin Bright

Clayton received a request to sculpt a life size quail and since he sculpts using live models, his first step was to find a quail. Next he needed to determine where the quail would live, since they are not indoor animals.  He found a suitable cage, big enough for the bird to run around in and purchased food that would keep the quail healthy. The model, though shy, became used to Clayton’s presence.  As with all wildlife, she didn’t pose per se, but Clayton observed her habitual body carriage and behavior, and set to work sculpting in clay.  When he finished the sculpture, he released the quail “in a soy bean field with about 7-8 inches of growth. The edges of the field had been left in a wild state with every kind of “weed” and sapling all mixed together. The early morning sun light poured in between the trees to my right. When I opened the box, the quail scrambled, and then gracefully took off in a curving flight to the left: a vision to be treasured.”

Pictured is the finished piece in clay, ready to go to the foundry to be cast in bronze.

Teaching Sculpture

posted by Starr Cummin Bright

Clayton recently taught a sculpture class, using the same techniques he consistently uses: starting with an armature, using a live model, and leveling the sculpture stand at the beginning of each session.  Having a local live model that was cooperative and patient was important, so Clayton provided Georgia, a horse, in a large turnout shed which provided shade for the participants. The series of photographs show start and finish as well as some intermediate stages below.  The students (all adults) worked hard and learned a lot during the week-long class.  Clayton enjoyed teaching the group of ten, and when asked if he would teach another class next year by his students, readily agreed.

Witch hazel!

posted by Starr Cummin Bright

A mid-winter warm spell fills the air with witch hazel fragrance. Clayton planted this witch hazel and others years ago along the way to the barn, for just such a day. Hamamelis vernalis, commonly called Ozark witch hazel, is easily bypassed since the flowers are small and unobtrusive.

Clayton exhibits at Chester County Art Association

posted by Starr Cummin Bright

Clayton currently has a sculpture show @Chester County Art Association  with three other sculptors.  His talk about “More than Meets the Eye,” concerning the essential elements of paintings preceded the show (see News Post November).  The show opened January 11 and runs through February 1, and includes a panel discussion. There is a lot going on here.  Thank you CCAA!  Interested in Clayton’s art other what you see there? Browse the rest of his web site to see all the areas in which Clayton’s artistic outlook manifests itself.


Freezing Waterfall in our Japanese Garden

posted by Starr Cummin Bright

Freezing Waterfall

We never know how late in winter the re-circulating water can flow in Clayton’s Japanese Garden. The first photo was from December 27; the one below from  December 29.  We haven’t had temperatures above freezing for five days.  The sun has been helpful, but with nights in the single digits, everything is freezing up.  Luckily the flow of water is keeping this waterfall open for the moment, providing a source of fresh water for drinking and bathing for the birds who feed nearby. The ice formations change from morning to evening as the water passes over or under existing ice, so we are able to enjoy seeing an ever shifting water/ice -scape.  Did Clayton know when he designed and then set the rocks for the waterfall that it could continue to provide such interest in the middle of the winter?

Painting a Reflection of Coastal Maine

posted by Starr Cummin Bright

Sometimes only takes a glance in a certain direction for Clayton to recognize a scene that he would like to paint.  After a morning bike ride, Clayton was standing at the griddle cooking pancakes when he glanced toward the open kitchen door.  Reflected in the glass portion of the door was a field full of Queen Anne’s Lace leading out to the ocean where a lobster boat was heading out to work. The view out the door itself was the edge of the woods across the road.

Clayton finished cooking, ate his pancakes and then set up his easel in the middle of the kitchen to begin painting this double scene.  Meanwhile other hungry family members continued to cook their pancakes, careful to avoid jostling the painter at work.


posted by Starr Cummin Bright

Many consider Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum, a noxious weed, but as Clayton walked by this plant he noticed that four butterflies (monarch and swallowtails) and at least five bumblebees considered it a feeding station.  It does need to be cut back before it goes to seed, since it is difficult to control as a non-native plant.