diane coates :: blog
The Angels are coming for Christmas

ecwid store naughty angel 2.jpg

I am hoping that these angels are going to be very popular for Christmas! Naughty Angel 2, featured above, is rather cheeky, and is perhaps more of a ‘fallen angel’ with her rolled down stocking and slightly satisfied smile!


My third angel in this series is even naughtier, as she is laughing and pointing at someone (the viewer)…….she has been cast and is awaiting her wings…..though how long she will have to wait, I don’t know, because the guys at the studio have lost the mould!! Not helpful when I was hoping to have her in a gallery in time for Christmas, as well as sending the mould out to Thailand in time for our visit in the New Year.


Advance Sculpture Techniques at The Sculpture School

We had a great time last week at the studio – running, for the first time, our Advanced Sculpture Techniques Course – from Monday to Thursday. We have so much to teach the students, and over ran on the anatomy section yesterday because our female life-model had such amazing muscles we got carried away drawing all over her! That may sound bizarre, but illustrating muscles on a real naked body is completely fascinating, and so much more interesting than a dry old text-book!

Our students are always entranced. It makes us realise how utterly privileged we are to be sculptors, where studying the naked human form is an honour and joy – how many people can say that about their everyday work?!! And even our models are amazed by how much they learn when they are posing for our Figurative Course, as our professional model said yesterday "No other art classes (whether they are in drawing, painting or sculpture) offer such a fun, unique and in-depth approach to teaching anatomy for artists".


Vanity versus Expedience

Oh the horror! Our model didn’t turn up as planned for the Portrait session on Wednesday (fortunately a rare occurrence) so in order to save time I stood in for her! I cannot describe the shock and awe I felt when in the cold grey light of a digital camera image, 8 photos in a 360 degree series of pictures, emerged from the printer of my grandma!! My self-image was devastated: I had gaily visualised myself as a young, vibrant, attractive 40 -something, when in reality I am a well-rounded, grey, cuddly and slightly serious granny! So – I headed straight to the gym with Andy after work, and am off to the hairdresssers for highlights, and eating nothing but air for the next 6 months!!

The Naughty Angel
Naughty AngelThe Naughty Angel collection is well under way – I’m now working on number 3! My aim is to have them all on exhibition at VivArtis for their major launch on the market. I wonder what the collective noun for a group of angels is…. a flight, a cloud, a herald? The first Naughty Angel is cast and is waiting for me to colour her wings, the second is sitting in her rubber jacket until Laura and Dillon can finish her mould, and the third is mid creation – her laughing face not yet complete.Naughty Angel To see images of works in progress, please check out my Facebook page Diane Coates – Sculptor and Artist where I have posted photographs of them as they develop.

VivArtis is a fantastic art exhibition, a joint event staged by King Edward’s School in Witley, Surrey, and the Surrey Sculpture Society. This year they are celebrating their 15th anniversary with 15 major professional artists making return guest appearances, including my great friend and business partner in the sculpture school, Andrew Sinclair ARBS. VivArtis starts on 25th September 2011 for 3 weeks, finishing on 16th October 2011. More information can be found on the Surrey Sculpture Society and King Edward’s School websites: www.surreysculpture.org.uk & www.kesw.surrey.sch.uk.

Naughty AngelWe have some very exciting products and events emanating from the studio: our new autumn programme of the sculpture school weekend workshops is now organised, and the October courses are almost booked already! For course dates and testimonials about the sculpture school please take a look at www.thesculptureschool.co.uk .Naughty AngelWe are also running a sculpture workshop for A level students at a top Surrey grammar school this coming term, as well as launching our sculpture courses at conference and training centres. It’s all go – and very exciting!

Andy has designed a brand new range of exclusive sculpture tools made out of boxwood which are beautiful and tactile. It is thrilling to see how well they are being received, and he is planning a major product launch for the very near future – watch this space for more information.

Please come and see me and the Naughty Angels at VivArtis from September 25th 2011.

News & Nude controversy!

DiamondAt last – my new website is up and running! I’m really delighted to be able to exhibit my newest work and keep the exhibition schedule up to date after so long.


Life has been manically busy in the last few weeks with local exhibitions, my work being in Sotheby’s Garden Sculpture Auction, running the sculpture school Portrait workshop at the weekend of 21st/22nd May, and to-ing and fro-ing up to Limehouse to the Bronze Age Foundry (oh - the traffic!) to sort out my bronze cast commission ‘Diamond’.


DiamondI am absolutely delighted with the patina that Bronze Age created on ‘Diamond’ – a beautiful, rich, light chestnut colour that seemed to make her glow! My clients collected her yesterday and they were thrilled with the results; they had not imagined in their wildest dreams that casting their commissioned sculpture in bronze, rather than bronze resin, would result in such a stunning piece.


Naughty AngelMy sculpture of ‘The Naughty Angel’ is still in the casting process – it is taking ages! For the first time in years I am doing the moulding and casting of her amazing wings, and I couldn’t have chosen a more difficult one to do if I tried! It was partly a case of necessity, as Dillon and Laura (Ridgeway Moulding and Casting) are incredibly busy, and also because I need to know as we are running a Moulding course at the sculpture school in July.


My life-size sculpture ‘Presence (of Mind)’ was recently the subject of controversy when she was installed at an exhibition in Surrey. Complaints were made to the organisers that it was obscene! What is it that makes certain members of the public cry outrage at the sight of female nudity? Bizarrely, this sculpture has a blank shape where her genitals should be, precisely because of public (pubic!) sensitivity! Naughty AngelYet some people still managed to find it offensive…….is this really the 21st century or have we returned to the age of Victorian prudity? I find it incredible that the female form should be censored in this way – how come it is ok in art to display male figures with priapic genitals, but not the naked female figure?


Why do exhibition curators feel the need to acquiesce to the small minority – and really, why did I make a fig leaf to cover the offending area?! It looked ridiculous!! And shouted ‘HELLOOO – LOOK AT ME!’  The fig-leaf didn’t stay in place for more than a few days though – ultimately I felt it was compromising the artistic integrity of the sculpture just a little too much.


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