For Love of Leonardo – a fiberart sculpture

That’s the title of a new fiber art sculpture I (almost) just finished. Where these ideas come from, I’m not sure, but I was looking at some of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings and thinking about insides and outsides and metaphors, so I photocopied some of his drawings and notes onto linen fabric.

Then I started building a form with no real plan . . . I use sticks and sinew and gauze and all kinds of things to engineer the armature.

At this point, I just go happily along with no idea of where this figure might be going, but trusting the process. It’s like reading a book that you can’t skip to the end of to find out what happens, but I knew it would have something to do with the Da Vinci notes on linen.

The big step is finding the face that helps tell the story.

Now the “it” has become a “her,” and I look at her in different light and different places to get to know her better.

The linen layers are in progress, and I’m refining some of the details, like skewering her headpiece to add sinew. I got so engrossed at this point that I forgot to take process photos!

Her linen-wrapped legs are anchored into a wood block covered with faded Turkish carpet scraps.

The plot thickens – there are pieces of stitched linen with hearts and babies and love letters . . . it’s complex, and a bit disturbing, but terribly intriguing!

She has an ivory silk braid hanging down her back.

Here is the (almost) completed piece – she’s 20″ high.

For Love of Leonardo, Lyn Belisle, 2019, Fiber sculpture with mixed media

I borrowed a lot of techniques I developed for last year’s “Boro Horse,” (below) which I love, but the Leonardo piece feels more personal somehow.

Next up – a wall piece that celebrates the complexity old fiber rugs and weavings.  I plan to incorporate some of the found objects I’ve collected in the last couple of weeks for the Collage Challenge.

This piece is just barely started, but we shall see what we shall see –









12 thoughts on “For Love of Leonardo – a fiberart sculpture

  1. Your Leonardo piece is awesome and very feminine. Awesome! I love your faces!!! Your horse is incredible!!! Your new one I’m sure will be amazing as always! I used two of your faces recently. I used thin driftwood sticks for their bodies and I was going to put them in a space. I put my last one in a cigar box and painted the background/inside. My friends suggested that I use the two new ones for plant sitters. I think I will give these to two of my friends and let them put them in a plant or something. I will post photos when they get them and take a photo for me.

    • Her face came right our of the stash of regular white clay faces. Each one is a teeny bit different, and I held up about seven or eight of them until I tried her, and she was perfect.

  2. Thank you for sharing. It helps me in my structures as well as just being yummy to look at. So mysterious.
    I just happen to be reading (again) The Agony and the Ecstasy…more inspiration

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