Author Archive for sharonm – Page 2

Sandcasting Concrete Sculptures

Concrete sculpture

Concrete sculpture of a woman


Making Concrete Sculptures

For the past five years, I have been working with cement to create both large and small sculptures.  Most of these have been built around an armature that I make prior to adding cement.  Some of the smaller, concrete sculptures are cast from forms that I design, occasionally adding colored glass.

Recently I have been casting concrete in a sandpit that we made from a wood form and then filled with lots and lots of sand.  The forms are first designed on paper and then, after may sketches, are then dug out in wet sand.  There are challenges, as the sand is not a firm material to work with.  You must also be able to think well in regard to spatial relationships.  As you dig, you need to think about the positive and negative spaces, and what area is going to get filled with the concrete.

The first sandcast sculpture I attempted was a rather simple shape, just so I could get a feel for the process.  It actually turned out better than I had hoped for.  But there is a lot of pre-planning necessary to making a cement sculpture.  One of the most important things to consider is the weight of your piece and what type of base you will use.

Concrete Sculpture Process

Things that have to be considered when working with cement are: weather, temperature, humidity and when to uncast a piece.  I usually uncast a piece within 24 hours and then do most of the finish work before the sculpture is too hard to work with.  There is a 28 day period to consider, when the cement gets harder by the day until that point.

I have tons of sketches that I want to sandcast, and others that will be cast in forms or hand-formed.  There is something so organic and textural that continues to draw me back to the cement.

Intuitive Abstract Paintings on Canvas


One of my newest bodies of art work combines both a playful look with bright colors, black and white.  These are Intuitive Abstract paintings done on canvas and some created on heavy bristol board, a type of archival artist’s paper.  I refer to this type of work as intuitive because I start each painting without any pre-conceived idea of what I will paint.  It is actually fun to watch a painting unfold before you … much to my surprise.  Obviously, decisions to have to be made once you start, deciding what color to put where and what spaces to leave white, etc.

I start by drawing random lines and shapes until I am happy with the overall composition.  Sometimes, I will add extra elements as I go along.

Some of these pieces can be seen and purchased through Saatchi.

Bold Geometric Abstract Paintings

painting on cardboard

A few weeks ago I got it into my head to try painting on cardboard.  It has been such a fun adventure.  I almost can’t stop myself from painting on any piece of cardboard I can find.  I love the texture of the bumps and lines that form when I start painting the cardboard.  Although I know that this is not the most stable surface to paint on for archival purposes, I have been doing a bit of research.  If gel medium is used to coat all surfaces this forms a good barrier prior to painting.  And I am so delighted that the little dimples and bumps still appear.

There are a number of reasons I love painting on cardboard:

  • It’s free.
  • I’m recycling materials.
  • It’s readily available.
  • It’s lightweight.
  • I can experiment more freeely.
  • Love the texture.

I am also recreating the look of painting on cardboard on my large canvases.  Everything is about the same except for the texture.

New Cement Sculptures

cement sculptures

I have been quite busy this summer creating some fun and fantastic new sculptures.  One of my favorites is title “All Dressed Up” which incorporates a large found metal object that I’ve had for over ten years.  This is one of the new sculptures that I am getting ready to show at a Sculpture show in North Carolina. But I think my all time favorite up to this time is a new Horse sculpture named “Blue”.  He was made using a metal armature that I fashioned from hardware cloth, wire, chicken wire, paint, sand and cement.

This past month, however, was filled with lots of time with three groups of grandkids who came to visit back-to-back.  We did lots of craft projects, went swimming, went rock collecting and more.  The last grandson who came to visit even made his very first cement sculpture … one of the Southpark characters, Eric.  So, it’s been a fun and busy few months.

Now I am getting some of the business stuff done for the upcoming show, making new handouts, etc.  Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it went!


Horse Sculpture Awarded First Place at Art of the State

My cement sculpture titled A Horse of Course was awarded first place in sculpture at the opening reception for Art of the State.  The show which opened on June 28, 2015 runs until September.  This was quite an honor considering that artists from all across the state of PA entered pieces of art for this exhibit.  Over 1000 pieces of art were considered and only 126 pieces were juried into the show.  Just to be included in the show was exciting.

The horse is built over a metal and wire armature and then I coated a mixture of sand, cement and red oxide pigment over the entire figure.  Several coats of cement were applied and then for the last coat, the boar bristle mane and tail were added.  Strips of muslin were also coated with the cement mixture and these were wound around the metal legs.  A cement piece must cure for a total of 28 days before it is totally cured.

Currently, I am working on a number of new sculpture which I will post soon.

cement horse sculpture