Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Artist L'Deane Trueblood

Today I had the opportunity to visit the studio of my neighbor and artist L'Deane Trueblood.
L'Deane is known for her life -size bronzes of children.

L'Deane has been commissioned to do a sculpture of Vicki Van Meter, who at age 11 was the youngest female pilot to fly across the United States. In 1994, when Vicki was 12, she flew across the Atlantic Ocean in a single engine plane.

Vicki tragically passed away last year at the age of 26. Her parents have a part time home here in St. George, and commissioned L'Deane to make the bronze in remembrance of their daughter.
The statue will be displayed upon completion of the new St. George airport that is currently under construction.
L'Deane is in the process of "claying up" the statue enlargement. She explained that the creation of a bronze has many steps, and is very labor intensive.
The claying up process can take 7-8 full days of labor.
First L'Deane created this smaller statue as a model to show the family. This was sent out to be digitally enlarged and then carved in Styrofoam.
From start to finish, this piece will go through 10 different steps, and travel through several artists hands.
One of the last steps will be when L'Deane sends the piece for bronzing to a foundry in Lehi, Utah.
This piece is priced at $80,000, which will be divided between all the artists who contributed.
Two statues will be made. One for our airport, and another to be sent to Maine, where Vicki was raised.
Vicki's clay head.
L'Deane had Vicki's actual flight suit to use for proportions when working on the model.
This statue was the first model done. L'Deane was not satisfied with how it turned out. She felt the figure did not represent a girlish figure, and the feet seemed too large. This original one will be scrapped. L'Deane is much more pleased with the 2nd model she is currently working on.
I kept thinking of how much work had gone into the first one, and wondered how she could start completely over. But, she is a true artist, and accepts only the highest of standards.
My friend Nicole lives next door to L'Deane, and their families have become very close.
In fact, so close that L'Deane just did a bust of Nicole and Jeremy's son Truman. Truman just got his summer haircut right after his head was sculpted.
Truman loves to come visit L'Deane. Today he brought her pictures he had painted and some banana bread.
L'Deane is responsible for starting "Art Around the Corner" here in St. George. If you ever have a chance to visit, notice the open air sculpture exhibits around our beautiful city, especially in the downtown area. L'Deane is very respected, and the motivation behind gathering artists to display their work for the public enjoyment.
This sign is in her studio. I love it.
I asked L'Deane how many statues she has carved and she guessed at least 200 or more.
She also is a water color artist.
I thought I'd show you some of L'Deane's work around her yard. This one is in her backyard by a pond.
Also by the pond.
In the front yard.
By her front door.
L'Deane's work is in gallery's all over the United States.
You can visit her web site HERE if you would like to see more samples of her work.
I am looking forward to the future when I can go to our airport. Years from now when I walk in and see the statue of Vicki Van Meter right by the front entrance, I will remember that I was privledged to watch history being made.


Sherri said...

Wow...just fascinating! I wonder if she is the artist who has done all of the statues in the Green Valley area of Henderson...they look so similar to the ones in your post!

Janet said...

Absolutely beautiful, my favourites are the children.

Kim Walus said...

I love this post! It's so fun to be able to see her work too! How lucky were you to know her and visit with her. I really liked the one's in her yard. Beautiful!

dotti white said...

That is incredible! What a wonderful opportunity for you and then for us to get a glimpse of the artist and her work. Pure beauty and talent! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

Micki said...

She is so talented! It must have been so nice to see all her work and visit her studio.

Dolores said...

Thank you. What a lovely post and you showed us a truly wonderful artist.

Gayle said...

Nedra - Barry & I were able to tour a bronze foundry in Alpine several years ago, and it was fascinating to see all the different steps involved in creating a sculpture like that. How fun that you know such a talented person!

Nanette Merrill said...

There is a foundry in Alpine that I took a tour of and saw the process of bronze statues. I had no idea it was that complicated. Really. An amazing process.

Linda said...

Nedra, thanks for sharing this. I have heard of this sculptor a lot but until recently I thought it was a man. I guess I didn't really pay real close attention. Thanks again for the story. We are so fortunate to have her here in SG so we can admire so much of HER work. Also, how kind of the family to donate the sculpture of their daughter to our new airport.

The Ashtons said...

Those are beautiful! I wish I could have one of my kids!

Cathie in UT said...

Thanks for introducing me to L'Deane and her work. I had seen the sculptures in St George and thought they were so whimsical and happy. It is so neat to know about the artist!

I also remember that story of the flight and am saddened to hear of her passing. One day maybe I will visit the airport (when it is finished of course) and see the sculpture.