While searching on the net, I came across an art course which was perfect for me. Being 72 years old and without any training but with a great interest for art in general, I was seduced by the description of a sculpture workshop proposed by the artist-sculptor Philippe Coudari established in Verdun.
I was informed up front that this event took place over 3 consecutive days, on weekends, and, that it was not a creative workshop per se, but a theoretical and practical course aimed at transmitting his method for developing a bust from a block of clay.
But what seduced me and attracted me in an irresistible way, and that decided me to take his workshop, was the work he presented in his website. And how much more moving was the discovery of his actual sculptures whether in bronze, acrylic, or plaster, completed or in development. What wonders, among them are his sculptures: the “Crucified” and the “Genocide.” All these creations are scattered in a vast luminous space in the middle of an orgy of plants, each more exotic than the other, and where there are also spaces used by other artists, painters or sculptors.
Mr. Coudari is an exceptional teacher. First of all, he defines what a sculpture is, then, with the help of screen projected images or with the examples of his work distributed in the workshop, he explains how the different components of a bust are articulated and how a superb face with classical characteristics will emerge from a block of inert clay.
Then begins the project during which, gradually, according to his instructions and thanks to different instruments whose use he explains to us, we cut piece by piece, him on his block of clay and us on ours, until first a skull appears and then slowly the different parts of the face.
Don’t worry if you are having difficulty, he has extraordinary patience and empathy, repeating when necessary, forgotten or misunderstood information or instructions and sometimes refining an unsuccessful action.
In spite of all the difficulties I experienced, and sometimes a certain discouragement, he was attentive, calm and proved to be an exceptional teacher.
One does not become an artist with this workshop. However, one will understand not only all the work that it requires, but also and especially, the moments of doubt and those of great happiness that a true artist, such as Mr. Coudari, can experience in his creative process.