“here i am, caught in this armpit AGAIN??”– two armpits, to be acutely correct. in the 70s, i used to associate the word “armpit” with the little town of cache creek, british columbia (apologies to all current cache creekers, i am sure that your burgh is quite spiffy by now), which was the nexus of two highways, one of which headed to the north and ended up in jasper, then further east to edmonton. the southern route took one through banff and into calgary. ANYHOW, it always seemed as if i would be dropped off in this place of poor energy– unfriendly townfolk, difficult to leave, and not even having a lot of visual joys to be found in the view. a little vignette here– my friend dodie had ordered a fresh fruit salad, and what she got was canned peaches, some prunes, a little banana and a part of an apple. when she complained she got bitched out by the waitress.

but my current two armpits can be equally as tough– it has begun to occur to me that i am truly beginning to approach the end of all this, this particular sculpture, no longer straining to find the vanishing point upon the horizon, but something, if a little fuzzy, still within viewing range. the past week and a half or so i have been trying to bring the lower figure up to a consistent finish, rasping and filing away, filling in some details as i went along. such is the case in the photo above, where i was forced to work in such a tight space, this narrow valley if you will, between the arm and body. but bits and pieces of the stone would drop away finally, tiny fragments, at the cost of some skin and blood. see all those red dots on the elbow of the piece, and down below? a day’s wages of blood, maybe less. hurts like the blazes too, even as i got a chuckle at the prospects of showing this off. awkward postures, sometimes working blind– chisels, rasps, knives, whatever to push that line back just a little further. it all looks pretty good now though, but hold on– there is another armpit to be cut. this one i have been working the past two or three days now, and it is difficult, but in its’ own unique ways– there is a big “stone”, upon which the right foot of the upper figure rests, and it blocks me very ably, so once more i am reduced to the “rat method”, gnawing away at something much greater than myself.

but i am making progress, finding ways to cut little bits out of the inside of the elbow. i ended up revamping the whole outer arm though as well, raising the shoulder off the surface and undercutting it at the elbow. today might be my last day of detailing on this part and then i can continue along with my path.

but– pubic hair!!– what the heck is this stuff anyow? it seems as if it follows rules from some other universe, and i am having great problems indeed in rendering it into the stone. the pubic hair on the upper figure resembles mostly bozo the clown’s ‘do, but it is acceptable. however, the lower figure is giving me great problems, which i am grinding my teeth trying to find a handle on. no handle jokes, please– this is serious!!

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