HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO (July 15, 2015) – Some people observe life. Others such as Wind Crest retirement community resident George Blake interpret it.
Blake, a former chemical engineer, is a sculptor whose bronze, three-dimensional figurative and wildlife statues have been exhibited and sold in sculpture shows, most notably the prestigious annual one in Loveland, Colorado, where the works of more than 300 sculptors are displayed.
He has been sculpting for 20 years, having learned his craft at the Arts Students League in Denver, where he presently sculpts. His work is complicated and time-consuming. He carves each statue in clay, makes a rubber mold of it, pours wax into that to make a hollow copy and takes the wax copy to a local art foundry.
"You can lose yourself in the sculpting process," said Blake, a University of Minnesota graduate who once biked across Mexico as part of an American Youth Hostel experience. "
Blake is meticulous, often travelling to locales such as the Denver Zoo to find subject matter and inspiration for his wildlife statues. His wife, Beverly, is his muse and is his metaphoric model for his figurative statues.
He is usually working on 5-10 pieces of new sculptures at any given time. His statues are 1/4th life-sized and each takes up to five months to complete.
"Finishing a piece is great satisfaction," he said. "It is thrilling to then start on a new piece."
Fifteen of his statues are on rotating exhibit at Wind Crest, where residents, staff and guests find surprising nuances in the sculpted forms.
Perhaps his most cherished, intriguing statue is "Serenity," a depiction of a soaring ballerina supported only by her shadow, which takes the form of a swan.
"I love sculpting," said Blake, who has two daughters, five granddaughters and three great granddaughters. "It is my way of seeing possibilities in life and bringing them into clearer focus for everyone to experience."