4/23/2012 9:03:00 AM Local artist Romances the Stone for SVAC tour
Alisa Gabrielle sculpted “Surrender” originally in a beautiful raspberry alabaster. Gabrielle says, “When I first saw the stone, it was very clear a woman was on her knees with her back exposed in a vulnerable pose. As I carved her, the duality of surrender emerged. On the one hand, she embodies a surrender to her difficulties and enslavement, as she does in various aspects around the globe. On the other hand, surrender represents woman in a state of complete faith and rest.”
'Mother of Humanity,' by Sedona sculptor Alisa Gabrielle.
"Sculpting is my passion," declares award-winning sculptor/painter Alisa Gabrielle, one of the featured artists on the Sedona VAC Open Studio Tour coming up this May 5-6.
Gabrielle claims she lives "la dolce vita." Often commissioned, often for the pure love affair with stone, Alisa makes her nearly annual trips to Pietrasanta, Italy, to select the fine white Carrara marble she uses to carve her signature feminine pieces.
"I love this sparkling, almost flawless white marble" mined from the same Carrara quarries that gave Michelangelo the stone for his exquisite masterpieces. "I am so fortunate to be able to work in this town of international sculptors and to have trained in the Michelangelo method of carving."
Alisa smiles pensively as she recalls the summer she lived in an apartment purported to have been lived in centuries earlier by the master himself as he waited for the marble to be delivered to the port in nearby Forte dei Marmi. "I use many of the same kinds of hand tools and chisels that the Renaissance master carver used to create his sculptures for the Medici family, but I also use electric tools, diamond blades, pneumatic air hammers and grinders to create the delicious soft curves in this hard medium."
The Southern California born artist, who now resides in and has her studio in the Village of Oak Creek, encourages visitors to run their hands along the bold, feminine forms, to feel the coolness and smoothness of the stone.
Gabrielle is opening her studio to the public during the weekend of the Sedona Visual Artists Open Studio Tour. She will be giving stone carving demonstrations at noon and 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at her Juniper Street home/studio (off Jacks Canyon and Rosewood in the Village of Oak Creek). She might even let you try your hand at the hammer and chisel.
"Watch out, don't hit your thumb!" cautions the artist. "I did many times until I mastered the art of carving. Creating something beautiful out of such an unforgiving medium is challenging but the rewards are heavenly!"
Gabrielle's eyes sparkle as she reveals, "Sedona and the red earth have had a huge influence on me and my art. I am so thrilled to be showing my new Sedona inspired series for the first time at my studio during the Sedona art tour."
Her new sculptures "Mother of Humanity" and "Mothers of the Rocks" are reflective of what Gabrielle considers most important: honoring Mother Earth and empowering women across the globe to take care of the humanity that occupies this beautiful and very alive planet.
Alisa Gabrielle is co-author of the No. 1 best-selling book "Fight For Your Dreams" with Les Brown. She was a marriage and relationship therapist for 30 years. Now her works often reflect her connection with women and honor women.
"I had always wanted to be an artist and touch people's lives with my art, but at 10 I killed my dream because I did not believe I was good enough to be a fine artist (self judgment does more to kill the human spirit than does disease). My story is about how I ended up going for my dream in mid life and I have never regretted it for a moment. I love what I do and I coach others to go after their dreams, as well. It is never too late, and I am proof positive!"
Gabrielle offers "Drawing Out your Inner Artist" retreats in Sedona throughout the year, and sculpting classes in her Sedona and Woodland Hills, Calif., studios. She takes new and early career sculptors to Pietrasanta, Italy, in the late summer to carve amongst the finest art and artists in the world.
The Open Studio Tour, May 5-6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., is open to everyone. "Come on by my studio and touch the marble," Alisa insists, and reminds all who view her work, "May you be sculpting a beautiful life."
You may get an early peak at some of her sculptures, paintings and drawings by going to her website www.alisagabrielle.com. For more information about her art or the tour, you may reach Alisa directly at (818) 419-4272.