Friday, April 30, 2010

SKETCHBOOK - "Reading at the Cove"

Needless to say, this is a very tough post for me to write today. Before my wife, Cat, recently passed away, she had left letters in the safety deposit box for my 2 daughters and one for me. Knowing how my creative life would be forever changed by her death, she wrote something as a "P.S" on the back of my card. As always, Cat was completely supportive of my art, whatever forms it expressed itself. To make sure I continued to pursue creative endeavors, she wrote these words:
"Keep painting, sketching, drumming, exercising...ha ha. Love Life!! and TRAVEL for the both of us."
Since I hate exercising, and don't really care much for travel, this will be a challenge. But, as usual, Cat has opened my eyes and my heart to many beautiful things in this ol' world. Now I've got a mandate to keep exploring and creating. I hope I can live up to her expectations.

The sketch above was the last drawing I did of her. In early March, it was one of the few sunny days we had during the long, cold winter. She was reading on the rocks of a little cove at Lake Olathe, while I sketched. It's not a great drawing...but it holds a special meaning now.

If you'd like to see a tribute gallery of Cat's photography, click HERE to go to her blog, "Cat Ludwig Studio".

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thank You

I want all of you to know how much I and our family have been blessed by your comments. We had a beautiful Memorial Visitation for Cat last Friday, and I can't express how much it meant to have so many come to honor her. Thanks to all for the food, the incredible flowers (I know Cat was seeing them from above, and wishing she had her camera!), and most of all, for the love you give. I will leave you with these words from a hand-written note that I found among Cat's things...they reflect her very essence. - Warren Ludwig

Live Simply. Love Generously. Care Deeply.
Speak Kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

At Peace

It is with great sadness that I share this, but I wanted you all to know why I won't be posting for some time.

After struggling for 15 years with extreme pain, and multiple chronic conditions, my wife, Cat, could bear the burden no longer and took her own life Monday, April 19th.

We are all still reeling from the shock and loss. None of this seems real...she appeared to all of us to be doing better, little by little. But something in her fragile body was changed dramatically after her surgery in January. She was trying to be so strong for all the rest of our sakes, but only Cat knew how insurmountable it felt inside. But she is at peace now, and is with her Lord Jesus in her "Gardens of Heaven".

Please know how much Cat's online community meant to her. It gave her great joy to hear that you appreciated her beautiful photography. As her "real world" grew smaller with the pain, you all gave her sweet spirit freedom as she took images to share on her blog and Etsy store.

The photo above was taken at Easter, on one of her "good days" as we enjoyed some wonderful family time together. That is how we can remember her.

Funeral arrangements are still being made at this time, and you will understand that I cannot respond to emails for a long while. If you wish to inquire for the most current information, you can call:
DW Newcomer's Sons Funeral Home
11200 Metcalf
Shawnee Mission, KS 66210

-Warren Ludwig

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Okay, all you space's the final painted version of SPACE GATOR!

I must say that my enthusiasm waned a bit towards the last few laps. The painting stage took me way too long. I wanted to go with a brighter, comic book feel, but couldn't decide on a color scheme.. After painting it over many times, I finally landed on something I liked.
One other snafu was some reconstructive surgery I had to perform on the Gator's tail. When I was nearly completed with the paint job, the last two "digits" broke off. I had to re-sculpt the end bits from epoxy putty, since I couldn't bake it any more. However, I actually think I like the stubbier version better than the original.

There's not much else I need to say about this little guy. Here are a few more images for your enjoyment. And can click on any of them to see a larger version for more detail. That's it for this project!

Friday, April 9, 2010

SCULPTURE - "Space Gator!" pt.8

At last...the sculpting phase of Space Gator is done! The next time you see this guy will be when he's fully painted. This one has taken me a bit longer than expected...thanks for hangin' in there.

Let's take a look at the last couple of areas that needing to be completed. This Gator has a cybernetically enhanced tail. I can only speculate about how he lost his organic one...I'm sure it happened during some dangerous mission. On the left is the rough sculpt...I simplified it, then added the robotic details.

As I mentioned last post, I had some damage to repair on the base. I've tinted the photo below, to show what I added. I had big chunks to fill, as well as a lot of smaller cracks. Works out just means more weird alien terrain!

Here are some turn-around shots of the final sculpt. I hope to get started on the paint job this weekend. But then again...Spring has finally arrived...the yardwork is calling, too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

SCULPTURE - "Space Gator!" pt.7

Getting close to the home stretch now. Let's take a look at what modifications have been made to Space Gator!

I've added some more detail to the chest piece, and I decided to break up the little shape on the back.

Here's the process for one of the legs...started with the simple form...added the thigh padding...and refined the boot design.

Here are more views of the same leg. On the far right is the other bent leg.

One last thing on today's post...some unexpected challenges. While working on the Gator sculpt, cracks formed on the base, due to some minor warping of the wood inside. The pine board is probably too time I might try hardwood. Also, the Sculpey was too thin in places. In the process of man-handling the base while sculpting, some pieces of the baked Sculpy have fallen off.
Next time, I'll show you how I've reworked those areas, by adding some vine-like tendrils that will wind around the cracks. As it turns out, I had been wishing I had more variety in the sizes of some of the shapes. I'll also be finishing up the tail section. When done, it might look like I almost know what I'm doing!