Saturday, January 5, 2013

Carry van Dansik, Sculptor

Classic, Graceful and Timeless
The Equine Art of Cary van Dansik
Emman, Netherlands

Today you will find Cary van Dansik at his drawing board, in the old complacent hay barn in the picturesque Dutch countryside.  The barn has been refurbished into a beautiful sculptor’s studio with all the amenities, producing only the finest in bronze life-size equine art. Van Dansik is a world-famous equine bronze portraiture and sculptor, creating one-of-a-kind limited bronze pieces.

Since Kindergarten, van Dansik has been creating, dreaming and crafting.  “As a child of four, I was already drawing horses in a special way. The teachers noticed; it wasn’t normal for a child of that young age to be caught drawing horses at his desk.  The teachers told my parents about this,” van Dansik says. “The teachers suggested giving me a special education in art, but my Father, coming from an old butchers-tradition, decided otherwise by providing a solid and secure trade, no question about it!  When my Father decided not to send me to the Academy of Art, I was very sad and angry, but at present, I am so grateful he didn’t. The lessons I have learned on my own, by analyzing and studying, one can not learn at any Art Academy!”

Van Dansik’s skill developed naturally.  His God-gifted talent and love for horses has progressed into the world’s most beautiful equine art.  He explains, “The great and famous English painter, George Stubbs, was an excellent example for me.  He would take a dead horse into his studio to study its anatomy! I can understand why he did so. It has been essential for me to learn the structure and the function of all the bones, muscles and what makes the possible movements of this wonderful creature!”

The process of creating a life-size masterpiece requires patience, mathematics, fortitude, passion, and steady hands. “It all starts on the drawing board where I make my sketches from an idea and from pictures. Then I make the necessary calculations to make the bronze life-size,” van Dansik explains. “It is important to make an anatomically correct solid iron armature (skeleton).  After the skeleton is prepared, I begin modeling with clay or modeling wax.  In that stage, I can still present the results to the client for changes (if it is a portrait-commission).  Once the armature is complete, the people from the local foundry come and take the statue to cast it into bronze. It is all finished under my close supervision.”

The Baroque breeds are van Dansik’s favorite to sculpt; Spanish, Andalusian, Frisians, Lipizzaner, as well as the special movers - English Hackney and the Dutch Harness.  Van Dansik says, “All horse breeds are fascinating and a solid source of inspiration for me! But, of course, the Father of all horses is the Arabian! Especially the pure Egyptian Arabian.  They have all that you look for in art – expression, nobility, grace and a divine beauty that I can hardly describe!” van Dansik has written a poem to express their beauty….

Behind these doors lays the new stage where I hope to perform
To continue my work as an Equine Sculptor
Behind these doors lays also my dream
 To make my masterpiece tomorrow…

Behind these doors lays also many tears and desperation
A new day will come, to struggle to fight all over
Just to reach a shadow of God’s most wonderful creature
My life goal, the perfect bronze image of an Arabian horse
But tomorrow…tomorrow!!

Van Dansik is surrounded by horses.  “The negative side of being successful is having a lack of spare time, and you do need a lot of time to spend on horses, because they are your children and entitled to get the attention they need!! If you don’t have the time, you can’t have horses!” Van Dansik exclaims. 

Developing his own technique, style and approach to create exclusive works of art, van Dansik has produced over thirty bronze horse editions from desk-size sculptures to life-size statues.  His work is envied, one-of-a-kind, valuable and timeless.

Why sculpt horses? “No special reason!” van Dansik says. “They have always been there. I just can’t imagine life without horses. I must have been a horse once myself!”

Follow Carry van Dansik; view his current projects

Gina McKnight is an author and freelance writer from USA 
Original Publication 2012 Going Gaited.
All Rights Reserved.

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