DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 04/23/07


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April 23, 2007 — We've been talking about Brookgreen Gardens, where Louise Peterson's life-size bronze sculpture, Bella and the Bug, was recently installed. Brookgreen, located on the coast of South Carolina, covers 9,200-acres and stretches over 3 miles — all the way from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean to the freshwater lowcountry swamps along the Waccamaw River. Needless-to-say, it's huge! The Gardens themselves occupy 30 acres in the heart of the estate. They provide a magnificent venue from which to view both nature and art.

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As luck would have it, Louise's workshop at Brookgreen took place during the peak of the Spring blooming season. The Gardens were a riot of color and provided a beautiful backdrop for all the figurative sculpture. Dogwoods and azaleas were in full flower — complimented by formal beds of tulips, daffodils, poppies and dutch iris.

Louise Peterson
As Louise mentioned last week, it was one of her 'life goals' to have a sculpture placed at Brookgreen. It didn't take long for her to achieve that goal, along with some others. She writes:

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About five years ago, when I started to get serious about sculpting, I set a number of goals:

  • To become a member of the Society of Animal Artists and the National Sculpture Society
  • To have a Great Dane in the collections of Benson Sculpture Garden and Brookgreen Gardens
  • To win Best in Show at the Art Show at the Dog Show
  • To have a Great Dane sculpture in the collection of the AKC Museum of the Dog.

All of these goals have been achieved — and more. I’m up to 86 awards now, including 4 best in shows. I am also a member of the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, the Allied Artists of America, the National Sculptor’s Guild and the Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington, DC.

What's Ahead
I learned to model with the human figure, but I learned to sculpt with Great Danes. Now I’m enjoying exploring other animal subjects in sculptural compositions. During the past year I've been very busy with commissions and other subject matter, however, I don’t think I’ll ever abandon the Great Dane. There is no other animal that compares to the stature, beauty and loving personality of the Dane! My two Danes, Bella and Rigel, constantly give me ideas for new sculptures — it’s just finding the time to get to them.

I’m currently working on a life-size commission named High Five. It’s similar to the monumental High Four, but sculpted to look like the patron's own Dane. This guy still has his dew claws, so I've named the sculpture High Five. I’m also working on Process of Elimination. This piece was inspired by Rigel, who has a wonderful shape to his body when he goes potty. (He looks so concentrated.) Rigel is definitely a goofy Dane; he doesn’t have Bella’s elegance, but he sure is adorable, and he's the most loving Dane we’ve had so far. I think rescue dogs are more appreciative of the good life.

I’m also working on a female Great Dane with her human Dad, bonded together in a loving pose. I’m also planning several new quarter-size Great Dane sculptures. As far as other animals, you can find them all on my website.

Louise Peterson

Some have expressed an interest in seeing more of Brookgreen. I took almost 1000 photographs over a three day period. Next week, for your enjoyment, I'll post some of the better ones. Photos can't do the place justice, but they might motivate you to visit some day.

And speaking of visits, in mid-May Louise will be back at Brookgreen for the National Sculpture Society's Sculpture Celebration Weekend. She says anyone in the area who would like to meet her should let her know. I'd like to be there myself, but we'll be off traveling again. (Prague first, then Vienna.)

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