Anita Watts Bronze Sculpture: “Jake”
Presently I am working on a sculpture of a remarkable young man of 17, who tragically was hit and killed while riding his bicycle. I feel that I have to come to know Jake pretty well as I have been studying his life in preparation for doing his sculpture. Normally, I get to meet my subjects at their homes, as I video tape them and get familiar with their interests and their personality. In Jake’s case, I have gotten to know him through the various memorials that have been held to celebrate his life.
One of Jake’s best friends said: “He was one of the absolutely best people I was blessed to meet in my life. He taught me a lot about the world that we all live in. He taught me how to be compassionate, respectful, and to be willing to help everyone out, in the best way I possibly could.”
Jacob attended nearly every extracurricular event and wasn’t shy about wearing a Bulldog costume as the school’s mascot. Jake just went out there and he wanted to have fun, plus he wanted to show his support for all of the athletes, and all of their fans.
Jake’s Dad sums it up very well when he said: “We have had our son tragically taken from us, but there is redemption in this. We believe that although his life was limited to a much-too-short 17 years, that God will use Jake’s example of unconditional love, and friendship, and joy for life, and his love of God, as an example to the rest of us, on how we should approach life.”
I was sent many photos of Jake and what I noticed was the distinctive smile he had in each and every photo…a genuine private smile that just spoke to the quality of his heart. As I began making a maquette, (a small-scale model) to get an idea for a life-sized bronze sculpture of Jake, I realized I needed to combine the images of Jake and the Bulldog Mascot. So, I did a sketch of Jake, and then also a sketch of him in the Bulldog uniform to get the images in my mind. As I looked at the sketch, I realized that the most challenging part of this sculpture will be the many small folds and ripples in the Bulldog uniform. How in the world will I be able to reproduce those multiple folds? That will be a real challenge indeed.
I hope to express the loving, compassionate personality of this outstanding young man. Jake loved life and he loved all those he was around in his everyday life. We could all do well to learn by Jake’s wonderful example of how to spread love to others.