Mick Doellinger hopes viewers of his work will connect with the sculpture in some way. He wants people to “feel the essence of the animal” and notice the subtle nuances of the shape, motion, or character in each piece.
Doellinger has been focused on sculpting animals for 35 years, but his fascination with wildlife, nature, and art spans back to his earliest memories. From his first terracotta sculpture of an Aboriginal (at the age of 11), to bronzes of Longhorn steer, a European red stag, an Alaskan moose, and an African black rhino, his subjects span the globe and show his varied interests.
Doellinger has spent his entire life working with and around animals in some capacity, and this lifelong accumulation of hands-on knowledge has given him unique insights into the anatomy, movements, and behavior of his subjects. He believes his time in the field, studying the subjects and the environments they occupy, is critical to his creative process.
About his work, he says, “My earlier work was much more literal, but over time I’ve preferred to not ‘overwork’ the clay. With this looser style, collectors of my work will continue to notice something they hadn’t seen before, even if it’s just a partial fingerprint or smudge. These slight ‘imperfections’ are a reminder of the hands on sculpting process, kept frozen in the finished bronze. . . . It’s less about creating a perfect replica of the animal, and more about sculpting a narrative or moment in time.”
An Elected Member of the National Sculpture Society and the Society of Animal Artists, Doellinger’s sculptures are exhibited in galleries, museums, and private collections around the world. In 2019 he won the Artists’ Choice Award at the Briscoe Museum’s Night of the Artists and an Award of Excellence at Society of Animal Artists’ 59th Annual Exhibition. His work has appeared in Art of the West, Cowboys & Indians, Southwest Art, Sporting Classics, Western Art & Architecture, and Western Art Collector.
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