Irish sculptor Mary Quinn specialises in Portrait Busts in bronze.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Hello Art Lovers everywhere and fans of Frank Sinatra in particular.

Did you know Sinatra was in Town, London Town off course. Through the wonders and seemingly incredible miracles of technology, he is singing and dancing at the LONDON PALLADIUM UK.

Why am I so interested? Well a couple of years ago, I was very intimate with Frank while I researched and studied how he looked. I had been commissioned to sculpt a lifesize bust of him. I love getting commissions but it is easier if the client is alive and able to give me at least 4 sittings. So my problem was getting appropriate photographs to work from. I was lucky to find two books "HIS WAY" by KITTY KELLEY and "SINATRA THE ARTIST AND THE MAN" by JOHN LAHR.

Kitty Kelly's was an unauthorised biography with a lot of writing and some interesting photos.
The most useful for me was definitely John Lahr's book. It was full of great photographs, from the young Frank singing with Bing Crosby and finishing wirh a final fabulous shot of Sinatra singing at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in 1960. That photo was taken by photographer Bob Willoughby.

So for my commissioned sculpture, I selected the familiar Sinatra look (hopefully the one that people will easily recognise). Sinatra in his prime, wearing his famous trilby hat. By the way, the hat was a pain to sculpt. Briefly for any sculptors out there who might want to know how I made it. After endless permutations with wire mesh and clay, the clay was too thick to look natural and continually dried and flaked off, I bought an old trilby hat in a charity shop. I covered it with French Plasteleine which is an oily material, a bit like your child's plasticene and doesn't dry out and is suitable for moulding . Certainly my team at the Arch Bronze Foundry in Putney made a great job from it. You can see the different colour in the photograph of the original clay.


Did you know Frank had two different ears. I discovered this when I read John Lahr's book. Frank's left ear, neck and cheek were scarred during a difficult forceps birth, this resulted in a missing left ear lobe. (Incidently the difficult birth is why his mother Dolly could not have any more children.) In some of the photographs you see of Frank, I noticed that the photographer had turned the negative back to front to show the good ear so giving the impression that both ears were the same. I have to say it was tricky enough for me to decide which ear it was. These details all go toward making a sculpture look authentic.

You know, I once had a client who asked if I could give her a smaller nose and a longer neck. Well I am a very good sculptor, I could have done that for her but my reputation would have been ruined. Her friends would never have recognised her and I wouldn't get referral work and more importantly her husband would never have paid my bill. So please don't ask me for clay surgery, come to me after you have been to HARLEY STREET.


So, in case you were wondering. Yes, there is a limited edition of my Bronze Bust of Frank Sinatra available. You may contact methrough my web site

mary quinn sculptor

All the best until to morrow.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

my contact details.

You can contact me through my web site
or e mail me at


Hi, all you frustrated artists out there. How do you motivate yourself to stay calm, relaxed and confident and believe that you will be the next best thing, in the Art World. Or even the next best thing in your own world. Lets face it, if you're not King or Queen of your own kingdom, in your own head, how will you get others to believe in you?

Well, according to Deepak Chopra all you have to do is meditate for 30 mins every morning and every evening. I have managed the morning one and it does work. I'm not sure if this is because I feel so guilty about giving myself "quiet time' or when I realise what time it is, I feel galvanised to leap up and get out off my bed (yes I do prefer to meditate on the comfort of my own bed, no hard floors for me) and get on with my latest commission or project and get some work done.

You know I love doing the work and get completely lost in it, I just wish a magic Patron would appear and sell the work for me at a just and profitable price. I could tell you about the 3 con agents (maybe they could form a trio and cut a record as well, they sure had all the moves in cutting a deal angled for their sole benefit) who nearly removed my faith in human kind but who knows, if I get that close to you at some stage, I might. But that's a story for another day.

In the meantime you may gaze upon what I consider to be one of my best pieces of work. Did I tell you I am a sculptor?
This sculpture of Mother Teresa is actually available as a limited edition worldwide. I have never tried to sell it as she is responsible for getting me my commissions. I have donated the first bronze to her order and it resides in Westminster Cathedral in London.
It was the only piece of sculpture that Cardinal Hume would allow in the Cathedral. When Mother died it was placed in a side chapel and people came and lit candles (It was a journalist from the Irish Post who told me this, I was not aware of it myself.)