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Carmel Magazine Digital Edition SU16

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yard on which to build an attached studio. And so Corsaut, with his wife and two daughters, settled in to the idyllic life of a professional Monterey Peninsula ar tist. THE THIRD DIMENSION In the 1970s, Corsaut was working on various paintings—compositions that included groups of figures, painting with just one model at a time. "That was like painting a still life with one apple," he quips. Then he remembered a tech- nique used by the Old Masters—arranging sculpted figures in the desired configuration and painting from that. "So I started making foot-high articulated fig- ures and sculpted the heads of my friend on them," he says. "I got good at it, too." That is an understatement. A display case in Corsaut's stu- dio contains a dozen or more of the spookily lifelike figures, fully costumed. They peer out from behind the glass doors, seemingly waiting to come out and engage in conversation. "Pretty soon, I was being hired to do portrait busts." He eventually produced a sculpture of actor John Wayne. The piece was displayed in the window of a Carmel gallery. "People stood in the street, staring at it." Eventually a man named Clark Powell approached Corsaut about marketing the piece. "He got one placed in Ronald Reagan's Oval Office. It was there for eight years." One commission led to another, sidetracking the painter from painting for near- ly a dozen years. But it was a prolific time. In addition to private pieces, commissions for public works came through his transom, such as those located around the Peninsula. Another is a life-sized study of Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, commissioned by the man who purchased the superstar musician's Paso Robles ranch. There are several copies on display: one in the Paderewski's native Krakow, one in the Polish Embassy in Washington, DC and one at the patron's ranch. Corsaut hasn't sculpted in 10 years or so. "Sculpting is a lot of hard work," he says. Doing an inventory of his studio, he found that there were a lot of unfinished paintings lying about, C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 6 207 In an age of easily accessible photogra- phy, Corsaut's meticulously crafted por- traits, like this playful example, embue a depth of life, spirit and humanity to the subjects. "I'm a representational painter," he says. "I love doing the human figure."

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