The artist and his ongoing creation began their relationship several years ago.
Alrik Yuill was sitting in his old studio in Laguna Beach, sketching the earliest outlines of her form while listening to Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.
"I wasn't thinking about sculpture or painting, or even what my hand my was doing while I drew it," he recalled in a video describing the project that has consumed him since January, when he finally started the physical part of the work on his 8½-foot tall sculpture of a bare-breasted woman.
"It was simply a poetic concept that found its way into the moment."
Yuill, 33, relocated his studio to Costa Mesa's industrial zone because, he said in an interview, he needed a work space with a higher ceiling and larger door so he could work on his project, dubbed "In Bloom: The Girl and the Music." The artist and sculpture in progress were featured in a Daily Pilot article published in February.
From January till March, he said he worked mostly around-the-clock to create the sculpture's armature and build and shape the statue in clay. On two occasions, he nearly fell off the scaffolding out of sheer exhaustion.
The clay stage of his project is complete. So far, Yuill has poured more than $15,000 into clay, material, equipment and model fees associated with the project, but now, his "leap of faith" project has become so ambitious and over budget that he needs more cash to cover the costs of casting the sculpture in plastic. He is seeking the public's help to raise the money.
On Thursday night, Yuill and his sister Valkyrie, who helps him out as his publicist, were to host a fundraiser at his studio on Placentia Avenue. Yuill has also mounted an online campaign via Kickstarter to raise extra cash for his project. As of early Thursday afternoon, the campaign — which ends at 10 p.m. on Friday (PST) — had raised close to $6,000.
He said this amount was enough to put a preliminary cast on the sculpture to save it for the time being from drying up and crumbling, but he needs at least $10,000 so he can cast it in plaster. His ultimate goal is to cast the piece in bronze, but he would need around $47,000.
Anyone who is interested in donating to Yuill's fund-raising drive after the Kickstart campaign expires, can email him at email@example.com. For more information, visit http://www.alrikyuill.com. To watch the video about his project, go to kck.st/JSRis8.