Drawing

I could not have said it better myself. I draw and sculpt and in either it is about the line. In my  sculptures it is the line from every direction and in drawing it is only from one direction. I see in lines, and lines are what move me. 

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The armature of a sculpture I am in week three of.  

ΟΧΙ ΚΑΡΤΕΣ

I am creating a piece for an exhibit at the MFAH Glassell School, the theme of which is Learning From Athens. Twenty of us went to Athens this summer for the Documenta 14 exhibition

We were led through the exhibition by Anna Tahinci, Ph.D. 

Anna is the professor and Area Coordinator of Art History at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. In addition, she is from Greece. Those of us who went on the trip are invited to submit a piece for the exhibit. First, I made a list of images and thoughts that stood out .
My list of thoughts about Greece
1. Who can forget the beautiful, white marble, ancient architecture and sculptures, the kind and helpful people, and the fabulous fresh food?

2.  I have a very vivid memory of a refugee/homeless man whose posture had physically changed from a lifetime of panhandling I walked by him several times, he always sat in a recessed doorway of a vacant retail space. The day I can not forget he was sitting on the ground with his legs crossed, he had fallen asleep. His head had fallen forward and sunk beneath his shoulders. His right arm was out stretched holding a spare change cup. His arm looked impossibly long from many years of stretching it forward, hoping for handouts. 

3. The owl is the symbol of ancient wisdom and is also the symbol of Athens.


4. Poor financial decisions have left the government/country in poor fiscal health. This is Ironic for a country whose ancient symbol is a wise owl.

5. The country is overrun with refugees. 1.03 million people have entered Greece since 2015.

6. We noticed that many of the smaller retailers have signs in their shop windows that say ΟΧΙ ΚΑΡΤΕΣ, which means that they do not take credit cards. They do not take credit cards, so they will not have to pay taxes to the government, then they complain that their government is bankrupt.

7. Lemon trees are abundant in Greece.


8.  Olives are the country's most renowned export crop. When I think of olives, I can't help but think of the saying, "extend an olive branch," which is a peace offering.


9.  Many of the archeological sites have been framed by steel beam scaffolds, since 1975. The government does not have money to complete the restoration or to remove the scaffolding.

 

10. The National Technical University of Athens was used by students for refuge during a political protest in 1973. A tank broke down the gates. The mangled gates remain onsite in the state the tanks left them. The mangled, rusted steel made a beautiful memorial to the students who died in the protest.

Gates of The National Technical University of Athens- Memorial I see beauty in mangled steel. My piece will have to have mangled steel in it.  

Gates of The National Technical University of Athens- Memorial

I see beauty in mangled steel. My piece will have to have mangled steel in it.  

After considering the above list of thoughts, my piece will be a life sized, homeless Athenian, or it could also be a refugee. I will build a steel armature and cover it with white concrete. I will not cover the steel with a rust preventer. I would like to find some olive tree cuttings to add to my concrete for texture. The piece will have an owl representing the establishment/government sitting on the figure's shoulder, weighing him down, and the owl will be looking away (turning its back on the people) from the figure. Once the piece is covered in white cement, I will then take a sledge hammer and diligently break away the concrete, exposing and (hopefully) mangling the steel.

Below are the day by day photographs of building the armature.  

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First welds  

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End of day one  - from the bottom up- human rear end, backbone and rib, mid shoulders span.

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added head, hanging below the shoulders. 

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side view  

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Added crossed legs

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side view

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from back 

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Left side  

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added feet/shoes, and exaggerated out stretched hand. 

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Side view.  

 

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day 3- I added a lot of rebar for support.  

 

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added the owl, (parliament or government)  armature

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Reinforcing the armature- no wiggles  

more reinforcing  

more reinforcing  

view from the back  

view from the back  

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right side  

 

End of the second day of adding the lath

Front view  

Front view

 

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back view 

left side view  

left side view  

The right side  

The right side  

Another day's work -  

a leg, two hands and a cup covered in lath.   

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Starting week three-- adding lath to the owl 

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View from the front 

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View from on the back  

 

 

View of his right side  

View of his right side  

view of his left side  

view of his left side  

"the road" - cyclist on right lenticular"

my first look-

I have been worried that a new lenticular from my "the road" series would not work out. This is my first proof. I have put five drawings together to create the lenticular of a cyclist pedaling. Each drawing is of a different position of the cyclist's feet, legs and shoulders. This is the first of three, each made from five drawings.

Still in the box- my very first look.  

Grateful for a shot to try something new.

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I am almost ready for this fall's "known and underknown" exhibition at art Brookfield.

In downtown Houston, we have several buildings owned by Brookfield Asset Management. They are unique in that the lobbies of their properties are used to bring art to downtown Houston.

The curator, Sally Reynolds, visited my studio this past spring and selected a lenticular and a wire sculpture for a fall show in the lobby of Heritage Plaza, "known and underknown." I was particularly excited to have her visit my studio and doubly excited that she selected two pieces. I have wanted to try out a new pedestal idea, but simply have not had the room in my studio. I wanted to try putting the wire piece on a much larger pedestal, a pedestal that almost functions as part of the sculpture. Sally agreed to see what I would come up with for a new pedestal.

I started to scope out the junk/antique stores in Montrose. I wanted a club chair, with clean simple lines. Basically, a pedestal that looks like a chair. It had to be the right height, with a simple texture, and needed to be wide enough that a dog would need to pull up on it to see over and around, looking for his ball. This is what I found.

Trying it out for size in my garage studio.  

Trying it out for size in my garage studio.  

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First, I took a very strong needle and sewed down the back cushion, as if the dog's weight was holding it down, right where his paws would rest. The next step was creating the finish. It took over a gallon of paint to make it look like a pedestal/sculpture. Sally was concerned that people might try to sit on it. As a result, I attached the dog's wire ball to the seat and I also added a pillow in the corner.

Below is the original wooden pedestal. I still like the original pedestal for its simplicity, and hope to have the opportunity to exhibit the piece on it in the future, if I am lucky.

I recently sent Sally a photo of the piece. She seemed pleased, and promised to find a place for my sculpture on this larger chair/pedestal in the show. I am very grateful that she gave me the opportunity to give this idea a shot. She really did not have to. Thank you, Sally.

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The road-


"the road" - new title of work.

When we celebrated Father's Day, and my kids asked me what I had been working on, I replied, "My cyclist series." We discussed the series and potential names for the series at other family gatherings. That started a new flow of names: bikers, bikes, friends, asphalt, or ass-fault (a little offensive)... then Curtis said, "Why don't you call them 'the road'?"
N i c e, "the road!"
I like "the road" as a name more than cyclist,  cyclist is too obvious. "The road" is poetic. Thank you Curtis😍 You are the best husband 😀 and father. Any thoughts? 


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So, from here on out, I will call them "the road."

"lifting spirits"

I am slowly having all of my work professionally photographed. Here are the images that Will Michels took of "lifting spirits". He did a beautiful job. 

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LIFTING SPIRITS

11 3/4" X 5 3/4" X 7"  bronze 2016

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Unicorns in my work?

I have always been curious about unicorn lore, their beauty, and symbolism. However, I have hesitated to use unicorns in my work due to their close association to drawings by little girls, and the images on their fashionable pink or purple t-shirts. After reading the article below, I may reconsider using unicorns in my work.

Certainly, we could use some unicorns in today's culture.

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-mystery-mets-unicorn-tapestries-remains-unsolved

This summer killing time on a lazy day I was sketching with coffee and made these images.

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The head of the unicorn is camolflouged in the very middle of the page. 

 

 

shake shake shake 1

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 SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE I

30" X 22" charcoal, ink and bubbles 2015

Easter of 2015 - grateful to have both kids in town we decided to go to the Buffalo Bayou Dog Park - all of us. My son Griffin took a slow mo video of our elderly Labrador Kitty. Kitty loved the dog park and would retrieve tennis balls from the pond like she was a two-year-old pup.  She would consistently drop the ball at your feet and as you would bend over to pick it up shake all the water off her coat right on to all those standing near by. My son’s video inspired my “shake shake shake” series.