Jumping into the next phase.

Last week was the last critique  and the end of my term in the MFAH Glassell school BLOCK studio program. It took four days to move all my work out of the Nabisco building. It is all in storage except for 1 large piece that is stored in the lobby of the Bermac Arts building. I will jump into my new space mid June. 

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“score” photographing and moving

I can’t wait to see how these photos come out.  

 Nash Baker and his nephew take care of every detail in order to get the best photos. 

Nash Baker and his nephew take care of every detail in order to get the best photos. 

After the photo shoot Act crates came to crate the sculpture. .  

 

 

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The crate is so big it barely fits in their moving truck. (Is this over kill for a short local move?)  

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Loading him up  

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  notice the size of the crate and the size of the doors. 

 

The crate waits In the lobby of my new building,  Bermac Arts on San Jacinto until my space is ready. 

“score” #40 - ✅

Sometimes you just cannot put your finger on it, but you know you are not finished. It has bothered me that the sculpture has very much a top half and a bottom half, which does not make for a  beautiful composition. For some reason, I was not driven to fix it, but it did bother me. Last Thursday, artist Joe Havel generously spent some time with my piece and took the time to find me and advise me. His seasoned eye immediately picked up on the boring composition, a top half and a bottom half. He suggested I add some wires on the figures right side giving the right leg/hip more motion. He nailed it. In addition I added some white to the wire on his face as suggested by Francessca Fuchs and the wire on the shoes as suggested by Patrick Palmer. I have been very fortunate to receive advice from some of Houston’s most talented. I am done 

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detail of wires added to right hip area to integrate the torso to the lower half of the figure.  

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Friday, May 4th it will be photographed, crated and transported to the lobby of my new studio. My studio will not be available until June 1. Bermac Arts is allowing me to store it in the lobby until my space is ready.   

Interesting Studio visit - Devin Kenny


Core fellow Devin Kenny  http://www.devinkenny.info/Devin-K-Kenny-Works
was in my studio today to look at my progress. We were discussing my violinist and where I might be taking it or is this it. I told him that today, driving through downtown Houston, and having a bit of time to think at stop lights I found myself imagining suggestions of sculptures of contemporary dancers in an installation with the violinist. I imagine these suggestions of contemporary dancers forming a human chain. I know it sounds like a crazy idea, and creating a human chain with the violinist might just be too much, and I know it may not work, but Devin totally got what I was envisioning. I know, because he suggested I research Yo Yo Ma and Lil Buck. See the video below and I think you will see what I mean. That said, the human chain sculpture may be a separate piece, I think it could hold it’s own. 

https://youtu.be/C9jghLeYufQ

Installation day - “feminam”

 

 “Feminam” is Latin for feminine. I gave this piece a Latin name because she was purchased by two physicians. Over a year ago I agreed to sell G.G., my female wire cloth sculpture, titled “January 21st, 2017” as she saw it in our 2017 Spring Block Exhibition. I was amazed that G.G. asked me if she could buy the piece because I was already anticipating the problem of where I was going to keep her. G.G. was the first person who came to mind. G.G. loves art, is a very particular collector and any artist would be lucky to have their work in G.G. and Mark’s collection. A year later I was still having studio visits with people that I wanted to see “January 21st, 2017." However, I had said I would sell her so it was time to give her up. I decided to make another one for my studio.  I started the second piece and showed her to G.G. and the new piece is really a better fit for G.G’s collection. She has a beautiful run just off center down her middle and she has more whit  plaster on the surface. I am really pleased with the new piece. I wanted G.G. to have her pick and it worked out GG. for both of us. When I first met G.G. I automatically liked her, I tried to channel her inner  beauty into this new piece, “feminam.”


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Diane and Nate of Level Arts were very patient as G.G. and I decided on the perfect height. 

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They were also extremely patient as we played with the lighting. And I can play with lighting all day, it is so much fun.  

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Job well done. I could not be more thrilled to work with Nate and Diane of level Arts.  

 G.G. And me- both happy  

G.G. And me- both happy  

I  

“gust” more lemonade- breaking off the shell


Out temporary foundry has a lot of things that happen that are out of our control, like wet sand. When we poured the bronze I thought about not having mine poured, because the sand we set the pieces in was slightly damp from the prior week's rain. I was tired and failed to speak up. The wet sand caused some spots to cool too quickly and not pour. That said, the porosity looks great and I will make these lemons into lemonade one way or another. 

 The latest in safety gear fashion

The latest in safety gear fashion

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Starting to break the floor the shell  

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Hat number 2  

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In my car and off to legacy fine art Foundry to finish breaking the shell. I have torn my shoulder two times breaking Shell. Once I see how successful the pour was I let them finish breaking the shell off to save my shoulder. And keep my medical bills down.  

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Lemonade  

New piece - Hurricane Harvey confronted with humanity #2

Below, I am experimenting with what a collection of watercolor monotype images would look like grouped together. I have used some images more than once, just to get a feel of what a big group would look like together. Photographing them with my phone makes some of them look like they are on different colored papers. They are all on the same BKReeves white paper. The long term goal would be to have a sculpture of a Red Cross cot in front of the drawings with a wire dog on it. The drawings behind the sculpture would fill a wall.

Above I am playing with the photos on my phone. These watercolor monotypes are  30” X 22” 

 

I don’t feel like they are really working like I want them to. I want each image to flow into the next piece. Maybe it is because they are photos not the work. 

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Above I have tried hanging some on my studio wall. When I have time I will move the lower three to the top. 

Of course the size of the grouping would depend on the space available. With the cot sculpture I would like to see them at least 4 tall and 4 wide.  

I have two more drying and will try to do two more on Wednesday. 

Score #39 one sculpture, one room filled to the rafters with sculpted sound.

 

I had a studio visit recently with an art critic. We talked for two hours about all of my work, my long term goals, short term plans and my artist statement for score. Regarding score she suggested I rent a storage unit for all my work except score. Move score to my new studio and fill the studio to the rafters with with the sweet sound of delicious violin music

 

artist statement - revised.  

”Score” is a sculpture of energy, sound and the physical act of playing contemporary classical music, and its primal impact on emotions.  I was inspired by a long exposure photograph of my cousin, Arkansas Symphony Concert Master Andrew Irvin, that captured multiple images as he played his violin. I was struck by the simple back and forth movements of a bow, composed of horse hair, drawn across strings that create emotionally charged sounds. In this piece, the music radiates off the musician as he plays, as well as off the strings of the violin, sometimes like a painfully slow waltz, and sometimes with the sharpness of a quickstep. Working on the piece during the last weeks of my father’s life I examined each movement of the bow and the wire/sound that comes off the violin. Some warble and then end sharply like a tear running down a cheek. Others gently twist into a whisper that fades into a broken heart, and some linger and then pivot like a murmuration of birds and is set free, each movement triggering a unique emotion. I applied the concept of seeing multiple images, and seeing music as emotional energy in three dimensions. The piece is built on a steel armature covered in plaster, recycled wire cloth, and baling wire.


 just a quick phone sketch 

just a quick phone sketch 

“Score” big day of pruning #38

Monday, I had a meeting with the artist, Brian Portman. Brian speaks wire and teaches drawings no and painting at Glassell.  I asked him to stop in my work space to look at the piece with fresh and wise eyes. I find his suggestions are dead on. He had no trouble seeing the movement of the hands, and understood my vision of seeing the music. He felt the music that wrapped around the back of the figure and worked its way into the movement of the right arm was burdensome. He felt it looked like he was carrying something on his back. So today it pruned away.

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After the pruning.  

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Side view after the pruning.  

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Before the pruning.  

 

I might need to do to do some more pruning.  

“score” after a critique score #37

I had a studio visit Thursday with one of  Houston’s top curators. This was her third visit to my studio. She gets my work and I highly value her input. It is always nice when they love your work but when you are trying something new that does not always happen. I  don’t Invite them to visit your studio just to give you compliments. I showed her the piece I am currently working on without sharing with her my artist statement. 

My artist statement-”Score” is a sculpture of energy, sound and the physical act of playing contemporary classical music and its primal impact on emotions. I was inspired by a long exposure photograph of my cousin, Arkansas Symphony Concert Master Andrew Irvin, that captured multiple images as he played his violin. I was struck by the simple back and forth movements of a bow drawn by hairs of a horse across strings that create emotionally charged sounds. I cannot carry a tune, I don’t understand musical terms, I have never played or tried to play an instrument, and I don’t sing. I danced, I took many years of ballet. When I listen to music I feel and see movement.  On this piece, the music radiates off of the musician as he plays as well as off the strings of the violin, sometimes like a painfully slow waltz and sometimes with the sharpness of a quick step. I examine each movement of the bow and the wire that comes off the violin, some warble and then end sharply, others gently twist into a whisper that fades, and some linger and then like a murmuration of birds’ pivots. I applied the concept of seeing multiple images, and seeing music as energy in three dimensions. The piece is built on a steel armature covered in plaster, recycled wire cloth, and bailing wire.)

 

She saw my artistic interpretation of the violin music, and movement captured over a period of time as dead vines or plant growth overcoming a  figure and she did not recognize my blurred hands as movement. I really appreciate her honesty, her comments will help me make it a better piece.  I want the viewer to have to spend time with the piece. I want them to have to figure out what I am saying. Keeping that in mind I have to decide how to make the hands look like hands that are blurred. I think the solution is to physically put some blurred fingers closer to the plaster hands. 

 

She also thought the face needed to be either very refined or  less defined. 

I was pleased to hear that because I have had the urge to further abstract the face. Today I placed some if the 1/4 rusted and broken wire cloth over his face and I kind of like it. To me it seems to blur the figure as movement blurs in a photograph. I will live with it awhile and if I am not pleased in a week or two I will probably add more plaster and do a Manuel Neri thing to his face. 

She loved the back side side of him and suggested I look at  http://chiharu-shiota.com/en/works/ 

I am was not familiar with Chiharu - shiota’s work, and wow! I would love to have place to just go crazy and fill a room with the music made by my figure. This is a thought to keep in the back of my mind. 

There is a hole in the armature near his crotch  that bothered her. I have been waiting for someone to mention this. It is an easy fix, I will get to it eventually. 

She is not a fan of the plaster as a material for this subject. Many sculptors first make small plaster maquettes of their sculptors before they make the piece full size. On this point I respectfully disagree there are many acclaimed artist who work in plaster. I love the white plaster and how it contrast with the wire. 

The above images reflect the changes I made as a result of the critique.  

“score”- Seeing sound #36

Thinking about my sculpture I googled seeing sound. I found the below link that explains how scientist now have cameras that record what sound looks like. 

https://www.npr.org/2014/04/09/300563606/what-does-sound-look-like 

 

I also found the below fasinating article regarding the Nuerology of sight, sound. 

 

https://www.livescience.com/5045-scientists-sound.html 

 I love it when scienc and art cross paths. 


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sketch I did in preparation for the sculpture. 

 

 

“gust” building the shell

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dip 3 - wet 

 

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Ready for dip 4 

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the top of the cup is cut off and the blind vents are cut open in order to allow the wax to expand and milt out of the shell. 

 

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 In the furnace to burn out the wax and the felt 

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with the wax melted out I now blow out what is left of the felt. 

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burn out number 2 

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With an pneumatic air hose I blew out the charred debris from each hat. 

 

 

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A cure from above looking into the cup that the bronze will be poured into.  

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After blowing out the pieces for a second time I seal all the holes with sparset. 

Last Thursday we did our best to pour these but............. plan B we will pour them this this Thursday.  

“score” #35

4/7

I worked on the left pants leg today. Adding the blur from the movement. 

The before on the left and after on the right.