Hurricane Harvey - sculpture #1

My first thought was to make a sculpture to be exhibited with the drawings of a man rescuing a woman and a baby. I loved how obvious it is in this drawing that they are strangers. He is carrying her but with his body language he could be carrying a sack of potatoes. His energy is focused inward, perhaps he is worried about his own family. She is the same, she is affectionate with the baby but she is not snuggling into her rescuer. There is not a  history  between the rescuer and the girl. 

 “The guy in the Astros cap”  

“The guy in the Astros cap”  

After some consideration, I have decided to make the sculpture a livestock piece. I changed my mind because I feel the livestock pieces need to be very large to properly convey the extraordinary feats some people went to in order to save their livestock. I also like the fact that it is unexpected to make the sculpture of a pig rescue. I can always make a sculpture from the other drawing later.

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 “Bringing home the bacon”

Peace pigeon project #17 - Pareidolia

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In the fall of 2016 I decided to experiment with sculpture materials. I challenged myself to sculpt a new sculpture a week, each week in a different material. As my subject, I chose the German beak crested trumpeter with leg muffs pigeon because he allows me to express a lot of movement and energy. I have many drawings and a bronze sculpture of the German beak trumpeter. From a sculpturing point of view, his feathery feet keep him balanced without a pedestal allowing for lots of the expression of energy and emotion.

It turns out that the bird known in the US as a German beak trumpeter pigeon is the same bird that Picasso drew as the peace dove. Everyone knows His famous "peace doves". This particular pigeon was given to him by Henri Matisse. It is described as a Milanese pigeon. Possibly it was from Milan, but you can tell by the fancy feathers on his feet that it is a German beak-crested trumpeter with leg muffs. In German and French, the term pigeon and dove are interchangeable.

I am no longer committed to sculpt a peace pigeon a week but I don’t hesitate if a material or found object jumps out at me to turn it into a sculpture.

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The very last beak break.  

Roots #2 rooting out the best concept

I have very strong views on the connection between agriculture and health. I prefer to only eat organic grass-fed beef. I prefer to not eat any gmo products and I feel best when only eating sprouted grains. I want to know where my food comes from and how it is produced. Agriculture has a huge impact on our personal health as well as on our environment. Roots play a large role in regenerative and sustainable agriculture. 

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The first root - The root is fabulous all by it’s self. 

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The trunk is not so fabulous. 

 

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Off with the trunk- 

 

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Failure #1- Experimenting with ideas- this idea emphasizes the important of roots in sustaining  life. - too obvious 

Failure #2- Another experiment- “burden”  I grabbed this marble sculpture I did a few years ago. I have always wanted to burden it with something on his back. 

I like the thought, I think it either needs more more more roots or a Sprout coming out of the root.  

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The root would be bronze.  

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Stay tuned to see how I will use the roots.  

Sapling #1

I have had a request to make a faux bois sapling tree complete with bronze abstract leaves. 

 

Arnature -  

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The Steel armature is complete. 

The question is what do I make the leaves out of to make the leaf molds. I do not have an answer - yet. 

Photos 🙏🏽 title of work? and artist statement ?

photos by Nash Baker 

Earlier this week I received the images taken of my sculpture. There is great satisfaction seeing this piece finally photographed. Many many  thanks to Nash Baker for taking the time to get the perfect lighting and angles. 

I am struggling with the title and the  artist statement. This is where I am presently on the Artist statement for the piece. Some possible titles follow. I would appreciate any suggestions 

 

 ”___________” three deminsional depiction of the the passage of time through energy, produced by playing contemporary classical music.  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.

possible titles 

Documents of Time’s passage

Rhythm

Oscillations

“Lost in time”

Sonata

Rhapsody

Movement

Interval

dimensions of time

Intervals in time

Sonatas of time

Scores in Time

score  

 

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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  

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.  

“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. 

“score” #29 a meditation

 Photo of wires coming off the bow depicting the energy created by sound. 

Photo of wires coming off the bow depicting the energy created by sound. 

 I have no idea whether what I am making is “good art” or “bad art,” but I do know that my brain loves painstakingly placing each and every tiny piece of delicate wire exactly where and how my imagination envisions it, and the sounds that come from the strings of the violin, as the horse hair bow, drawn in a focused and precise manner, moves across them. The energy that this sculpture is depicting is both physical and emotional. The work on this part, for me, is a meditation. I don’t really think about it; I just listen and imagine as I twist and attach the wires.

“score” #26 adding some icing


My favorite part of a cake is the icing and my favorite part of this sculpture is the part I am just getting to - the icing. The little pieces, that create the quiet moments. The little nuances that add the extra flavor and detail that will hopefully make it sing. The pieces that will visually depict those tiny, fragile notes that are unique to the violin.

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“Score” today’s progress.

I made a lot of progress today. All those wires that were making me crazy because they were in my way were very useful today. They came in handy for creating the movement of the right arm pulling back as it moves the bow across the strings of the violin. They also worked out well to add motion to the left leg as his body sways to the sound of the violin, in creating the motion in the upper back of the figure and the movement of the bow.

I also added the violin bows

 

I listened to a playlist of violin solos on Spotify. I was working on the bows when Massenet: Thais/Acte Deux Meditation religieuse came on. It is a tear-jerker. I kept thinking about my 90-year-old Dad who is not doing well and was just approved for hospice. It is ironic that the piece I am working on during this sad time is titled “score”. The title today has a double meaning; it not only refers to the music score, but for my father's love for sports and scoring on the football field.


 https://open.spotify.com/track/2TkpA2qsGI60157gXszMg0?si=Hma56nj1ToiImjelxQsn4Q

 

Below are a few of my favorite pics of the day.  

 The motion of his right shoulders it moves back and down. 

The motion of his right shoulders it moves back and down. 

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The head focusing on the strings of the violin.  

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right hand movement 

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Right hand movement. 

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view from just left of him 

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the right hand and bow in motion. 

upper body 

“score” - day 2 of plaster.

3/7

This is feeling like a slow process and I am now regretting adding the wires before covering the piece in plaster. The wires are making it difficult to cover the lath and rebar. I initially wound them up to get them out of the way. Today I unwound them to see if they are less of a nuisance straight, but they are still irritating me. I am trying to decide if I should cut them off or wrap them into the piece as texture now. This is a decision I will make tomorrow when I am fresher.

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Front  

 Right  

Right  

 Left

Left

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Back  

 

 

“Score” - a change of plans

3/6/2018

The entire time I have been building the armature, I have been wrestling with which media to sculpt it in, concrete or plaster. There are pros and cons to both.

Pros and cons of Concrete and plaster-

- I have a lot more time to work with the concrete, before it sets. Working in plaster is very fast and does not have to hydrate while it cures. 

-  The color of concrete is not as bright as plaster.

- The concrete I would pour at home, and then allow it to hydrate for five days between layers. This would tie up my welding space, and keep me from starting a new armature.

- If I make it out of concrete at home, then I will have to hire movers to get it to my studio at Glassell, in order to photograph it, and then pay to have it moved again, as we are moving out of the building in May. That is a lot of extra expense.

- I have never made a large plaster piece.

Plaster it is, now is the time to try new things. 

 one last look before I start mixing the plaster. 

one last look before I start mixing the plaster. 

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The left foot- plaster and cut up pieces of wire and broken wire cloth. 

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The right foot and leg.  

  Detail of right leg    

 Detail of right leg