Faux bois Wedding gift ❤️❤️ #12 the 1st layer on the branches.

You can see the rough coat on the underside of the bench.  I am ready for the second application of concrete.

I have flipped the bench over and will work from the top to the bottom. You have to work from the top to the bottom because the process is very messy. 

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Step 1. Protect the bronze birds by covering them with plastic wrap.  

Step 2.  Paint the lath with a concrete bonding adhesive. 

Step. 3 Make a slip from the concrete and the bonding adhesive. Paint the slip onto the piece. 

Step.4 Apply concrete by hand.  

Mateo. 5 Remain calm, enjoy the process.  

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It turns out my bonding adhesive is old, as a result my concrete does not want to stick together. I am grateful I am only working on the scratch coat. I can fix anything that falls off when I apply the final coat. 

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I like this branch growing around the other

 

Things did not go as planned as I worked on the bench. My bonding adhesive was old and the cement just was not sticking. And marriages do not go as planned. The lesson here is just roll with it. I will get new bonding adhesive next week and the next application will go smoothly. It is not worth getting upset over. The fun part of marriage is having someone go through the rough spots with you, someone who makes the rough spots not so rough, maybe even fun. Look for the good in every situation, it is there. Make your problems work for you. 

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.  

Hurricane Harvey Project - confronted with humanity #12- adding 1 light element


Art based on a natural disaster can weigh on one’s emotions. With that in mind, and the fact that I would like the viewer to have a positive inner feeling after looking at my work, I am playing with adding a shaking dog to the body of work. I want the dog to be generic so that everyone can see their dog in it and I would like the dog’s energy to leave the viewer with a smile.  

Below are my first attempts. I hope one works.  

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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.  

Roots- Thank you Soul Cycle


These two dead plants were in pots outside of Soul Cycle. The roots were exposed and beautiful. This summer every week I would ask the staff if I could have them for my art. Every week I received the same response, that they would have to get approval from the locations manager to remove the dead plants. They are mine now. 😊 thank you, everyone at Soul Cycle for not getting irritated with my constant persuit of these roots. 

My interest in roots has to do with my interest in regenerative agricultural. I will explain in the next roots blog post

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What does sound look like?

Using the Schlieren Flow Visualization method of photography, scientists photograph sound vibrations (even with them moving at 761.2 miles per hour.) NPR does a beautiful job of explaining this complicated process that scientists use to see sound. See link below-

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

 

It is amazing and inspiring to see photographs/videos of sound. With this additional visual inspiration and  conversations with art critic Laura Wellen and curator Kimberley Davenport, I have decided to create an installation in my new studio. 


 

 I have moved my “score” (working title) sculpture to my new studio.

I have moved my “score” (working title) sculpture to my new studio.

 Everything else is in a temporary storage facility 

Everything else is in a temporary storage facility 

 I will miss my dogs 😒

I will miss my dogs 😒

 

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With some luck by the end of the summer  my new studio will be filled with a 4D installation of the voice of the violin. 

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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Seeing faces at Dachau -

We recently toured the Dachau concentration camp. It was known as the S.S. “school for violence.” The facility is now a memorial to those who suffered and died at Dachau. 

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After seeing a few of the images in the memorial; I had to turn away. That is when I noticed that the immense suffering that was inflicted upon innocent people inside the walls of Dachau is not only told in the photos; it penetrated and lives in the structures of Dachau. The walls are scarred with the suffering. In every wall I saw the faces of pain, misery and stories that can not be ignored. Below are a few words That the images in the walls inspired. 

 

                               Dachau 

In the walls of Dachau  

the sunken eyes of starvation still cry.

Through it’s cracks,

faces of fear still hold their breath.  

In the walls of Dachau

the contorted faces of torture still moan. 

Through it’s scars,

calls for tolerance plea to be heard. 

In the walls of Dachau

the stripes of prisoners are held in respect.

Through it’s survivors,

stories are preserved and true heros are honored.

In the walls of Dachau.  

 

 

Below are are some photos of the images I saw in the walls when I turned away. 

 sunken eyes of starvation 

sunken eyes of starvation 

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The fear seen in eyes of those confronted with the evils of humanity watch helplessly through cracks in the cement walls.

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  contorted face of  torture

 

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an emaciated body 

 face contorted in pain

face contorted in pain

 human figures bent over in pain and suffering. 

human figures bent over in pain and suffering. 

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After you walk through the tortuous halls of the Dachau maintenance building and walk around to the front of the building there is  a magnificent sculpture.  It is an abstract figurative piece that beautifully  expresses in monumental style the bodily harm endured by those who threatened the ideals supported by the S.S. . 

 

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In front of the sculpture is an additional memorial: The foundations of the 30 barracks that housed the prisoners of Dachau are each marked with a tombstone style market and numbered. 

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.