Bombus and the blueberry

This is a continuation of an earlier post that documented my intuitive process to embrace and abstract the bee that was listed on the endangered species list January 11, 2017.

The posting was titled Embracing Bombus Affinis. Here is one more experiment.

In the experimental piece below I focused on the transparency of the wings.Through the wings you can see the bees hairs on the back of his abdomen. You can also see the flora in the background and through his wings. FYI- a favorite of the Rusty Patch bumble bee is blueberries. Blueberries are one of my favorites too. There is always a box of blueberries in our refrigerator. I hate the thought of my blueberries being pollinated in a lab.

Bombus Affinis VI  30” X 44”

Bombus Affinis VI

30” X 44”

I am not sure if showing the transparency is necessary or if it bogs down the energy with too much information.

If you want to help insure our food remains pollinated as nature intended see below-

Limit the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers whenever possible or avoid them entirely. Pesticides cause lethal and sublethal effects to bees and other pollinators.

 

https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/insects/rpbb/factsheetrpbb.html

The ghost print

The ghost print

Hurricane Harvey Heroes- LIVEstock- “bringing home the bacon” The inspiration?

He is one big pig, the beloved family pet that had to be hoisted upstairs to save him from drowning in the flood waters of Harvey. The idea of saving a pig was inspired by a YouTube video posted by a young family in Conroe, Texas. I hope you see in the figure not only the strength it takes to lift up a frightened squirming pig but also the determination that the figure has not to let the family’s favorite pet parish. The pig twist and turns  while straining his back legs straight out trying to reach the ground. 

photo by Nash Baker 

Bringing home the bacon

Bringing home the bacon

66” X 42” 60”

Steel, stainless steel lath, plaster, hydro stone, wire mesh, screen and cloth, and baling wire. 

the next pig post -  why a pig?

Houston Flood Museum

A selection of my Hurricane Harvey Heroes monotypes and one of the Humanities pieces are now exhibited in the Houston Flood Museum. 

 

 https://houstonfloodmuseum.org/hurricane-harvey-heroes-and-humanity/

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Hurricane Harvey - sculpture day 8 “bringing home the bacon”

I started the upper torso.  

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I always make the shoulders too broad and then have to adjust them. I will do that tomorrow.  

Hurricane Harvey - sculpture day 6 “bringing home the bacon”

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Hurricane Harvey - sculpture day 5 “bringing home the bacon”

Today I spent a lot of time cutting off and rewelding. The upper leg/booty was too big. After four hours  it now has a trimmer. 

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I am trying to decide if I need to reinforce the lower half of the body or move on. Once I reinforce the joints it is a lot more difficult to make changes. If I move on without reinforcing the welding joints, the piece could fall apart. That is my dilemma. 

Hurricane Harvey - sculpture day 3 bringing home the bacon

This sculpture is about the movement and the energy of rescuing livestock (a pig) during Hurricane Harvey. Today I have to decide on where the figure's weight needs to be to best balance the sculpture and express the energy of hoisting the swine to safety. The photos I took of Griffin while he was walking helped me committe to the foot placement. For the weight, I need new reference photos taken from each side. I am fortunate that my husband is always agreeable to posing for me. We wrapped a stool in a towel to stand in for the pig. Below are the new photos.

View from the front  

View from the front  

View of the left side  

View of the left side  

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back view 

 

Harvey Heroes- LIVEstock - “bringing home the bacon”

I stared a new section in my Hurricane Harvey series of Harvey Heroes. These will all be LIVEstock rescues.

I made the first one today,

 “Bring home the bacon.”  44” X 30” watercolor monotype  

 “Bring home the bacon.”

44” X 30” watercolor monotype  


This is my first large monotype.
I have always wanted to go larger, but the temporary location of the Glassell School of Art did not have a big press. The pieces in this part of the series will all be 44” X 30” The Glassell printmaking studio has fabulous light, is super clean, and I love working in it. Alexander Squier, the head of the department and instructor makes sure everyone keeps it spick and span. This is the fourth time I have taken the class, print making is addicting and you need a press to feed your addiction. Plus Alexander is great.

Here is the ghost print. Something happened to the ghost. I am not sure what caused the mark that runs through the middle. When it dries I will try to fix it.  

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Before fixing-

The ghost - “bringing home the bacon”  

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Fixed  

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My work space in the Glassell printmaking studio  

 

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Me fake working for a photo op.  

Cranes- through the window

A year ago, I made two works on paper; “Cranes Through the Window I and II”. The inspiration came when I stopped at a red light. Peering through the fogged and rain drenched car window, drops trickled down into tiny rivers, carving new landscapes in the glass. Beyond the miniature rivulets, dark and dusky clouds loomed in the shadows while others stood out in rays of hope. Through the puffs of gray, rooftops were stacked, and construction cranes delicately cross stitched in saffron and goldenrod garnished their capstones.

cranes through the window I   30” X 22”  

cranes through the window I 

30” X 22”  

cranes through the window II  30” X 22”

cranes through the window II

30” X 22”

When asked if I had any cranescapes that were not monumental in size, I realized I had not posted these two pieces.

“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.  

New piece - Hurricane Harvey confronted with humanity #1

When you witness or experience a horrific event there are images that hold onto you; images that will forever be conjoined to the experience.

Weathering Houston’s hurricane Harvey, I was glued to the TV and Houston’s social media postings.  My eyes soaked up videos of contaminated waters creeping in the homes of nearby neighborhoods. I witnessed daring rescues of families as they were evacuated. In amazement, I watched mothers and children pile into garbage trucks, elderly folks in wheel chairs airlifted by helicopters. Through social media calls for help, it became obvious our cities first responders could not get to every home in need. Proudly, I saw brave Texans convert their flat bottom fishing boats, and jacked up pickup trucks into liferafts and search for those who called for help.  No Texan would be left behind.

When our street drained, turning off the news and putting my social media in my pocket, I packed up my dry survivor’s guilt and headed down to the George R. Brown convention center to volunteer and treat my pain and my conscience. The Red Cross had turned one-third of the GRB into a families with pets section. Entering the building with dilated pupils I wove my way through the walk ways created by the clusters of cots and kennels occupied by families and their pets. It struck me that even in the midst of a disaster we humans create neighborhoods and small communities, we are pack animals.  I headed towards the pop up pet supply store well stocked from donations made by citizens and the volunteer veterinary clinic where I would be helping out. Careful not to disturb the sleeping citizens of the newly formed families with pets city, I was confronted by a single cot. It was freshly dressed in a crisp white sheet accessorized with a fluffy white pillow and tucked in by a cozy, white flannel blanket decorated with tiny Red Cross logos all over. It was isolated from the others waiting for the next victim of Harvey to tuck themselves in and comfort them with safety.  With all the rescue images of people trudging through unsanitary water, homes floating in floodwater fresh in my memory bank that cot was shockingly - humanity. Thirty thousand GRB citizens would be relieved to make it their new homestead.  It was heart breaking and beautiful all at the same time. I could imagine if I had been rescued that cot would have been a long-awaited relief. I would not have asked the sheet thread count or if the cotton was grown pesticide free. My heart hurt for all those who were grateful to have such a cot. That cot, that crystal clear image of stripped down humanity, is the Harvey image that holds onto me. 

Within weeks, I made two watercolor monotype pieces of the cot. One as I saw it and one with a pet waiting for its owner. I was pleased with their crispness and the delicate watery shapes seen when closely inspected. It occurs to me that the cot was so symbolic to me because of the constant looped eyewitness news reporting and abundance of social media posts. I was seeing the same strong images over and over. From my dry den, I too experienced Harvey.  

I have taken photos of my television screen and collected screen shots of these images and will use them as inspiration for additional works to go with the cot. It will be interesting to see if it is interesting to anyone but me.

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This is a study for the project. I am experimenting with the type of images I want to use, the sizes of the images and how much they can be abstracted and still be recognizable.

This is a study for the project. I am experimenting with the type of images I want to use, the sizes of the images and how much they can be abstracted and still be recognizable.

I want to use only black ink on white paper. If I were to make the pieces color ink, I would need to address skin tones and ethnicity. And the truth is that during Harvey, skin color, political and religious affiliations (things that often divide us) were not an issue to the point that they were not even part of the commentary, and that was beautiful. It is a very shuttle way to make a strong statement. I hope it is heard.

 

 

 


“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” - #25 marching on

I was able to get another full day of work in. I was primarily focused on integrating the large piece of welded wire that makes up the movement created by his right arm with the steel and plaster figure’s arm and head. I am integrating the two by adding small broken pieces of wire cloth within the welded wire. 

Shoulder and neck attaching to the head  

Shoulder and neck attaching to the head  

Shoulder view from the front  

Shoulder view from the front  

 

I also added some tiny delicate wires to the movement of the bows. The delicate sounds coming off the strings.  

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the top back of the head 

 

 

One of my artist friends Vincent Blair stopped in and took a quick pic as I worked.  

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My wire stash is on the pedestal. 

"drifting"

drifting"   36" X 45" X 55"    found object wire cloth

drifting"

36" X 45" X 55"  

found object wire cloth

This piece is made from upcycled wire cloth I found at Txrx labs. They pour aluminum and use these wire strips to reinforce their molds. They break out the castings and leave the wire mesh in the yard. I always pick it up when we pour bronze because it is sharp. I started playing with it while we waited for the bronze to heat. I fell in love with it's malability, rusted patina and chunks of plaster embedded between the wires.  

I sculpted this when I was thinking about urban ecology and  how successful birds and especially pigeons have evolved in urban environments. In contrast many of the people we see in these environments with pigeons appear to be struggling to stay present.  

This figure leans in on his left side where he is clearly involved in the environment around him. His right side is patently struggling to stay present and his head/brain and right side upper body are not visible to the viewer. Evidence of their absence is depicted through the torn collar and shredded back right of shirt. 

I can't to come up with the perfect base for him. Right now he is temporarily sitting in a box wrapped in paper.  

 

If you are in NYC check out my piece @ Site:Brooklyn art gallery

 
The Figure: Interpreted Through Contemporary Mediums

    Juried by Barbara A. MacAdam

    Site:Brooklyn
    165 7th St
    Brooklyn, NY

     

    for details see the link below.  

     http://eepurl.com/cvMw0f

     

    Site:Brooklyn

    Artist Reception – Wednesday January 18th 6-9PMJan 19 – Feb 19, 2017

    Gail Nadeau - "The Red Kimono"Artists:

    Steven Palumbo, Kang Sean, Courtney Bae, Elise Thompson, John Gallagher, Petrea Noyes, Carol Coates, Phillip Connell, Tom Acevedo, Barbara Smith, Ronald Gonzalez, Cindee Klement, Andrew Hockenberry, Deborah Druick, Robin Dintiman, Kathy Collins, Claire Gilliam, Candice Flewharty,
    Farnosh Olamai Birch, John Power, Philippe Hyojung Kim, Ola Aldous,
    Greta Young, Gail Nadeau, Mary Lou Greene, Tomas Modzelewski,
    Claire Apana, John Patrick Snyder, Alain Rogier, Diana Burchfield,
    Alexa Hoyer, Sophie Brenneman, John Kayrouz, Brooke Alexander,
    Joshua Dean, Owen Brown, Sharon Bartel Clements, Rajab Sayed,
    John Edwards, Gill Alexander, Lee Ann Carr, Colleen Kelly,
    Michelle Muri-Sloane

     

    peace pigeon project # 15

    Peace pigeon project - Friend

    Peace pigeon project - Friend

    One thing I like about art is the people. The Houston art community is very supportive.  We all help each other and cheer each other on. A few weeks ago leaving TXRX I saw a big wooden wire spool by the road. I thought it might be a great pedestal for one of Barbara's found object pieces. I saved it for her. She ended up cutting up the spool for another piece. Peace pigeon #15 is a scrap from that spool. Barbara saved it for me. It is a beauty just like Barbara. I was very touched that she would go to the trouble to capture this pigeon for me. 

    Thank you Barbara.