7 days left

7 days left to rip and wrangle rusted wire cloth, then delicately stitch the wire fragments into biospheres of frail and vulnerable abstract wild bees and organic shapes. Then coat hydro stone and cast shadows, to kinetically unveil the unintended consequences of forcing natural processes into an industrial model. Then pack, transport, unpack, install for 21 days, and open........ find more locations to install......... rinse and repeat.

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The honey bee is (as American as apple pie) not a native bee in the US.

Like apples, honey bees were introduced to North America in the 17th Century by the European settlers. Prior to the arrival of the European settlers, honey bee native insects and bees handled the task of pollination in the new world. In the early 1600´s, the honey bee was brought to North America for honey production and beekeeping became a commercial and profitable occupation.

My next post will be honey bees vs native bees. #savethenativebees

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Bee school birthday gift.

For my 62nd birthday, my son Griffin and daughter-in-law Alex gave me bee school for two at Beeweavers outside of College Station. Below are some photos from the day.

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When we got out of the car, immediately we noticed a lovely white noise–the hum of busy bees filled the warm, summer air. I love that sound.

This is Roosevelt (or as Roosevelt would say, it is what is left of Roosevelt). He has been at BeeWeavers since he was 22 years old. Roosevelt is our teacher, guide and bee guru for the day.

This is Roosevelt (or as Roosevelt would say, it is what is left of Roosevelt). He has been at BeeWeavers since he was 22 years old. Roosevelt is our teacher, guide and bee guru for the day.

You need to wear long sleeves, loose jeans, and closed-toe shoes. They provide the bee nets/hats and jackets. We are posing in front of some bee boxes and trying to let you see the smoke can behind us. Roosevelt really wanted the smoke to show in the picture. You can’t see the smoke.

You need to wear long sleeves, loose jeans, and closed-toe shoes. They provide the bee nets/hats and jackets. We are posing in front of some bee boxes and trying to let you see the smoke can behind us. Roosevelt really wanted the smoke to show in the picture. You can’t see the smoke.

When you arrive one of the first things you see is this sweet bee bath. I have never noticed bees bathing and drinking water before.

When you arrive one of the first things you see is this sweet bee bath. I have never noticed bees bathing and drinking water before.

A close up of the bees in the bee bath floating on corks.

A close up of the bees in the bee bath floating on corks.

Selfie time

Selfie time

These are the boxes they use to show the public. I think they have thousands out and about nearby fields.

These are the boxes they use to show the public. I think they have thousands out and about nearby fields.

Roosevelt is smoking the honey bee boxes before we take a look Inside.. The smoke calms them down.

Roosevelt is smoking the honey bee boxes before we take a look Inside.. The smoke calms them down.

The bees were not aggressive.

The bees were not aggressive.

Bees on the outside of the box.

Bees on the outside of the box.

The bees carry on with their work as we inspect the first frame.

The bees carry on with their work as we inspect the first frame.

The bees secrete a brown wax from their abdomens to close the cells. The yellow in some sells is pollen and the tiny white spec is a larvae. It is all very fascinating. Some cells are empty.

The bees secrete a brown wax from their abdomens to close the cells. The yellow in some sells is pollen and the tiny white spec is a larvae. It is all very fascinating. Some cells are empty.

The yellow bag on this bees leg is pollen he has brought back to the hive.the pollen sticks to the long hairs on their legs.

The yellow bag on this bees leg is pollen he has brought back to the hive.the pollen sticks to the long hairs on their legs.

Here is a guy with 2 packs of pollen.

Here is a guy with 2 packs of pollen.

This frame is used to raise queens. They sell 500 queens a day.

This frame is used to raise queens. They sell 500 queens a day.

A close up of the wax cells the queens are incubated in.

A close up of the wax cells the queens are incubated in.

When the queen is ready to mate she is put in a boxe like these. She flies out to mate and returns to the box she came from. Beeweavers queens are not artificially inseminated. I was really glad to hear that.

When the queen is ready to mate she is put in a boxe like these. She flies out to mate and returns to the box she came from. Beeweavers queens are not artificially inseminated. I was really glad to hear that.

If you are starting your own honeybee farm you can purchase bees instead or robbing a hive. They will arrive in a box like this. I personally prefer to support local bees.

If you are starting your own honeybee farm you can purchase bees instead or robbing a hive. They will arrive in a box like this. I personally prefer to support local bees.

They put in the bee boxes a piece of cotton like this. The bees do not like it and they try to get it out. Their efforts fluff up the cotton and beetles get trapped in it. It is a great way to get rid of pest without pesticides.

They put in the bee boxes a piece of cotton like this. The bees do not like it and they try to get it out. Their efforts fluff up the cotton and beetles get trapped in it. It is a great way to get rid of pest without pesticides.

Here is a piece of the cotton and a few trapped beetles.

Here is a piece of the cotton and a few trapped beetles.

Here is Roosevelt when he first joined Beeweavers. He Was a great guide and teacher.

Here is Roosevelt when he first joined Beeweavers. He Was a great guide and teacher.

This calf was found alone on their farm, they took him in, bottle fed him and named him buzz. I am not sure if he thinks he is a bee or people. He loves to be scratched, who doesn’t?

This calf was found alone on their farm, they took him in, bottle fed him and named him buzz. I am not sure if he thinks he is a bee or people. He loves to be scratched, who doesn’t?

It was a great day despite the temperature. We learned a lot about honey bees. It was good to see a commercial bee establishment that cares about chemicals, pesticides and natural selection. A birthday gift I will remember for a long time.

Tomato cage sculpture material

I ran to Southland hardware to purchase more wire cloth for my installation and spied some tomato cages. Wondering if they could add to my palette of materials I took home a few to play with.

Tomato cages

Tomato cages

Squish, squash, twist, turn, fold, pull, cut repeat

Squish, squash, twist, turn, fold, pull, cut repeat

Throw on a rip of charged screen for garnish

Throw on a rip of charged screen for garnish

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Play some more.

Play some more.

I ran out of time today but I feel like it might have some potential.

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

Private viewing of Hiram Butler Gallery

On July 24th, Alexander Squier https://www.alexandersquier.com/, the head of the the MFAH Glassell Studio School printmaking department, arranged for our printmaking class to get a private viewing of the Hiram Butler Gallery http://hirambutler.com/ print collection. It was a treat! We even got a peak at the cottage at the back of the property. Below are a few pictures from the day. All the work we looked at was exceptional and the Jacob Hashimoto  wood Block prints are really something to see. Next time you go ask to see the work in the cottage. FYI- the garden is prime for a planting of pollinator plants and housing a bee condo for bumbles.

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I find this tiny piece inspiring, it is giving me bee wing ideas.

I find this tiny piece inspiring, it is giving me bee wing ideas.

Leaving I saw this huge pile of bamboo waiting for the city of Houston’s trash collectors to pick it up. I immediately text Doug Welch to ask for permission to rob it of enough sticks to make done native bumble bee houses.

Leaving I saw this huge pile of bamboo waiting for the city of Houston’s trash collectors to pick it up. I immediately text Doug Welch to ask for permission to rob it of enough sticks to make done native bumble bee houses.

if I am lucky I can convince Curtis to take this project on. 🤞 I am hyper focused on my installation and completely buzzed to bee.

if I am lucky I can convince Curtis to take this project on. 🤞 I am hyper focused on my installation and completely buzzed to bee.

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Josh Pazda was so knowledgeable about the work and so generous with his time. I am never really comfortable in a gallery but Josh is so approachable and interested in what we wanted to see, It was a great gallery experience.

Sewing 🐝 #4 experiment for possible community project.

Sewing 🐝 #4

This piece is a conversation starter. The bee on this cap is the Bombus Affinis or commonly known as the Rusty Patch bumble bee. This bee was listed on the endangered species list in 2017. It is the first U.S. bee to be listed.

Finished piece.

Finished piece.

No planing just winging it. It explains why that antenna is so BIG

No planing just winging it. It explains why that antenna is so BIG

This fuzzy little body needs some wings.

This fuzzy little body needs some wings.

Detail of wing and legs

Detail of wing and legs

I need to delete the giant antennae.

I need to delete the giant antennae.

Copy added

Copy added

Every bee needs some pollen in the air.

Every bee needs some pollen in the air.

After I finished and stood back I was not pleased. It was too busy, too much. Today I took out Impact. It feels better, I will live with it and maybe take out Endangered and the pollen and plant pieces.

After I finished and stood back I was not pleased. It was too busy, too much. Today I took out Impact. It feels better, I will live with it and maybe take out Endangered and the pollen and plant pieces.

Is destitching a word?

Is destitching a word?

Nine things that can help #savethebees

1. Plant a pollinator garden 

2. Pull weeds or better yet go native, as many weeds and wild flowers are food for bees. 

3. Do not use herbicides to kill weeds. Bees live in the ground and neonicotinoids kill microflora in bee guts, making them less tolerant to bee disease. 

4. Find natural ways to combat mosquitos. Many urban beekeepers tell me their hives suffer when city mosquito trucks spray and when their neighbors install mosquito misting systems. 

5. Become an urban beekeeper.  

6. Buy local honey that is not mixed with corn syrup. 

7. Provide a water source. 

8. Buy local organic food. 

9. Spread the word.

Sewing 🐝 #4 experiment for possible community project.

Sewing 🐝 #4

This piece is a conversation starter. The bee on this cap is the Bombus Affinis or commonly known as the Rusty Patch bumble bee. This bee was listed on the endangered species list in 2017. It is the first U.S. bee to be listed.

Finished piece.

Finished piece.

No planing just winging it. It explains why that antenna is so BIG

No planing just winging it. It explains why that antenna is so BIG

This fuzzy little body needs some wings.

This fuzzy little body needs some wings.

Detail of wing and legs

Detail of wing and legs

I need to delete the giant antennae.

I need to delete the giant antennae.

Copy added

Copy added

Every bee needs some pollen in the air.

Every bee needs some pollen in the air.

After I finished and stood back I was not pleased. It was too busy, too much. Today I took out Impact. It feels better, I will live with it and maybe take out Endangered and the pollen and plant pieces.

After I finished and stood back I was not pleased. It was too busy, too much. Today I took out Impact. It feels better, I will live with it and maybe take out Endangered and the pollen and plant pieces.

Is destitching a word?

Is destitching a word?

Nine things that can help #savethebees

1. Plant a pollinator garden 

2. Pull weeds or better yet go native, as many weeds and wild flowers are food for bees. 

3. Do not use herbicides to kill weeds. Bees live in the ground and neonicotinoids kill microflora in bee guts, making them less tolerant to bee disease. 

4. Find natural ways to combat mosquitos. Many urban beekeepers tell me their hives suffer when city mosquito trucks spray and when their neighbors install mosquito misting systems. 

5. Become an urban beekeeper.  

6. Buy local honey that is not mixed with corn syrup. 

7. Provide a water source. 

8. Buy local organic food. 

9. Spread the word.

Technique experiment for endangered bees.

Bee technique experiment

Bombus Affinis - listed on the Endangered list 2017

Bombus Affinis - listed on the Endangered list 2017

Detail of head with a big white eye, thorax antenna and leg

Detail of head with a big white eye, thorax antenna and leg

Th ghost of Bombus Affinis

Th ghost of Bombus Affinis

One is to heavy and ones too light. That is how they look to me wet. It is too soon to judge.

Glyphosate #7 (working title) kinetic sculpture - adding some details

In order to help the large abstract shapes read as botanical or floral shapes I have added some smaller botanical shapes and vines. I think they help. 

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hopefully this flower is abstracted enough but not too much. 

 

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Here is another  

Glyphosate lenticular- trying to get it right

 I printed a lenticular from my three mono-prints of a dead bee. I decided to loop the images. That was a mistake when it comes to creating imagery that speaks to extinction. There is no loop and no second chance. With that in mind, I am trying for proof #2 with out a loop of image number 2.

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I think this will work 🐝 

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. 

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.

“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. 

Hat day - and finding my voice as an artist

 This sculpture began my journey to find and define my voice as an artist.

 I inherited a family treasure from my grandfather Bob-pa, Robert Fleming Travis. This inheritance is not an object it is an impression of a human spirit. With this object I tell the story of the pain and challenges the harsh west Texas weathers imprints on a soul through tears, rips and holes in a satin lining. I see evidence of daily habits necessary to survive alcoholism, and diabetes through the creases still living in the felt. I see a love between two people committed for life in the tattered remnants of a gross grain ribbon. I see financial hardship that shapes character in the frayed and moth eaten edges of the brim. This well-worn inheritance quietly mirrors my grandfather’s life and character.  Shaped by growing up in the Depression, he knew hard times as he later farmed cotton and raised cattle in the harsh West Texas desert near El Paso.

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Photo by will michels.  

Photo by will michels.  

New piece- still working on the title

9/26/2016 - 10/2/2016 

I started a  new sculpture. This will be an additional piece to my series based on shaking dogs.  My fingers are crossed. 

Pedestal ✅ photos of similar pose ✅ wire✅ wire cutters✅ music ✅

Pedestal ✅ photos of similar pose ✅ wire✅ wire cutters✅ music ✅

The beginning 

The beginning 

Paw 

Paw 

Double  

Double  

Starting the body. This will be the back side of the piece. The front of the piece you will see just the dogs head popping out and paws gripping the side of a deck.  

Starting the body. This will be the back side of the piece. The front of the piece you will see just the dogs head popping out and paws gripping the side of a deck.  

Right side view  

Right side view  

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I Moved the piece from my garage  to my studio at Glassell. It got a little banged up in the move. There is a lot of negative space involved in these pieces so it is important to have a clean white background behind whichever side I am working on. I have created a movable partition that I move around it as I work.

I taped two 3 paneled science fair poster boards together to make my clean white back drop.  

I taped two 3 paneled science fair poster boards together to make my clean white back drop.  

Left side started  

Left side started  

Adding more support

Adding more support

More wire

More wire

Front view- at this time he is headless. The most important part of this piece will be the dogs expression.  

Front view- at this time he is headless. The most important part of this piece will be the dogs expression.  

Left view- the tail is wagging extreme left. I spent an entire day getting this tail perfect. Next week I will take a backside view. 

Left view- the tail is wagging extreme left. I spent an entire day getting this tail perfect. Next week I will take a backside view. 

The next step is to start the head and face.  

I will start a new post for the head of this piece.  

I am still struggling with a name. Curtis suggested "did I win?"

I was thinking "paws up" 

Naming the piece is an important task to me. I struggle with the name of each and every piece.  And I am struggling with the name of this piece. 

If  you have a suggestion for a "title of work"  please do not hesitate to send me an idea.