Copy of SITE Gallery- Sculpture Month Houston - Installing the work#2

Things are now going smoothly maybe too smoothly. All the work I did this summer is paying off.

 

SITE Gallery- Sculpture Month Houston - Installing the work - my pregame plan

With lots of time spent preparing to install my work, installing it went by quickly.

During the days prior to the installation, I imagined trying multiple compositions of the pre-assembled sections, spending lots of time looking at it, adjusting it, and tweaking it and then adding smaller elements to tie the work together... and repeating the same process over and over until I was satisfied it was finished. That was my pre-game mental plan.

Once the support structure was in place, secure, and painted, it was time to install the work. First, I hung the two pieces I knew would be part of this work. I then looked at the way the shadows were falling on the concave surface of the wall and hung the two end pieces. It was then late in the day, and I decided to call it a day and decide what the next step was with fresh eyes in the morning.

The next day I showed up early in the day ready to sit, look and make changes that would be best for the work on the concave wall of a silo. I was excited to see the curator, Volker Eisele, in the parking lot when I arrived. I invited him to come take a look at my progress. 

Smiling he said, "You are done, it is finished." I was really happy that he was pleased, really happy. I was also surprised. Finishing this early was not my game plan. Yikes! It isn’t easy for me to mentally change my game plan. I think Volker could see this in my face, and as he walked away, he said, "You know my name is on this too, it is good." I completely understood and reminded myself how lucky I was that he liked it.

A good problem.🙂

ps. I now have the equivalent of another silo full of work in my studio………. bursting at the seems. Anyone need a keystone animal environmental installation?

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SITE Gallery Houston

Behind and attached to the Silos at Sawyer Yards

The lobby of the SITE Gallery Houston with the mechanicals of the grain silo in place. Just the coolest

The lobby of the SITE Gallery Houston with the mechanicals of the grain silo in place. Just the coolest

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Green marks the spot

Green marks the spot

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Sculpture Month Houston

In May I started seeking a space to exhibit new environmental, 4D kinetic sculptures. I hoped to use this new work as a start to an art installation inspiring conversations about topics I am very passionate about; the unexpected consequences of forcing natural processes into an industrial model and the complex relationships between humans, plants, and animals. 

The stars aligned in July when Sculpture Month Houston’s founder and curator, Volker Eisele, invited me to be one of the 19 artists asked to create a site-specific sculpture in the historic Success Rice Grain Silos behind the Sawyer yard’s artist studios. In the 50th anniversary year of man landing on the moon, this year’s exhibit title is Outta Space from the 2012 Van Halen album A Different Kind of Truth. Outta Space will combine two curatorial themes: one features work focused on environmental degradation issues and the other focuses on interpretations and explorations of Alternative Worlds as envisioned in the fantasies of the artists. 

I have passionately committed myself to this installation every day since July. My passion comes from spending my early years on a farm in west Texas, from my concerns regarding industrialized food and its effect on our health, from my love for historic buildings and, most importantly, from my desire to make an impact on the return of our most important keystone species. 

As a site specific installation artist my aspiration is to create a piece that is unique to the silo’s space and true to my work. My silo is a circular space constructed from cinder blocks, 18’ in diameter and spans 20’ in height. It has, in the center of the space a 10’ tall funnel suspended from the ceiling. There are a few old, large light fixtures, conduit runs vertical and perpendicular on the walls and there are three entrances to the space. I have three weeks to install the work that I have assembled to date. My mantra as an artist is “if I am not nervous to take on a new project then I am not stretching myself”. I am slightly anxious, yet happy to embrace the butterflies and honored to have my name listed among this year’s SMH artists.

In celebration of the opening there will be food trucks, a bar and music provided by Chapel In The Sky with projections by Michael Walrond - SHDWSOFDUST. 

OUTTA SPACE

Public Opening for the Exhibition 

Saturday, October 12, 6-9 pm

SITE Gallery Houston, 

1502 Sawyer St. Houston, TX 77007

(The multi-story building behind the artist studios facility).

https://glasstire.com/2016/11/04/the-problems-and-rewards-of-houstons-silos/

https://glasstire.com/2017/10/30/a-conversation-about-art-and-the-silos-on-sawyer/

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Embracing Bombus Affinis

I have decided to make a large monotype of the first bee in the US to be listed on the endangered species list. I was looking online for a photo that would accurately depict the Bombus Affinis. Searching, I came across the USGS site. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a science bureau within the US Department of the Interior. The USGS provides science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods; the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change. It is a great resource. They have developed a Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program. Part of the program is to develop identification tools for native bee species. Taking and collecting accurate and detailed photos of the native bees. The over 4,000 images are freely available for the public to use. Looking at these up close detailed photos I was amazed to see how beautiful these tiny beings are. Their beauty rivals that of any creature on the planet. I looked at bees for an hour, in awe at their stunning uniqueness. The opportunity to work from such close up photos is exciting. It will also be challenging, I normally work from bad photos. I like poor quality photos because I don’t want to get bogged down by the details. My work is about the physical or emotional energy. These photos are works of art already. I have in my head what I want my abstraction to look like. I am just not exactly sure I know how I am going to achieve it. Step one is to experiment with my process and technique and develop a mark making that captures the elegance, majesty and energy of these tiny busy beasts.

Below are the first four days of experimenting. It has been a struggle to loosen up and not get bogged down by the details. The last one I like the most, I was just making marks and not worrying about if it resembled Bombus Affinis. That works best for me.

Bombus Affinis I  30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Bombus Affinis I

30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Day 1-

When working in color, the ink looks much darker and muted on the plate than when printed on paper. My first impression of Bombus Affinis I was that the paint was too heavy, too bright just  too much all the way around. The ghost was too light. I want my Bombus to express the lightness, fragility and majesty  of the bee. 

Wing detail from Bombus Affinis I

Wing detail from Bombus Affinis I

Bombus Affinis I ghost  30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Bombus Affinis I ghost

30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Day 2-

I like the big black brush strokes, the antennae, but I do not like that both wings have the same weight. I want the back wing to be in more motion and fainter. When I look back at the work from day one, I am feeling better about parts of it. I like the wings and the last sections of his abdomen. Below are some close up shots of the parts I like of both days’ experiments.

Bombus Affinis II 30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Bombus Affinis II 30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Day 2 antenna

Day 2 antenna

Day 3 - layering the different processes. I am closer to what I want but I am not there yet.

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Bombus Affinis III

Bombus Affinis III

A favorite moment in Bomus Affinis III  a tail, leg and two wings

A favorite moment in Bomus Affinis III

a tail, leg and two wings

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Bombus Affinis III ghost

Bombus Affinis III ghost

Bombus Affinis IV

Bombus Affinis IV

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Bombus Affinis V

Bombus Affinis V

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Day 4

Below are some moments I especially like. Today anyway.

Finally I am loosening up. I want an image of the bee’s energy - I want the life, movement and energy of a fuzzy pollinator even if he is endangered. I do not want a drawing of a bee.

Top of Head and thorax

Top of Head and thorax

Mauvish/brown/black bee eye and thorax

Mauvish/brown/black bee eye and thorax

The fuzzy tail and two delicate wings

The fuzzy tail and two delicate wings

My work space

My work space

Leftover ink in the trey- Inspiration for a bee wing.

Leftover ink in the trey- Inspiration for a bee wing.

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 🐝