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.
hopefully this flower is abstracted enough but not too much.
Here is another
Regarding the title today I am loving “impact” as a title, I will discuss more on that in another post.
On this day I made abstract botanical inspired shapes out of a variety of materials. Then I whipped up some hydro stone and put a coat on the largest shape. The next day I started arranging the pieces into a kinetic composition.
botanical inspired small pieces.
the large piece covered in hydro stone
Above I am starting to connect the pieces.
I have not added the legs and wings to the 2nd bee. All the bees do not need legs and wings????????
When I add the hydro stone it will be easier to discriminate between the bees and the flowers.
Below are two different compositions using the flower and the two bees.
checking out shapes that hopefully read as floral.
This summer I will be focused on building a body of work that addresses the impact that pesticides have on the bumble bees and honey bees.
rusty patched bumble bees?
As pollinators, rusty patched bumble bees contribute to our food security and the healthy functioning of our ecosystems. Bumble bees are keystone species in most ecosystems, necessary not only for native wildflower reproduction, but also for creating seeds and fruits that feed wildlife as diverse as songbirds and grizzly bears.
Bumble bees are among the most important pollinators of crops such as blueberries, cranberries, and clover and almost the only insect pollinators of tomatoes. Bumble bees are more effective pollinators than honey bees for some crops because of their ability to “buzz pollinate.” The economic value of pollination services provided by native insects (mostly bees) is estimated at $3 billion per year in the United States.”
Below is a still image of a 4D/mobile piece I started last week.
A dead bee without legs and very big broken wings.
Here is a photo of the shadow. The sculpture is photobombing on the right.
shadow and sculpture
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.
I think this will work 🐝
I might call this collapse and disorder.
I started a new shadow/mobile to be part of my Glyphosate series. Last week I started the wings.
Above I am started the wings with some leftover pieces from “Bringing Home The Bacon” held together with new wire.
Before I left for the day I threw together a body to slap on the wings and see what the shadows look like.
I am considering the title “collapse and disorder” for this piece.
I will probably add some hexagon shapes to the sculpture. Which made me wonder why are honeycombs hexagon in shape. Guess what I found?
breaking out the handle
adding the moss green patina
I thought I was ready to plan the faux bois handle, but while thinking through the process, it became evident that the root pieces supporting the structure are too small. I am concerned that under the weight of the concrete, they will bend. My solution is to add new pieces that are thicker to spread out the load.
I thought that it would be simple to add the patina to the new support pieces - wrong! It looks like I charred the new pieces. When things go wrong, it can be so frustrating.
Sandblasted and ready for Patina application #2.
A tip from David Delgado at Legacy fine art Foundry - After the birch wood Casey have some ferric ready and add a wash of ferric before the cupric nitrate mixture. This will help keep it green and not cupric blue.
birchwood Casey ✅
Just in time for earth day
With Earth Day in mind I would like to remind gardeners to not use Roundup. The chemical Glyphosate impacts the bee’s intestinal flora causing it’s immune system to be weakened. With bees on the decline we can not compromise their immune systems.
Glyphosate 44” X 30” watercolor monotype
In my original body of work “Harvey Heroes” the installation. I paid specific attention to selecting images for inspiration from all ethnic backgrounds. During the Hurricane Harvey flood rescue, racial, political gender and religious tensions were washed away. They were not part of the conversation, we were one people. That was the silver lining of Hurricane Harvey, that was what raised our Texas spirit above the flood line. Seeing people of all backgrounds helping each other made me proud to be from Houston. In the installation piece the process I use to get the abstract fluidity marks, dilutes the diversity of skin tones. I feel this process addresses skin tones as Harvey did. The work is very abstract and does not show the details that might define a particular ethnic background, again the spirit of Harvey.
The exhibition opening was pushed back 30 days, with the extra time I decided to add a few LIVEstock pieces. There were not a lot of images from Harvey of livestock rescues on social media so I created a few of my own.
I regretted I had not made a buffalo calf rescue piece. Saving the buffalo is my thing. Not long after making the decision to make a buffalo rescue piece I saw an image posted on Instagram of a black cowboy wearing a white hat. Immediately I thought how cool it would be to have a black cowboy rescue a buffalo calf. A white hat would separate a darker skin tone from my murky floodwater background, plus my new 44” X 30” paper and plate would help show more skin tone characteristics than the 22” X 30” pieces that compose the installation.. When I told Curtis what I was planning he, immediately, reminded me of the Buffalo Soldiers. He suggested I visit the Buffalo Museum to make sure it would be acceptable during today’s sensitive times to reference Buffalo Soldiers. The people at the museum were very busy so I did not bother them. I did consulted with one of my friends, artist Romeo Robinson; he liked the idea.
This piece has multiple layers of meaning. It brings attention to the importance of tending to animals in rural environments when floods occur. It brings attention to saving the buffalo from extinction and it addresses regenerative agriculture. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the brave men who served our country in the military; the Buffalo Soldiers. They were given the name Buffalo Soldiers by the Native Americans, because the Buffalo Soldiers were as tough, fierce and brown as the American buffalo. They were admirable Americans. They deserve accommodations. While at the buffalo Soldier Museum I learned that the US government has never given the Buffalo Soldiers any accommodations for their service. They fought in the Civil War and WWI, This piece celebrates heroes on a multiple of levels.
The piece below, the African-American cowboy is rescuing a buffalo calf. The white cowboy hat and white shirt separate the black skin on his face from the chaotic weather in the background.
I made one monotype and two ghost monotypes. See below.
I hope you like them.
by Sabine Casparie
It took me awhile to get a copy of the 2019 ArtHouston magazine. I could not be more grateful to Sabine Casparie for including me in her article.
Turning challenging circumstances into opportunities.
The human ability to start over.
understanding the hardship and struggles of another people.
Resilience and having a dream and perusing that dream.
Molding and changing a dream until we reach our dreams.
dedication and passion
a connection to the earth
compassion that drives us
courage to carve your own path
hope for a better life through hard work
In the fall of 2018 I started this piece to add to my Heritage series of sculptures. As a teen, I shaped hats in my father's western wear store and I began to understand that old hats are reflections of their owners, that they keep a bit of the spirit of the person who wore them. When I start a piece I am often thinking about a specific individual and a challenge they're facing. While working on this piece I had a conversation with a friend about his career. This friend is very very passionate about his profession and has an admirable work ethic. His work situation has been frustrating for several years. There was not a way he could remedy the situation. In the end he turned challenging circumstances into a new opportunity. He took the leap and carved a new path.
Initially, when I broke the piece out of the shell I was disappointed that there were so many spots that did not pour. The texture is exactly what I wanted, well worn and full of passion and character.
A little frustrated but keeping an open mind, I set it on my utility room counter. I like to set pieces I am working on there so I can glance at them quickly as I go about my household tasks. This allows me to think and rethink my next step with the piece.
I walked by it and glanced over quickly and it hit me, those patches that did not pour could resemble the new path that my friend carved. Is it possible this piece took on bit of the spirit of my friend and his circumstances?
The next step with this piece is to do the metal chasing. Once the metal work is done I need to make a decision regarding the cool spots. Do I want to patch the cool spots or leave it as is.
I will have to ponder that.
It is still sitting in my utility room. I do love the shadows. ????????????
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
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?
Why a pig? We humans have a lot in common with pigs. We're both omnivorous mammals that gain weight easily and are susceptible to the flu. We share 98% of the same DNA.
Pigs are somewhat domestic (if you don’t believe me, check out @esterthewonderpig on Instagram). In addition they are on rural, commercial, and regenerative hog farms. They are incredibly smart and very clean animals.
2019 is the year of the pig. Pigs symbolize prosperity, wealth and abundance. Having a fattened up pig brings good luck. The Pig is thought to bring luck to farmers as it brings in a good crop.
The pig is very powerful and brings all good things. They are a very laid back animal they do not readily attack or anger.
They have been known to overindulge and can weigh an average of around 700 lbs. They are also often adored characters in nursery rhymes, children’s stories and tv shows as well as a variety of sitcoms. Miss Piggy, Porky Pig, Piglet, Timon and Pumbaa, Petunia Pig, The three little pigs, This little piggy went to the Market, Old Major, and Babe. I could go on and on.
A pig checks a lot of boxes that I feel a lot of people can relate to.
From a personal stand point, my brothers had a couple of pigs on our farm in Dell City. I was very young and can barely remember them. I do remember something about my oldest brother’s, Bob Travis Jr.’s, pig drowning. I am not sure how. It was not a flood because Dell City is in the middle of the desert. When we were teenagers and living in the city, my brother, Dean Travis, was riding his motorcycle in the desert checking his beehives and found a piglet lost in the desert. The piglet had gotten his head stuck in a paint can. I can still remember Dean pulling into the driveway on his motorcycle with the poor squealing piglet tucked under his arm with its head still stuck in the can. He lived in our backyard that summer.
In the early 2000s, we lived in New Orleans, Louisiana. There is a nice size Vietnamese population in New Orleans and a fair amount of Vietnamese pot bellied pigs. A family that went to my children’s school had a miniature Vietnamese pot bellied pig. The mom used to walk him to school on a leash when she picked her kids up at 2:45. My daughter, Sage, did everything in her power to convince me to buy her one. We already had two dogs, 2 birds, several frogs, turtles, fish and snakes. She finally quit asking when we learned they could not bend their knees to climb steps. Our home was on a small uptown lot with lots and lots of stairs. The pig would have to stay outside and we would want it to be part of our family.
If anyone has a great pig family pet, urban or rural, please share stories and pictures. I would love to hear and see them.
Most importantly I hope this piece can bring a little good luck and good fortune to the people who are still suffering the wrath of Harvey.
Happiness is finding your favorite goat Chica before the flood.
This piece was not inspired by a social media posting. I do feel it is a story worth telling.
Many thanks to my beloved niece Josette Travis for inspiring this piece. Thank you so much for helping me with this and being such a great Mom to all the kids. (Does anybody get that joke- all the kids).
Below are images of Josette and some of Josette and Eric’s kids.
Josette feeding one of Chicas babies
Josette and Chica modeling a goat rescue for me. Photo by Eric travis.
4- kids - Danika and Emma feeding 2 baby goats
Josette 😍 and kid
The Billy goat and my grand niece Danika . I love his beard.
In February, my brother, Dean Travis turned 65. In November, Linda Razloznik, my sister-in-law, wanted to purchase “You Make Me Stronger” for him for his birthday. Unfortunately, it was already sold. Linda and their kids, daughters, son in-law, and grandchildren wanted a gift to demonstrate to him their appreciation for his wisdom, support, and advice. He has been a source of strength in our family since I can remember. Linda commissioned the below piece as a testament to their gratitude. I was particularly pleased to be able to take part in such a special gift as he has also been a great big brother. He first stepped up when I was 3 years old. I had decided to run away and live with the chickens on our farm. I headed out through the cotton field barefoot. I did not get far when the undersides of my feet were completely covered in west Texas cockaburs. He carried me home. A year later, swimming in a friend’s pool, he pulled me out of the swimming pool by my ponytail when my life preserver came off. I was not too appreciative at the time, I boy punched him for saving me. Four years older than I was, he always included my in treehouse building, fox hole digging, or just swimming in the horse trough pretending it was a submarine. In my early twenties, when going through a divorce, I sometimes needed his advice in the middle of the night. He always answered. Linda was right; “You make us stronger”. I hope it was a Happy birthday - bro
Day 1 and 2