Friday, October 30, 2009

Sculpture and Snakes

Snakes are a common theme in folk art as canes, and as powerful images. Here's a little something for the Halloween soapbox.

Here are two of my snakes. (If you can't find it, you've just goota make it yourself.) The first two shots are of a snake I made from a cedar root. I only added one tooth and the eyes. Last photo is of the dreaded Wisteria Spiral Snake. When I found it in the trash, I couldn't believe that anyone could throw away something so cool. The vine wrapped around a column for multiple 360s. Brought it home and added checkers for the eyes, carved the mouth, added the tail and Voila! Folk Art

What isn't cool is when people take their "little" pet reptiles after they've grown too large for their cages and dump them in the wild. Florida is just waking up to the problem. The US Geological Survey released a report saying that 5 giant non-native species, boa constrictors, anacondas and pythons pose a high risk to wildlife. (Notice they didn't say pose a risk to humans. .. ... ... yet)

Read the chilling article if you can find it by Burkhard Bilger, titled "Swamp Things" in the New Yorker April 20, 2009, page 80. It's amazing what we do out of desire and ignorance. "It's pretty, it's cool, it's bad!" It is an exotic animal and what happens to it when we can no longer care for it in captivity? The answers aren't pretty.

Here's a link to the abstract

The article focuses on Burmese pythons, which are now breeding in Florida. They mature and reproduce quickly and will eat anything. Burmese implies tropical but researchers have found that the species native habitat reaches up to the Himaylias. That means the python’s potential range is roughly a third of the contiguous United States. Yikes!

Think about a 6 foot alligator, how strong it is, then click on this Youtube to see how well it fared with a 13 foot python. Remember that pythons can grow to be over 20 long. Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sculpture and Playing With Your Food

These photos are making the email office joke circuit. They were a forward of a forward so I don't know much about them or their creator Eclisse, They can be found on Photobucket.

Enjoy them as part of the fine art of playing with your food. The last of the egg in eggshell pram is brilliant.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sculpture and Landscape Design

Not too much art got done this summer. I've been working on a bigger scale. Photos of Gracewood Studio, south side redesign and landscaping. First photo is of building shortly after we bought the property six years ago. It stayed like that (plus weeds!) until this summer. All the rest happened this summer.

I used the concrete slabs taken out of the driveway for the gazebo's stairs and landing. Test paint on the gazebo works just fine, it's a perfect garden green and sets the structure into the yard. Hated the white paint.

It's funny, I don't think I sat in the gazebo twice in the five years previous to this redo. Now that the space is organized, I'm drawn to it to sit and take a short break. Short breaks because I need to finish up everything- boulders sited, plants planted and mulched before the rain and cold begin.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Water Kiss

I've had Water on the brain for several years. It's inspired my Nature of Water sculpture series. Always looking for how others treat the subject of water....

Water Kiss is a delightful video that evokes deeper thoughts on water's and life's ephemeral nature. It's elemental, literally, in it's use of materials: water, air, sunlight, love.

The flim is water stop-motion experiment by Sam3 filmed in Alicante, Spain more info:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shadows on Stone is One Year Old.

I began Shadows On Stone one year ago,on my birthday-10/21. In looking for other blogs writing about sculpture I found that sculpture is in the same category as walks on the beach: everyone likes the idea, but very few go IN the water. So THANK YOU to all of you who've joined me in thinking about sculpture.

Please excuse me, 'cause I'm going to have another slice of pear pie.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sculpture and Cobalt Design Works

I've known Jennifer Corio for several years through Pacific Northwest Sculptors. It's good to see her business Cobalt Design Works is up and thriving.

Cobalt Design Works is artist Jennifer Corio and craftsman Dave Frei. Together they create custom architectural and sculptural elements using a wide variety of metals and fabrication techniques.
Read more about their background here.

Cobalt Design Works designs distinctive gates, railings, doors and signs that provide clients with functional art. Their metalwork creates visual and tactile experiences for people, enhancing the spaces that surround them. They also design and build sculpture for public and private collections. Their innovative and highly aesthetic designs merge art and architecture.

See Cobalt Design Works website and blog.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sculpture and Stone Tiles

Seems like folks come in two flavors.

Those who want to park as close to their destination as possible, and those who can't wait to get out of the car and walk. I'm a park and walker because I hate driving. I never know what I'll find once I'm walking. For me, driving requires too much of "Don't look at that or that or that!" for obvious safety reasons.

This small entry way stopped me in my tracks. Ugly building, tiny space with this lovely timeless stone tile entry way. The neutral palette of black / white enlivened by the tan, the tight geometry of rectangles and squares danced because of the irregular hand cut tile. It was like part of a Klee or Klimt drawing and got more lovely the longer I looked at it.

When was it installed? Doesn't matter, it could have been in Pompeii or a brand new Pearl condominium. Timeless simplicity is very hard to achieve. Hats off to the craftsman who did it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sculpture and Giant German Puppets

I don't speak or read German, do you?

Without needing translation, what comes through is pure delight when the toys are three times the size of the people. With the shift in scale it's Gulliver's Travels auf Deutsch.

Watch a whole series of videos of these giant puppets on their YouTube site.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sculpture and Drawing - All children are artists.

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he
(or she!) grows up." Pablo Picasso

It's so hard to mix children and work.
Both demand your full attention.

I was juggling an illustration deadline and caring for the tiny one. I got her settled in my office, laid out crayons and paper, told- pleaded with her that I could not pay attention to her. as I had an illustration that HAD to be finished. We both worked quietly for half an hour. Then she showed me her drawings.

She had drawn my relief sculpture "Oasis" translating three dimensions into two. Four years old she saw and drew everything important about the work. It gave me goose bumps.

That's my sketch of the relief sculpture ,"Oasis", the bronze sculpture, and her drawing.

Sculpture and little a art

Last night, for homework, the little one read from Dr. Seuss's ABC book. "Big A, little a. What begins with A?"

Art begins with A. There's BIG ART and little art.

Big art is where you sign your name.

Little art is mostly anonymous, where you simply take pleasure in the craft of doing a job well. The concrete removed from the driveway is becoming benches, stairs and rubble behind the retaining wall. I'm using the gravel underlayment of the driveway behind the retaining wall to have clear soil for the new fruit trees.

While digging I remembered my grandfather telling me that when they butchered hogs on the farm, that "we'd use everything but the squeal!" They wasted nothing.

It shocked me at the time because it is such a vivid expression. But it's come to be my definition of little a art. Use whatever material you're working with for maximum efficiency and least wasted material. To make work that lasts. Art with a little a.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sculpture and Architecture

Sculpture has always been " a handmaid to architecture".
All those marble Greek figures were parts of buildings.

In Portland, Maine, I found these ceramic corbels on the Catherine McAuley Catholic High School. I can identify Shakespeare and Dante. The two women over another entrance? Not a clue. Well a clue, as one is wearing a wimple, perhaps the founder of a the Sisters of Mercy order of nuns? The other woman, Beatrice to balance Dante? Or Shakespear's "Dark Lady"?

It's funny how the sculptor turned the scroll on the men into a mono-bosom on the women.

Beautifully done work on an building from the 1870's.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sculpture and Jello

Jello is a fascinating material, um "food" when you are 6 years old. All the more fascinating when it isn't on the menu at home. When the little one visits, I help her make a batch and throw it away immediately when she leaves. I may have found another use for it though.

Jello sculpture.

A friend told me about a "JELLO GARDEN" party. They filled up the tub with different colors and shapes of jello, got naked and jumped into the tub. Naughty fun for adults but a perfect for kids. Only I'm gonna do it outside and hose them off when we're done.

Friday, October 2, 2009

More on Spider Silk and Weaving

Photos from the American Museum of Natural History's Flickr site.

If you've been following the story of the hottest textile on the planet, you're jonesing for photos of the weaving process. Here are some photos on Flickr and a link to the American Museum of Natural History's webpage for the Golden Orb Spider Textile. It is so unique it really should have a name.

I can't get over how beautiful the silk is intrinsically. As spun thread or woven textile, it really is golden.