Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sculpture and the American Rhododendron Society

Bouquet for the City by Patrick Gracewood © 2011bronze relief 45 inches by 51 inches.

My relief sculpture "Bouquet for the City" will be at the 65th annual convention of The American Rhododendron Society in Vancouver Washington this week at the Heathman Lodge.

Titled The World in Your Garden, the convention features speakers from around the world, and tours of outstanding public and private gardens and nurseries with the focus on rhododendrons. 
Painted plaster panel at left and roughing out the composition of the entire triptych.
Here's how and why the sculpture was made. 
In front of my old studio there was a forest of these tree sized rhododendrons. The father in law of my landlord (in her 70's) had planted the grove. They are Rhododendron loderi, the cultivar "King George".

Early in May, bright pink buds unfurl into enormous white blossoms that perfume the entire area. The fragrance is like the most sweet pure air imaginable in the cool spring air. It had the power to stop me several times a day with its beauty.

Homes and businesses in Portland, Oregon have thousands of rhododendrons of every color.  While driving, the title occurred to me: "Bouquet for the City" each flower, each plant an offering.  

I modeled the first panel one spring, pleased with it, I wanted it to be a triptych but had to wait an entire year before it bloomed again. Believe me, when the buds first appeared, I had my easel set up and ready to go!
 Clay panels almost completed.
Completed relief in plaster.
 Another Rhododendron Loderi, Venus.

Don't think bush, think tree. 
This King George is only 4 years in the ground and 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide. 
(Probably going to move it or the pear tree. No room for both.)


kara rane said...

You create stunning work.
believe me~ my future fantasy garden will have one of your sculptures.
now which one to choose or what to commission...

Patrick Gracewood said...

Thank you Kara.

It means a lot to me to have you say that.
I've been working on this series for ten years, showing it to many different audiences. It seems that art people can't see plants and plant people can't see art!

I called a friend after this morning's case of nerves. She reminded me that it's all about putting your intention out there. Repeatedly. She also said "It only takes one or two people who get your work and want to buy it."

and so I continue...with a little help from my friends.