Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sculpture and 2011

Alyson Stanfield at suggests taking stock of the year, focus on what got accomplished,
and congratulate yourself for everything.

 (Take her questions as suggestions.  There's a lot there you can use to plan for 2012)

In 2011,  I finished, molded and cast the St Francis relief and showed it at
The Association of Northwest Landscape Designers booth at Portland's Yard Garden and Patio Show.
 The Portland Spring Home and Garden Show in the Green Gold Landscape Design Studio booth
 Rare Plant Research and Hughes Water Gardens
 I also spoke to the monthly meetings of The Association of Northwest Landscape Designers and the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association about "Sculpture in the Garden".

Did I sell one? No, but not for lack of trying. I figure with this much "practice" I'll be ready in 2012.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sculpture and Shadows

With the sun so low in the winter sky, it is the time of long shadows. David Bales investigates the perception of shadows. He's trying to see more of what our brain just lazily writes off as "Dark".
Maxfield Parrish blue shadows
David says, "Our eyes are so sensitive, if one really looks, it is easy to see what is actually there.
We are usually just too busy to bother."
Electric violet shadows
Documentation through photography adds another layer of obfuscation, as it is such an imperfect simulation of what our remarkably sensitive eyes can discern. With editing, you can recover the information hidden in the image, and expose the color in the shadow.
Green shadows in a green shade
Some of these photographs have been tweaked for saturation, but the raw color information is accurate, and in many cases, is not as pronounced as what one can actually see.
Shadows the color of the sky....
 To see more of David Bales photography click HERE, then click on the 8th gallery on his site.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Portland Baroque Orchestra

photo: Hiroshi Iwaya courtesy of Portland Baroque Orchestra
Guest conductor Eric Milnes led the Portland Baroque Orchestra and the voices of Cappella Romana in a wonderfully intense Messiah.

The two male soloists were especially moving. Tenor Zachary Wilder began with a passage from Isaiah. His voice was so clear and focussed you could feel the audience holding still, hardly daring to breath until his section was done.

Bass Matt Boehler's sense of drama added to his powerful voice. You felt his connection to the music and the orchestra.

Full review here

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sculpture and Christmas Lights

This is not a Dan Flavin installation
We took a walk downtown to see the big Christmas tree in Pioneer Square. Watching the children jumping around gave me an idea. Everyone seemed to be moving, why not this photographer?

This may be my favorite of all of them.

Christmas swag.

Electric Coat Hangers

Neon City

This is what other folks saw....
Once you start moving and dancing the holidays, it's hard to stop! Hold the egg nog!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sculpture and Coins

 If you love bas relief, there is no better way to improve your skills than by studying ancient coins.
Hemidrachm, 400-350 BC
Drawing studies from ancient Greek coins by Patrick Gracewood ©2011

Bonhams International Auctioneers and Appraisers is having an auction of coins and medals Dec 16
and and auction of the Meyer and Ebe Collection of Ancient Greek Coins on January 6, 2012.
Check out some of the beauties from the ancient coins. They are amazing.

I made these drawings to study the forms in these tiny masterpieces to better understand the sequence of cuts necessary to achieve the raised portions of the relief. Remember that all these are stamped from a die... so to create the positive sections the artist had to carve the image in the negative and backwards.

Our modern coins are so ugly compared to these. Do you have a favorite coin?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sculpture and Niclaus Gerhaert

One thing has NOT changed in over 500 years. The cold.
I love the combination of computers and the latest high tech tool used by conservators who are bundled up many layers thick against the cold, just like the original Gothic artists must have been when they worked..

In the footsteps of Niclaus Gerhaert of Leyden.
The preservation of the high altar Nordlinger

Niclaus Gerhaert is one of the most important and influential artists of the late Gothic period, the late 15th Century. Gerhaert became famous because of the liveliness of his sculpture, their originality and virtuosic execution
70 beautiful like-like works give an overview of his life's work.

The film gives an insight into the extensive preparations for the upcoming exhibition "Niclaus Gerhaert. Sculptor of the Late Middle Ages "in the Liebieghaus sculpture collection and shows the expert, Dr. Stefan Roller, curator, and Harald Theiss, sculpture conservator in the study and preservation of the high altar figures the Nördlinger St. George's Church. St. George and St. Mary Magdalene to be presented from 27 October 2011 in Frankfurt.

"Niclaus Gerhaert. Sculptor of the Late Middle Ages "
27th October 2011 to 4th March 2012

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sculpture and Furniture - Before and Afters

Tearing the old and ugly off the chair is the hard work.
The fun is choosing new material to match the era or aesthetic of the chair.
This walnut frame seemed to call out for a jazzy material.
Featured earlier, these left on the road for dead Thonet bent wood chairs found new life with material that playfully evokes a peacock feather, a motif of the art nouveau period.
Before on the left, After on the right. The difference is new material and some love.

FORLFD =Found on road, left for dead.

This chair was comfortable but ugly in dated avocado green vinyl. Mr. D picked this material for it and surprised me. The child-like circus theme of striped tents, monkeys, elephants and crocodiles really gives this chair the center of the spotlight.

If you can stretch a canvas, you can upholster a chair. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sculpture and Furniture (after)

Sexy, low slung but damaged mid-century walnut chair meets tired but exotic oriental rug.
Instant chemistry, a bit of craft, and Voila! Ready for a new century of living.
Photograph by David Bales Design
If you can't afford good furniture, you learn how to reupholster and make it yourself.
Finding suitable projects is as easy as walking down the street. I've found many of my favorite chairs on the sidewalk or in a dumpster.

A lot of new furniture is foam and particle board. That means it is heavy and not very strong. Look for older furniture that has good construction (no wobbles!) at estate or yard sales.

Customizing furniture (reupholstery) is an accelerated course in the decorative arts and textiles.
You learn what is a comfortable fit for your body and your lifestyle. This chair is a tad low for 6 foot tall man, but it sits well. The cushions were the perfect shape to use the oriental carpet to upholster. No sewing except to blind stitch the folds.
I love the 3 inch long curved needle.

Photograph by David Bales Design
Life is too short to live with ugly, uncomfortable furniture.

Have you found a treasure in the trash and brought it back to life? Send me photos and your story and I'll post it here....