Friday, March 30, 2012

Sculpture and Pop Music

I'm not a big fan of pop music but OK Go's new video, Needing/Getting, may change that.
It's elaborate, funny, and perfect for a Friday

It's also an enormous sculpture.

So how do they play this song on stage?

Behind the scenes making of Needing/Getting

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sculpture and Paper Cuts

Simple paper cuts, 12,000 of them, animate this charming video for singer Rosh Ritter. The video is shown as it was shot, with no special effects added in post production. Directed by Erez Horovitz

Josh Ritter - Love Is Making Its Way Back Home from Josh Ritter on Vimeo.

"Love Is Making Its Way Back Home" is featured on Josh Ritter's new EP, Bringing In The Darlings

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sculpture and Still Green Thoughts

My sculpture, Still Thoughts, is growning one with nature. 
Still Thoughts by Patrick Gracewood ©2012
Still Thoughts by Patrick Gracewood ©201
This casting was a reject. The mold surface was flawed and didn't completly capture the texture of my original cedar wood carving. So I put him in a far part of the garden, on the woodland walk, under the deep shade of the sequoia sempervivens.

Moss is slowly covering the entire surface and I've come to love it, including its flaws. I've come to see him as not a so subltle lesson on chasing perfection. He's so settled there, the garden is quieter around him.

Maybe I should change the name, for this particular one, to Still Green Thoughts.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sculpture and Guerrrilla Art.

Or is this Dinner Theatre?

Friday night is date night, we have dinner at Koji's. This time we were seated at the sushi bar in front of this darling paper sushi shop. I love how changes of scale in sculpture, bigger or smaller, draw you in.

Everything there but people so I thought I'd make some while we waited for our dinner.
I drew them on the paper chopstick covers. Folding them gave a base to stand up behind the counter.
David had dealt with grumpy staff at work all day. That inspired me to draw a giant unhappy fish as one of the chefs behind the counter. Unlike that sushi chef, it doesn't take much to make me happy. This sillyness got David laughing too.
 The fun part was doing this quietly, only the waitress noticed and said "No servers?"
  I'll add them next visit.
Here's an unedited stealth video that shows how tiny the shop really is.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sculpture and Andrew Thomas Huang

I'm not a fan of beautiful Nihilism.
It's a genre I dislike. It's too easy to be chic and brutal, tons of style but no humor or kindness.

While watching Solipsis, a video by Andrew Thomas Huang, I found myself in two emotional modes.
One was was delighted by Huang and company's amazing use of colors, textures and environments.
The other was repelled by the narrative. (See above.)

SOLIPSIST from Andrew Huang on Vimeo.

Saw one online comment that said: "I'm way too sober to be watching this."
Your opinion?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sculpture and Animation

Take something flat and static, like a book, make it dance and move and evoke many stories and you have sculpture that is an advertisement for Moleskine.

 Dutch artist Rogier Wieland  is graphic and audiovisual designer based in The Hague, the Netherlands. He  made this clever paper animation for Moleskine, it features their smallest day planner.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sculpture and Matisse

It takes courage to bloom where you are planted.
"The artist must summon all his energy,

his sincerity, and the greatest modesty

in order to shatter the old cliches

that come so easily to hand while working,

which can suffocate the little flower that does not come,


the way one expects."

A wonderful quote by Henri Matisse, from the book, Wabi Sabi The Art Of Everyday Life by Diane Durston.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sculpture and Color

Marble or Fimo?

It's an ugly fact of life for a sculptor. Color can overwhelm form.

After an early disastrous painting class, I thought my life would be so much simpler just oiling wood carvings and giving all bronze a classic patina..... Of course all my sculpture is colored now.

Alan at Surface Fragments has a post, The Origin Of Painted Ornament, that could just as easily be called Painted Sculpture.

Reborn in living color: Caligula goes from pale to pink-cheeked in a reconstruction that smashes monochromatic perceptions of ancient sculpture. (Washington Post Photo Illustration With Images From Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Left) And Stiftung Archaeologie)
Washington Post article Correcting a Colorblind View of the Treasures of Antiquity by Blake Gopnik.The Alexander Sarcophagus as it originally appeared.

The Alexander Sarcophagus as it originally appeared Marble or Fimo

Classical sculpture "Centuries of burial or neglect had bleached the marbles, and greened the bronzes, beyond their makers' recognition. But it was those altered colors that became the model for how the ancient world had looked, and for what all new sculpture ought to look like." source

Gurewitsch writes: "Though we seldom think about it, such fragments are overwhelmingly abstract, thus, quintessentially "modern." And for most of us, that's not a problem. We're modern too. We like our antiquities that way."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sculpture and Romanesque Sculpture

These small Medieval ivory chess pieces from the Isle of Lewis are amazing sculpture.
Radically stylized, fiercely emotive, and at a safe remove of 900 years, they're pretty funny too.

There's a lot to learn from them, regardless of what kind of art you make.

On loan from the British Museum to the Met, the show is called “The Game of Kings: Medieval Ivory Chessmen From the Isle of Lewis,”    It's presented in the perfect setting of the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s citadel for medieval art.

Romance, a lap dog, and a game of chess?

Carved from walrus ivory.
The Game of Kings exhibition is up until the 22 of April 2012. It includes other chess pieces — Islamic and medieval — and carved bone objects from the Met’s collection.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sculpture and Alex Cherney

Photo by Alex Cherney from his Website
The work of Alex Cherney reminds me that time and space are not two unrelated things. In the big picture, they are one and the same. Movement through space requires time, and time is nothing if not movement.

Good things for sculptors to think about................................

Red Aurora Australis from Alex Cherney on Vimeo.

Alex Cherney says this about his video and photos: "After chasing it for more than two years I was finally rewarded with two displays of Aurora Australis (Southern lights) within a week visible from Mornington peninsula, not far from Melbourne. The nights were warm and clear, the Moon was not in the sky either - I could not have asked for better conditions.

The red color of this aurora is caused by the charged particles from the Sun exciting oxygen atoms high in the Earth's atmosphere. Hopefully there will be more to come as Sun's activity increases in 2012-13.

Being able to photograph it all night I came up with a nice video. The brighter Aurora happened on January 22nd and the smaller one, featured in the middle section, was from January 16th, followed by a rather bright Moonrise.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sculpture and Drawing

Overwhelm is trying to solve too many problems at once. Where to begin?
Solution: Pick one aspect and work on just that.
This cornucopia approach uses spring flowers and fall harvest fruits and grain to symbolise the couple's birthdays.
In this drawing I am using Solomon's Seal, a plant in her garden, to frame her face.
I was invited by craftsman Mark Downing to collaborate on a project.

Mark is making an Art Nouveau style door in quarter sawn oak, and wanted me to paint a portrait of his lovely wife to grace the interior side of the door. Mark loves the work of Czeck artist Alphonse Mucha, so I'm designing the panel to be in his style. A good challenge as Mucha was a master draughtsman.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sculpture and St Francis

For a heavy cast-stone relief, St Francis has made the rounds. 
photo by David Bales.
Miraculous appearences include back to back garden shows, first at the Yard Garden Patio Show and the Home and Garden Show. The patio garden, so empty without him, is complete with him back in residence.

(Miraculous because I don't need a chiropractor.) The very qualities that make the sculpture work in the garden- its mass and weight, make it a bear to move repeatedly.

Private visitations available upon to the saint's manager, that grey haired guy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sculpture and Wreaths

Wreath by Patrick Gracewood
 Here are some wreaths I made of apple and red twig dogwood. The subtle colors of the apple prunings, murkey greens and umbers are very beautiful with wrapped and contrasted with each other.
Redtwig Dogwood.

This red one was a demonstration wreath. It was hard to teach and craft at the same time. While the process is simple, it does require concentration. Loose that and it shows in the work.

We had a surprise snowfall last night. Love the snow cap!
I've used several wreaths here to hide the support post of the sculpture base. These unbroken circles give weight to the base and help remind that everything is related and interlinked.