Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sculpture and Drawing

These Parisian stenciled skeletons look as if they are wearing the grates as costumes.
Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sculpture and Dance

An understated but moving portrait of a dancer. Jerome Bel made this short documentary
for Veronique Doisneau, a corps de ballet dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet .
Watch the clarity of every movement she makes. This film was her last performance.

Watch them all as each segment has a different focus.

part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sculpture and TriMet Public Art

The problem with trying to tell a linear narrative is that life ISN'T linear. 

Don't know about you, but my life is fractal, relative, and more than a little chaotic.
Especially since I've sworn to spend more time
at my workbench than at the computer.
Friends on FB told me about the article in the Clackamas Review before I knew it was running!  

It talks about the artists working sculptures for the TriMet Trolley Trail and mentions To Grandmother's House, my sculpture and the inspiration for it. 
Read the article by Raymond Rendleman
To Grandmother's House implies three generations, past, present, future, and a journey...much as people who last rode the trolley as children are now grandparents. “They and the community have worked for years to bring this project, the entire revitalization of trolleys and nature trail, to fruition.”

Photo is the third model of the grandmother and her shadow.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sculpture and Upholstery, the bench #1

A most unfortunate series of events can lead to something good.

I'll spare you images of beautiful hand spun and knotted Afgan carpets roiling with wool maggots.  Left too long in someone's garage, it was tragic. I saved what I could. Cutting and exposing the remnants on the griddle of the driveway on a 105 degree day, followed by shampooing and drying in the summer heat. Sheep are tough, so is wool. Now what?
The plan is to use one remnant upholstering this vintage turquoise Greyhound bus bench.
In the studio is an old 8 foot long Greyhound Bus Bench. I love the goofy turquoise color.
This happens when you store upholstery foam in your wood shed during squirrel nesting season.
My goal is to use up all these stored supplies. Use them up OR GET RID OF THEM!

Potential applies to liabilities as well as projects...... 
How do you make the decision about saving materials and supplies?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sculpture and Birthdays

My 58th birthday was this Sunday. 
I've been cleaning the studio, reorganizing and throwing things out!
Feels good to acknowledge what isn't working and clear space for new sculpture.
A calm and clean space lets me see signs and omens.....

In the grey days my sunflower panel reminds me of the Camus quote:
 "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

That is good to remember when I feel overwhelmed by ideas and inspirations 
and underwhelmed by my stamina and ability to prioritize. 
I was at the computer when this rainbow swung by the lovely Japanese sketch.
A reminder to stay present and notice ephemeral beauty.
This is what I think my sculpture offers people: its own narrative beauty,
but the art is also a back drop for people to notice the changing quality of the light.

For reasons yet unkown I'm studying smoke and steam.
That's going to be a challenge for a sculptor!
Here's to a new year of creativity.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sculpture and Diana Vreeland

"There's only one very good life, and that's the life you know you want, and you make it your self!" Diana Vreeland

The Eye Has To Travel is a documentary by Lisa Immordino Vreeland on the life and career of Diana Vreeland. Vreeland was THE first magazine fashion editor, working at Harpers Barzaar and Vogue before becoming ambassador for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

She was a visionary with an incredible eye for talent, and theatrical declarations.
"All these people invented themselves, naturally as the editor I was there to help them along!" 

Look at how hair, wigs, and garments are treated sculpturally, or how the models and artists are photographed either in exotic places or in an Avedon void where their features become sculpture.
"Push their faults. Make it the most beautiful thing about them."

"You're not supposed to give people what they want.
You're supposed to give they what they don't know what they want YET." DV

The movie is better than the trailer, we laughed throughout. It really is a history of the 20th Century through her life and through clothes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sculpture and Drawing

People really do sit and draw in cafes in Paris.
A woman was kind to us in one of the cafes, returning D's hat after we'd changed tables.

I drew her luncheon companion, an exquisitely profiled and groomed woman wearing a simple white T shirt. French style isn't only expensive clothes, it's as much about attitude and presentation.
Money helps but isn't everything.
The artist at work.
When we left, I gave her the drawing of her friend. They both laughed and said "Merci!"
It felt good to to be in Paris and draw.  It felt even better to give it away as a gift.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sculpture and Drawing

"Mama, don't let your daughters grow up to be cowboys." .............. Or artists.

Being a professional artist has been hard work. No lasting success and little financial reward after a lifetime's work. I have no regrets, but would not wish it on anyone young.

And yet.......
The little one's drawing of Butterfield's Dance Horse.
And yet, I want her to know how to draw.
It is a skill she can use throughout her life, whatever she becomes, where ever she goes. So we've begun drawing together. She now has her own drawing notebook from Ex Libris Anonymous

I chose the Deborah Butterfield sculpture, Dance Horse, at the Portland Art Museum. It is simultaneously recognizable and very abstract. It's also by a successful woman artist.
Never too early for positive role models!

We gave it ten minutes. as the museum was closing and she is a giddy nine year old.

Not bad for the first round. Mostly, I just countered her negative talk of "oh i made a mistake" by encouraging her to keep her pen moving and draw only what she sees.

Using a ballpoint pen instead of pencil trains for decisive lines instead of allowing soul killing erasing. She never noticed. ..... Good.
My drawing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sculpture and Drawing

Drawing is really boring if you're not the one drawing. 
Solution? Be the one drawing!

Mr. D went to see Pierre Boulez conduct a concert at IRCAM.
That freed me to commune with an old Madonna.
Not THAT one.
In the cool dim church, the smell of incense, a candle and fresh, fragrant Casa Blanca lilies...
Spending two hours drawing one sculpture in quiet St Severin was heavenly.
So different from the hundreds of photos I be looked at later. Necessary but crazy making.

The longer I studied her the more information I saw.
Drawing her face, it dawned on me I understood the sequence of how they carved her smiling eyes.
It was like a holy transmission of knowledge, I just knew how the original carver had worked.
It was an incredible moment, because I felt close to him, and so aware of the centuries between us.
That's what art does...

Back home, with only the drawings now, that information seems dreamlike.

At least I still have the pillow, my drawings, to guide me when I start to carve again.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sculpture and Paris

(I'll be posting images and experiences of our recent trip to Paris. We're back home, normal life resumed. Sigh..
"Oh Rrrrick, we'll always haaaaave Parrris.")

Paris isn't full of sculpture.  
Paris IS sculpture.

People think of sculpture as a static object. Sculpture is much more dynamic than that.
Sculpture influences the space and movement around it because it inhabits space..
You perceive and move in relationship to both the object and the space.
Two steps in any direction, everything changes.

Here is the stairwell to our 17th Century rented apartment on the left bank.
5 floors up, no fun with luggage.
The space and experience was so beautiful. It was like being inside a shell.

Every step slightly different, each worn unevenly over time. None were flat.
The bannister was smooth walnut, polished by hands using it daily.
Do you have a favorite set of stairs?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sculpture and Religion

Let's face it.  Sculpture, since the dawn of time, has been about spirit and religion.
The most enduring materials were used to address the mysterious and intangible aspects of life:
Spirit, Death, the Afterlife, Gods.
Here's a new twist on both permanence and religious art, Floating Echos by Chang Jin Lee.
It's a 10 foot tall inflated, transparent Buddha balloon anchored in the East River in New York.

"Religion is a part of our lives, and therefore it's a part of what artists are sometimes interested in exploring, philosophically, politically, spiritually." says John Hatfield, executive director of the Socrates Sculpture Park.

It's part of Locating the Sacred Festival
 Floating Echo by Chang-Jin Lee.

Floating Echo is a giant transparent inflatable statue of Buddha. Its subtle presence embraces and reflects the surroundings, both natural and man-made. It is seemingly present and absent at the same time. What one sees is one’s own environment rather than the Buddha itself. What will you see? In this major work by Chang-Jin Lee, the form of the Buddha is rendered in clear plastic, a ubiquitous and finite everyday material for a statue that represents values of intangibility, timelessness, and renewal. Is this simply a contradiction or perhaps a metaphor for the ways in which the sacred can still exist in our contemporary lives?
Presented by Socrates Sculpture Park as part of its 2012 Emerging Artist Fellowship Program.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sculpture and Blogging

The unexpected benefits of Blogging.....
To share anything with you, I must document and photograph my work and process.
That's #1 Benefit.  Documentation helps me think things through.
Is it clear? Is it interesting? What does it offer to you, the reader?
Talking about your art concisely only works if you've thought long and hard about your art.
I'm making a presentation of my sculpture proposal to the TriMet Committee.
That means packing my models and related artwork efficiently for safe transport and quick display once I'm there.
I practice packing and unpacking. That means I know my material and have it all in order. Nothing left behind, and I know the important things to discuss. Benefit #2.

In making a presentation, assume nothing. The protective box becomes pedestal. (Turns out there was no table space.)

Here's everything unpacked: images of my model and background research images are taped to box.

2nd generation model is on top of the box.

3rd model, a 3D sketch is on the floor, with 4th model of shelter with design sketch of laser cut leaves for metal shelter.

Example of paper cut pattern of crow feathers on easel at far right.

Nice to discover that blogging has calming, real life benefits.

Dry runs are much better than the dry heaves of nervousness.....