Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sculpture and Time

There’s whatever story the sculpture is about......

But under that, there’s an intense stillness that is encoded within the object.
Obviously that stillness is made up of the physical material: wood, stone bronze.
But there is also something else....
St Francis by Patrick Gracewood ©2013
Carving sculpture is a long slow process.
I believe that all the time of its creation is contained within the finished art.

That energy can be released by a viewer willing to invest being with the art. Looking.
Being patient, looking out at the art and at the world, the sculpture can trigger thoughts or simply observations of the day: "It's begun to rain." or "Those shadows have moved."

Sculpture can be a mirror of a particular moment, as the world is constantly changing.
Its stillness can contain a great deal.

That’s why my sculpture is best in gardens.
There’s a greater chance of that engagement happening in a garden than anywhere else.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sculpture and education

It's not good to read academic journals in bed, because you can wind up agitated and shouting!

The lead article, Century of the Child: Growing by Design by James F Cooper in American Arts Quarterly has this screamer: The members of the National Committee for Standards in Arts Education K- 12 opposed introducing sequential educational knowledge, such as drawing, anatomy, nature, composition and design.

The chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts upheld the ruling, saying: "teaching students to draw from the human figure is revisionist and stifles creativity."

Ignorance also stifles creativity. 
Would you teach geography without referencing maps or images of the earth?  
Math without using numbers? 
English without a basic understanding of sentence structure?

To teach Art without offering the traditional skills of centuries of art making is absurd.
Save us all from the people in charge of arts education!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sculpture and a Poet's Garden

The garden at Casa La Reina
Roy Anthony Shabla is a poet and artist. His southern California garden is a gathering space for writers and artists and friends. There are tables and chairs throughout for conversation and parties.

Even alone in the garden, you are aware of other people. The empty chairs and tables, an audience for your thoughts, are an invitation for reflection and writing.
rain poem - how sweet to kiss as if a child the drowsy earth by Roy Shabla
Roy's poetry is an essential element of this garden. His poems, intimate short poems on a slip of paper pinned to a door frame and wall sized poems the size of sculpture are focal points that anchor different spaces. That the paper wrinkles and weathers simply adds another layer of meaning to the poetry.

The garden's rosemary hedges and fruit trees, fig, persimmon, apple give a feeling of abundance. Exotic cycads, orchids, bouganvilla, and orchid cactus bring year round color and texture.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sculpture and Drawing

I'm in love with 6B.
Not the mysterious stranger in apartment 6B, but the pencil, 6B.
Yes, I love a good soft pencil.
figs by Patrick Gracewood ©2013 graphite drawing
I gave up using pencil in my drawing books. By the time I finished an entire pad, all the pencil drawings were badly smeared all over the preceding pages.

But for finished studies, nothing is more seductive than slowly, carefully building up a drawing with velvety layers of graphite. No erasing, the game is to draw around the highlights. No lines, just thousands of lightly brushed pencil strokes.
It's incredibly tedious, but oh so satisfying once you stop trying to hurry the process.
pear by Patrick Gracewood ©2013 graphite drawing

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sculpture and Functional Art

HiiH (pronounced "Hi Hi") is a small company that creates beautiful sculptural lighting.
Lâm Quảng and Kestrel Gates make every part of lantern by hand, starting with custom made paper.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sculpture and Dance

I love that in both these photos, two people are standing on only one foot!
We're off to Breitenbush Hot Springs  facilitate a five day workshop called the WOW of Contact.
Carolyn Stuart and I have danced contact improvisation together for over twenty years.
While not as spry as we were in these photos, we've a lot of knowledge to share.

To study and develop different qualities of physical awareness, we'll use intention, research and relationship to refine ease and accuracy in dancing.

Relationship supports expression. The unfolding of expression is infinite. Starting from where we are, becoming happens. Resting in the ride of mutual well-being is the ahhh of C.I. Wow!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sculpture and Office Work

Everyone wants a fresh start for a new year.
What do you actually do to start anew?
I'm giving up multi-tasking in 2013.
In fact, I want to give up tasking altogether and focus on doing one thing at a time.

When making art, I recognize that panic at the beginning. I think "hurry and make things happen." The truth is, nothing good happens until all thoughts of speed or accomplishment die away into whatever rhythm the work demands.

"When you start working
everybody is in your studio - the past, your friends, enemies,
the art world, and above all, your own ideas - all are there.
But as you continue painting, they start leaving,
one by one,
and you are left completely alone.
Then, if you are lucky, even you leave."
        John Cage

Read a good article on the perils of busy, The Busy Trap by Tim Kreider

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sculpture and Ritual

For the second time in 32 years, the fire department crashed the New Year's sculpture burn.
It's hard to hide a 10 foot fire ball when the Missionary Baptists are having a midnight celebration, right across the street.
  Susan Gallacher Turner writes about the burn HERE.
Photographs by Michael Turner.
We worked and laughed all day, busy building the ridiculous nest. It kept getting larger and larger.
The egg is a Japanese paper shade, lovely and white.

There is a large fountain firework inside the lantern. I had one chance to light it.  As soon as it began, the entire structure would ignite quickly. Exactly as intended. Big spectacle, short duration.

 The egg has officially hatched. Welcome 2013.
The whole thing didn't last ten minutes, and had burned down to an almost respectable "back yard campfire" as the fire marshal called it. She told me what was legal and gave us a pass. Thank god...
Anything you MUST do in 2013? Begin it! 
Remember it's always better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sculpture and Architecture

What if an entire space was conceived as sculpture?

Graham Hill, founder of TreeHugger shows the many possibilities of living in his 400 square foot apartment in New York. After purchasing it in 2010, it was completely rethought before being remodeled into a brilliant example of smart living.

"I believe that a simpler life makes you happier."