Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sculpture and Time and Space

Taking a break from the Japanese panels to think about Space and Time.... in how do you make people aware of either or both in a garden?

 Going to the store, I turned the corner and encountered this magical space. 
Total party time.
Two blocks are covered in a shower pale pink confetti of cherry petals. The effect wasn't limited to the pavement, I was aware of the entire volume of space defined by the blooming trees. 
On either side, dull and boring pavement gives sharp contrast to this temporal phenomena of spring.

We think a garden is about plants. 
A garden is also about your awareness of time and space and perception.
I'm giving a workshop for the Hardy Plant Society on siting Sculpture and Art in the Garden later this spring.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sculpture and Faux Finishes 3

Do you know that moment?
You're working, but aware of an increasing sense of dissatisfaction with the results?
You're indignant. You're doing everything right but you KNOW it isn't going to be right enough.

 What's WRONG?
Time to have a cuppa at the FAR end of the studio and just look at the work.
Then it hits you.... Sherrie York of Brush and Barren might say: "Too flat. It needs more Oomph!"

If these panels were metal, there would be rivets holding the sections together. Time for faux rivets.

These wooden knobs  metal rivets give just the right amount of depth and detail. Back to painting.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sculpture and Faux Finishes 2

It is a ridiculous color.

But it's the right ridiculous color, and the perfect situation to ask a nine year old help me paint.
"Don't worry, Lulu, you can't make a mistake."
She had fun- she got more paint on the panel than on herself. A success.

 Both panels with patina base.
I'm glazing that blue way back into the background.
This begins the maddening swings back and forth from too garish to too subtle.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sculpture and Faux Finishes 1

"Eventually all landscape painters become religious."
That sounds noble.  I'm worried that "Eventually all sculptors become set decorators."

Not that that is a bad thing.... 

I made these panels for the Far West Show. They were colored to match a sandstone sculpture.
Very peachy-beige-y. They worked for the space, but have been in the shed ever since.

 Time for a new look for them.
The original design is a bronze Japanese flame pattern from the 7th Century. Let's make them bronze.
 Start with a dark background. Then a shockingly bright mix of Pthalo green and white paint.
What comes next isn't pretty........

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sculpture and Tools

And I alone am left to tell the tale.....
It's one thing to go to sea and chase a great white whale. It's another thing to have a three ton log delivered to your driveway. (How convenient!) and then be totally overwhelmed by the scale of the project. At sea, as it were....

While hiding out in my studio, I was sourcing tools. This is a peavey.
 It looks like something used in harpooning whales, no?
It's a tool used to move logs. It looks so archaic, but for basic log moving it works very well.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sculpture and Paper Cuts - Poetry and Metaphor

Why would a sculptor in love with three dimensionality become obsessed with flat black paper?

I'm interested in metaphor, poetry, and meaning. Sculpture is deadly when it becomes literal.
How to get the right mix of narrative, and dare I say it? humor into a sculpture is good research.

Can something be beautiful AND funny? If it's true, why yes of course.

Anyone who gardens knows the ravages of snails. Yet I still like snails.
Here, before I cut the leaves, they circle like sharks to dine on the hydrangea's blossoms.
Hydrangea and snails paper cut by Patrick Gracewood ©2013 work in progress
The circle within a square is symbol for heaven on earth.
Square = four directions of earth. Circle = heaven.

The word Paradise means a walled garden. Our very existence depends upon plants and insects.
The garden as symbol for paradise is the closest most of us come on a regular basis to heaven.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sculpture and Paper Cuts - the Geometry of Form

Why would a sculptor in love with three dimensionality become obsessed with flat black paper?

I'm interested in the geometry of form.

Having long run from anything to do with math, I'm finding myself drawn to compass, protractor, rulers, and patterns with all their glory of repeats and symmetry. It's my own alchemical research for that reductive gold of pure form and shape. Seeking and seeing the underlying structures of nature.
Hydrangea and snails papercut by Patrick Gracewood ©2013 9.5 x9.5 inches
Finishing this hydrangea, I got intrigued wondering if I could make an even number of leaves look odd. That's odd. One of those points when you wonder "Is this profoundly cool or totally crazy?"

Can 6 be 5 or 7?
Mathematicians would say "NO!" but don't there appear to be more leaves on the right?

Are three snails the right number?

Composing for a square or circular format is difficult.
If I can do well with both, any other shape will be a piece of cake.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sculpture and Monuments

Friends have a daughter who truly loves hamsters, and is heart-broken each time a pet dies.
Which is often since hamsters don't live that long. For lack of a proper memorial,  sometimes the hamster winds up in the freezer. What to do?
 Hamsters are originally from Syria. How about an Assyrian style monument?

I would have loved to carve a giant sandstone hamster sculpture like this one,
but it was 5 am, so I made a paper cut instead. It's much quieter and quicker.

 There's enough room on the "monument's" base for her to write the name of every hamster
she's ever had or is likely to have.

The paper cut is craft. Her interaction with it, documenting beloved pets over the years, makes it art.