Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sculpture and Bird Baths

It never hurts to stop and look, because one man's trash is another man's treasure.

This elaborate bird bath was on the curb. Free to the first person who could actually see it.
It's big and fancy enough for baptizing babies!
I thought it was resin until I got close enough to see the sparkle.
 It's not resin. It's carved marble. It's the real deal.

 Four dolphins with acanthus on their heads above a palmate design.
 The base has lion feet, acanthus and scroll and volutes. Not sure what the central pattern is.
The top of the column has acorns and acanthus.
The bowl has four cherubs above fruit swags.

The sculpture needs cleaning and some minor repair, 
but dont you think it will look much better in the garden than it did on the street?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sculpture and Inspiration

While at Breitenbush Hot Springs, I found another piece of weathered wood by the river.
This time, inspiration was immediate. The wood told me what it wanted me to make....
It wants to be a young Quan Yin, praying for young girls everywhere.
Here's the first sketch.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sculpture and Video

I am so pleased to share this video, "To Grandmother's House". 

It shows the inspiration, models and some of the process involved creating a large scale wood carving. The sculpture will be installed in 2014 as part of TriMet's new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Line. Special thanks to Eric Nordstrom of Portland Performing Arts Video.

"To Grandmother's House" a new public art sculpture by Patrick Gracewood. from patrick gracewood on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sculpture and Tools

Learning to use a tool teaches mental as well as physical skills. 

Using an adz requires a kind of concentration that is more important than physical strength.

Knowing where both legs are and aiming the adz IN BETWEEN my legs is one constant.
Another is thinking THROUGH the cut. I aim at the beginning, but must think through to the desired end to make each cut count. Otherwise I'm just bludgeoning the log and wearing myself out.

The first blister is another sign of spring, it's finally nice enough to work outside!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sculpture and Paper Cuts

 This paper cut was designed for the Oregon Association of Nurseries for the FARWEST show, 
I wonder if it's the first paper cut of a tractor?
 It was a challenge to incorporate elements of the nursery business into a unified whole, that's why
a paper cut is the perfect solution. Everything is tied to everything else. The real work is to keep the negative space as interesting as the positive. Look at the hanging baskets of fuschias on the middle right for a layering of figure / ground.

Corrections asked by my clients were to change the root ball on the conifer to reflect industry standards, and to redesign the tractor to use fork lift attachments for the pallet.
Can you find the garden gnome?
I wondered if it would raise an eyebrow.... they liked it. You?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sculpture and Dance

Beatiful dance and dancer.
Watch how he plays with time, speeding and slowing his movement to sudden pauses.

Not sure if Tom Weksler is the dancer or the videographer.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sculpture and Upholstery

It is the middle of the night.
That 3 am place
where pain has banished sleep.

The internet is tempting,
but a very bad idea.
At this hour, candle and needle are better companions.

These pillows are the last-chance incarnation of a Turkkoman carpet.
Hand spun wool is rough comfort.
Touching patterns thousands of years old seems an honest trade for my own dreams.

Forcing the curved needle through four layers of knots
takes all my strength at 3:48 am.
The waxed linen thread so satisfying to pull hard into each stitch.
Each stitch feels like a tiny measure of rightness reclaimed
in this broken world.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sculpture and Portland Performing Arts Video

Spent a satisfying day working with Eric Nordstrom of Portland Performing Arts Video.
Eric Nordstrom filming my carving Annunciation Cycles.
"Wait," you say. "Sculpture is NOT a performing art!"

Au contraire. With moving the camera, moving the lights, and moving the carvings- 
it IS a performing art. In fact, it's damn near puppetry.

Having Eric's ideas, video skills, and support helped me relax and talk about my art. Video is a much more dynamic way to experience the dimensionality of sculpture. I saw my work in a new light...
no pun intended.

We're documenting the creation of "to Grandmother's House", my public art commission for the Portland Milwaukie Light Rail.

Sculpture and Faux Finishes 4

Even when you know what you're doing,  you still can ask "What am I doing?"
......................and listen for new answers.

Listening means walking the length of the studio away from your art and looking. And looking again.

The problem was the flame mandalas weren't differentiating enough from the background.
Or each other. With three colors and one metallic, I can't get any darker or any lighter.
How to make the image pop?

Sitting and looking is when crossover information happens.
With my paper cuts, I'm constantly reversing figure and ground,  paying constant attention to negative space. With these panels, I was coloring an object-(the dreaded automatic pilot).
Exploring and reversing their figure and ground relationships became the solution.

Immediately they started to have their own personality. One female, and the other male.

Monday, April 1, 2013

With a feather and stripped palm fronds Maedir Eugster creates an ephemeral sculpture garden.

“Balance” is a short film by photographer/director Tobias Hutzler, inspired by Rigolo Swiss Nouveau Cirque artist Maedir Eugster. Produced by James Jolly of Prime Pictures.