Monday, April 28, 2014

Sculpture and Bad Photos

Project photos are supposed to have the information you need, 
but you take whatever information you can find, however pixillated or blurry.

It's frustrating, but poor photographs make you a better artist because they make you think.
You become a detective looking for clues. 
Instead of copying, you must have clear reasons and a rational understanding to
make your carving decisions. 
Blurry, grainy photos seem withhold as much information as they give.

In this photo, there are no clearly defined edges.
However there is information of how light models the forms of her face.
This is perfect for blocking in areas.
Don't worry about the details, get the shadows and highlight in the right places and keep going!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sculpture and the Garden

Time to call the professionals for the concrete cutting.

The goal was to recycle all the concrete for other garden projects, 
for that I needed consistent sized blocks. 
 I told him "Think of the driveway as a quarry."

It was so nice to have someone else working, but it only took him 4 hours..
Soon it was back to me prying up the slabs and digging out gravel,

and re-installing the leaf block retaining wall.
You can see one reuse of the concrete in the photo below.

Because there's no fastener or connection between the decorative blocks, 
there is a backer block of concrete at each seam, set below grade up, snug against the paving. 
There's no way these blocks are moving easily.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sculplture and The Garden

A big project requires major procrastination.
That fact dawned upon me halfway through re-landscaping the entire front of the studio.
But by then it was too late to turn back.
The rational was: 1.The planter was trapping rain water too close to the studio. 
                             2. Not enough soil and moisture to support healthy bamboo.
                             3. I wanted to focus more attention on the large relief panel.
(yes, cleaning up toys and projects would be a good start.)

Turns out the bamboo had break out plans of its own.
You can see this runner was prying up one of the 160 lb blocks.
Time to dismantle the entire thing and start over.

Move each block to storage area.
Thank goodness the driveway makes it easy to roll them away.
Clever to remember the bamboo guy. He came, dug it up and took away the bamboo. Whew.
Now just move all that dirt somewhere else.
Moving a dwarf spruce, and all the succulents created a temporary nursery/holding zone.

After all that work, a blank canvas, but plenty of ideas to make it better.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sculpture and the Stairs.

The disabled is the one minority anyone can join any time.
Once in the club, the world becomes a series of obstacles to be avoided or solved.

Here's one clever sculptural solution that is like the incantation "Open Sesame."
The Sesame stair allows access without changing the aesthetic look of the architecture.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sculpture and Fashion

Fascinating that a jewelry style from 2500 years ago, current during the life of Buddha,
is having a revival. 
That revival is BIG ear plugs. 

 When the guys take out their ear rings, their ears look like the sculpture.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sculpture and Models

The BIG fear with carving is that you can't put any material back on once you've taken it off.
The solution, which seems counter intuitive, is to take off even MORE material!
Sculptor's secret: We all want to play it safe. Most carving are not pushed far enough.

After the panic, it's freeing to realize that what you need has been carved away. 
All Gone.
To get what you want you carve everything else further back.

That's were the real carving begins. 
The magic of carving is that the more you carve away, the bigger the carving becomes.   
There is less material but much more clarity.  
More intention = better art.

Instead of 3 surfaces, a log, or a block's 6 sides, you carve as many surfaces and forms as needed to tell your story. You create depth by creating a hierarchy of forms. Every shape becomes more clear and meaningful.  
It's been too wet to work outside on the big log.  
So I've spent time solving problems on the model.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Sculpture and Selfies

In addition to lofty sentiments, monuments to money, and the ultimate longevity of any art form,
sculpture has always been visual entertainment.

But now it seems to be the backdrop instead of the focus of our attention.
There's a new meme of interaction with sculpture that changes the artist's intention.....

All the more reason for specifying a tall pedestal for future work.....

And my own entry, less interaction, more ironic juxtaposition, from a Chinatown SF shop window.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sculpture and Confidence

Growing older allows you to clearly see your early errors, misguided enthusiasms, and false starts.
It's a lot like carving.

The good thing about growing older (and carving) is that you don't panic.
You just change what isn't working without a big fuss.
"It will be different than what I thought, but it will be ok."

Today is the first day that I know for certain that this carving is going be OK.