Monday, May 26, 2014

Sculpture and Figures and Architecture

Is it hard to see the patterns of your own life?
Or are they so familiar that they don't register?

It's taken so long to realize that the TriMet sculpture is part of a series about women and home.

The first carving was Annunciation Cycles.
A pregnant woman emerges from a cedar fence railing in a block village.

Trying to copy that figure, another one emerged with a very different personality.

I'd found an old piece of lumber with a great central knot with a cross at its center.
That became the inspiration and the setting of this rather formal piece 
that deals with the Nativity story..

The first title was the Innkeeper's Wife, but I liked the idea that if she was the Innkeeper,
she would not hesitate to offer whatever shelter she had to another pregnant woman.

I used rough veneers to create an endless vine pattern on the base and a family tree on the back.

Not that big a jump to the current carving, is it?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sculpture and Viewing

This 76 year old (I counted her rings!) has a hard time getting up and down.
Correction,  I have a hard time getting her up and down.

The log no longer weighs several tons, it's probably around 500 pounds.

Carving = Down
Looking = UP
More Carving = Down Again
More Looking = Up Again
Repeat several times daily?.....

I'm running out of strong friends, but the more I carve, the lighter she gets....

Once she's upright, I go as far away as possible to study her 
and make notes on what needs to happen next.

Occasionally flipping her from side to side helps to get to hard to reach places.
You can see below the table, I have pallets and large blocks of wood I can stack 
to get different working heights.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sculpture and Models

"The map is not the territory."
But with a big carving, a good map model can save your sanity and your project.

Above is the full scale 6 foot tall carving next to the 15 inch model.
I work on the model for a while, then go work on the big version. I keep thinking the model is complete, 
but each time I come back and see where more material can be removed.
That encourages me to be bolder with the full scale sculpture.

 Trying out a leaves and fruit background that breaks up the surface behind the figure into patterns of light and dark. Posted the two images side by side on FaceBook and asked which background people preferred. 5 to 1 preferred the simpler background.

I'm wondering how to combine the two solutions.....

Factors to be considered are that the full scale is not as defined as the model, people might have been choosing the more finished example... but simplicity is usually best (and easier!)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sculpture and Flowers

You can learn some of the principles of sculpture by arranging flowers. 
It's about contrasting shapes and tracking the negative spaces between flowers.
I think of my arrangements as sketches that smell really good.

Here's a sampling of sculpture arrangements from seasons past.


Not a great bouquet, but loved it with the surroundings!
Boutineers are the fussiest things imaginable, but great fun when finished.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Drawings of the Concert

Drawings of the musicians of the Portland Baroque Orchestra.
From their recent Concerti Bizzarri.

I love drawing musicians, yes they are moving constantly, but they also stay in one place,
and return again and again to certain positions. It really trains your eyes.
Haven't tried drawing marching bands.
Monica Hugget Artistic Director

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sculpture and Thomas Heatherwick

"This is wonderful technology, but what happens if I do this with that?
Oh and I want to make it really BIG!"

Art today is about crossing disciplines and changes of scale.

Thomas Heatherwick studied silver smithing in college. Using that technology, he wondered if he could make a chair that would  be totally symmetrical AND comfortable however you sat in it.
All photos from Thomas Heatherwick's website Heatherwick Studio

‘Spun’ installation in Southbank Centre Square

The art works as sculpture, a beautiful object, that you can also sit in and laugh.
(And work out your abs!)

The plastic versions are good, but damn, I want a spun metal original!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Garden in Spring

This year, the sculpture garden is more beautiful than ever.
Shall we take a tour?
The 6 foot tall carving is dwarfed by the giant sequoia, the axis mundi of this garden.

After 9 years of Oregon growth, I spent the winter pruning and editing and re-landscaping.
The other reason it's so beautiful is that I've been outside in the garden, all winter and spring, carving. Not just watching the seasons change, but experiencing them physically.

While carving I notice moments of warm sun before the heavens open up with hail and pouring rain.
Pausing to look up from my work to watch geese and crows fly overhead, hear the jays tugging fibers off the palm tree for their nest. Standing in one place during the day you can feel the the air change during the course of the day.

At the entrance to the garden, Rhododendron loderi, Venus is intensely fragrant.

Welsh poppies, Meconopsis cambrica, are spreading along the Buddha's path.

The newly re-landscaped front of the studio, dwarf apple trees to grow on the new trellis.

The tree peony Boreas.
Good thing I built a trellis and tied it up, or weight of the blossoms would break the branches.

A chorus of viburnums run the width of the garden.

Another fragrant Rhododendron, King George, at the turn of the path.
Thank god for green because all the blossoms in this section of the garden are red, white and blue.
Which means this tree peony lutea ludlowii is on the other side of the yard.
Not a lot of blooms this year but the bees are happy.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sculpture and Down Time

I'm starting to understand this vampire revival.
I'm hiding in a dark room because another migraine has me avoiding any kind of light.

It's hard to see, my eyes feel like they're vibrating. Strong light brings me to my knees.
Needless to say, no outside carving is happening. No inside artwork either.
Just resting with a towel over my eyes.
Which is not a bad thing when it's the only option possible.