Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sculpture and Paul Stankard

Honeybees swarming a floral hive by Paul Stankard Photo by Ron Farina
It's one thing to see and appreciate beautiful work on its own merits. But hearing Paul Stankard talk about his glass sculpture, his influences and his goals makes his art so much richer.

"I am interested in integrating mysticism with botanical realism giving the glass organic credibility. Through the work, I reference the continuum of nature, by portraying and exploring the mysteries of seeds, fertility and decay. 
The work celebrates the primal beauty of nature on an intimate level.  It is influenced by the poetry of Walt Whitman."  

Tea Rose Bouquet with Mask by Paul Stankard. Photo by Ron Farina
Here's a short video on the artist. Interesting man at a sweet spot in his life.

His pieces now appear in over 60 museums around the world including the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Louvre.
See his work on his website, and in his book, Homage to Nature.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sculpture and Ann Hamilton

MacArthur Fellow, artist Ann Hamilton has been commissioned to create a large public artwork in Seattle. She joins architects and city planners to create an interactive space on a new waterfront piers.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sculpture and the Association of Northwest Landscape Designer's 2014 Garden Tour

Time for the Association of Northwest Landscape Designer's 2014 Garden Tour, Saturday June 28.
Six gardens are on the tour, each featuring art and sculpture. My art will be in the Moore Garden.

That arbor needs to do more than just support a clematis. Since the neighbors are so close, let's use it to frame a sculpture and create a view within this garden......

There is a deluxe garden shed that serves as a winter conservatory for tender plants.
The little lion now stands guard outside that door.

It's an effort to transport these heavy cast stone sculptures. I got smart and hired strong help to carry and install the sculpture. It's all worth it to see how art changes the way you experience a garden space.

Adam leveling the steel frame for St Francis.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sculpture and Sun Signs

Design fails make you evaluate what you are doing.
Working harder won't fix it. Asking WHY it isn't working is the direction out.  

I'm adapting a client's designs for two metal panels for screening in her garden.
Everything was going smoothly until the last element was changed from a bird to the sun.

The first attempts were too chaotic, later efforts created an unintentional swastika feeling. Not good.

 This was a design based on an eclipse.

Paper cuts are unique in that you don't really know what they look like until you're done.
You stand back and evaluate the results. This attempt combined the worst: chaotic and swastika.

After 7 different paper cuts, I gave up trying for a swirling spiral, and went back to circles.From there the final result was only three paper cuts away.
Can't show you the entire panel, but am very glad to have this on as a keeper.
It has a nice turning movement, and reads as both sun and flower.
Best of all, it reverses the black on white relationships in the rest of the panel to read as white on black.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sculpture and Flowers

Carving took a back seat when I was asked to make two more bouquets for Ivy School graduation.
I said "Yes" and then realized the peonies were shot and the garden was in recovery mode.

The teacher told me that graduation was Tuesday afternoon, but called Monday at 10:30 to tell me
that she'd made a mistake. Graduation was in two and hours!
That's when I made the decision to stay calm and repeat "Done is better than Perfect."

The alstro was tired, the delphinium were shattering, but flowers for a grade school graduation are like funeral flowers. Full bloom is better than buds as they only have to look good for a short while.
Make a good impression, then everyone leaves the room....

Done and delivered an hour before the ceremony... Now can I get back to carving?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sculpture and School

Art Week at the Ivy School."Yes, I'll do an hour on sculpture."
What can I do that will keep the attention of 5th graders?

Hmmm, Let's bring the mannequin heads and the BOX OF GLASS EYES!

My first professional sculpting work was for a high end mannequin manufacturer in Los Angeles.
I went from creating one life sized sculpture a semester to one figure every two weeks.
And got PAID for the pleasure....

A few of the plasticine heads have been in the studio ever since.
You never know when they might be useful.

The industry was changing over from hand made glass eyes imported from Germany to much cheaper cast resin eyes. The level of craftsmanship of the German eyes was enchanting, fine red threads for the veins. They look grotesque on their own, but have an incredible realism once you install them in a mannequin.

And yes, the box of eyes was a hit with the 11 year olds.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sculpture and Space

One of the pleasures of writing this blog is questioning what defines sculpture.

Here is Lindzee Poi, a French juggler, performing in the Parc Balzac in Angers, France.
He's a very skilled illusionist. What I want to you look for is how he shapes space, and plays with
the relationship between figure and background.

Extra bonus points if you also see that the landscape design is doing the same push/pull of figure and background.