Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Catalytic Process

This summer at Interlochen I challenged myself to create a sculpture at camp for the Faculty/Staff Exhibition. Since the exhibition is about 2 weeks from when I arrive at camp it is recommended that faculty bring work to exhibit and I usually do. This summer, however, I had to fly from North Carolina to Michigan and decided I'd use that inconvenience to push myself into creating a new piece.  

I decided to combine my two interests in clay and metal. I also wanted to make something funny and lighthearted and wacky. Inspiration for this sculpture was of a friend and his love of taking pictures of his cats. I didn't use a photo of the dude, but used my mind's eye.

The clay was worked super quick and I managed to take some process shots with my LG G2. This smartphone utilizes Google + to automatically back up my photos on a cloud. This is super handy! For this blog post I was able to transfer these photos directly from the cloud, instead of downloading them to my computer and then back up into the internet. I hope to do more blog posts from now on, because of this.

Day 2

Day 3 or 4. Never sculpted a cat before.

Dude's face is mostly figured out, now working on the feline.

I started looking at cat photos online. 

Gave some texture to the whiskers...dude's and cat's.

On the back I added a mystical aura design. 

Now that the clay is drying I can work on a base. This is a Torchmate CNC plasma torch cutting out the mystical aura design into sheets of steel.

I kinda wish this was the piece, it is so funny with the cat freaking out about going into the kiln.

Kate Plows petting the kitty.

Skipped a few processes, due to being super busy. Each side was TIG welded together and painted with a Hammered Texture paint. Also this is a bit out of order because this was exhibited as greenware.

I know its not a studio photo. 

Not bad for a couple of weeks. I still might give the head a simple glaze, but since I left it at camp I'll cross that bridge next summer.
The Catalyst
Painted Steel and Greenware
6 ft x 2ft x 2ft

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lovearch now featured at Sculpture Trail in Clayton, NC (VIDEO)

I installed Lovearch in Clayton North Carolina in late May 2014. The city made some nice videos. The first below is an overview of a few artists talking about their sculptures. The second is just me talking awkwardly about my sculpture. Its a little embarrassing. They made one for each artist and I encourage you to check them all out on YouTube.

Lovearch has enjoyed quite a life since its creation in 2009. Its been almost constantly on exhibit and loved and hated by many. Its been exhibited in a park in Chapel Hill, outside a museum in Portsmouth VA, downtown Charlottesville VA, outside my studio in Greenville NC, in a downtown park in Knoxville TN, and now in Clayton NC outside an entrance to a government building.

Although it would be nice to sell this sculpture. Its been great to have it because its been my most popular sculpture and almost always gets into the outdoor exhibit that I apply it for. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Willow Walk (was a bust again)

Playing a little catch-up on the neglected blog. The following photos are from Willow Walk in Burlington NC. This is a biannual outdoor sculpture show that features 30-some sculptors. This fine art exhibit occurred this past June 6-8 weekend and I left for Interlochen the Tuesday afterwards. Teaching at Interlochen is such a whirlwind that I didn't have time to post this.

Also I wasn't sure about posting this because it didn't go all that well for me. Hate to post a "negative" story, but hey, this happened. This is the second time I've participated in Willow Walk and the second time that I didn't sell a damn thing. The nice people at Alamance County Arts Council do a fine job! I don't blame them. They sold something over $80K. Some in the form of purchase awards that are fairly spread out among the sculptures, so the chances seem pretty good that if you bring some decent sculptures that at least one will move. My main complaint is that even though some of the pieces that were selected were excellent....some of them were really less than excellent. So I packed up my sculptures with a real feeling of exasperation.

Here's a list of possible reasons for my failure:

  • I don't have a good eye for art. ie: my art sucks
  • My work was priced too high....or too low.
  • Not shiney enough.
  • Too abstract.
  • Too representational.
  • I scared people away with my desperation.
  • I didn't sell them hard enough.

Planking like a fool before the drive out.

Ghost Queen. 10 feet high, painted steel and ceramic

Transformation Revisited, 10 feet high, aluminum

India Ink depiction I did while waiting for nothing to happen.

They did get some attention.

My sculpture buddies: Matt Amante, Jordan Krutch, Tripp, and J. Bowling. 
Last time I went with sculptures that have since won awards and been accepted into juried exhibitons. No sales. This year I went with three new works. Two big ones (pictured) and one garden sized one that doubles as a planter, my attempt to pander to the masses.

Pretty sure I'm not attending this type of outdoor sculpture market again. There's another one coming up in Lenior called the "Sculpture Celebration". I did that one too a few years back and failed to move the people with my award-winning Balasana With Deer. What was great about Alamance County's Willow Walk was that they gave out honorariums of $100 to cover gas. I'm grateful for that, but it doesn't add up to a hotel room for 2 nights and a weekend of sitting around watching the public walk by.

I did enjoy spending time with some of my sculptor colleagues. ECU was represented very well with about 10 participants all from the same program. Some of them had success at the show and I honestly feel like their work deserved the attention it got.

But it sure makes you wonder if you are in the right business when you come away empty-handed. So I guess I'll keep shouldering on. I shall continue to believe in my art and believe in myself.