Thursday, September 16, 2010

Salmon Hang

Things have been busy around the studio with Jodi working on getting my work out into the world. I had a body of my steel sculptures on display at Wy' east Vineyards in Hood River. It was a great showing and I have heard wonderful responses.

The work is now at Mt Hood Vineyards in the upper Hood River valley. One large work that I have not displayed in a while is the large steel trout and Salmon installation. It is 10 large fish, each 15 pounds, that hang with thin steel wire as if they are swimming through the room.

The Mt Hood Vineyard building is a fantasticly beautiful space. I am excited to have the installation above the bar. It wasn't easy to do the install as it was up a 24 foot ladder. My calfs and shoulders are still sore from being up the ladder all day.

In the studio this week I am working on a series of works similar to the fish. the new works will be based on canadian geese. Maybe I could mix it up and it would be like the MC Escher print where the fish and birds change from one to the other.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Funny Relationship...

...with bronze.

For the past ten years I have felt that I was heading toward the material and techniques of bronze casting. I knew this as I was working in plastics,wood, steel, etc.

I first had exposure to the processes and material in 1990 while studying at the university of Alabama. I didn't do much of my own bronze work there but I was an active participant in pouring other's work.

For the past 10 years I have known that the time was not right. Cast bronze has very few form limitations. I wasn't ready for something so wide open.

Working in "sheet materials" like those listed above have certain limitations and rules. Working with and mastering these rules were part of a process that led me to be able to work in bronze. The aestetic language that I have developed in my practice came from a hard set of boundaries and processes. Now that I have transitioned into cast bronze I carry the history of my practice and techniques with me. Although I am working with a new and very open material I am staying true to the tradition that I have developed.

So why use bronze? I enjoy the material for its ability to stand up over time without changing much. As an artist one needs to consider the longevity of a work and with steel particularly, there are only so many things that can be done to hold the processes of time and oxidation at bay.

Another nice feature of bronze is working in wax. One thing that sets my work apart from most other bronze artists is tha fact that I create the form and do a direct casting of it without making a mold. This means that each sculpture is unique. Most other people working in bronze make a mold of the original that allows them to creat a series of identical sculptures. You often will see bronzes as part of a series. I might move to doing a series at some point but for the moment it feels good to work just in originals.

I am doing the wax work in my studio. once it is ready to go I take it to the Maiden Foundry for casting and finish work. Mike Maiden and his technicians Chad and Tony Congi are a blast to work with and professionals through and through. The Maiden Ofundry is located in Sandy Oregon.

If you are interested in learning more about the lost wax method there is a video here produced by a foundry in Isreal called A&P casting. The video takes one through the process of Lost Wax casting.

New Works in Bronze

On the 3rd of September I opened a solo show at SOLO contemporary art Gallery in Hood River. It is a show title Down Under. Actually half of the work was part of the Displacement Exhibition and installation I did in Frematle Western Australia. I made 5 or six new works in bronze since my return in May.
The showe was a success and the attendance was fantastic. Thanks to Leith Gaines and Sorcha Meek for making it a fantastic opening along with everyone else who attended and purchased work. Artwork sales are nice in a lot of ways but my favorite is that it creates energetic room for me to create new work.

If you came here off of my website then you are probably wondering why there are no bronzes shown there. THe truth is that I have not yet settled in after returning from Australia with the summer travel and activities.

Here are a few photos of some of the work I did in wester Australia and also the new works I have done since returning. This is a small selection.

The work will be at SOLO Contemporary Art through the month of September. The Gallery is on the corner of 6th street and Cascade av in Hood River.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Who Loves...

Thats right I am asking.

Who loves whipped cream?

Lots of people do.

For the 2010 Nights in White Salmon Art festival I rented a space and set up a booth. Not to display my work but to spread FUN and also to break the whole "shopping and buying" energy. In the booth, my good friend and fellow artist David Brandt gave out whipped cream. Thats all. We just gave it away. Spraying it in peoples hands, on their food, whatever.

It was fun. We bought labcoats for the occasion and made signs. We gave away about a case of whipped cream to passers by.

I don't think this needs too much more explanation. Too bad I was so busy giving out whipped cream that I didn't get any video. Here are a few moments captured on film.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back in the studio

Back in the states for a few months now. Australia was an amazing experience for all of us. I am sure that I will take a new direction with my art. Doing the "displacement" series and all of the research really made me aware of how much I love to dive deeply into a topic then create work based on the time I have spent there.

I sold some of the bronzes from the displacement series but I am creating new bronzes that, while different than the ones they are replacing, will fit conceptually into the show. If this all goes well I will recreate the "Displacement" installation in the Portland Area.

The bronzes are underway as I have delivered the waxes to the foundry in Sandy Oregon. I should get them back any day now. Here are a few photos of the waxes. The bronzes can be mounted in stone of wood bases. They are all available... I can send you info, photos, prices etc.

As this blog is a place for all of my studio experiments I will share one that I did this week. I am not a 2d artist per se. I have done some photography (the airliners underwater) those projects were about the action of setting up the scene as much as about the resulting photos.

This drawing I did is truely a 2d piece. It is Graphite on a black gesso on a board.

It is hard as an artist with a decade of experience in art practice to start in another discipline. Especially one that is as established as painting or drawing. It isn't easy to be a novice at something. I look at what I do and I know it doesn't match the concept that was in my head (which is perfect of course. It isn't easy but it is real and it is part of the creative process.

In other out-of-my-league news I am working on a play. It is a two-character single act play. Very interesting to do work that happens (shows itself) over time. Thinking of sculptures and creative projects usually doesnt involve a plot that occurs over a period of time. It is alot of fun to think about but it is definitely hard being a novice.

I have hired a studio and marketing assistant. In the next few months I will update all of my online info and have more of a regular, and updated, presence. Feedback is so valued.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Solo Exhibition

Finally after nearly 6 months of research, and studio work I am preparing my solo exhibition of the body of work I have done while on my artist residency in western australia.
The work consists of 15 bronze sculptures inspired by the maritime history and tragedy of the western australian coasts.

Here is my artist's statement for the show:

Being in Fremantle on a 6 month ArtSource residency I have had time to take in the culture, history, and environment of western Australia. Being displaced out of my normal life and studio practice I have been drawn to stories of others washing up on these shores; for better or worse.

I have spent months diving deep into the Western Australia's rich and sometimes tragic maritime past as well as spending significant time free-diving off the coast of Fremantle. These immersions have inspired a body of work that seeks to address displacement in our lives, the intervention of fate, and the processes of time.

Today, as hundreds of years ago, we are willing to put our lives in the hands of others and the fates to travel across worlds to seek our fortunes and connect with others. We rarely connect the idea of shipwreck with our own time and fate. The metaphors of displacement and shipwreck can also extend to our inner lives, careers, relationships, and bodies as much as to our mortal outcomes.

The creation of fantasy wreck artifacts has allowed me to study not only the history of the incidents but also the unique visual language of the ocean and its processes over time. Within this body of work I have used sand abrasion, natural seaweed and sea-salt patinas among other techniques to replicate and celebrate the oceans work of reclamation.

It is my hope that these cryptic artifacts can partially stand in for lost stories of the countless vessels that have ventured intentionally or accidentally around these wild shores and were never seen again.

This body of work is truely of this place and doing to research and work has been one of the best experiences I have had as an artist.

The week of the exhibition will be a full one.

On tuesday the 20th I am giving a talk as part of the 6x6artist talks sponsored by ArtSource.

Wednesday there will be a concert of soundscapes that I have commissioned from W.A. composer Rupert Guenther. The soundscapes are based on my sculptural works and the stories they represent. The show starts at 7pm at kidogo and is free.

Thursday I will give a artist talk at the gallery showing other work and discussing my experiences with "displacement"

The show will run until the 25th of april.

The exhibition opens on Sunday the 18th of April, 3-6 pm at the Kidogo Arthouse Gallery on Bathers beach in Fremantle. The official opening and comments will be given by Mack McCarthy, the curator of the Maritime Archeology at the Western Australian Maritime Museum at 4 pm.

Huge extra credit for any north americans who come for the show!!!

Click on the below images for bigger view.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Long time no blog. Lots to tell and even more to imagine and guess. We are in Australia and settling in to the town of Fremantle (Freo as it known locally).

On the way here we stopped for a week in Brisbane and then Sydney. The opera house in sydney is very iconic and famous. I wasn't really prepared for how dramatic it is up close. Here are some pics:

Freo- We have been in Fremantle for 3 days now and it is a lot to take in. The town is very similar to Charleston with a dash of new orleans mixed in. Very busy, a ton of cafes and market stalls.

As for art: It isn't easy to wait. My impulse is to jump in start something but I know that the good stuff (creativity) takes a while to come out of its shell in a new place.