A Southwest Direction

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Just finished a new sculpture called “Mesa”. The overall size is 24 inches wide, 22 inches long, and 12 inches deep. This is another work created for my ongoing series of western images. This particular skull and scorpion focus on the southwest.

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The scorpion was created by making a wooden armature and then adding layers polymer clay over the wood. The bison skull is made of cedar wood and the backboard is wood with polymer layers and sand. All the objects are painted with acrylic paint.

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The time it took to create “Mesa” was much shorter than the previous pieces, about three months. Now that I am more confident with my techniques and materials I hope to be able to generate more work in a timely fashion.

I have three more works in various states of completion. The next sculpture that should be finished soon will be “Medicine Box”.

 

Exploration and Current Work

The dust has finally settled at my new home in Washington and I’ve completed “Fall” my latest wood sculpture. This piece took me several years to complete due to working full time and packing up and moving. The sculpture measures 43 inches wide by 29 inches high and has a considerable amount of detail.

The detailing of the antlers was made to look like tree branches. Here I employed a new technique using an epoxy gel applied directly to the wood and then sanding and refining the veining. Each leave was hand carved. The leaves have veins carved into them before painting.

The backboard to the skull is made Camphor wood which was lacquered to a high gloss. I love this particular wood because of it’s wonderful grain. My next post will show more experimentation and some new directions.

Present and Future Work

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Before adding antlers to my new deer skull I decided to use it for a photography composition which I will later make a graphite drawing from. My new home in Washington state has some wonderful woods surrounding it and I wandered around and found some things to add to my photo composition.

My new work will be created for a future gallery show I hope to have somewhere in Seattle. The show will consist of my sculptures and graphite drawings based on my photography. I need to pick up some steam so that I have plenty of work to approach a gallery with.

My Love for Drawing

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I taught a drawing class last semester at American River College and rediscovered my love for drawing. Picking up a pencil was the first thing I did when I was very young, even before picking up a camera. I found this photograph from a photography magazine from the 80’s I had cut from a page. It was one that I really loved so I thought why not draw it. It was done with a graphite pencil and graphite wash (which is powdered graphite thinned with paint thinner and painted with a brush).

Creating John Deer and Moving Faster

My newest sculpture was created faster because of experience gained over the past few years. John Deer took about 6 months to complete. Carved from bass wood with some polymer and acrylic paint. Realistic human skulls tend to present a menacing presence so I thought I would add a humorous tone to this one. Even the cryptic message I wrote on the back of the skull in Latin was tongue-in-cheek. I hope that this doesn’t mean that my work will be taken lightly because I am very serious about what I create. Soon I will be retiring from teaching college and working full-time on my sculpture.

Class Photo Shoot

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Took my photography class to Ansel Hoffman Park Sunday and had a great photography session with Linda Alvarez and her horse Shilo. We tried out our new ProFoto lights and they worked great.

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Ansel Hoffman Park is beautiful this time of year and the American River is running very high.

New Photo Illustration

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Photo illustration begins with a promising photograph and ends with an intensely edited image. I began this image with a model and two candles for lighting and ended hours later with what I feel is a finished piece. I call this image ‘Gypsy Queen’. Photoshop is the program used for compositing and editing. At what point does a photograph become an illustration? I think when you usually edit a photograph it takes a few minutes up to an hour depending on the project and when you spend hours or even days (like this project) then the photograph becomes something more.

In My Study #4

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Another in my series of photographs of things I’ve collected and put in my study at home. Small candle placed behind the central subject and another slightly bigger candle in the front camera left. ISO 125, F18, 25 seconds.

I thought I would have a little fun again. Here the gods and goddesses are critiquing the ‘Woman of Willendorf” sculpture.