Sculptor . Painter . Poet




What a Wild Ride 2011 Has Been – 08/18/2011

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What a wild ride it’s been, what a rare mood I’m in, why it’s almost like being in LOVE.
That little ditty just about sums up what 2011 has been thus far….and I am anticipating even higher levels of consciousness in the months ahead.
So much is happening, so I will start at the beginning of the year and attempt to fill in the details with a few stories along the way.
Living in the moment however, I want to tell of the most exciting news, that Jane and I are grandparents for the first time in this lifetime. Our daughter Gena and her husband Evan had a beautiful 8lb Joshua Michael just two days ago in Maui, on the 12th of August. All are doing great and the delivery of their first born was sweet and easy…how bout that!
Joshua came in on a meteor from the Percied Shower and a full moon in the Land of Love and Aloha Spirit, and happily in the Sign of Leo. I have to applaud that connection!
So, from that grand highlight on to others of the year. Joshua came in on the tail of a comet and for me this year seems to have arrived the same way. Like an old friend told me once when seeing a jackass cross the desert road in front of him, while in the sky a shooting star sped by, “hold onto your ass, we are headed for light speed”.
To begin the year I had THE ILLUMINATED ONE at the Peace Arch Park Sculpture Exhibition thru June and then too my work was on display in the Anacortes Sculpture Exhibition and that piece was EXPECTING TO FLY. Well, no sooner had Expecting to Fly flown off the streets of Anacortes, than the city’s Arts Commission juried my work ILLUMINATED ONE to be installed on Commercial Avenue for the coming year of exhibition.
I had the wonderful opportunity last year to be the Featured Artist at the Western Washington State Fair and as it turns out the last artist to be honored at that event, as funds no longer allow for there to be a featured artist…oh what have we done America? From that experience, I was invited and juried into the Art Downtown in Puyallup WA. My works WOLF GALAXY and THE SEEKER are in prominent spaces around the center of town and they look great there. The Seeker has been written up about in local newspapers and also used in magazine advertisements for the encouragement of visitors to the city of Puyallup. I feel a great sense of honor again coming to me from that town. I am grateful for that kind of friendship and love for my work.
As for outdoor exhibitions, this year is a banger!!!! Art on the Avenues in Wenatchee, WA is holding my piece LOTUS SEEKER, the Big Frog of 3 feet, over for another year. I love how this piece is displayed on the Main Street in Wenatchee on a large wonderful basalt crystal column…simply magnificent!
And not stopping there, I previously have had works acquired and installed in Port Angeles, WA and this year we delivered my accepted piece for the year, for Art On The Town, PEACE ANGEL. This is such a perfect and appropriate sculpture for the ‘Port of Angels’. It too is beautifully displayed on a pedestal created for it and can be seen in view of my other permanently acquired sculptures, CORMORANT MASTER and COMING HOME. All of these works are so suited for this coastal shipping town on the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
It has been an honor also to have the Island Hospital here in Anacortes, acquire for its new Cancer Care Unit a loving piece in bronze, UNION, a pair of American Kestrels together preening. Locally this year at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, WA for their annual auction, my little and first encaustic study sold to a former and most endearing collector of mine.
The Trailside Gallery Miniature Show in Jackson, WY, requested a painting and for that I did a bison piece with my gold leaf work titled, MORNING HAS BROKEN. For the Society of Animal Artists Annual Membership Exhibition I am sending this year a painting THE MYSTIC is a 2 by 4 foot panel with an arched top that is of a Snowy Owl and wintry landscape that reflects the black and white designs and forms of bird and land.
Tomorrow Jane and I drive to Olympia, WA to install my bronze piece GATHERING OF OWLS in the lovely newly created sculpture walk at the Percival Plinth Project. Then in just a few weeks my wooden original sculpture AGATE HUNTER, my stylized Orca Whale will be on display in the Paint Me A River Show at the Skagit County Historical Museum in La Conner, WA. Also coming up quickly is The Western Visions Show at the National Wildlife Art Museum in Jackson, WY. This year they will be showing an encaustic sketch of a nest and my wooden original NEST along with 3 of the bronzes cast from that original sculpture.
Two more events are scheduled thus far for 2011 and the works for them are being done right now and include a miniature raven painting for the Howard Mandville Gallery, Miniature Invitational, in Kirkland, WA. Then too I have been invited this year to send two works to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK. One piece is just finished, a Snowy Owl sculpture in maple burl wood titled SNOW DRIFTER and to be completed, a painting of yet another snowy owl, a little 16×16 inch gilded canvas work titled WINTER WANDERER.
Coming into present time, I am working diligently this year for a show opening at Martin Gallery in Charleston, SC which is titled JUXTAPOSE. Referring back to my opening line from that great old song, it is an overwhelming feeling of love that I am having for this show and the experience that it has brought on even now.
The show revolves around the subject of juxtapose as it is going to be a show of my sculptures in wood and bronze and with each sculpture there will hang next to it on the wall, a pained portrait of that same subject. You know by following my work and life that I just love doing things that are, shall we say, not of the ordinary. I do not know of an exhibit like this ever being done by one artist. That makes it all the more exciting!
In this work the paintings are done with my gold gilded canvases and with some of them they are painted in very thin washes that give awesome transparency to the finished work. Some are textured with my oxidizing process and have layers of intriguing textures and layerings of pigment and gold leaf.
I have used a sumi like approach to some paintings, using sumi brushes that with each stroke create one feather. This is done in order from one end of a bird to the other end so that each feather when brushed on is overlapping the feather below it, just as on an actual bird. The painting is therefore very translucent and immediate and it reflects simple elegance!
Along with what at present are a dozen new paintings, with more to come, I have sculpted two new wooden works and one in wax for a bronze edition. These are to be included in the JUXTAPOSE show and they include a larger than life barn owl in maple burl wood. This bird sits upon a two foot tall pedestal that is hollowed at the top revealing a gold gilded box like container. The bird which can be taken off the pedestal leaves in the box 3 shapes of form, those being the cylinder, the pyramid and the cone. On top of the owls head, balancing on each other is a sphere and a cube. This piece is titled THE MAGI and the bird is not only juggling these elements of form on its head, but the front of the white faced bird has a diamond, harlequin like pattern emerging delicately on his chest and winding down his front. It is a mystical work and for its juxtaposed reflection I have painted the white owl with its wings extended and itself balancing on a ball by one foot. The wings hold a cube and pyramid and upon its head balances the cone and cylinder. I have titled this work, HARLEQUIN, BALANCING THE FIVE ELEMENTS OF FORM. In writing poems for all these works I referenced the ancient Vedruss Culture and the knowledge that existed in those days.
The wax piece that I made for a bronze edition is a slightly smaller version of THE MAGI. I am delighted how it too came out and the way that we created in patina, high polishing and 23 karat gold the illusion of the harlequin costume on this bird. Again I have to credit my fantastic patineur and long time good friend, Tim Norman for his magical work with chemicals on metal. As said, Tim You are the man!!!! I am always astonished as to how the work of Tim and I collide into such magical harmony. His mind and hand for patina works so harmoniously with my style of design in form. It is a grand union!
The other work that is done for JUXTAPOSE is a new wooden original reclining lion, the Panthera Leo in repose. Its title is THE PRINCE and he is about 2 feet long and will therefore make a very nice sized bronze which is being cast in a small edition especially for this upcoming show. It is being cast right now and the original is being readied for its final dying, wax and polishing.
We are at the heart of summer now in mid August and with the completion of several new works I will be ready for the autumn to arrive. It will be busy doing all the final planning for the show in Charleston and then to make the trip there for the reception. The show opens October 1st and runs thru the 30th. I will be there on the 14th for a grand opening and the 15th I will present a talk at the gallery.
As I look behind at what has occurred this year I am a bit stunned to see all that we have been up to. No wonder the year seems to be buzzing by. Speaking of buzzing, I had given to me a 4 foot, near hollow, very old apple tree that is 16 inch diameter inside. It happens to be the perfect size to create a beehive. So I did just that. I have built this hive and made a door out of a piece of driftwood log that came floating by the studio in Guemes Channel. We have not had a warm summer here and therefore the local bee hives have not swarmed to make new hives. They are busy just building up enough honey for the hives that they now occupy so as to make it thru the coming winter. So my hive sits empty for this year, so sad, but it is ready and awaiting the coming of next summer when we do trust that the sun will come early enough in the season for lots of bee activity and thus when they swarm they will have a ready, new fantastic log to dwell in. This design was introduced to me while reading the wonderful series, THE RINGING CEDARS OF RUSSIA and about the mystical enchantress, ANASTASIA.
My concern for the planets bee population and their endangerment haunts me. People seem to be oblivious to the fact that it is primarily the BEES who pollinate most of the food plants that we eat or eat from. The bees are suffering and we need them. They are a major part of the cycle of life. It has therefore been rewarding to use their perfect substance, beeswax for painting in the encaustic technique. I am hoping in the months to come to create some paintings of bees and to use the encaustic beeswax to create this series of bee paintings. I’ll keep you posted on that!
So, all in all life is just great. I am delighted in the work that has presented itself to me. My Jane girl is now 60 and a Grandmother…this is bringing her great joy and enlightenment of life, both her own and others. Jane’s daughter Gena as mentioned is a new mother and very happy and with her husband Evan will be planning on moving from Maui to an area nearer to us in Washington early in 2012. My daughter Rachel is in BIG LOVE with her sweet man Joseph and they remain in Binghamton, NY with Joe’s 5 year old son Jack, who my Rachel says is her little buddy!
Thus our immediate family of loved and cherished ones are well, and in joy, and that is for us the best of all.
We look forward the changing of the year when we will venture into 2012. Much has been written about the coming times in the year ahead. Predictions by seers and calendars of ancient peoples like the Mayans indicate a changing of the times during the year. I have my own conceptualization regarding those changes. I hold that it is our personal design, our creating of our own reality and the universal consciousness that will provide the basis for what the coming cosmic period will be. For me, I have designed a bumper sticker that says IMAGINE PEACE 2012. That is my wish for life, for the planet and for you.
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