Friday, September 27, 2013

#63 Momentum, relief

Momentum, 12"x10" clay for aluminum

Momentum is the first male dancer relief I have sculpted and I believe it came out quite well. Although I struggled with a title for this, Momentum seems to represent what this pose is about, yet also it has meaning for me artistically in that I hope to keep the momentum going by introducing the male figure into my relief sculptures. The model I hired for this is a modern dancer named Jeremy and what an awesome dancer he is! Jeremy introduced to me the idea that there are three types of dances (masculine, feminine, and androgynous), this pose being on the border between androgynous and masculine. 

#62 aluminum reliefs

"Awakening", aluminum 17 7/8"x 13 7/8"

Grace in Motion I, aluminum 21 3/4" x 15 3/4"

Rain, aluminum 19 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Summer, aluminum 12 1/4" x 6 3/4"

The first four relief sculptures that I had cast in aluminum are "Awakening", "Grace in Motion I", "Rain", and "Summer". They were all cast at MADD castings just south of Loveland in Berthoud and I was pleasantly surprised and happy that they came out so well. Debbie Bakel did the patinas on these and I was also pleased that the patina process is very similar to a bronze patina. Debbie did a great job! There are some minor differences between aluminum and bronze patina. Aluminum, for example, heats up much faster than does bronze. This is important to know because it means that you can burn a patina much faster so care needs to be taken. Being more familiar with bronze I have to be careful when doing the patinas myself that I do not get the aluminum too hot. 

As I had posted some time ago these aluminum castings were also a test of the art buying market. To see if people would like them and, if so, would people buy them? Would aluminum be appealing to prospective buyers or would people shy away from it? Were they curious what the castings were made of or would they assume it was bronze? Aluminum is a relatively new-comer to the field of casting, one of the very first sculptures to be cast was in 1893. Anna Hyatt Huntington later experimented with casting aluminum and her sculpture "Fighting Stallions" at Brookgreen Garden  is one of the largest. With this short history I wasn't sure how potential collectors would react. To my surprise, it was good! I sold two of the four castings at the Loveland Sculpture Invitational (Awakening and Summer). Many times, people would walk right past my sculptures to look at the reliefs. With this assurance I now have about 6 new reliefs going through the foundry being cast in aluminum. I will post them as they are finished.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

#61 Waiting, relief

Waiting, 16"x20", clay for aluminum

For the last 3 days I've been working off and on on this mid-relief of the model Caroline. It is one of the larger reliefs I've done and therefore requires I spend more time on it. What I like about this pose is it is kind of a cross between what I enjoy doing the most in relief form: movement and portraiture. Caroline has studied dance and so just a simple seated pose such as this becomes more than just a sitting. She has beautiful eyes and her glance upwards and her expression implies that she is waiting on a friend, perhaps someone she loves.

On another note, Northern Colorado has been hit hard with flooding, Boulder taking on the worst punishment of all. For the last couple of days it has became clear to me that I, along with many many others, was falling victim to the sad events that were happening; watching videos of roads being destroyed, watching the flood waters down the street from us rolling through parks and destroying homes, hearing about people missing or dying, dealing with a possible shortage of water. Stuff that you simply cannot ignore! Amid all of the chaos happening, I am remembering a couple of lines from a commencement speech given in 2012 by Neil Gaiman: Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.