Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Venn diagram, where to find the BEST Venn diagrams on the web, and why it's nice to be wrong.

I've had some fairly strange ideas for sculptures. When they pop in my head I wonder if anyone else will like them, figure 'probably not', but because I've just been dying to see what they would look like finished, I'd go ahead and make them anyway.
That's group C, with no group B overlap.

Then I've made other bunches of stuff I've been itching to do, which I think will also be appealing.
That would be groups A and C, each with some group B overlap.

And then there's been more stuff I can't wait to make, that I'm really not so sure would be popular.
I'm glad I've not only made stuff I thought would overlap with group B, or there would be no Sumo Toads or mice, both of which are enjoyed by more people than I would ever have guessed!

So sometimes it's nice to be wrong!

One thing that's common to everything I've made is it's all stuff I've been itching to do, and like to have around.
And I plan to keep it that way!

Click HERE for the BEST, most entertaining Venn (and other) diagrams in the universe from Jessica Hagy...

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Saturday, July 24, 2010

How to shoot a porno on the fly, in 4 easy steps...and some other stuff

Step 1: Find a local pizza establishment with a reputation for harboring exhibitionist flies with questionable moral conduct...

Step 2: Order your pizza, and while it's cooking track down your stars, who will no doubt be fiercely copulating in a flagrantly public place, such as on the edge of a stack of paper plates...

Step 3: Whip out your camera, stick it in the best thing to macro mode you can find, and snap away!

Step 4: Don't forget of course to break into your best London accent while shouting encouragement to your super-fly stars, such as 'Lovely darlin', now look back at me over your shoulder would you, that's pucker, yes more of that sweetie, you doin' awright back there stud, keep it up, terrific, how about a smile, that's wonderful!' while snapping pics all the while.

That's it.

Thankfully they taught me in the boy scouts to always 'be prepared' so I had my camera handy when opportunity struck.
Something sculpture related...

I got some tree frogs on vines back from the foundry the other day. They're going to need a bit of metalworking, so I'll need Lee to pull me a new wax from the mold so Mike can accurately reproduce in metal the bits that need welding up and shaping with his sophisticated metal shapey tools. I'm pretty sure they're all air powered (there's often a large compressor generating industrious chugging sounds in the corner to power all manner of things).

The holes are cut into it for important reasons. My piece is being cast mostly hollow. It's right on the cusp of whether making it solid or hollow would work best.
When the wax version of the piece is dipped into the slurry that hardens into the investment mold (into which the bronze is poured) it has to coat the inside and the outside. When it fills up it gets heavy and could break the wax without holes to let the slurry drain out. Also, the air needs to get inside to dry the slurry before it gets dipped again for the next coat.
If the investment didn't dry out properly things could end up very messy.

I'm going to see if there's any ways the waxes can be chopped up for future castings to avoid holes and sprues going directly into the frogs, since it would be quicker and easier to work on the vine than the frogs in metal.

I got some bases made too. Shiny black granite with specially chipped edges.
I'm looking forward to seeing this one come together...
This is a drag, but here's a quick update (just the facts) on my trying to get paid by that guy for my bronzes he sold over six months ago (and still owes me for) out of his gallery.
The collection people say he will pay them in installments. So far they've sent me my share of $250 (they deduct a chunk of that). I'm not sure if he's paid them more than that one installment, but I hope so.

I only managed to get one installment from him when he set it up that way with me, I hope they do better at getting installments than I did!
Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Saturday, July 17, 2010

'Mouse project' art book moving along nicely...

Here's a sneak peek at a bunch more pics that have been finished which will become part of my collaborative book project to benefit animal shelters. Click HERE to see more posts and pics relating to what's become known as the 'mouse project', featuring an all star cast of artists...

Here's a couple from Carol Marine...

 Here's one from Jeffrey Hayes...

Here's Martha Kellar...

I still can hardly believe the amazing response to my idea for a book!
There's still a few I'm expecting back by the end of September, so I'm hoping the book will be ready by the end of that month, or sometime in October at the latest. 
It's the first time I've done anything like this so we'll see how it goes, but all signs are pointing to 'much better that I'd hoped for' up to this point!
Thanks again everyone!
Stay tuned...

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Toxic relationships and dangerous liasons...Is YOUR best friend a snake?

There's a 16 foot long snake in our art supply store.
Her name is Delilah, and she's scary big. The store is called Artisan.
Ron, the big cheese of the store, keeps other snakes too.
Like Bala, a ball python who made friends with a mouse that was supposed to be dinner.

Lucky the mouse and Bala took a shine to each other. They'd nuzzle and seemed to actually enjoy each other's company.
Ron was perplexed.
In all his years of snake keeping he'd never seen anything quite like this before.

Was it the two tone color of the mouse, or its sex being different from the others, that kept the snake from seeing it as food?
Ron tried other mice of similar hues, and alternating sexes.

Each time, the snake would eagerly pounce on the new introduction, and leave Lucky alone.
Lucky would apparently seem a little perturbed for a short while, before resuming an affectionate relationship with Bala.

They were really hitting it off together.

Recently a new mouse was put in with Bala, and as usual the snake went into active hunt mode.
At that moment Lucky hopped up to greet the snake and was promptly eaten by mistake.
Realizing the error of its ways, and wanting to remove the bitter taste of regret from its mouth, the python quickly put things right by gobbling up the other mouse for dessert.

I could hardly believe Ron's strange-but-true tale, and please, feel free to suggest the moral of that story!

Dreama Tolle Perry sent me a pic of Sprightly meeting her cat Eddie, although I think Sprightly will fare better than Lucky.

Click HERE to see her blog.
Dreama recently interviewed another tip top painter Carol Marine on her radio blog which you can listen to HERE. I really enjoyed it.

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sumo wrestling toads will fight it out at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan

ArtPrize is in its second year.
With over $450,000 in prize money up for grabs it's the biggest art contest I know of, the public decides the winner, and it would be rude not to have a bash!
There's over 1,700 artists entered this year!
Here's a photoshop scramble to show what my piece might look like...

Here's how ArtPrize works...
It's very interestingly run.
Artists sign up to the website with their proposed idea (not necessarily finished).
Venues sign up, announcing they'd like to host some art.
Artists and venues approach each other, and when they'd like to team up, sign a contract.
When a registered artist signs up with a registered venue, you're officially entered!
Any type of venue can take part from museums to tatoo parlors, as can any type of artist (with or without tatoos).
The public sees the art on display all around the city and they vote for their favorites.

There will also be some additional prizes awarded by sponsors instead of voted on by the public, but the $450,000 put up by the organizer is divided up between the top ten winners, publicly voted on, with a top prize of $250,000!

My entry...
My Sumo Wrestling Toads form the centerpiece of my entry, called 'Amphibian Struggle'.
You can see my public profile on the ArtPrize website by clicking HERE.
There'll be a video looping near the bronzes, which includes over 100 cartoon frogs I drew on my iPhone with the brushes app, amongst other things.

It's an expensive proposition- casting, crating and sending bronzes around, so luckily I was able to enlist the help of Peter Wright.
He has been responsible for assuming the financial burden of some of my larger, usually more esoteric pieces.
Once the sculpting is finished, he takes them from my sculpting table to the foundry, and on through the production cycle in exchange for a share of the profits.

I can safely say I wouldn't have enjoyed such an immediate and thorough immersion into the sculpture community had I not been lucky enough to partner up with Peter very early on.
So lucky for me he's paying for the costs incurred to enter, and so if I win any prize money, he's getting half the winnings! There'd be a slight variation if I won first prize...

My pledge...
If I win the $250,000 first prize, since my theme is the struggle amphibians face to survive, I'll be donating $50,000 off the top to Amphibian Ark. Peter and I will have to make do with half each of what's left!
Amphibian Ark are an organization dedicated to saving as many species of amphibians from extinction as possible.
Amphibians are currently facing more threats than they can handle, and while plenty of species have us to thank for their impending doom, ironically we are also their best and only hope for survival.

And that's what Amphibian Ark are dedicated to doing, by providing captive breeding programs for species who can't currently survive in the wild, until whatever threat facing them passes.

$50,000 is their estimated cost to save a single species, so I'll give them that much to throw my lot in with others working to save the yellow legged frog of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

So if you're in Grand Rapids, Michigan, between Sept 23 and Oct 10, why not pop on over to the public museum and check out my entry.
By all means vote for it too, if you'd like!

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille