Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Impatience vs Perfectionism...

So you have an idea for a piece.
And you're itching to see it done.
You have some clue of how certain things must look - how good they have to be - in order to make seeing it finished worth while.
If you're anything like me these two opposing forces of impatience and perfectionism pop up as a dialogue time and again when you're working on a piece.

Just like the little devil on one shoulder, and the little angel on the other, lazy Steve and perfectionist Steve perch whispering in my ears...

'Go on, just slap a bunch of clay on there and fill out the shape, you'll get an idea of how it will look finished much sooner that way'

'Don't listen to him, get the proportions right, you'll only have to pull it all off and do it over when you realize the proportions are all wrong'

'Come on, this is taking forever, why don't you just fill out that bit really quickly and see how it looks'

'You know if you don't work out from the skeleton and carefully add the muscles before you concern yourself with the surfaces it'll look like a lifeless blob, then where will you be?

'Don't listen to him, your sketch is lively enough, did you start from inside out with that?'

'You're only going to make it once in clay, it will be around forever in bronze, and it will have your name on it. You want to cringe and wince every time you see it?'
First little clay sketch I did of sumo wrestling toads

Completed clay (table top size)

Sumo wrestling toads large version in bronze

There's lots of other thoughts and feelings swirling around besides these, but  these tugs of war never go away for long!

Although I do take pride and pleasure in the things I've made, as soon as something's done, then there's always the next thing.
But the last thing still has to take on its final appearance in bronze.
And there's always a lot to be done before that happens.

And time itself continues the work where I left off, hopefully revealing depth and character and continuing to tell the story of each work through the changing patina of age.

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top to bottom tree frogs, and my first New Mexico rattler...

After I posted some out door 'tree frogs on a vine' close ups (but no complete top to bottom single images since I was going to do them inside),  Deborah Paris commented...

'the natural light makes them look fantastic. Anyway you can photograph the whole thing that way in a natural environment? It would look super!'

So I thought I'd do both!
The 'no distractions' way (might as well take advantage of how dark it gets here at night!), and around a pond.
Good job I got around to it quickly too. The inferno of color from the leaves was gone the very next day after a severe frost, and it even snowed last night.

This pond has bullfrogs in it (too cold to find any now though!)

2 different patinas

So thanks Deborah, great idea and right in the nick of time!

I still have to tidy up the indoor pics I just took (lots of dust on the table surface etc).

A couple of days before halloween I ran into my first rattlesnake since moving to Santa Fe five years ago.
I'd encountered a couple in California out walking about on some hiking trails (I wouldn't call myself a hiker: I start crying, sit on the floor, thrash about while turning purple and refuse to walk any further after about an hour and a half).

This time we were driving home and I saw a snake in the road.
As per usual I pulled over and jumped out, as I've often done before to encourage with my feet what is usually a bullsnake to get out of the road.

This time it was a rattler.
It had some blood on it, wasn't moving, but looked alive in a normal snakey pose (plus it wasn't flat yet!).
I noticed it was a very pale sandy color with very distinct markings, and some black and white bands by its rattle (which was up, but wasn't rattling).

My guess is it was hit once, maybe just dead, maybe nearly dead.
Anyhow, caution being the better part of valor where I'm concerned, I didn't attempt to usher it to safety since I didn't have a broom or anything on me.

A bit later we drove past the same spot where it was a barely noticeable ring of snake jerky on the road, and the next day there was no sign of it at all.

Eager to identify it, I googled some descriptions, home ranges and pics of various New Mexico rattlers and in the process saw some rather gruesome photos of hands that had been bitten.
They looked like rather gory balloon animals or over cooked sausages that had burst on the grill.
Chilling, to say the least!
Anyhow, I reckon it was a Western Diamondback, and it was right at the entrance to the community college which is right near a lot of houses.
So I didn't feel too bad that I couldn't save it!

And if you really want to give yourself a scare, do a google image search for 'rattlesnake bite'!

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

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tree frogs in my back yard?! Some bronze tree frogs on a vine.

I haven't got around to photographing the whole piece from top to bottom in one photo yet, so here's a bunch of close ups of my recently finished 'Tree Frogs on a Vine' bronze sculpture, in an edition limited to 250.

You can't beat shooting bronze in the dying embers of the sun's as it bids goodnight over the horizon.

I imagine I will post the whole piece this weekend, shot more traditionally indoors...

I tried out a couple of different patinas (or to be more precise, Mike Masse did).
He always does a stellar job.
Can't quite make my mind up which one I like best.

I'll probably go with the one that matches the Froggyballs.