Sunday, April 25, 2010

Art book featuring top artists (and my mice!) currently in the works, profits to benefit animal shelters.

 'The Big Cheese' by Roseta Santiago

I'm running a project of my own design (click HERE for posts relating to it).

It's purposes are:

1) to raise money to benefit animals in shelters,
2) be fun,
3) create something of lasting value,
4) showcase some great work by all the participants.

'Chubby reflected' by Carol Marine

When I started I pictured a book full of diverse painting styles by the best artists I could round up.
I had no idea if I could round up anyone, but to my surprise the response was overwhelmingly positive and generous.

'Mouse Crackers' by James Neil Hollingsworth

Plenty of the folks involved have extremely packed schedules, painting for shows and what have you, but none the less they've been enthusiastic to help out.
For which I am extremely grateful.

 'Mother Lode' by Jelaine Faunce

Once everyone has finished their paintings I will assemble then into a book which will most likely be available through an online publisher to be announced when it's ready.

Profits will benefit animal shelters, something my bronze mice are already dedicated to doing.

 'The Lookout' by Diane Hoeptner

So what you're seeing here is a showing of the finished pieces so far.
About a third of the final count.
Others are still in the works, or soon to be painted.

 Untitled Sprightly mouse by John Poon

I'd like to thank everyone involved once again.
I'm sure if you haven't visited their websites already, you'll love their work when you do.
Click on their names under the pictures to get there.

There's lots more great stuff coming, so I'll update my blog with progress reports as more paintings get finished.

 'Nosing Around' by Michael Naples

Besides that, it seems the mouse we caught in the car and re-located a couple of miles away was acting solo, since there's no more tubes of paint missing or little 'dotted lines' revealing where others might have been!

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

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mouse eats ENTIRE tube of oil paint! (including half the metal tube itself)

Meridee was a bit distraught to find that a mouse had taken up dining in her car, on a brand new tube of oil paint of all things.
She was particularly miffed that she hadn't even got to use this color before the mouse found it.

As you can see, it ate all the paint, and half the metal tube as well.
Well we had to catch it, so I put some peanut butter in a couple of small plastic live traps which operate by gravity, and put one in the front of the car and one in the trunk the other evening.

I've heard plenty of horror stories of mice and pack rats chewing through wiring and causing hundreds, or sometimes thousands of dollars worth of damage in vehicles around here.
In fact I remember on a documentary once it said rodents cause more fire damage to buildings by chewing on wires than any other cause.

The morning came, so I checked my traps and found one open and one closed, but both had been moved several inches from where I'd put them.

The closed one didn't seem any heavier than the open one, so I opened the door and peered inside, still half expecting a small furry torpedo to come shooting out.
Nothing inside.
No mouse, and no peanut butter. No peanut butter in the other one either.

But lots of teeth marks all over the plastic where the determined beast had been trying to chew his way in.

Time for plan B.

I picked up another gravity operated trap (the mouse walks up a see-saw type ramp, which goes down to let him in, but swings back up again when he steps off it, preventing escape).

The JT Eaton Repeater was spacious with a window in the top, so I smeared in a bunch of peanut butter, popped it in the car and settled down to watch some TV.
I couldn't resist checking it later in the evening.

Lo and behold, a rather large mouse was happily chomping away on the peanut butter.

Since this trap is a repeater, and will catch as many mice as will fit inside, I had to check again before I went to bed.
Still just the one mouse.

I noticed that he was pooping all over the peanut butter. Would a mouse eat peanut butter with his own poop in  it?

Would he chew through the plastic viewing screen and escape?

Nothing to do now but go to bed and check again in the morning.

Morning came and out I went.
My life must lack excitement because I found all this suspense rather fun.

The lonely mouse was still there.
He'd given up on the peanut butter. It seems he preferred it smooth rather than crunchy!
So there are limits to what a mouse will eat.

Next all that was left was to drive him far away, pop up the lid, and let him go.

He liked hiding under the teeter totter door at first, and wouldn't leave.

But eventually he hopped out and scampered away up the path and disappeared down a hole under a juniper bush.
I hope he likes Juniper berries, since there's no shortage of them around his new home!

Our car was parked outside, but now I'm curious to see if we have any mice in our garage.
Might as well put those crunchy peanut butter leftovers to good use and find out tonight!

This particular rodent trap seems perfect for anyone with a pest control issue, especially if they don't like needlessly snuffing out the short lives of critters who like us, are lucky enough to have been born in the first place.

I suppose since this is a sculpture blog this would be a good place to add a picture of my bronze mice...

Besides that, I've been busy picking up bronzes and patinating them this last week, including (among lots of other things) these rabbits and turtles.

With the rabbits relaxing lazily while the turtles diligently move slowly forward, it's almost like they're trying to tell me something...

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

Monday, April 12, 2010

Emerging artist conspiracy?

Randal Stringer writes in a recent post HERE that if you're an artist 'emerging' after the age window of 25 - 31 "Galleries won't look at your work, exhibitions won't even consider you an option. By this rule you just don't exist. Even if it's possible that you're as good as an old world master, best to give up."

I'm glad I didn't know that when I got stuck in a bit less than four years ago at age 39!
It's almost enough to stop a person from trying!

I tried to post a reply to his post in his comments section, but it was too long and got rejected.
So I'm posting it here instead. Here's what I said........

"Well I guess if my story goes completely counter to your argument, that should be good news and very encouraging for others contemplating making the leap.

I turned to sculpture in 2006 at age 39, and have been casting in bronze and selling online and through galleries since then.

I just got accepted for the fourth time into the National Sculpture Society's annual show (won 'people's choice' last year), I'm waiting to hear if I get accepted for the fourth time into the Society of Animal Artists annual show, I'll be attending Loveland's Sculpture in the Park show for the fourth time this year, I joined the Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society after being invited (having won awards in their annual shows) and have been featured in Southwest Art and Western Art Collector magazines.

Seems I'm living proof you can skip the 'emerging artist' process.
One minute I didn't exist (as a sculptor), next minute I'm all over the place!

No I didn't have any gallery affiliations by virtue of being considered a fine artist before sculpting.
I draw storyboards for advertising agencies and production companies, which I'd say is a fine art when it's done well. But none of those contacts had any bearing on my sculpture career.

I made stuff, I entered stuff, I cast stuff, I approached loads of galleries, in that order, and I admit I got very lucky at each step of the way.
But I'm living proof it's possible to emerge from nowhere at around age 40, so that's a good thing I'd say.
I don't know if it will all be over in a flash, or if momentum will take me further, but I'm glad I'm along for the ride.

Having said all that, I haven't quit my day job and I don't do as well from sculpting as I do from drawing storyboards, but casting in bronze is a lot more expensive than sharpening pencils!

So I'd say if you believe you've got what it takes (whatever your art may be) give it your best shot, but don't quit your day job!"

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

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Flintstone house is the coolest house I've ever seen!

Guess what this is...

You're looking at a house, cunningly disguised as part of a rocky outcrop.

Artist and mold maker Fran Nicholson lives in the Flintstone house.
Her friend lived in it before her.

She has an easter bonnet and egg making party each year, which I've been to once before at her old place.
This time Meridee and I were in for even more of a treat!

It's wonderfully spacious inside, and chock full of nooks and crannies, each stuffed to the gills with all sorts of quirky bits and pieces.

Here's a pizza oven/fireplace which has a little devil hanging out inside it!

I loved it! Everywhere you looked there was something interesting, like this bronze bat key hanger...

By the time we arrived people had been busy making bonnets and egg sculptures for a couple of hours.
Here's my favorite egg sculpture. It turned out to be the winner!

People's bonnets were judged by the volume of audience applause as they came down the staircase, one by one.

Bee enthusiast and patinater (patinuer?) extraordinaire Mike Masse showed up, and was eager to show me where a bunch of bees had made a nest behind the foam exterior.
Birds called Flickers, which are a member or relative of the woodpecker family, routinely peck holes in foam, usually on flat roofs, but at this place, in the exterior walls.

I believe the house is constructed normally (with the exception of windows at jaunty angles), and then wire mesh was used to sculpt the outside rock formations, which was sprayed with some kind of foam- I imagine the sort used on flat rooftops.

Here's Fran saying 'cheese' in her bonnet complete with bunny ears, and that's Mike next to her.
It's harder to get Mike to say 'cheese', but pretty easy to catch him saying 'bees' instead.

Thanks Fran, Meridee and I just love your place!

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