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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

#95 Throw on another log: "loose" con't . . .



There is no technical trick for modeling in a "loose" manner.  The sculptor
must simply feel or sense that he or she has created a meaningful shape
and surface passage.  This cannot be accomplished without understanding
the subject's anatomy.





Take any man and develop his mind and soul and heart 
to the fullest by the right work and the right study 
and then let him find through this training 
the utmost freedom of expression.  
For a man ceases to imitate when he has achieved 
the power to express fully and freely his own ideas.
                                                           - Robert Henri




Roosting Rooster Fragment I
19"H 26"W 6"D
with detail below 


"Loose" is how it looks, not how it's done.






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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

#94 Throw on another log: "loose" con't . . .



Quick clay sketches from life can have honesty and vitality, but spontaneity is not possible without planning and structuring.  Knowing the subject intimately and having a good plan and design enable you to make the sculpture intuitive and spontaneous.

More often than not, happy accidents are rare, and without a thorough knowledge of the animal, what the artist may perceive as being "loose" and spontaneous is not understood and is really sloppy modeling.





If it be right, do it boldly,
It it be wrong leave it undone.
                                  - Gilpin



Fox Watch
16"H 16"W 9"D
with detail below



"Loose" is how it looks, not how it's done.





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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Sunday, 27 November 2011

#93 Throw on another log: "loose" . . .


I've taught sculpture workshops for over 25 years and have been told countless times by student participants that "I'm here because I want to 'loosen' up my technique and style."

"Loose" is the ability to give an accurate impression in clay without precise modeling.  "Loose" is how it looks, not how it's done.


             

       
                An artist is not paid for his labour but for his vision.
                                                                 - James McNeill Whistler







Quail Gamebird Bookends
12"H 18"W 10"D

"Loose" is how it looks, not how it's done.







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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Saturday, 26 November 2011

#92 In the studio: Wildlife reference con't . . .



My inspiration comes from nature and I rely on the creative impulses I experience on my own property where mule deer, bald eagles and many other birds and animals are routinely seen.

The beautiful Wind River Mountain Range, west of my studio, abounds with wildlife and is a constant reminder of the seasonal cycles.




Bald Eagle
5 1/2 x 7 1/2
Original etching by Sandy Scott




The Wind River Mountain Range looking west from the studio


I go to nature to be soothed
and healed and to have my 
senses put in tune once more.
                - John Burroughs






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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Friday, 25 November 2011

#91 In the studio: Wildlife reference . . .



The Popo Agie River is the north and east boundary of the Lander studio property.  The river makes an abrupt 90 degree turn at the northeast corner and our protected land to the south provides a sanctuary for wildlife:  Mule deer, pheasants, doves, geese, ducks, bald eagles, osprey, herons and other critters can be seen during all seasons of the year.

I keep a camera and sketchbook close by.





Mule Deer Buck
Original etching by Sandy Scott





 Looking out my studio window on Thanksgiving Day - A big mule deer doe





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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Thursday, 24 November 2011

#90 Happy Thanksgiving!



Happy Thanksgiving!


Detail from The Strut
Orignal etching by Sandy Scott







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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

#89 In the studio: The Lander, Wyoming Grassy River Studio . . .



We are back in Lander, in residence and at work in the Grassy River Studio.  Since 2005 this has been our headquarters.  We were located in Fort Collins, Colorado the previous 20 years where we eventually ran our own cold foundry and had our metal poured in Loveland.

In 2000 we bought a little ranch house on 8 acres along the Popo Agie River north of Lander and built the monument studio, guest house, log design studio and main house in that order.  In 2009 we moved into the main house.  I know it sounds complicated but it's not near as complicated as is was actualizing it.



At work in the the new design studio



Standing on the deck overlooking the Popo Agie River.  Popo Agie (pronounced po-PO-zsha)
is a Crow Indian name meaning "tall grass river" or "grassy river". 


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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Saturday, 19 November 2011

#88 In the studio: Lander, Wyoming headquarters



Headed west


Yesterday we returned to our Lander, Wyoming headquarters.  Unlike the cozy, intimate Canadian cabin, the Lander studio is like the west itself . . . big, expansive and at times, overwhelming.  Large works and monuments are actualized on the property in a designated facility separate from the design studio.  My  home, library, records, collections and extensive reference files all are here.  Most important, the foundry that casts my work is less than 5 miles away.


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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish




Friday, 18 November 2011

#87 Throw on another log: Tradition . . .



The cabin in Canada is cold and silent now and I'm sure the mice are in residence after being terrorized for over a month by Watcher, our Scotty.

I'm still under the spell of the north country, like I always am at the end of the season and as I write this I'm thinking about opening up next summer;  it's been a tradition since I bought the cabin in 1978.  My etchings that hang on the log walls paid for the place. 

It was beyond my wildest dreams to think I could ever own a camp on a Lake of the Woods island when I left art school in the early 60's.  During those years we stayed at Red Deer Lodge, which can be seen looking north off our deck.  Collectors responded to my etchings which were inspired by what I had experienced in the wilderness and was passionate about .

Lake of the Woods: A tradition and the genesis of my artistic statement.



Those who would make us feel,
must feel themselves.
                     - George Churchill








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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish


Thursday, 17 November 2011

#86 In the field: On the road . . .



Sign on boathouse
Yesterday afternoon we drove south on icy roads and crossed the Canadian/US border before dark.  We spent the night in Fargo, North Dakota and woke up to a crystal clear day and 5 degree F temperatures. Driving south we noticed frozen ponds and pot holes and an occasional lake with open water where we saw hundreds of late season geese and ducks headed south like us.  Unlike the waterfowl, however, we are not headed for warm weather.  We turn west and head for Wyoming where lots or work and a cold winter lie ahead.


Pintail Arrival
16"H 27"W 12"D

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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

#85 In the studio: Leaving the Canada camp and studio . . .



Our boathouse at daybreak
This morning we woke up to bitter cold and snow.  It's clearing
and calm and a skim of ice will form by tomorrow.  We must take care of last minute closing tasks and be off the island by mid-morning.

My father died 20 years ago on this day.  An hour before dark last night Trish and I went to his favorite spot across from the island and caught a couple of nice walleye.  We honored him and his memory by cooking a walleye breakfast before leaving.  What I would have given to have caught those fish with him.

The north country experience was a gift he gave me.




We left the moose sculpture out overnight so the soft oil based clay could firm up for transport



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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

#84 In the studio, in the field: Closing up and leaving Canada



The ice was late coming in this year but it's here now.  In a day or two the shallow bays will be frozen and if we don't leave tomorrow we will have to break ice to get off the island.

Today we packed, drained and closed up the cabin til next year.  As I look back on the past 4 weeks and assess the adventures, observations and work that transpired here I realize more than ever that the north country supplies much of the raw material for my art. 




Our boathouse will soon be locked in ice til spring thaw.
Frigid weather, snow by morning; our last night in the cabin.




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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Monday, 14 November 2011

#83 In the studio: "Pipestone Marsh Bull"



Tomorrow we pack, drain and close the camp for the season.  It's almost freeze up and yesterday I spent the day in the studio.  We have been deer hunting the past few days and it helped to get away and return to the moose sculpture with "fresh eyes".

If I cast the moose I'll name the old boy Pipestone Marsh because that's where we saw him earlier this month.  I will take the model to the Lander studio to finish where I have a library, video and more extensive "scrap" or reference files.  I will continue to use the Bob Kuhn painting as the pose.




                    Immature artists imitate.
                       Mature artists steal.
                                        Lionel Trilling



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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish





Saturday, 12 November 2011

#82 Lake of the Woods studio: ICE IS COMING










The ice is coming and it's almost time to close up and go.

We arrived here at the Canada cabin studio four weeks ago . As I assess the adventures, observations and work that transpired, I realize more than ever;
I shape my life as I go. . . creating, studying, traveling to enrich my experience and knowledge.  I want new ideas, challenges, revelations and associations.

There's so much I don't understand and I'm looking for meaning.  There's so little time.





An artist is not paid for his labour but for his vision.
                                                                                    James McNeill Whistler



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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

#81 Remarque: "Whitetail Head Study"



Whitetail Head Study
10"H 6"W 5"D
I am a conservationist and a hunter.  Hunting is an autumn ritual, a tradition, the way I was raised in rural Oklahoma.  Venison steaks and stew meat, chops, roasts and tenderloin will be nourishment for body and soul during the long months between seasons.

In the fall I become a player; no longer just an observer I become an integral part of nature.


When we eat, something has died.  
When we hunt, we strive to retain some 
measure of connection with the earth 
whence we came and to which we 
inexorably return.  To hunt is to embrace 
one's identity as a creature.

                                                            ___ C. Stanley Mason
                                                                   "Voices on the Wind"



Friday, 11 November 2011

#80 In the field: The deer stand . . .




An inch of snow fell yesterday as we made our way down an old logging road.  We parked the truck in the silvery gray dawn and entered the wet woods on a game trail we had scouted last week while grouse hunting.  


Trish spent the day on a low granite ridge overlooking a little meadow and I hiked further and sat in the wooded fringes.


I absorbed my vista in solitude and sat silent all day listening to wilderness sounds.  I recaptured the sense of wonder, curiosity and adventure I had felt during my early years in the North country as the rocks, trees, birds and all that I found there became my world.  

Cold and snowy - back to the cabin by moonlight.  Full Rutting Moon, Full Frosty Moon. The cabin warmth felt good.  




Spooked  
Detail from original etching
used by Gray's Sporting Journal and
Leupold Optics catalog




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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Thursday, 10 November 2011

#79 In the field: The Rutting Moon . . .



While reading the Farmers' Almanac I was reminded that tonight is the night of the Full Beaver Moon. It is also referred to as the Full Frosty Moon or Full Rutting Moon.  November was the time to set beaver traps before freeze-up. The rut is the mating season for the deer family.

These names date back to Native Americans of what is now northern and eastern United States and southern Canada. Some are hauntingly beautiful . . . Full Wolf Moon is in Jan. - the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages; Full Flower Moon or Milk Moon in May; Full Buck Moon or Thunder Moon in July - when the new antlers of the buck deer push out of their foreheads; Full Harvest Moon in Sept.; Full Hunter's Moon or Blood Moon in Oct.






The boat is loaded and we are leaving the island for the mainland on a frosty morning
 under the Full Rutting Moon to deer hunt.


Mule Deer
Moose
Whitetail
12 x 4 1/2
Original etching




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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

#78 In the Studio: "Tweaking" it . . .



Bitter cold wind has kept us inside and the moose "tweaking" continues in the studio.   Anatomy and proportion, clarity of contour and silhouette, meaningful and understood shape is my goal.  I try to determine if this will be a working sketch or will I complete and cast it.  I want to retain the freshness and simplicity of the initial idea.

Although the leg length is correct "by the book" and calipers, I'll consider exaggerating the length.  A piece of aluminum foil makes me see antler shape and silhouette.

I'm in pursuit of the essence of the animal.




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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

#77 In the field: Living off the land. . .



                                                                                                                                    Set the hook, Trish!
                                                                                                     Akin to animals, humans have instincts and mine are manifested in the outdoors, to which I feel a closeness.  When I'm at the cabin in Canada I feel a part of an existence where life is simple and I'm compelled to live-off-the-land.

I love to fish for walleye. . .the tightening of the line, feeling the weight of the fish. . .set the hook!

A feast of succulent fillets for supper tonight!
                                                                                                       
   
                     Fresh caught walleye fillets                                                          Cold weather walleye fishing















Fish are outstanding subjects for the sculptor.  This decorative work was created at my Colorado studio.
                             


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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Monday, 7 November 2011

#76 In the studio: Moose sculpture block-in con't. . .



After a long day I put the moose sculpture I started yesterday morning aside and will live with it, which is my working style.  The photo tells me my proportions are off: The head is too small and the legs are too short. I will continue obsessing on it and "tweaking" it while here.  It will go to the Lander studio when we leave where I have better reference material.

Typically, I have many pieces going on in the three studios:  Sometimes 50 or more in various stages of completion.
I'll use low light which produces strong shadows to eventually finish the work.  Inspiration, deadlines, finding or experiencing new reference material or simply "seeing it" will cause the conclusion, signing, molding and casting of the sculpture.


Moose block-in study ready to "tweak"





"Sculpture is the study of a thousand silhouettes."  
                                                               Rodin



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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Sunday, 6 November 2011

#75 In the Studio: Under the Bob Kuhn spell cont'd. . .



We saw a moose in the distance a few days ago. The weather took a turn for the worse overnight so this morning I started a block-in study of a bull moose.


I remember a discussion with Bob Kuhn about recognizing an animal the way bird watchers do in the field: by shape.  The animal I saw in the distance was unmistakably a moose:  not a deer, not a bear - but a moose.  I didn't need to see detail or get out binoculars to recognize the critter - just the basic, overall shape shouted moose!




Modeling from Kuhn's moose painting,
Return of Autumn
  Kuhn's drawing ability was so spot
  on and so beautifully understood;
  the structured shapes and
  silhouette so accurate, that a
  sculptor with a basic knowledge
  of quadruped anatomy and a
  magazine clipping of one of his
  moose paintings can muster the
  courage to model after the master.

  North-wind howling, birch fire
  roaring:  I know I'm under the spell
  of my subject when it's noon and
  I'm at the sculpture stand and still
  in my bathrobe.




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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Saturday, 5 November 2011

#74 Throw on another log. . . Remembering Bob Kuhn



While reading my camp journal last night I noted that four years ago on this day Trish and I returned to the Lake of the Woods cabin studio after attending the Bob Kuhn memorial gathering in Tucson, AZ.

The celebrated artist was a personal friend.  In 1989 I had the distinct pleasure of spending two weeks with Bob and a group of wildlife artists in Southeast Alaska.  You really get to know your shipmates on a boat that sleeps 12.

Of all the artists I have known - both sculptors and painters - Bob has had the greatest impact on my work.

When teaching sculpture workshops, I tell my students to look at a Bob Kuhn painting and see how he structures the animal:  He is a design genius who paints motion and knows how to choose that one meaningful instant - that perfect pose to give life to the subject.

At the core of his exquisite work are his drawings.  I own a few of them and they continue to inspire me and to remind me what a privilege it was to have known and have spent time with this giant of a man.





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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Friday, 4 November 2011

#73 In the field: Ruffed grouse sculpture (Bonasa umbrellus)



Ruffed Grouse etching used for Grays Sporting
Jounrnal back cover and Remington Arms Catalog
5 1/4 x 3 1/4
There is nothing like the smell of boiling coffee and bacon before daybreak on the morning of a hunt. To get to the birch-lined logging roads and grouse woods,  we must leave the island for the mainland at first light.

I am working on a grouse sculpture at  the Lander studio but the model and armature is too fragile to transport.  I must collect  my reference here and take it back to Wyoming to complete my work.

I guess you could call this multi-tasking:  The dog gets to hunt and so do we, a splendid grouse dinner will be enjoyed tonight and the material I need to create my work will be gathered afield.

Life is good.











Penny waiting for the go-ahead whistle to hunt







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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

#72 In the Field: Getting there, being there . . .



I go to extremes to explore remote places and to observe wildlife in their natural habitat.  To facilitate this undertaking I have a 19' boat on Lake of the Woods that gets me to wilderness areas and allows me to experience, sketch and photograph nature first hand.


When I slip into a grassy bay and mallards rise against the wooded shoreline, I know that being there is the precursor to my creativity.






Mallard Rising
15"H 26"W 16"D


Mallard etching detail



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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

#71 In the Studio: Making molds and modeling from life



Last week while Trish worked on molds of the Lab Bookends and and the two Gambels Quail, I started a sculpture of my Brittany, Penny.







This is one situation where I don't have to research my subject or delve into my extensive scrap file that I keep in the Canadian studio.  I'm modeling her from life which is why domestic animals are the ultimate subject matter:  You can't handle or get up close and personal with a grizzly.

I want to capture her noble spirit, her classic look and the burning desire to hunt that I experience with her in the field.

My fear is that I won't do her justice.


Penny posing for her portrait


Working on the studio deck on a crisp fall morning


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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish