Wednesday, 29 February 2012

#173 In the studio: Composition and design con't . . .

The strongest compositions and designs are those where the main idea is comprehended in a single glance.

Buffalo Fragment IV
22"H 24"W 4"D

Monday, 27 February 2012

#172 In the studio: Composition and design con't . . .

The position of the center of interest depends upon the feeling of balance
created by the distribution of the different elements in the composition.

Buffalo Fragment III
22"H 24"W 4"D

Sunday, 26 February 2012

#171 In the studio: Composition and design con't . . .

The dominant element in a composition can be part of a single figure.
There should be as few secondary elements as possible 
and these should be arranged to support the main interest.
Typically, the head and eyes are the main interest in a composition with a single figure.

Red-tailed Hawk Alert
20"H 13"W 15"D

Saturday, 25 February 2012

#170 In the studio: Composition and design

Basic principles of composition and design apply to both sculpture and painting.
Composition is a harmonious arrangement of elements, one of which dominates others in interest.
The dominant element becomes the focal point or center of interest.

Harbinger of Spring
12"H 7"W 5"D

Friday, 24 February 2012

#169 In the field: At the Autry con't . . .

Ice craving of  quail presentation sculpture
Friend and Collector Lynn Friess with Howard Terpning's
Traders Among the Crow

Museum shows such as Autry Museum's Masters of the American West have played an important role in the resurgent interest in representational art.  Quality, originality and healthy competition among the artists has been the result and astute collectors and museums recognize it.

Fire and ice: Patina being applied to Sandy's California Roost, presentation piece for the museum's trustees

Thursday, 23 February 2012

#168 In the field: At the Autry

Friends and collectors
Saralynn Geraghty, Peggy & Bob Dunn
Earlier this month we attended the Autry Museum's Masters of Western Art Show
in Los Angeles.  The prestigious show is a coveted invitation and I always introduce new work at the gala event.

The night before the opening, the museum hosts a fun-filled artist party and a few artists are singled out to be given wonderful gifts such as complimentary advertising in art publications, framing services, exotic and unique trips, etc.

I was honored and thrilled to be one of the recipients:
A stunning silver and turquoise necklace designed by Fredrico Jimanez was presented to me by the museum.  I will always cherish the gift, memories of the evening and the Autry family.

"The necklace" with my dear friend John Geraghty . . .
Autry Museum Trustee and Special Advisor 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

#167 In the studio: Feathers con't. . .

A bird's wrist joint - where and how it articulates - presents a strong and meaningful sculptural statement.
The skeleton of the bird's wing is more easily understood when compared to the human arm: see Blog #143, Jan 2012  

Detail - Harbinger of Light
13"H 20"W 16"D

Monday, 20 February 2012

#166 In the studio: Fur con't . . .

Fur and hair patterns must be modeled as shapes and mass with the 
underlying skeleton dictating breaks in form where joints articulate. 

19"H 36"W 18"D

Sunday, 19 February 2012

#165 In the studio: Fur and feathers con't . . .

When I model furry, fuzzy or feather-covered critters, I always look for places to present hard edges or closely modeled detail.  Typically this is in the head area, the nose, the beak, feet or the bony break of the wrist in a bird's wing.

Left: detail - Golden Morning

Right: detail - clay model of pheasant still-life
See Blogs #134, 135, 136: January 2012

Saturday, 18 February 2012

#164 In the studio: Fur and feathers . . .

There are similar considerations when modeling an animal covered with fur or a bird covered with feathers:
The sculptor must make the viewer sense the structure and anatomy of the creature under all the cover.
Bony waypoints must be identified and sometimes exaggerated and shapes must be simple, strong and clear.

Recumbent Hare
9"H 14"W 10"D

Friday, 17 February 2012

#163 In the studio: Lop eared rabbit

A gallery that represents me has a client who wants a sculpture of a lop eared rabbit.
 Although I don't have a model, I'm having fun with the subject. 

While researching lop eared rabbits on the computer, I discovered that they are hopelessly cute.  Rarely am I inspired by "cute" subjects but I couldn't resist this request:  It's about the ears and I love to model rabbits.

Below is a quick, preliminary block-in of the little critter.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

#162 In the field: Sedona birds and wildlife con't . . .

Winter along Oak Creek south of Sedona
Oak Creek flows through a spectacular canyon and is buffered by lush forest north of Sedona and massive cottonwoods to the south.  Trish and I are both avid fishing enthusiasts and when in Sedona, we are headquartered on the beautiful stream, within casting distance of winter trout fishing.  Rainbows and Brown Trout can be caught on dry flies or spinners.

The decorative sculpture shown below was patinaed with natural chemicals and dyes.  After cooling, I hand-painted the spots.

Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are.
                                                          - Gretel Eurlich

Functional art:  Creel Hook by Sandy Scott
11"H 9"W 4"D

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

#161 In the field: Sedona birds and wildlife con't . . .

The Verde Valley, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon (scroll to Blog #158 & #159) is a hotspot for birders with over 340 species at various times of the year.  As a bird artist, I'm in my element in the region.

Waterfowl, eagles, herons, hawks and hummingbirds to name a few . . . the list goes on and on.  Last week I saw a magnificent bald eagle along Oak Creek.

The American Bald Eagle has been and remains a favorite subject and motif
for my art: both sculpture and etchings.

Recently installed - Descending Eagle Monument  - 22 ' wingspan
For more information click on August, 2011 -  Blog #16

Monday, 13 February 2012

#160 In the field: Sedona birds and wildlife con't . . .

The Sedona area is magic.  The elevation changes from high desert at 3000 feet to cool pine at 8000 feet.  The wildlife-rich riparian zones of Oak Creek offer a diverse paradise for wildlife, birds and wildlife artists.  

Like most places, the presence of nocturnal creatures such as the raccoon is part of the life it nourishes.

The etching below was created in the late 70's and was wildly popular.  I was pleasantly surprised that the edition of 100 sold out quickly.  A few of the artist's proofs are still available.

Original etching by Sandy Scott
11 3/4 x 7 3/4 

Note: The etching link from is being redesigned and is temporarily offline

Sunday, 12 February 2012

#159 In the field: Sedona birds and wildlife con't . . .

The Raven, renowned in Native American tribal lore as a trickster and bird with a mischievous nature, is  common along the Oak Creek trail (see yesterdays Blog) and is one of my favorite subjects. The imposing, oily-black bird is larger than the crow, has a thicker bill and has a distinctive crocking call.  The dramatic corvid can be identified in flight by its wedge-shaped tail.

When I'm on the trail, photographing, observing and gathering studio reference, I usually find a quiet place to sit and keep my eyes and ears open:  I'm guaranteed to see something new and exciting.

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore 
 Meant in croaking 'Nevermore'.
-Edgar Allan Poe;  The Raven   


Saturday, 11 February 2012

#158 In the field: Sedona birds and wildlife

While in residence in Sedona, mornings and evenings are spent on a secluded trail along beautiful Oak Creek. The trail splits
and while Trish takes the dogs for a romp across an open field,
I spend time stalking, observing, sketching and photographing birds and wildlife along the Oak Creek trail.

Oak Creek is part of the Verde Valley watershed and attracts over a third of the 900 plus species of birds in the United States. Wintering species includes waterfowl which is one of my favorite subjects for both sculpture and etchings.

Seeing birds and animals first-hand, in their environment and being there is vital to the wildlife artist.

Mallards Coming In
9 3/4 x 91/4
Original etching by SandyScott

Note: The etching link from is being redesigned and is temporarily offline

Friday, 10 February 2012

#157 In the field: Artist in residence

Adele, Susan and Trish
Beautiful Sedona, Arizona is situated along Oak Creek and is surrounded by spectacular Red Rock Country.  It is home to many artists, writers, galleries as well as art and nature lovers.

Although most of my time is spent working, I always find the time to enjoy the company of my artist friends who call Sedona home. Trish and I shared dinner with painters, Adele Earnshaw (a New Zealander and 35 year Sedona resident) and Susan Faust this week and as usual, the lively conversation revolved around art. Adele conducts workshops in New Zealand and you will love her Blog.,

Sandy and Trish - Red Rock Country from restaurant window

Children, like animals, use all their senses 
to discover the world.  
Then artists come along and discover 
it the same way all over again.
                                   -Eudora Welty  

"Arizona Sunrise" in clay was modeled last year while
artist in residence at Mountain Trails Gallery in Sedona

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

#156 In the field: Full Moon, Snow Moon

February full moon close to Wickenburg, AZ 

Full moon last night.  Northerly Native American tribes called the February Moon the Snow Moon. Some tribes called it the Hunger Moon or Storm Moon when food could be scarce and the weather foul.

There is snow north of me and beyond but not where I am this month. Every year I spend several weeks in Arizona; attending art shows, teaching workshops, in the field and as artist in residence at the gallery that represents me in Sedona.

I headquarter in Sedona along beautiful Oak Creek and spent yesterday in the field - photographing and observing ducks and other birds.  The highlight of the field trip occurred when a canvasback hen and drake floated past me with the current accompanied by a widgeon hen.

 A diving duck with two dabbling ducks is an unusual sight here.  Typically, divers like big water.

Canvasbacks Coming In  7 x 5
Backcover of Gray's Sporting Journal
Original etching by Sandy Scott

Note: The etching link from is being redesigned and is temporarily offline

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

#155 Remarque "Moose Fragment I"

Power of the part: What can the sculpture do without?

Moose Fragment I (Ferric patina)
14"H 9"W 6"D

Moose Fragment I (Cupric patina)
14"H 9"W 6"D

Monday, 6 February 2012

#154 Remarque "Solitude Fragment I & II"

The fragment or partial figure: Pursuit of essence.

Solitude Fragments I & II

Sunday, 5 February 2012

#153 Remarque: "Old Red"

This is a 5 x 7 oil painting of my rooster, "Old Red" who is no longer with us - a fox got him - but not before I painted
his portrait.  It is being exhibited in the miniature section of the Autry Museum's Masters of the American West Show.

I approach painting as a drawing, using brush and pigment.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

#152 Remarque: "Eclipse"

Total eclipse of the moon Dec. 2011

Among all living thoroughbreds, over 95% can trace their direct bloodline back to the stallion, Eclipse.  The story of the horse is fascinating:  In 1730 the Bey of Tunis gave Louis XV eight Arabian stallions.  The French king didn't realize the significance of the magnificent animals and sold them for next to nothing.  An Englishman did; saw one of the horses pulling a water cart, bought it for next to nothing, and bred it to Spanish stock.  Thirty-five years later - on the day of a total eclipse of the sun - the famous colt, Eclipse was born and the rest is history.   

I have always been intrigued by the story of Eclipse and an idealized sculpture 
of the horse has been an ongoing project in my studio for years.  Ironically, 
I completed the clay model on the night of a total eclipse of the moon. 

See earlier Blogs #101, 102, 103 and 111 posted in Dec. 2011 for more information about the sculpture, Eclipse.

26"H 28"W 9"D

This work is one of five new sculptures being introduced at the 
Autry Museum's Masters of the American West Show and Sale. 

Friday, 3 February 2012

#151 Remarque - "California Roost"

My goal while designing and modeling this quiet pose of the California Quail (also known as the Valley Quail) was clarity of silhouette and organization of positive and negative shapes. 

Harmony and the simple placement of the figure in nature is evident as vision accepts the negative shape and thinks of it as a totally separate form.  Sculpture is the arrangement of 
shapes - both positive and negative.

Sculpture is the study of a thousand silhouettes.
                                                       - Rodin

This work is one of five new sculptures being introduced at the 
Autry Museum's Masters of the American West Show and Sale. 

California Roost
8"H 12"W 8"D

Thursday, 2 February 2012

#150 Remarque - "California Sunrise"

The California Quail, also known as the Valley Quail, is similar in size, shape and appearance to the Gambel's Quail but the two species have very little range overlap - the latter being more southerly. 

Formal sparseness of design, the use of negative space and clarity of silhouette was my goal while modeling this sculpture: Negative space balances and supports the subject and gives visual activity to the composition.  The arrangement of positive and negative shapes forms the design and creates a new dimension to the image.  Painters use the elements of color, perspective, value and shape to create a composition . . . sculptors design with positive form and negative shapes.

Trish's definition of negative space: "Where the sculpture is not".
I couldn't have said it better myself.

This work is one of five new sculptures being introduced at the
Autry Museum's Masters of the American West Show and Sale.

California Sunrise
12"H 12"W 9"D  (life-size)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

#149 Remarque: "Lab Bookends"

The Labrador Retriever, which comes in three colors: black, chocolate and yellow, has been the most popular dog in the United States, Great Britain, Australia and other countries since 1991. The breed is people loving and makes a popular pet.

The versatile lab was bred primarily to be a gun dog and can be used afield as a waterfowl retriever as well as a pointing dog. I've hunted often behind a lab and years ago owned a chocolate lab named Scoter.  Most hunters, myself included, will tell you that much of the joy in the hunt comes from the dog.

Shown to the right is the silhouette of Lab Bookends clay model ready to mold.  Note my Brittany, Penny, in the background. 
This work is one of five new sculptures being introduced at the Autry Museum's Masters of the American West Show and Sale. 

Lab Bookends
8"H 15"W 6"D