Saturday, 31 March 2012

#199 In the studio: Equestrian maquette, con't . . .

Proportional calipers are a measuring device used by sculptors. They are used to scale up or down in the ratios marked on each arm by moving the joint system to matching sets of holes.  For example, with the joint in the holes marked "2", the tips furthest from the joint will have twice the opening of the tips closest to the joint, and vice versa, allowing you to (in this instance) scale up 2X or down by half.  At the 1:1 ratio, calipers can also be used for direct measurement transfer.  Below, I'm enlarging the proportions of my little plastic anatomical model by 25%. Calipers help the sculptor determine proportions of big shapes.

Friday, 30 March 2012

#198 In the studio: Equestrian maquette

I have spent long hours in the studio this week creating an equestrian maquette depicting two running horses.
The clay block-in will be transported to Arizona next month and proposed as the study for an over- life-sized
monument to be installed in a roundabout.

Modeling horses ranks as one of the most difficult figurative sculptural endeavors.  The proportions must be
exact and, due to the lack of fur and hair patterns, bony anatomical way-points and musculature are prominent;
the same is true when modeling the human figure.  Photography, such as the image below, helps determine
the proportions of large shapes.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

#197 In the studio: Lander, Wyoming Studio Headquarters

We are back in residence at the Lander, Wyoming studio headquarters.  Spring is 
not as evident here as it was at the 
Arizona studio but the ice has left our 
pond and a pair of Canada Geese have 
arrived to build a nest.

Camp Bay
6"H 11"W 6"D

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

#196 In the studio: "Loose", con't . . .

To model in a "loose" manner the sculptor must understand structure and shape.  
Random surface marks, lines, and shapes without a meaningful underlying structure 
are not "loose" and can be perceived as sloppy modeling.
"Loose" is how it looks, not how it's done.

Foxrock Mantlepiece
11"H 18"W 6"D

Monday, 26 March 2012

#195 In the studio: loose, con't . . .

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

Hearts Entwined  12"H 22"L 11"W  (detail below)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

#194 In the studio: Loose

To model in a "loose" manner and make it work necessitates a knowledge of anatomy and a developed sense of shape and form.  Random shapes, marks and lines are meaningless.  "Loose" is how a sculpture looks, not how it is modeled.

Bison Fragment III
19"H 19" 7"D
with detail below

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

Friday, 23 March 2012

#193 Leaving Arizona, con't . . .

Spring is here!  Spring arrived last Tuesday and Trish and I are leaving Arizona for the Lander, Wyoming studio headquarters.  Spring arrives late in Wyoming but the season of regrowth, renewal, and rebirth is welcome.

Springtime in the Rockies is beautiful.  As the days lengthen, I look forward to tramping the woods and trails, exploring the streams and lakes in my ongoing search for studio reference material.  The increased activity of birds and animals during this time of year is stimulating and exciting.

Now Nature hangs her mantle green
On every blooming tree,
And spreads her sheet o' daisies white
Out o're the grassy lea.
                                       - Robert Burns

Spring Pride
6"H 11"W 8"D

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

#192 Leaving Arizona

Leaving Arizona is always difficult but spring is here and a great deal of studio and field work is waiting in Wyoming and beyond.  Shown is a peregrine falcon sculpture I created last year while artist in residence in the Sedona area. I've included images of my time here in 2012: An Arizona scrapbook.

I must see new things and investigate them.
I want to taste dark water and see crackling trees and wild winds.
                                                                                - Egon Schiele

Falcon Heart Humming
20"H 20"W 16"D

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

#191 Remarque: Equestrian monument

Horses have long been one of my favorite subjects.  I've owned horses most of
my life, and when I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma, my folks raised and bred quarter horses.  To this day I keep horses to use as models.

Several years ago I created a colossal equestrian monument depicting 5 running horses for the city of Avon, Colorado which is at the entrance to world famous ski resort Beaver Creek.  They were designed to be presented as a group or separate. Two of the horses, numbers 3 and 4 are connected and the edition of 5 is sold out. The composition of 5 is a one of a kind installation.

The lead horses, number 1 and 2, are also connected and the number 5 is solo.   There is a casting of #5 in a public sculpture garden in Skagway, Alaska; numbers 1 & 2 have never been installed as a pair.  At right is a close-up of the lead horse, number 1.

Installation of number 1 & 2 :  They are enormous . . . one plus six-tenths life-sized!

Monday, 19 March 2012

#190 Remarque: "Presidential Eagle"

This monument, conceived as a tribute to our great nation, was installed at the Clinton Presidential Library in 2004.

The National Sculptor's Guild was instrumental in placing the celebrated work.  Working with the Guild allows me to concentrate my efforts on the aesthetic components, focus on the art and modeling and oversee technical aspects
of the project such as armature building, mold making and all foundry procedures.

John Kinkade, founder and director of the guild was project and scheduling manager.  He worked with the client and 
my studio, coordinating all elements involved.  NSG is an association of recognized sculptors and a professional design team.  Since 1992 they've installed over 300 public placements.  They utilize their core group of artists and
their extensive network of nationally recognized industry experts, which include structural engineers, architects, lighting designers, landscape architects and other subcontractors, to insure successful placement of site-specific sculpture.

Presidential Eagle
98"H 130"W 84"D

Additional installations include National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming 
and Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

#189 Remarque: Noble Eagle Spirit of America

This colossal work entitled Noble Eagle Spirit of America will be installed this spring in a public setting in Wisconsin.  Over the years, my heroic-sized eagle monuments have been placed in many public places and private residences.

Monuments of this enormous size require professional transport, site preparation and installation.  At right is an image of Noble Eagle Spirit of  America placed in Brighton, Colorado by the National Sculptors Guild. The Guild continues to be a major player in the United States placing monuments in public and private settings.

Noble Eagle Spirit of America in clay
for more pictures of clay model see Post #16, August 2011

Saturday, 17 March 2012

#188 In the studio: Leaving Arizona

Next week we will pack and leave the Arizona studio.  Every year I escape the harsh
Wyoming winter by headquartering in the beautiful Oak Creek area south of Sedona.
It's been a productive time but spring begins next Tuesday and I'll be migrating north
with the birds.  I'll miss my daily walks and photo sessions along the Oak Creek trail,
but I also miss the Wind River Mountain Range and the Popo Agie River that runs by
my Wyoming studio.

Below is a recent clay block in of a Great Blue Heron in progress.  One of my goals
while in Arizona this year was to experience the magnificent bird in the wild and collect reference material. Mission accomplished!  At right is the Oak Creek trail in winter.

Friday, 16 March 2012

#187 In the field: Everett Raymond Kinstler: "Pulps to Portraits" con't.

. . . for more information please scroll to yesterday's and the day before's blog.

We arrived in Boston and before driving to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA to honor and celebrate Everett Raymond Kinstler's illustrious career, we had time to drive north to Gloucester, MA. to enjoy lobster and experience the art.

Gloucester has long been a gathering place for artists: Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Childe Hassam and sculptors Paul Manship and Anna Hyatt Huntington were attracted to her rocky shores. We visited Cape Ann Museum, and photographed Anna Hyatt Huntington's masterpiece, Joan of Arc.

Below left: Norman Rockwell's studio on the grounds of the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

#186 In the field: Everett Raymond Kinstler: "Pulps to Portraits" con't.

. . . for more information please scroll to yesterday's blog.

Ray's inspiration was gleaned from John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) and his friend and mentor, illustrator James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960).

His illustrious roster of sitters include Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, actors John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Christopher Plummer and his close friend, the consummate entertainer, Tony Bennett; himself an accomplished painter.

Mr. Bennett introduced Ray at an amusing and memorable talk during the opening. Afterwards, at a gala private dinner at the historic Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, we had a chance to talk about Tony's new interest - sculpture.  He signs his work with his family name Benedetto,

You will enjoy Ray's website, and the Norman Rockwell Museum website,

Portrait of James Montgomery Flagg  1956

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

#185 In the field: Everett Raymond Kinstler: "Pulps to Portraits"

Last weekend Trish and I took a whirlwind trip to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA to attend a retrospective exhibition tracing the seven decade journey
of one of the most prominent artists of our time: Everett Raymond Kinstler.

Ray began his career as a comic book artist and illustrator and evolved into a distinguished portrait painter of seven United States presidents, celebrities and other notable figures.  He is a giant in the art world, an American treasure and I am delighted to know Ray and his lovely wife Peggy as friends.

I've known Ray and Peggy for years.  I worked with Peggy when she was editor
of Informart Magazine and knew Ray from mutual participation in museum shows
such as Prix de West in Oklahoma City.  He sponsored my membership into the
National Arts Club in New York City and we own each others art.

At right and below, I'm with Peggy and Ray at the gala opening.

Monday, 12 March 2012

#184 Southwest Art Magazine:

With nearly 40 years of experience, Southwest Art is one of the leading magazines devoted to American Western art. Each issue puts readers in touch with the artists, galleries, and collectors that shape the market.

I was delighted when Southwest Art magazine published a feature article spotlighting my sculpture last year and chose Sleepy Fox for the cover.  It is my second cover for the magazine, the first featured one of my etchings in 1978.


Sunday, 11 March 2012

#183 In the field: Great Blue Heron

I plan to start a new sculpture study of the Great Blue Heron before leaving Arizona.  The bird is abundant along Oak Creek and I routinely see and photograph the magnificent creature on my daily walks.

Typically, I spend far more time researching and studying a subject before I approach the sculpture stand to build the armature, construct, design and model the piece.

At right, Oak Creek, south of Sedona, Arizona in late winter.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

#182 In the field: Up the creek - in search of birds con't . . .

Recently we rode horses on a remote trail along Oak Creek (see yesterday's blog)
in search of birds.  We were not disappointed!  Gambel's Quail, Roadrunners, Eagles,
Hawks and a variety of waterfowl including the abundant Great Blue Heron were sighted.

Left, looking up, Trish spots a Great Blue Heron in flight.  Over the past few weeks I've experienced the great bird often on my daily walks along the creek and am under the
influence of the creature.

Friday, 9 March 2012

#181 In the field: Up the creek - In search of birds

Last week we rode horses on a remote trail along Oak Creek south of Sedona.  At various times of the year over 340 of the 900 plus species of birds found in the United States can be seen in the bird-rich riparian zones of Oak Creek and the Verde Valley.  The Northern Arizona Audubon Society has identified these areas as IBAs or Important Birding Areas.

At left, I'm packing cameras for the ride down to Oak Creek. We saw many birds on our field trip, including a beautiful Wood Duck drake at ease in the creek.

Orginal etching by Sandy Scott
5 1/2 x 9 1/4

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

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

#180 In the studio: Creatures in motion con't . . .

The sculptor must understand locomotive anatomy:
How the animal's body works, how the muscles stretch and bunch
and how and if the creature bends.
The animal artist should know how and when to exaggerate.

Coyote Clipper
9"H 17"W 6"D

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

#179 In the studio: Creatures in motion con't . . .

When designing a creature in motion, the sculptor must concentrate on gesture and action rather than detail.
Detail can arrest motion.

Goat Ringing a Bell
8"H 11"W 6"D

Monday, 5 March 2012

#178 In the studio: Creatures in motion con't . . .

Painter Richard Schmid interpreted 
Mallard Duet in conte and oils 

The sculptor must be in search of the essence of motion and 
form and understand how the creature's body works.

A work of art must not be something 
that leaves the viewer unmoved . . .
something passed by with a casual glance.  
It has to be moving, make the viewer react, 
feel strongly, start creating too . . .
if only in the imagination.
                                            - Gustav Klimt


Mallard Duet
23"H 30"W 16"D

Sunday, 4 March 2012

#177 In the studio: Creatures in motion . . .

All animals have their own variation of anatomy in motion.
The sculptor must be in search of what makes each creature special unto itself.

16"H 19"L 8"D

Saturday, 3 March 2012

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

This work was modeled from life in a single sitting, then tweaked and finished later in the studio.  
Most sculptures that I do quickly retain the initial thought and freshness and are personal favorites.  
This study of  a Russian Wolfhound, or borzoi as it is also called, is no exception. 

I chose a recumbent pose as I wanted the horizontal movement to suggest rest and calm.  
I focused on the regal bearing of the elegant animal and depicted the dog crossing 
its great front paws which is typical of large, long-legged breeds.

Russian Beauty   10"H 17"W 10"D

Friday, 2 March 2012

#175 Throw on another log: Art, beauty and nature . . .


Anyone who knows how to perceive artistic beauty is in some sense an artist. Instinctively, we acquire the basics of beauty and good design from nature 
and we have absorbed these gifts since childhood.  

Every person alive needs beauty in their life; even those without the desire 
or talent to create it.  Art is how human beings create beauty and art is the 
result of creation.

Art is not an imitation of nature:  Almost everyone finds nature beautiful but 
nature is not art.  Art is surrounded by the artist's personal evaluation and 
response to nature and great art has eternal and universal appeal.

To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits;
Logic and common sense will only interfere.
But once these barriers are broken,
it will enter the realms of childhood visions and dreams.
                                                                                                           - Giorgio De Chirico

Thursday, 1 March 2012

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

In sculpture the subject represented is the positive shape.
The empty space around the subject is the negative shape.

The viewer usually does not think about or consider the space around
the sculpture.  The sculptor, however, is constantly aware of both
positive and negative shapes as they are a device for designing and
organizing the sculpture.

                  Sculpture is the study of a thousand silhouettes. 
                                                                          - Rodin

Height of Land  (Common Loon),   12"H 23"W 15"D