Thursday, 31 May 2012

#248 Beyond my window: Geese, con't . . .

At the far end of the pond, a mated pair of Canada Geese are pictured taking their brood for a swim.  Wild and alert, 
the adult's erect heads indicate they are on the lookout for danger.  There is a little island on our pond and the geese are headed for its safe haven.  They will stay until the juveniles learn to fly in late summer.  In the fall, before the pond freezes, they will head south for the winter.  It's the animals I notice most as the seasons change.  

Every year, a pair of Canadas nest on our pond and I often wonder if it's the same pair.

Mates  4 7/8 x 4 7/8
Original hand-tinted etching, copyright Sandy Scott 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

#247 Beyond my window: Geese

I have domestic geese and two weeks ago they produced one gosling.  This is the first year any of their eggs have hatched and it's been a delight to watch the three enormous geese protect the little one . . . they never leave its side.  The gray gander had to be penned and kept separate because I saw him peck at the baby and had noticed that the three geese were chasing him away when he came near.

The pictures show the gosling's first swim on our pond; the mother leads.

Bound For the Pond  4 x 7 1/2
Original hand-tinted etching, copyright Sandy Scott 

Monday, 28 May 2012

#246 Functional art: "Pig I Door Knocker"

Over the years, I have designed many works that can be put to practical use:  Bookends, door knockers, fountains, wine buckets, sundials and hooks for horse bridles, dog leashes, kitchen pots, fishing creels, heavy hunter's coats, etc.

Pig I Door Knocker
10"H 8"W 5"D

For additional images see Posts #113, 114, 115 on December 20 - 22, 2011.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

#245 Functional art: "Fox Pair Door Knocker"

Functional art is a significant part of my portfolio, and over the years I have designed many works that can be put to 
practical use.  Collectors enjoy the time-honored and serviceable function of the art and I love creating the sculpture.

Fox Pair Door Knocker
10"H 7"W 3"D

For additional images see Posts #113, 114, 115 on December 20 - 22, 2011.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

#244 In the foundry: "Presidential Eagle" patina

The bronze monument, Presidential Eagle will be installed and dedicated next month 
at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming.  The sculpture can also 
be seen at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas and at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina.

Last week, the foundry in Lander, Wyoming applied a traditional ferric nitrate patina to
the sculpture.  The patina method is as follows:  The sculpture is sandblasted and the high points and edges are blue-padded and polished.  Liver of sulfur is applied and the bronze is scrubbed back, exposing the polished areas.  The bronze is then heated and ferric nitrate is applied.  (National Museum of Wildlife Art)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

#243 Beyond my window: Roosters, con't . . .

Today's post is an original hand-tinted etching of one of my favorite subjects:  roosters, chickens, and domestic poultry. The image shows a Dominick Rooster chasing a hen.  My grandmother raised domestic poultry on her farm in Arkansas and she always had a "dominecker" - as she called them - rooster.  Not only did the aggressive critter chase hens but he also chased little children.  As a kid, I was terrified of the big bird and always carried a stick to herd him off if he came my way.  Today I have a Bantam Rooster, and he also chases me.

Original hand-tinted etching by Sandy Scott
Hen and Rooster 5 3/4 x 8 1/2

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

#242 Beyond my window: Roosters

My bantam rooster
I have raised chickens for years and not only do I enjoy the fresh eggs but 
I always have a model for my drawings, etchings, paintings, and sculpture.

Art is viable when it finds elements
in the surrounding environment.
Our ancestors drew their subject matter 
from the religious attitudes which weighted
on their souls.  We must now learn to draw
inspiration from the tangible miracles around us.
                                               -Umberto Boccioni

Original hand-tinted etching by Sandy Scott
Dominick 8 3/4 x 7

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

#241 Remarque: "It's a Beautiful Day"

No bird better shows attitude than a rooster - chest out, tail up, comb erect - he struts forward meeting the break of day.

The passive and active elements of the bird's shapes present an exciting design source to the sculptor.  I have combined the shapes of body mass and tail profusion with controlled modeling of the head and feet in an attempt to design a symbol of arrogance and spirit.

I've created many bronzes and etchings of roosters over the years and this older work was among the most popular. Roosters look great displayed in kitchens - this bird lives in mine.  

It's a Beautiful Day
18"H 14"W 9"D

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Saturday, 19 May 2012

#239 Remarque: "Monarch of the Boreal"

Monarch of the Boreal is an early work of one of my favorite subjects - the moose.  Unlike most deer species,
moose are solitary animals and do not form herds.  I've experienced the critter many times in my adventures afield.

The odd looking, banjo-nosed animal has distinctive characteristics and presents a unique design source for the sculptor.  Although my style has changed since I modeled this sculpture, the study continues to be among my
favorite works.  It is in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming.

Monarch of the Boreal
19"H 21"W 16"D

Friday, 18 May 2012

#238 In the studio: Iris

The bulbs are blooming in Wyoming and I love to paint iris.

Iris - 5 x 7
Original oil by Sandy Scott

Thursday, 17 May 2012

#237 Throw on another log: "Art" . . .

While teaching workshops, the term, art and what distinguishes art from nature, is often discussed. Over the years, 
I've kept journals and the following are notes and thoughts about these discussions:

Art is characterized by originality, individuality, truth, and invention.  

Art is not a specimen or a facsimile of natural objects or subjects 
nor is it a copy of another artist's work.  

Art  must leave an impression and make the viewer feel something.  

Art is the human condition and the human spirit.  

Art is the result of the individual artist's experience . . . 
therefore, art is an individualized truth.

Nature is the source and provides the inspiration and the actual.  The artist calls upon this immeasurable source 
and creates and invents.  Yet art is universal and art created over the centuries connects the artist (and viewer) 
to past conceptions, realizations, and styles.  Happily, this art history foundation - like nature - is an important 
source and truth for the creative artist.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

#236 Beyond my window: Mule deer

Last week, I took pictures of these scruffy looking does outside my studio window in Lander, Wyoming.  They are losing their winter coats but in a short time will be sleek and shiny as the weather continues to warm.

This time of the year the bucks will begin shedding their antlers but will quickly grow new ones for the fall rut and breeding season. Below, is an original etching of a mule deer buck scratching his back with an antler tine.

To draw is to see and it will positively affect your sculpting.  The subject's gesture and movement is what the artist must capture.

Monday, 14 May 2012

#235 Remarque: "Red-tailed Hawk at Sappa Creek"

I started modeling a red-tailed hawk years ago.  During those years I would occasionally tweak it but the desire to finish the work was not there.  All of that changed in 2007, after visiting with Howard Terpning at the Autry Masters of the American West Show.  In an
early book, entitled The Art of Howard Terpning, I had read about his painting, Digging in 
at Sappa Creek, and asked about his research.  He explained that a Cheyenne holy man, whose spirit guide was the red-tailed hawk, was killed by army troops at Sappa Creek and that every afternoon the holy man’s spirit came back to the site in the form of a hawk.  Howard had visited the site in northwestern Kansas and described his intense feelings as
a hawk kept calling and circling around him.  The story captivated me.  Energized, I too, visited Sappa Creek.  As I surveyed the lonesome site, I heard a breathtaking cry of a
red-tailed hawk circling above me.  At that moment, I was compelled to complete the work.

Saturday, during the opening of Howard Terpning's Tribute to the Plains People Exhibition at the Autry Museum, a film presentation and question and answer session was held in the auditorium.  Howard, again, spoke about the Sappa Creek incident.  His voice broke and tears came to his eyes while telling the story.  I, as well as everyone in the room, was overwhelmed by the emotional tale of the tragic event.

At left, I'm standing next to Terpning's painting, Digging In At Sappa Creek. After visting the site in northwestern Kansas, the award winning sculpture Red-tailed Hawk at Sappa Creek was completed.

Red-tailed Hawk at Sappa Creek
42”H 30”W 25”D  

Sunday, 13 May 2012

#234 In the museum: Howard Terpning; "Tribute to the Plains People"

This weekend, Trish and I attended the gala ceremonies and opening of Howard Terpning's Tribute to the Plains People exhibition at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, CA.  Luminaries of the art world gathered to pay tribute to this extraordinary artist and man.  I am proud to know Howard and his lovely wife Marlies as friends and to have my sculptures Mallard Duet and Fountain of the 
Rain Forest in their collection.  

Howard Terpning is one of the world's most lauded painters of the American West. Terpning is known for his devotion and respect for both the material, culture and the traditions of Native peoples who inhabited the Great Plains prior to the end of the Indian Wars. Terpning's vision pays tribute to what he considers a distinctive and beautiful world in paintings of Blackfoot, Crow, Lakota, and other Plains tribes. Using historical research, meticulous attention to detail, and sweeping landscape vistas, Terpning creates engaging and open-ended stories about life, family, and survival on the Western frontier. This extraordinary retrospective of Terpning's work  brings together more than eighty masterworks, some never before displayed to the public.  

Howard Terpning and me
Photo by Jamie Pham

Saturday, 12 May 2012

#233 Living with art: "Maruarder of the Night"

Today's post shows my sculpture, Marauder of the Night 
below a Russell Chatham painting in the studio library.

Marauder of the Night, 14"H 8"W 6"D

Friday, 11 May 2012

#232 In the studio: "After the Hunt - Pheasant Still Life"

Now and then I create a piece of work that I want to live with in my home.  Most recently,
a pheasant game piece found its way into the big common room.  There's no way I can display all of my work - even my favorites . . . there are simply too many.

Living in a new log home and studio influenced my choice.  The decorative sculpture, hanging in the rustic setting, has the "lodge-look" I was in search of  and I hope it speaks
to other outdoorsmen and those who enjoy the time-honored tradition of still life in art.

Below, the new still life on a log wall in my home.  See post #205, April 7, 2012.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

#231 Beyond my window: Geese

I have domestic geese which are fat, flightless, and as aggressive as guard dogs.  They are beautiful to watch
as they glide across my pond and intimidate the smaller,
nesting wild Canada Geese.  Somehow, they have worked
out a "pecking order" and co-exist.

It's interesting to note the difference between domestic geese and wild geese:  Wild geese have a slimmer, more horizontal body posture and are excellent flyers.  Domestic geese have
a large fat area toward their tail which causes a more upright posture and prevents flight.

Above - the geese get along fine until the wild ones get near the corn feeder.
Below - an original watercolored etching - Sleeping Geese - copyright, Sandy Scott

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

#230 Beyond my window: The Flower Moon

Saturday night, May 5, was the night of the Full Flower Moon . . . May is the month of abundant flowers.  The unusually large moon was closer to the earth this year and was spectacular.  Full moon names date back to Native American tribes of what 
is now the northern United States and southern Canada.

The nesting Canada Geese and Mallards share the pond with my four big domestic geese.  I took this picture by my studio on a cold, Wyoming spring night.

At left is page from my sketch book, and below is the
Flower Moon rising over my pond at dusk.

Monday, 7 May 2012

#229 In the studio: "Equus Found Fragments I & II" enlarge, con't . . .

The Equus Found Fragments I & II enlargement was modeled twice the size of the maquette, making each fragment 42" wide. The sculpture was modeled with yellow clay and pink clay was used to define the undulating outline of the fragment design.

The pink "clay-up" was necessary for this mold- making process; which is called a blanket mold.  Liquid rubber was brushed on the sculpture and clay-up.  After the rubber hardened (or cured) a rigid plaster shell was required to hold the rubber in its proper shape during wax pour and the foundry process.

At right:  Equus Found Fragments I & II maquette

Sunday, 6 May 2012

#228 In the studio: "Equus Found Fragments I & II" enlarge, con't . . .

Fragment design need not be an imitation of a ruin or an accidental decorative work.  
When designing Equus Found Fragments I & II, my goal was to create an expressive 
silhouette and present the partial  figure as a self-sufficient artistic entity.

To achieve this, I eliminated limbs and striped down detail and projections, 
which inhibited the figure's force and clarity. 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

#227 In the studio: "Equus Found Fragments I & II" enlarge, con't . . .

Fragment design lends itself to certain subjects but not to others.  
Most important is the pose which gives the sculpture its outline, its masses, its form, and negative shapes.

Friday, 4 May 2012

#226 In the studio: "Equus Found Fragments I & II" enlarge, con't . . .

Equus Found Fragments I & II were inspired and influenced by the four stallions on the facade of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, Italy.  The powerful equine masterpiece is the only quadriga known to have survived from antiquity.  I have seen
and photographed the sculpture several times over the years.

While modeling the eyes, I created a negative shape - called a lunula - which is a half-moon device that picks up a deep shadow and highlight in the eyes of horses.  This technique
was used in Roman sculpture of the second to fourth century.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

#225 In the studio: "Equus Found Fragments I & II" enlargement . . .

Last year I was commissioned to enlarge Equus Found Fragments (see image at right) and the work is now being cast. Resizing the award-winning piece was an unusual assignment since the process was neither in-the-round: having length, width, and depth; or bas-relief: having length and width only.

Below, measurements were taken from the maquette; the piece was doubled in size, making each fragment approximately 42" wide.  A block-in of dense foam was created and laid on a flat surface.  I then covered the foam with warm clay and modeled the sculpture.  The piece will be presented as a wall-hanging.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

#224 In the studio: How I work

Typically, I have at least forty or more sculptures in various states of completion in progress at one time.  Bird subjects
alone include Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Green-backed Heron, Canada Geese,  Ruffed Grouse, Bufflehead Ducks, Bobwhite Quail, Common Tern, roosters, macaws, 
Bald Eagle, pelicans, pheasants, Roadrunner, Mockingbird, doves, wild turkeys, and more. 

I move around the studio, or take a model down from a shelf, tweaking and making adjustments as the urge inspires me.
New reference, realization, in-the-field experiences or deadlines initiates finishing the piece and taking it to mold.

At right is a study of a Great Blue Heron in progress.