Wednesday, 30 July 2014

#552 In the field: Wilderness aesthetics, con't . . .


Please start this series of blogposts with # 549;  Wed.,  July 23


While in the Colorado high country last week, we encountered moose every day. The focus of this post is moose.

The moose is a member of the deer family and is the largest antlered mammal on earth.  Four subspecies of moose are native to North America:  The Eastern moose which ranges from Maine to eastern Canada;  the Canadian moose which ranges from Ontario through Saskatchewan;  the Shiras moose which ranges from the Colorado Rocky Mountains northward through Alberta;  and the largest of all . . . the Alaska-Yukon moose.

Shown at right, detail of the bronze, Red Willows  


Although moose were abundant in Colorado in the pre-1800's, they were hunted to extinction by 
Native Americans and early white settlers.  In 1978, four bull moose and eight cows, one with a calf, 
were released in northern Colorado and the reintroduction has been an overwhelming success. 

Below, are images of the Shiras moose taken last week in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.






We saw the cow and calf shown below every day while we fished our favorite high-mountain trout lake.  
The water was shallow in most places and one day we saw the cow stroll out to feed on the lush vegetation with the calf following.  The calf ventured in but turned back when it's knees were just above the water and returned to the safety of the woods while the cow waded to deeper water and fed.   After a period of time, the cow grunted and the calf emerged from the woods as the cow waded to the edge of the water.  The calf nursed and then both sauntered back into the woods.  






















































I sketched and photographed moose everyday on the trip.







Below, an original etching entitled Mossback





To learn more about the subjects go to the links below.

For a complete list of the blog index go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on the right.


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



Sunday, 27 July 2014

#551 In the field: Wilderness aesthetics


This morning, Trish and I returned to our cabin in northern Colorado after an
"in the field" adventure in Colorado's high country.  We spent the week of my birthday - see the preceding blogpost - in a remote rustic cabin,  fishing, hiking, exploring, photographing, and sketching wildlife in the Rocky Mountains.

Every wildlife artist needs to recharge the "creative batteries" and being in uninhabited areas where the wild things are is the place to do it.  While most
of the week was spent in the rugged mountains just below the timberline, we explored the beautiful rolling foothills as well and experienced different flora and fauna at each elevation.  Over the years, I had spent so much time in the area that the backcountry roads were familiar to me and I had learned where animals - not people - were likely to be.  This trip did not disappoint and produced a wealth of reference for future sculpture projects. 

Just being there was exhilarating!  The physical beauty is hard to imagine:
Fragrant pine forests; aspen-lined, flowery meadows; rushing trout streams; crisp, cold nights by a wood stove; sizzling trout and
boiled coffee for breakfast . . . the day's adventure ahead!                                                                     

Below, while Trish chooses a fly to catch a Rainbow Trout, in the distance, a cow moose exits the water to join her calf.
The trout in high-mountain lakes don't get very big and they are what we call, "breakfast trout" . . .
four of them fit perfectly in a skillet and are delicious!





In the photo below, note the dark shape of the cow feeding on the shallow lake bottom in the distance.





Below, this beat-up Renegade fly saw lots of action . . . we ate what we caught and had fish every meal.





Below. fishcakes, champagne, and the wilderness shared with my best friend . . .
great memories of my 71st!
 Wilderness Aesthetics . . . to be con't.



The ultimate trout fishcake recipe:

4 freshly caught gilled and gutted 8 - 10 inch trout
fry trout in oil approx. 3 - 4 minutes per side, then take off skin and debone
Mix flaked trout with mashed potatoes,  a little mayo, Dijon mustard, lemon pepper
Capers or horseradish if desired but not chopped onion . . . cakes break apart
Form into cakes, dip into egg, then crumbs.
 Sauté' in canola oil or butter 'til golden brown



Below, are images of trout species found in Colorado.  The watercolor-tinted etchings hang in the Colorado cabin.











To learn more about the subjects go to the links below.

For a complete list of the blog index go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on the right.


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


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

#550 In the field: Birthday week . . . fishing


Today,  the sun enters Leo - the fifth sign of the zodiac - and tomorrow is my birthday.
This blogpost has been preposted and as you read it, I will be where I always am during my birthday week: Fishing.
This year,  the dogs, Trish and I are in the Colorado high-country, trout fishing.
We're staying in a little rustic housekeeping cabin near our favorite fishing area.

Most years, we are at the island studio on Lake of the Woods in Ontario, Canada in July but this year, due to
a belated departure to the north country which happens next month, we returned to a place a couple
of hours from our Colorado cabin where I've celebrated July 24th a few times in the past.
One thing is certain . . . when late July comes around, I'll have a rod in my hand!

Below, countless unforgettable outdoor experiences have occurred while on the water and
I yearn for and covet the time spent in wild places . . . it is the source of my creativity.
Happiness is heading out to a favorite fishing spot!



Below, is a photo taken a few years ago while trout fishing in a freezing cold rain at our favorite lake in
northern Colorado on my birthday.  The place is just below timberline and is heavily populated with moose.
These critters sauntered out to feed on the lush grass in the shallows.



One year, a yearling calf became enamored with our little motorhome and every morning while the coffee brewed,
she licked the windshield.  She may have been after the glue on the inspection stickers.  Photos are below.







Another year, we saw this beautiful bull in velvet in the meadow next to camp.



Below, gilled and gutted Brown Trout ready for the frying pan!



Below, is a watercolor painting of a Rainbow Trout.





To learn more about the subjects go to the links below.

For a complete list of the blog index go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on the right.


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

Sunday, 20 July 2014

#549 In the studio: "Moose Junction"


This September, I'm introducing a new work entitled, "Moose Junction" at 
The National Museum of Wildlife Art's annual Western Visions Exhibition in Jackson, Wyoming.
http://www.westernvisions.org/

The sculpture was started almost three years ago at the Lake of the Woods studio in Ontario, Canada.
When we closed the island studio in the fall of 2011, the unfinished clay model was taken 
to the Wyoming studio and has since been tweaked and refined to completion for the upcoming show. 

My typical working method is to keep many pieces in progress at once and rarely is a studio work
session spent on a single sculpture. I move between several models and adjust them them as I see fit. 
  Occasionally, I create a one-sitting clay sketch that is deemed worthy of molding and casting. 

Below, are images of the clay model start-up of "Moose Junction" after a few hours of modeling at the 
cabin/studio in Canada in 2011 and another of the work in progress in Wyoming.








Below, the clay model has been backlit to show a strong silhouette revealing sculptural drawing,
positive and negative shapes, proportion, and important masses.  This method is used routinely in the studio.
When in the field, I typically see and identify an animal by observing large shapes and the silhouette.
The viewer must immediately perceive clarity and understand the species they are looking at.



Below, is an image of sandblasting the bronze casting before it goes to patina.



Below, are images of the patina process.  A traditional patina using liver of sulfur, 
ferric nitrate, cupric nitrate, and hot wax was chosen for the new sculpture.


 Above and below, liver of sulfur is applied to the unheated bronze.



Below, the bronze is heated, then cupric nitrate is stippled on.



Next, the bronze continues to be heated with a propane torch and ferric nitrate is stippled on.



The patina technician applies Johnson's Paste Wax while the bronze is still too hot to the touch.



Below, is an image of "Moose Junction".

Moose Junction
16"H 17"W 8"





To learn more about the subjects go to the links below.

For a complete list of the blog index go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on the right.


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


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

#548 Classic Salmon Flies


Since the mid-18th century the art of tying trout and salmon flies has developed into a sublime and celebrated art form.  Years ago a fishing buddy and friend from Maine gave me six classic double-hooked salmon flies and I was
captivated by their delicate beauty.  I refer to the six patterns I was given as "classic" because they
define the traditional and authoritative designs of all time. 

 The year was 1980 and my medium of choice was original intaglio printmaking using the bitten plate with occasional watercolor tint.  I created an etching of the classic salmon flies as well as individual etchings of each of the six classic patterns.  If ever the use of watercolor enhancement was appropriate for an etching,  the use of color told the story with the salmon flies.  Also, I used an exquisite French Rives buff rag paper and sepia ink which had become an identifiable trademark for my printmaking by 1980.  The sepia ink and plate tone presented an earth tone which blended well
with the transparent watercolor application - much like an underpainting.
The flies were drawn onto the plate actual size and the etchings are shown below.





Silver Doctor
Green Highlander


Jock Scott

Dusty Miller







Black Dose
Durham Ranger















Below, is an image of an etching depicting a hooked salmon. . . appropriately titled,  "Hooked!"



Below, is a photo of Trish with a Pink Salmon - also known as a "Humpy" -  caught on a spoon while casting in
salt water off Morris Reef in Southeast Alaska.  Although I've caught lots of salmon in Alaska over the
years - my favorites are kings and silvers - I've never caught one with a fly . . . there's still time!
By the way, fishing for salmon in the Pacific is MUCH different than fishing for them in the
Atlantic and fishing for salmon in saltwater is different than fishing in brackish or freshwater.




To learn more about the subjects go to the links below.

For a complete list of the blog index go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on the right.


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