Sunday, 31 August 2014

#561 In the studio: "Big Four of the Rockies", con't . . . the Elk


. . .  the fourth blog in a series of four regarding this subject.
For more information, start with post #558, August 20, 2014.


Four new small sculptures were created this summer depicting the Big Four of the Rockies . . .
the Grizzly, Moose, Bison, and Elk.  They will be introduced next month at Wilcox Gallery
in Jackson, Wyoming in conjunction with the Western Visions Exhibition at the
National Museum of Wildlife Art.
The focus of this blog is the Elk. . . also called Wapiti.

 Elk, like Moose, are members of the deer family, are plant-eaters, and have antlers instead of horns.
Antlers are grown and shed every year and given an adequate diet, the subsequent sets are larger.
New antlers are soft and tender and are covered with "velvet" . . . a layer of skin with short, fine hairs
and a network of blood vessels to nourish the growing antlers.  By summer. the antlers stop growing,
the velvet dries up and the animal rubs it off while preparing for the mating ritual called the "rut".
Antlers shed after mating season.

 In the Rocky Mountains, the screaming bugle of a bull Elk during the mating season
is as much a  symbol of autumn as the golden aspen leaves or the honking of migrating geese.

Below, are images of the clay model in progress of the new Elk sculpture.





All mammals, including deer, cats, bears, horses, humans, etc. evolved from the same prehistoric source and although their skeletons are fundamentally the same, I find it helpful to have a drawing of the skeleton of the species I'm working
on in front of me.  For more info regarding "Nature's One Pattern", please link to blogpost #448; July 31, 2013.

#448 Natures One Pattern

Below, are drawings of a deer's skeleton.  Note the zigzag pattern of the front limbs . . .
the pattern is repeated in the quadrupeds's back limbs.







Below, are drawings from my sketchbook.





Below, is an image of an original etching of an Elk.



"For the animal shall not be measured by man.  In a world older and more complete than ours,
they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained,
living by voices we shall never hear.  They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations,
caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of earth."      

 -  Henry Beston
 The Outermost House,  1928



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, 27 August 2014

#560 In the studio: "Big Four of the Rockies", con't . . . the Bison



. . .  the third blog in a series of four regarding this subject.
For more information, start with post #558, August 20, 2014.


Four new small sculptures were created this summer depicting the Big Four of the Rockies . . . the Grizzly, Moose, Bison, and Elk.  They will be introduced next month at Wilcox Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming in conjunction with the Western Visions Exhibition at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
The focus of this blog is the Bison.



  Research is the most time consuming and important aspect of my work in the studio.  The sculptor simply must understand structure, anatomy, and behavior of their subject before approaching the sculpture stand.  One of the more obvious characteristics of the Bison is the long hair on top of the head, the chin, and the forearms.
Modeling this surface texture with warm, soft clay outdoors in the summer was a welcome challenge!

Below, are two images of the new Bison sculpture in progress.





Below, is an image of a Bison skeleton.  Typically,  when modeling a specific species,
I keep a drawing of the animal's skeleton in front of me.  Thus, structural waypoints and joint articulation, bony protrusions which create hard edges, slope of shoulder, and proportion is realized.



Below, is a sketch from a recent trip to Yellowstone.




Below, is a large bronze sculpture bas- relief panel depicting a truncated design of the American Bison.

Bison I Fragment
26"H 35"W 8"D


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, 24 August 2014

#559 In the studio: "Big Four of the Rockies", con't . . . the Moose


This is the second blog in a series of four regarding this subject . . . for more information, see the previous post.

Four new sculptures depicting the "Big Four" quadrupeds of the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone region will be
introduced next month in Jackson, Wyoming at the Wilcox Gallery.  The "Big Four" are the Grizzly, Moose,
Bison, and Elk . . . the last blog featured the Grizzly and this post focuses on the Moose.

Wilcox Gallery requested this suite of small sculptures to introduce to their clients and my collectors during the Jackson September high season which coincides with the Western Visions Show at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Below, are images of the Moose clay model in progress.  All four of the new "Big Four" sculptures were created
outdoors this past summer and by using warm, buttery-soft clay, a smooth surface was achieved . . .  the use of
sculpture tools was kept to a minimum which imparted a spontaneous, free-flowing visual effect.  The sculptor
must have an understanding of quadruped structure and anatomy to work in this manner.  Anatomical waypoints
and proportion must be established and the animal's silhouette  - in this case, a moose - must shout,  "MOOSE!"
There should never be confusion about what animal an artist is attempting to depict!









Below, is a drawing of a deer's skeleton.  The Moose is the largest member of the deer family and the
anatomical similarities can be interpreted easily by the sculptor by observing and comparing differences
in proportion . . . for instance, the length of the legs of a moose are longer.  Typically, when working on
any species, I keep a drawing of the skeleton in front of me for reference.



Below, are recent photos taken in the field of one of my favorite subjects . . . the Moose.






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, 20 August 2014

#558 In the studio: "Big Four of the Rockies" . . . the Grizzly


This summer I completed a grouping of four small sculptures depicting the "Big Four"quadrupeds
of the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone region.  The are:  Grizzly, Moose, Bison, and Elk.

The four sculptures are being cast at the foundry now and the suite will be introduced at the Wilcox Gallery
next month during the Western Visions show at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming.
I will post photos of the "Big Four" miniatures cast in bronze in an upcoming blog.

Below, is the clay model of the Grizzly in progress.  By working outdoors in the summer on the covered deck of the studio, I'm able to keep the clay warmed to the perfect temperature to impart a spontaneous and fresh surface.



Below, typically, I keep a drawing of the subject's skeleton in front of me when I'm sculpting. 
Fur-covered animals such as the Grizzly can be tricky to model . . . the sculptor must assist the viewer
by establishing fur patterns that part and break where the underlying joints articulate.
Waypoints and the slope of the shoulder can be exaggerated to indicate structure and anatomy.



Below, is a photo of griz taken recently in Yellowstone.   As you can see by this telephoto image, I keep my distance!  
I live in the Wind River Range of Wyoming approximately 100 miles from the Yellowstone/Grand Teton area
and Grizzly have become more common outside the park in the past few years.
I've abandoned places where I used to camp and hike due to Grizzly presence.




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, 17 August 2014

#557 In the studio: Clay sketches outdoors . . . Running Cheetah


Please refer to the previous post - # 556 - for more information about modeling clay sketches outdoors.

Yesterday, a group of nine artists, the Artist Ambassadors Against Poaching (AAAP) held a unique art event to
help African Wildlife Trust in their mission to save Tanzania's elephants.  The AAAP spent two weeks together in
Tanzania last fall sketching, photographing, and experiencing Tanzania's wildlife treasures in a camp called Kikoti
which is owned by the founder of African Wildlife Trust, Pratik Patel.  Monies raised by the sale of art yesterday
will be used to raise awareness and funds to help stop the rampant elephant poaching in Africa.  In some places,
over 60 elephants a day are being slaughtered for their ivory.  One of the things that Pratik is doing is starting
an elephant orphanage beside Kikoti Camp outside Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.  

 I am a member of AAAP and traveled to Tanzania with the other artists last fall . . . the following "quick-draw" was
created for the AWT auction yesterday and all money beyond casting cost and shipping will be donated to AWT.

https://www.AAAP         https://www.AfricanWildlifeTrust


Below, are 8 photos showing the creation of the "Running Cheetah" quick-draw.

1.  Below, is my quick-draw setup:  1/2 inch plumber's pipe floor flange screwed down to a board;  a 5 inch pipe, "T" connection joining "T" with the floor flange;  wire;  wire cutters;  measuring device;  oil based plasteline clay;
and drawings of the subject and pose . . . a running Cheetah.



2.  Below, before attempting a quick-draw clay sketch, I first plan the pose and pay special attention where the "T" connection and pipe enter the figure.  I created three different poses and decided to model the top one shown
on the drawing.  Before approaching the sculpture stand, I have a definite plan for not only the scale of the
intended sculpture but the animal's gesture.  The pipe must be placed in such a way that it does not interfere
with important passages in clay and the sculptor must keep in mind that it will also be used as the pour spout
for the wax during the "lost wax" casting process.   Note: The pipe will eventually be cut off by the
foundry as the bronze casting is completed.



3.  Below,  this photo shows the twisted wire placed through the "T" connector and held in place by packing clay into it.  General proportions have been determined and I have followed the gesture of my subject's legs, head, and tail
with wire armature which will support the soft clay.  I'm aware of the most important characteristics of the
Cheetah such as long legs, small head,  and distinctive, supple body locomotion.



4.  Below,  I continue modeling the large form of the body then work on the placement of the legs.
I want the viewer to sense the animal's speed, mobility, and action by modeling in a direct and aggressive manner.
A thorough knowledge of quadruped anatomy is necessary in order to create a spontaneous sculptural statement.



5.  Below,  at this stage, I've established structural waypoints and determined where the joints articulate . . . the buttery, soft clay responds.  The raised cat-like scapula along the back and the correct angulation of the shoulder mechanism
is laid in.  At this point, the powerful hindquarters, the correct leg angles, and the stride of the cat is determined.



6.  Below, at this point, I've twisted the cat's supple spine and turned the head while adjusting the long,
heavy tail that the Cheetah uses for balance.



7.  Below, my main concern now is to not over-working the piece and losing the freshness and spontaneity.  A good thing about quick-draws is the artist typically is given a brief period of time to create and this should be taken advantage of by not overworking the piece.  In the time I have left to complete the work, I will refrain from stopping the action by introducing unimportant detail.  I've modeled a simple base that is strategically placed for balance and design and one that
does not interfere with the action.

  

8.  Below,  is the completed quick-draw sculpture . . . a clay sketch of a running Cheetah.  By witnessing a Cheetah chasing a gazelle in Tanzania last fall, I knew how I wanted to depict the beautiful animal.  Perhaps no "in the field" experience has translated so directly to one of my sculptures.



If you are interested in acquiring this work please contact me . . . All money beyond the casting costs and
shipping will go to African Wildlife Trust in our ongoing efforts to stop the poaching of Africa's elephants.



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, 13 August 2014

#556 In the studio: Clay sketches . . . outdoors




Modeling outdoors with oil based plasteline clay presents several problems for the sculptor, but the rewards are sometimes worth it.  One ingredient in plasteline is wax which is very sensitive to the heat of the sun.  Typically, if I plan to sculpt outdoors, I try to be in a place where I can find shade quickly in the event the sun has too much of an impact on the sculpture I'm working on.
Some brands of plasteline respond to the sun's warmth in a more forceful manner and are simply not suited for outdoor work if it's too hot.  I remember using a specific clay once and after leaving my sculpture outdoors in the sun, I returned to find a puddle of melted clay surrounding my pipe and wire armature!


The rewards of using a soft, buttery clay to create a spontaneous sketch can be dramatic.  The sculptor must have a
firm plan of what is to be sculpted and approach the sculpture stand with purpose.   I spend more time constructing
the armature, researching, drawing, assembling my "scrap" or reference material, and PLANNING what I'm
going to do outdoors in the sun than I actually do during the sculpting process. 

 The figurative sculptor of both the animal and human figure must have a thorough knowledge of anatomy,
structure, proportion, joint articulation - which determines waypoints -  before success can be achieved
on a quickly executed and spontaneous clay sketch.  For every 20 to 30 outdoor clay sketches I create . . .
I deem only one, perhaps, worthy of casting in bronze.   

Below, are images of a Labrador Retriever head study executed on the deck of the Colorado mountain cabin last month.
My "scrap" consisted of research photos in books from the small library at the cabin as well as interpreting
anatomy and form by using my Brittany as a model.  Also, I had the pleasure of working with a
 Lab in the studio recently, and had modeled several studies from life, resulting in a set of
Lab Bookends shown at the close of this blogpost.







  Below, the clay sketch will be completed using a model before casting.  As I mentioned earlier, not all one-sitting sketches are worthy of casting in bronze!  When I finish the piece for casting, I will attempt to retain the surface freshness by returning to the outdoors to warm the clay.


By understanding the similarities yet analyzing the differences between breeds, the sculptor can use what's at hand to make headway on a clay model.  There are times when an analytical approach works well.
Below, the head of a Brittany is wider across the dome, the skull is rounded, has a lighter, tapered muzzle and has short, high-set, triangular ears.  The Labrador Retriever has a broad skull, a thick nose, and a wide muzzle.



Lab Bookends
8"H 12"W 7"D

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, 10 August 2014

#555 In the studio: Remembering Mac


Years ago, our friends Bill and Joffa Kerr introduced us to the Scottish Terrier.
We had always been terrier fans but our preferred breed was the West Highland White Terrier.

While looking for a companion for our Westie, we were guests of the Kerrs' and became totally
captivated by their brace of Scotties:  MacDuff and MacMuffin.  While Kerr is a Scottish surname . . . 
what could be more Scottish than having the last name - Scott?!  We simply had to have a Scottie, 
we found a breeder, and a wonderful dog we called Mac joined the family.

We had Mac for seven years, until his life was cut short by a tragic accident.  I had started a sculpture of his classic, magnificent head the year before he died and returned to it as I mourned our loss the week following his death.
The name of the sculpture is, "Remembering Mac" and Bill and Joffa have a casting of it in their collection.

Shown below is our casting, which serves as an urn for his ashes.
  It sets on the mantel and is a constant reminder of our beloved dog, Mac.



Remembering Mac
12"H 9"W 11"D


Below, is a photo of Mac and our Westie, Toby on the boat dock at the Canadian island studio.



Below, is a copy of a note to Bill and Joffa . . . after Mac died we found our current Scottie,
 named Black Watch.  We call her Watcher, she is half the size of Mac and
many say she is the smallest Scottie they have ever encountered.



Below, is a painting of Mac and Toby painted by our dear friend, Lanford Monroe.
Mac was a puppy and Lanford died less than two years after she painted their portraits.



Below, Julie Jeppsen painted this wonderful portrait of Mac the year he died.




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, 6 August 2014

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


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

The Rocky Mountains stretch from the Brooks Range in Alaska to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico and during my life I have experienced  both the northern and the southern reaches of the dramatic mountain range.
Most of my Rocky Mountain travels have been close to home in the central portion in Colorado and Wyoming.  I have lived in the Rocky Mountain region for over 35 years and currently reside in the Wind River Range of the Rockies in Wyoming.  The Rockies contain ecologically diverse regions and vast expanses of wilderness for the artist and nature lover.




The lives of all birds of the Rockies are greatly influenced by the seasons and although most of the many species are migrants, some stay to nest and some are winter residents.  Waterfowl, eagles, and osprey leave the high elevations when water
freezes while owls and grouse will remain in the winter.

At right, Canada Geese glide past a feeding cow moose on a high mountain trout lake.  They hatched and raised their small brood here and will teach them to fly out before freeze-up.




The focus of this blogpost is five of the large birds we encountered and photographed last month as we celebrated my birthday week in the Colorado Rockies.  While fishing for trout in a high mountain lake, just below the timberline, we shared the beautiful setting with Bald Eagles, Osprey, Ravens, and Canada Geese . . . not until we left the high
country for lower elevations did we encounter the Great Blue Heron.  With each change in elevation,
habitat, and vegetation, there is a change in bird life.

Below, are photos of our experience and recent artwork of the five species depicted.











 Original etching entitled Bald Eagle


Sketch of an osprey



 Bronze sculpture entitled Ravenrock


 Bronze sculpture entitled Nesting Heron


Sketch of Canada Geese




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