Wednesday, 2 September 2015

#674 Functional Art . . . "African Elephant Bookends"

Over the years I've created many bookend compositions - over 30 at last count - and most of the designs 
present the subject emerging from mass.   My most recent creation, "African Elephant Bookends", 
is one of my favorite sculptures of functional art.  The work was created in one sitting - 2 to 4 hours - and my intent was to model a spontaneous, loose, and inspired surface while maintaining the general impression, size and shape of the animal.
I will discuss the merits and faults of one-sitting clay sketches and loose modeling in an upcoming blog.

Below, are images of the clay model of "African Elephant Bookends" in progress.

I modeled only one bookend but cast it twice to create the pair . . . below, is an image of the bronze casting of
 "African Elephant Bookends".  Not all one-sitting sculptures are worthy of casting but this one was.

I never start a sculpture of an animal without a drawing of the skeleton in front of me . . . the ultimate reference!  
Below, is a drawing of the African Elephant's skeleton
. . . and the image reversed - which is helpful while modeling.

Trish and I returned from Africa with over 10,000 digital images and many sketches.  Below, is one of my sketches.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

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

Sunday, 30 August 2015

#673 Birthday Browns

For those of you who follow our blog, there were no posts last week on Sunday, August 23 or Wednesday, August 26. . . as you know, we typically post every Wednesday and Sunday and we will now resume our normal schedule.  
The reason for no posts:  We were afield in the Rocky Mountain wilderness and had no internet service. 

Last week, Trish and I celebrated her birthday doing what we do every year on our birthdays:  Fishing.
I've read that the good Lord does not count the days you spend fishing against your time here on earth.
If that's truly the case, both Trish and I will be around a long, long time because we both love to fish!

We spent a glorious week in the Rocky Mountain high country in search of brookies [Brook Trout] 
and browns [Brown Trout] in the remote backcountry beaver ponds that we both know so well.

Below, are pictures of Trish on the morning of her birthday.  We ate the three small browns for breakfast,
 the big one for dinner, and released the rest.  It's hard to believe that a trout the size of the big brown shown 
was caught in a small beaver pond!  It was, and on the first cast of the morning!

Happy 71st birthday, Trish!

Below, is an original watercolor-tinted etching of a Brown Trout.

Below, is an original etching entitled, "Lunch".

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

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

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

#672 Africa Portfolio 1 . . . "Recumbent Giraffe", con't

Please seen the previous 2 posts for more information about this blog.

A Giraffe has only two gaits:  Walking and galloping.  Walking is done by moving the legs on one side of the body at the same time, the doing the same on the other side.  A galloping giraffe is a wonderful sight to see . . .  
the hind legs move up past the front legs BEFORE the front legs move forward while the long neck and head rock 
forward and backward to maintain balance!  The obvious pose for me to choose for my first Giraffe sculpture
 would have been a standing, walking, or galloping Giraffe as I had plenty of reference material
 from my trip to Africa but I chose a recumbent pose with more Giraffe sculptures planned in the future.

Below, Note both legs going forward on the same side while going back
on the opposite side . . . similar to a pacing horse.

Below, are photos of "Recumbent Giraffe" in progress in clay, cast in bronze, and making the mold.

Over the years, a  recumbent quadruped pose has always been a favorite and I've modeled horses, dogs, deer, cougar, and more species laying down.  The lack of negative space around the four legs and the use of mass appeals to me.

As mentioned in the previous blog, I was unable to take photos or make sketches of a recumbent Giraffe while in Africa but with the use of a drawing of the creature's skeleton for proportion, a basic knowledge of quadruped anatomy,
and observation of domestic animals, I was able to use comparative anatomy to "invent" the recumbent pose.

It's important for the artists to understand how and in what direction an animal's limbs are folded when they are in a recumbent position.  Typically, the limbs are arranged in such a way as to enable the species to rise with the greatest facility.  By observing wild animals in the field and photographing and sketching them, invaluable information can obviously be obtained.  However, much can be learned by studying domestic animals which are much more readily available to study and scrutinize.  For instance, a house cat has the structural arrangements - supple spine, etc - as a lion.
 Dogs resemble wolves, fox, etc;  cattle resemble bison, etc;  and goats resemble deer, Giraffe, and more.

Below, is a quick sketch of a recumbent cow . . . the artist must know how the skeleton is arranged,
 how the bones articulate and identify bony landmarks and waypoints.
All quadruped skeletons are fundamentally the same but some species have limited mobility
in the reclining position, which will be discussed in the next blog.

Below, is an early work depicting a recumbent cow. . . useful observation and information for modeling wild species.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

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

Sunday, 16 August 2015

#671 Africa Portfolio 1 . . . "Recumbent Giraffe", con't

Please visit the previous blog for more information about this post.

There are some events that occur in the field that are branded in your memory for the rest of your life . . . 
in Africa, my first sight of a Giraffe in the wild remains one of the most profound animal encounters I've ever experienced.

While driving on the dusty road from Ngorogoro Crater in Tanzania to the south end of the Serengeti, we went over a rise and a Giraffe was to our left, less than 20 feet from the Land Rover.  "Twiga, said our guide in Swahile" as he stopped the truck . . . a blazing sun, low in the west backlit the magnificent Masai Giraffe (Twiga) as the magic of Africa enveloped me.  The animal advanced slowly, swinging its head and neck from side to side to keep its balance . . . looking as though it was moving in slow motion.   Without raising the camera, I simply soaked it all in . . . knowing that Africa in all its glory,
the grand, long-awaited adventure and subjects for untold future sculptures lay ahead.

Below, are photos taken of Giraffe in Tanzania.

While we saw many Giraffe on the Tanzania photo safari, we were unable to photograph or sketch a recumbent Giraffe which was the gesture and mass I wanted to present.  Although I didn't have a Giraffe posing for me in a recumbent position, I did what I routinely do when I need to invent a pose in the studio:  I used the skeleton drawing from my sketchbook shown below as a guide for proportion and my Brittany bird dog laying down with one leg out as well as my horses and goats at ease for gesture . . . comparative quadruped anatomy will be discussed in the next blog.

Shown below,  are images of the clay model that was created in one sitting outdoors after our return from Africa.
I don't cast most of my one-sitting  (typically, 2 -4 hour) clay sketches but this one, I deemed worthy of bronze.

More about Giraffe and modeling recumbent animals in next Wednesday's blog.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

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

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

#670 Africa Portfolio 1 . . . "Recumbent Giraffe"

In October, 2013, Trish and I traveled to Africa with a group of 9 internationally known artists to sketch, photograph, paint, observe, and experience the amazing wildlife in Tanzania.  The purpose of the trip was and is to raise awareness and funds to combat the African poaching crisis where thousands of elephants are slaughtered annually for their ivory tusks.  

To learn more about the trip, please go to blog #477, posted Nov. 10, 2013 through #497, posted Jan. 19, 2014.
https://www. Post #477

Last weekend Columbine Gallery in Loveland, Colorado hosted the first show for the group of 9 artists -
Artist Ambassadors Against Poaching  [AAAP] - and a generous portion of the sales went to our anti-poaching efforts . . . "Ivory Orphans" which cares for the young elephants after the adults are killed for their ivory.  More shows are planned.
To learn more about the art show at Columbine Gallery to raise funds for "Ivory Orphans", see the previous 3 posts.

The focus of this blog is the Giraffe;  a favorite subject depicted in one of the new works in Africa Portfolio 1. 
The new bronze sculpture was introduced at the Columbine art show in Loveland, Colorado last weekend.

Below, are photos of the sculpture, "Recumbent Giraffe"

Below, are photos of Giraffe taken in the field in Tanzania.

Next Sunday's blog spotlights the creation of "Recumbent Giraffe".

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

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

Monday, 10 August 2015

#659 Africa Portfolio I

Please see the previous 2 blogs for information about this post which spotlights Columbine Gallery's
"Weekend for Elephants" art show this past weekend and new works influenced by my trip to Africa in 2013. 

Columbine Gallery in Loveland, Colorado presented an art show - "Weekend for Elephants" - this past weekend to raise funds and to create awareness of the ivory poaching crisis in Africa.  Monies raised from sales will go to "Ivory Orphans"
. . .  Tanzania's orphanage for young elephants who are misplaced due to the slaughter of adults for their ivory tusks.

Below, are images taken at the "Weekend for Elephants" art show at Columbine Gallery.

Below, are fellow AAAP members and artists, Jan Martin McGuire and James Gary Hines.

Below, is an image of a new work inspired by my trip to Tanzania in 2013, entitled "Recumbent Giraffe".

Below, is a photo of Columbine Gallery owner, John Kinkade.  John and his daughter, Alyson joined
the AAAP artists in donating the "lion's share" of proceeds from sales to "Ivory Orphans" animal orphanage in Tanzania.
Their generous contribution which includes financing the entire show and promotional considerations will forever be recognized and appreciated by all.   The fight against poaching continues and AAAP and Columbine Gallery have very exciting plans for future efforts. Thank you, John, Alyson, and Ren!

For more photos of the weekend go to:

Next Wednesday's blog will focus on the field work in Africa and the creation of "Recumbent Giraffe".

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

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

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

#658 "Weekend for Elephants" . . . con't

Please see the previous post for more information about this important subject.

Columbine Gallery is hosting an art show, "Weekend for Elephants", in Loveland, Colorado this coming weekend for the
9 member artists of Artists Ambassadors Against Poaching.  Proceeds from the show sales will go to "Ivory Orphans" . . . the first sanctioned elephant orphanage in Tanzania which cares for an elephant's young after the adult is killed for their ivory.   The funds will assist in combating the out-of-control ivory poaching crisis that is wiping out the remaining African Elephants.

 Please go to the links below for additional information and to view all of the artist's works available at the show.

I will be exhibiting 10 Africa-themed sculptures . . .  subjects include African Buffalo, Cheetah, Lion, Giraffe,
 and African Elephant . . .  5 of the10 sculptures depict the African Elephant and are shown below.

 Ivory Orphan
8"H 11"W 5"D

 Trumpeting Elephant Bookends
15"H 16"W 5"D

Trumpeting Elephant Study
18"H 8"W 8"D

Motivated Study
11"H 14"W 7"D

Elephant Fragments
14"H 26"W 8"D

Upcoming blog posts and commentary will present images of the African experience
 and focus on the creation and casting of my first African Portfolio.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

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