Tuesday, May 30, 2023

2023 05 She Unburdened Herself of Her Fears For Me

This clock case and this statute have been waiting in my basement for years for me to get around to deciding to make this shrine. Ironically, as I finally made the decision to work on these two items, I broke the base of the statute (it is some cheap resin home d├ęcor thing I found in a thrift shop somewhere). 

After the initial disappointment, and before I could find a suitable replacement, I decided that the broken look was in tune with archaeological finds around the world. I guess I sort of thought of this in the same terms of how Winged Victory still has meaning even though it is missing a few more important parts than mine.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace (My Photo from 2015)

I sawed the face of the angel off and replaced it with a resin skull shifter knob I bought at the Louisville Street Rod and Custom Show a few years ago.

Then, more breakage. In attaching the skull to the statute, I snapped one of the wings off. I tell all my friends and students, if you do not want to problem solve, don't do assemblage.  

Once more Karma stepped in to this project. After I got the winged character in the box I realized I had shaped the head so that the door on the clock case would not close. So that got taken off and saved for another project sometime down the road.  

Thus we have She Unburdened Herself of Her Fears For Me. The title is a modification of a this line of poetry, "They Unburden Themselves Of Their Fears, Their Worries For Us" by Susan Mitchell from the poem The Dead.

It is 29"H X 13"W X 6'D. It consists of a Clock Case, Angel Statute, Resin Skull Shifter Knob, Metal Band, Typewriter Key, Chain, Collage and Paint.

Monday, May 15, 2023

2023 05 We Are Running North and South

This is the fourth project that came about as a result of taking the Michael deMeng on line workshop, Peculiar Portraits of Improbable People

As I was looking through my file of faces to find something peculiar, I came across this artist rendering of a 1930's aviatrix. It immediately got me thinking about a woman I have read about, Amelia Earhart.

Image from Colorado State University Everett Collection

Normally for me the story comes as I am building my piece and does not hang on a factual person or event. Not so here, the story was clear from the beginning and off I went to search my stash for aviation appropriate finds.

Please note: the historical information about Amelia Earhart below is from the official Internet site for her. 

Earhart began flying in 1921 and by 1937 she was world famous. For her fortieth birthday, she decided to attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world. 

From the website: "On June 1st, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, departed from Miami and began the 29,000-mile journey. By June 29th, when they landed in Lae, New Guinea, all but 7,000 miles had been completed. Frequently inaccurate maps had made navigation difficult for Noonan, and their next hop—to Howland Island—was by far the most challenging. Located 2,556 miles from Lae in the mid-Pacific, Howland Island is a mile and a half long and a half-mile wide. 

These are the co-ordinates for Howland Island

Every unessential item was removed from the plane to make room for additional fuel, which gave Earhart approximately 274 extra miles. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter ITASCA, their radio contact, was stationed just offshore of Howland Island. Two other U.S. ships, ordered to burn every light on board, were positioned along the flight route as markers. 'Howland is such a small spot in the Pacific that every aid to locating it must be available,' Earhart emphasized.

On July 2nd, At 10 a.m. local time, zero Greenwich time, the pair took off. 

Despite ideal weather reports, they flew into overcast skies and intermittent rain showers. This made Noonan’s favored method of tracking, celestial navigation, difficult. As dawn neared, Earhart called the ITASCA, reporting 'cloudy weather, cloudy.' 

In later transmissions, Earhart asked the ITASCA to take bearings on her. The ITASCA sent her a steady stream of transmissions, but she could not hear them. Her radio transmissions, irregular through most of the flight, were faint or interrupted with static. At 7:42 a.m., the Itasca picked up the message, 'We must be on you, but we cannot see you. Fuel is running low. Been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet.' The ship tried to reply, but the plane seemed not to hear. At 8:45 a.m., Earhart reported, 'We are running north and south.' Nothing further was heard from her."

Thus we have, We Are Running North and South. It is 22"H X 12"W X 4"D. It consists of a 20"H X 10"W Cradled Board, Metal Can Lid, Can, Metal Wheel, Toy Airplane, Watch Case, Clock Hand, Metal Jar Lid, Metal Grill, Jewelry, Metal Pieces (4), Copper Nails (26), Copper Banding, Images, Collage and Paint.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

2023 05 Encaustic Assemblage with Sarah Rehmer at Shake Rag Alley

I was off to Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI, for the class, Encaustic Collage + Assemblage with Sarah Rehmer. While I love encaustic I have yet to try it at home so taking advantage of studio work in this medium will be a pleasure.

My luxurious workspace in the Lind Pavilion at Shake Rag

All our work will be in or on cradled boards

The first pieces I made ended up being a triptych that I call Human Trafficking. The center piece is called Can't Miss Four Way.

The initial design

The last addition at Shake Rag was a bone from Sarah's collection

This is what the piece looked like when I left the workshop.

Did some work on the edges and back at home and this is the finished center portion of the triptych. 

The right side of the triptych is called Put Bait On Hook. 

This was the bone I added from Sarah's collection at Shake Rag. When I got the piece home, no bone. I have no idea where it fell off but I needed to raid my own small bone collection to find a replacement. 

The left side of the triptych is called Press Bait In the Hole.

Thus we have Human Trafficking. 

The next piece was influenced by Mexican loteria cards, especially El Corazon card. 

This is how the piece looked when I left Shake Rag.

This is how it looks after a little bit of engineering and painting at home. 

Thus we have In Its Place Stood the Empty House Of a Heart In Trouble. It is 12"H X 10"W X 2"D. The title comes from a Mark Strand poem The Everyday Enchantment Of Music.

The last piece I made was based on the work of Georgia O'Keeffe not unlike

“Pelvis IV,” 1944, by Georgia O’Keeffe

At home I added the nails and some paint to complete the project. 

Thus we have Scraped From the Bone Of Experience. It is 16"H X 8"W X 5"D. The title for this piece comes from a poem by Mark Strand called Proem. 

I want to thank Sarah Rehmer for being a good and generous teacher and for the fine facility at Shake Rag Alley for us itinerant art makers.