Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pretty Bird

I love taking before and after pictures of my work, although I don't do it nearly as much as I should. The images on the left have one day of classwork left on them. The images on the right show what the piece looked like after I spent several days on it at home. I took pictures of the fabric that was underneath the model so I could work on that detail at home. Being my third figure sculpture class with Ellen Tykeson I decided that I needed to really push myself this term. Prior to this I had never sculpted fabric and was determined to make it read. There is always room for improvements but I have to say that I am pleased with the results on this first attempt.

I have also been working on opening up to conceptual and contemporary work. I still have my beef with much of what is produced with the excuse of being "modern" art but I am beginning to have fun with the conceptual side. I am absolutely in love with birds and I do what I can to work them into my art. I took this opportunity to do just that here. The woman's head is a mourning dove. A bird I love. For years I thought they were actually called "morning" doves. So this puts a slightly different twist on this feathered friend. The wings on this piece are less accurate. I did use reference images however, they are shorter than a wing should be. Nearly half the wing is missing. Only the primary feathers are really represented here. But then that leaves open several different interpretations. Is the wing sprouting from the body or is it in fact receding?
After deliberation over several titles I ended on "Pretty Bird" for this piece. Is this a woman past her prime who is no longer "pretty" or does her beauty exist even now as she ages. Is she like a caged bird trapped in this body or does she sing with joy as she seemed to sit comfortably nestled in her own "nest".

The meaning is in your hands.
What do you see?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Open Studio Visit with Ellen Tykeson

If you haven't seen Ellen Tykeson's work, go check out her site now. Don't look later, look now. She is absolutely amazing. I have taken a year's worth of figure sculpting classes with Ellen and have learned so much. I will be forever grateful. At the end of this last term she opened up her home studio to her students for the first time. We were a very lucky bunch. Here are some pictures from that evening.

This is a piece-in-progress that is due to be finished and installed by summer of 2010. I can't wait!

The full-sized version of this pair is a kinetic sculpture that is in the lobby of the new River Bend hospital in Springfield.
This winged-women will be beating her hands on a beautiful piece of glasswork. Much as a bird caught indoors will flutter against a window.

For this piece Ellen was inspired by a photo of her, her sister and a cousin clothed in similar ruffled suits on the beach as very young children.

Ellen's favorite figure of the four that make up her newest piece. Being a bird person myself I am partial to this individual as well. I love her surfaces. Extremely well crafted and amazingly fluid and organic.

Me and Ellen at the end of the visit. Thank you for opening up your creative space!