Finished up the latest book sculpture construction. Now I have been setting up for the photo shoot in the studio. The Barrel hinges are seeming to work well on this piece. Sometimes they tend to be quite sticky. The Anigre really glistens when the light is at different angles. Almost becoming 3 dimensional in contrast to the inlay photograph. The tunnel section on the left took some experimenting in how it would fold out of the recess in the book box.
Why is the finish always the hardest part? A bit of dust and its sand out and re-finish. With the pressure of top coat perfection, i'm trying to finish these three pieces for a set studio visits next month. The cold weather doesn't help. Letting the finish warm up encourages the flow out greatly. It's an old So-Cal Hot-rod'r trick from the days of laying lacquer. Get the formula hot and it will flow... So flow she goes. The cover is a combination of Birdseye maple, Ebony and photograph inlay. Making the layer sanding even more difficult these layer react to the finish in their own ways. Just don"t breath on it...
Mary and I started the broadside project we had been talking about for a while. Mary took an official class using a very nice letter press at KALA in Berkeley a few months ago. For the class project she used our idea of combining drawings turned into linocuts and my Haiku that were written about our trek on the John Muir Trail. The first experiment for the project came back with great results. The image Mary translated of one of our campsites and the Haikus she set in type worked out great for our first glimpse at the idea. Over the weekend I deviled back into old journals from the trip two years ago already, and began to assemble the many Haiku made during the trip. I pined them up on the wall and Mary in the same token assembled watercolors and drawings from her journals that she did from the same trip. With a starting point of maybe 20 to 25 images and 30 to 40 Haikus we can then form them together to make 10 individual broadsides. Then possibly work towards an edition. Fingers crossed, no ego.
While my buddy and I were in Tehipitie Valley, one of the most remote places to trek to in the sierras, I made an edition of cyanotypes of the skeletons from a fish I had caught. During the trip, I took time out to expose many sheets of the material, but this was the first edition I tried to produce. With the variables of the sun and the depths of the such a steep wall'd canyon, I discovered how hard it was to keep a consistent exposure as well as the placement of the skeleton under the glass. I ended up with 12 complete sets of the fish to make the edition. I'm sure even though Lou was like "Woh thats cool" I think it was more like, "I knew you were sicko!" saving the bones to that fish. Actually it was pretty funny. I caught that fish more up stream while we were at Blue Canyon Falls and I draped the remains of the fish near where Lou was sleep for the night because i didn't"t want them near me... In the morning he said a Skunk was by his Sleeping bag trying to reach the skeleton in the manzanita bush but couldn't reach it... "Dude you didn't smell Him"!
While walking home from the Peet's coffee the other day with the dogs i found a strange Lego toy ship. An idea sparked. A kit bash of urban landscape style collaged withe the organic dyaramic-scapes i've been experimenting. Recent visit to Chicago and the skyscrapers there. The syntheses of man versus nature. Without nature however man does not exist. However does the definition of what nature is now exist because of man? How we perceive nature is our nature? Can Nature out perceive the use of man as an organism. Are we an Organism or a virus in nature. Or to nature.
A small landscape sculpture "Miners Flat" was included by surprise into the recent show at the Bedford Gallery. Outlandish is a fun show and I'm excited that Carrie asked me to be apart of it. Miners Flat is a small wall mount that is somewhat a surreal depiction of a favorite place i like to hike to and fly fish. The place has lots of solitude and really allows me to forget where i'm at and be in the moment. Its a place that my friend Aram and I seem to always discuss when ever we talk, wether its on the phone or drinking coffee. A place that demands physical rigor to reach but a zen mindset to achieve. A place where everyone is welcome but no one can fully understand or grasp. Each visit its true nature eludes, and only sometimes reveals a glimmer of hidden truths for the observant. A river elusive. Outlandish @ Bedford Gallery
Bill and i went fishing last friday. While the fishing was tough, we did almost catch a few nice trout on the Yuba River. During the mid day slack/seventh inning stretch was coming in we stopped fishing. While the fishes took there mid day nap, Bill and I broke out with the art supplies. In anticipation of this moment to make art on the river, i made the night before a small proof plate to press small samples of flora that lies around the rivers high water mark and river bed. Taking turns, we made a bunch of prints, rinsing them in the sparse shade of some willows. i'm curious to see how i may incorporate the images that i made. Maybe i'll scan some of them and fold them into some of the geometric shapes I've been using. tThe rich blue could be a nice contrast in some of my landscape sculptures where i have been using the close up images of the trout bodies.
With a flurry of action a book sculpture was quickly realized these past two months. Starting from the bare bones of some discarded parts, Cinder Cone quickly fell into place. Images from older research trips to Mt. Lassen National Park were assembled. The slip cover was made towards the final parts were decided upon. Using zebra wood on the top and bottom to mimic faux pages, similar in respect to the book box's i've been making. The theme of positive and negative spaces as well as flipped imagery a quotation from one of my past book sculpture that my friend Bob owns now called Wilderness.
Today was the day to meet up with Erik at the Bedford gallery and start installing my modest installation display of specimens , journals and a out of the comfort zone, iMove in the artSite space today. We, being Mary and I spent last night working blindly on a "iMovie" for the video monitor thats in the space. trying to create an iMovie when your under the gun and the night before you're installing the piece is tempting the Gods, however somehow we worked through the learning curve, throwing out only 5 DVD's, and came up with something that actually worked and looks really great in the space. Its basically a dissolve of photographs that I had taken over the past three years of trips on the John Muir Trail. mMany with Mary over the 200+ miles together. The other element in the space is a display of specimens taken while on the trail in the wilderness regions that the JMT traverses through. This means while I was in the National parks I only took photo's not specimens. Along with the specimens is an accordion Journal made while on the trips that have photos and watercolor paintings of places along the way as well as write'n entries about our trek from day to day, and two manipulated photographs in the Lyle Canyon section of the JMT. When collecting the specimens together for the piece I had not really thought of ever showing them before so aligning them in order of collection and place was more tedious than I first thought it would be. Once I set up a system, however the chore became more bearable than it first seemed.