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In St. George, Utah, for the installation of “Tatonka”. The exhibit is called, “Art Around the Corner.” It’s an annual year long outdoor art exhibit. About two dozen artists have their work mounted on outdoor pedestals around the city.
“Tatonka” is a Sioux Indian word for buffalo. In pondering this animal’s history, I’ve felt how closely they are associated with the earth. In fact, Native Americans believed that buffalo came out of Mother Earth.
In sculpting this piece I wanted to explore the relationship between this animal and the earth. Perhaps where one found it difficult to find where the earth stopped and the buffalo began. I wanted to show the animal as I feel him. I desired to show ‘in physical form’ the powerful forces that drove this creature to travel the planes, brave winters and show courage to a fault. There has always been something about this shaggy, unkept animal that has held my heart. Perhaps it’s because I often find myself sculpting in ten year old cargo shorts and a ratty T-shirt.
The patina on this piece is as good as it gets. Patina by Bill Sturgis.
Here’s a close-up video of the eleven players on the “Football, circa 1890” monument. Still have months to go. Love the fine tuning process. As Rodin said about his “Gates of Hell”, “How can I finish it when I haven’t had time to forget it?”
I’ve taken inspiration from hundreds of vintage 1800’s photos.
I haven’t been too active posting things for a while. This is why. I wake up and go to bed pondering this piece. Good chance I’ll be sculpting on this 11 man 1890s football team for another 10 months. It has to be as close to perfect as I can make it.
It’s a commission for a football stadium in Ohio.
If you find yourself in the Logan area, and would like to see it in person, please let me know.
I wanted to show an element of the piece I found fascinating. The hard rubber nose guards that many of the players would wear. back in the day. The inside of the nose guard had a extension sticking out that could be bitten between ones teeth.
I sculpted this piece….just so I could use the title: “Saloon Keepers Have No Sense of Humor.” Believe me when I say….I have no idea what a piece will look like when I start it. I have a feeling that I want….but that’s about it.
About 15 years ago, I took a workshop from Stanley Bliefeld. He taught me a little technique I use often….it’s called sculpting a “bozzetti”. It is a French word for ‘sketch’. About 5-6 years ago, I created a bozzetti, to study compositional elements of this idea. I put my hand in the photo to show you how small the bozzetti is. I made a huge change in swapping out the solid bar to one with barrels and planks. History: Did you know Michelangelo sculpted a bozzetti for his “DAVID”? True! It was found a number of years back.
“SALOON KEEPERS HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR”
24″ high x 26″ wide x 16″ deep
Edition of #30
I love it when a title and a sculpture merge together as one. When creating this piece, the words came to me and and I felt they were inspired.
She is a Popago Indian in southern Arizona about 1910.
After I sculpted the 32 inch wide nine player team piece, “Base Ball, circa 1890”, I had many people ask me to sculpt a single figure, So I did. I call this piece “Towne Ball, 1890.”
This piece will be cast in about a year. I’m pokey….. Getting sculptures out.
Would it surprise you to learn that, during the sculpting process of every piece, I turn off the lights, and sculpt shadows? I learned this technique in 1992 from Mehl Lawson. If it’s pitch black outside I’ll use a candle. If an area is too dark I will add clay and if it is too light I will create textures that darken.
I still have two or three months to work on this piece, but it’s starting to have the magic I’m looking for.
Football (circa 1890)
It’s about 20 inches tall and 34 inches wide.
A dozen years ago….my uncle, Grant Speed, shared with me how to sculpt eyes. Today, I passed that knowledge on to another artist.
“Tête-à-tête”, as the French would say. “Head to Head”.
Softness…is the key. And don’t sculpt the eye. Sculpt vision. Sculpt planes. Sculpt shapes. Sculpt your knowledge of the eye…..not what you think you see. And most important of all, sculpt feelings.
Painters face the ‘blank canvas’. Sculptors stare at an ’empty mold board’. What to do……
From my last post you’ve noticed I’m beginning an 1890’s, eleven man, football team.
Below is a video of the first draft of head #1. I go over each head 5 + times.
I’m going to let you into the inner sanctum of my approach to sculpting. COMPOSITION is EVERYTHING! A lot of it is instinctual but it has also become a rational decision making process. I’m starting a new mutual-figured piece. 1890’s football team. Having a blast researching it out. If you boil it down to very simple geometric shapes, one could easily make an abstract work of art out of the entire thing. If the composition, balance and design is not there…..I can guarantee you the piece will be weak and people will not connect with it. I’ve learned that people “feel” great composition, rather than see it.
There are a lot more geometric shapes than I’ve drawn. It’s fun to discover them as I’m sculpting. There are lots of figure eights, large triangles and diamonds.
In the studio. Still a month to go on this bad boy.
I love the fringe side of the old west. Truly, conquistadors roamed the North American continent centuries before a cowboy ever through a loop over a steer.
“For Spain, Glory and Gold”
Below, I included a video with this post. I pray it works, as I would like to include more in future posts.
I’ve decided to make it a Native American and add a quartered moose as cargo in the canoe. several people suggested I put antlers in the piece.
‘m still looking for a title that would do the piece justice. If anybody has a suggestion I’m all ears.
Ok sculpture fans…….and those who can identify with procrastination.
Here’s a piece I’ve had in the clay for seven years. Probably, six of those years I haven’t touched it. It’s just been taking up space in storage units or at my studio. About a month ago my wife said, “Why don’t you finish ‘Not even a whisper’?” I thought, “heck why not!”
I really am considering the title, “Wisdom lives to fight another day”
15″ high x 29″ wide
My website: ScottRogersSculpture.com