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
“Saloon Keepers Have No Sense of Humor” Edition of #30 – 23″ H x 26″ W x 16″ D
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.
Just spent an incredible weekend in Tucson, Arizona at Settlers West’s fall art show with Janette. We were guests of some friends / collectors and were able to visit, “Chiricahua Apache.” He is loved and well taken care of. There is nothing that touches my heart more than a work of art properly presented and displayed. Grateful to these folks who went “over the top” displaying this work of art.
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.
Installed a casting of “The Trooper” a couple of days ago, outside of Santa Fe. We took the piece out of my pickup and loaded it into this 1947 Willy’s Jeep and maneuvered it into position. Good folks, fun ride. Nothing like nature’s vista to enhance a piece.
I would never consider myself as having been a good bull rider. Never felt I had the hand strength needed to keep a good holt. Over a three year period (1977-1980) I did get on about 165 head. The time dad came up to Colbert, Oklahoma, to watch me ride, I was very grateful, as he ended up driving me to the hospital with a broken back (Kojak was the bull that did a number on me). He said he watched me flop around out in the arena like a rabbit in its death throws.
Can’t believe it’s taken me 26 years, as a professional sculptor, to finally get around to creating a bullrider.
Nothing flips my lid like good dramatic lighting on a sculpture.
There was fell’a who came in to the gallery a couple of years ago and inspired me to create this sculpture. He is the owner of a bull used in the PBR called, “Whiskey’s Rebel.” I love that name for this piece.
My old bull riding gear. Those are dad’s chaps, he used to bull ride back in the 50s. Those are my vintage “Bob Blackwood” spurs.
Here’s a photo of “Whiskey’s Rebel”
When I first met Janette, I knew she was the type of woman who did not need to wear make up…her beauty was natural. Many mornings I find her the most beautiful when she wakes and her hair is a mess. Seeing as how she would never let me sculpt ‘that image’, I settled for a more elegant pose. She looks great in pearls.
Been married seven years now….
Love my “Baby J”.
The city of St. George, Utah has a foundation called, “Art Around the Corner.” Every spring, for the past 12 years, they invite artists to display works on pedestals throughout the city.
This year, I chose, “All Her Chicks”. She has felt labor pains for more than a week now. Her mind is on hold, for it is her heart that is full…anticipating…loving…feeling. ‘Serving’ is joy, for this mother to be. how fortunate is the babe coming to a home where it is to be nurtured in kindness.
About six or seven years ago, a fellow artist gave me a photograph of two women. They thought I could possibly use it as inspiration for a sculpture. About a week and a half ago, I ran across the photo again, it struck my heart to see if I could pull off the idea in clay.
For artistic compositional sake…. I made the woman on the left taller and facing forward (to be the focal point). I arranged the wrinkles in their clothing to lead the viewers eye around the piece. Notice the subtle 5 points of entry, to bring the viewer into the sculpture.
Don’t you just love that hat! The double rows of cartridges on the gun belt?
“Of Proper Wit & Adventurous Spirit” Edition of 30
So….here’s part of the 100 “drill bits” order, lined up like soldiers for inspection at the foundry today. They are all headed to an oil company in Texas.
I occasionally sculpt “gift multiples” for companies.
“For Spain, Glory and Gold”30″ high x 17” wide x 16″deep. Edition of 30. This piece has been in the clay for about two years, and is finally comin’ around….maybe!
Then again, maybe it’s me that’s comin’ around.
This is fun to see. I love obscure history. Here’s some examples of authentic armor used for horse heads, hundreds of years ago. With my posting the sculpture of the conquistador, I thought I’d better back it up….for the doubters.
This next piece on the sculpting stand is an idea given to me 7-8 years ago by a collector (I love a great idea). I sat on the idea for a few years. Finally, I got around to roughing it in around 2012…..but then it mostly sat still, until “The Revenant” came out this year. I was inspired to take it off the shelf, and have another “go”…. and push it farther down the road.
Untitled (Open for suggestion) 22″ high x 47″ wide x 16” deep