One for the money. Of course it’s about the money. I tried living on applause once and it didn’t work. I was a paper sculpture illustrator in the “Art for money” game for nearly 50 years, doing jobs for art directors and art buyers in advertising agencies and publications in lots of countries. Migod how the money rolled in.
Two for the show. It’s no longer Art for money, it’s Money for art now, it’s the same game but no more art directors. The paper sculpture techniques are the same, but now I’m the art director. Personal art, gallery art, fine art, whatever label you put on it, has been my reason to get up every morning and go down to the studio. I give my self a pat on the back, a little polite applause and cut, bend, fold, and paint paper into something reasonably viewable and, perhaps, sellable.
Three to get ready. The following examples are some of the work from my current exhibit at the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina. After my last exhibit, they suggested that I do more of the white on white sculptures that had been successful and popular. My first thought was, great, I don’t have to paint them. Everything will be so much easier. What the hell was I thinking!!!!
My thinking was wrong, wrong, wrong…In my previous work color solved problems of contrast, texture and content. Now, with white on white, I had to make the contrasts, textures, and content with highlight and shadow. Color and painting techniques solved most of the problems and covered up a lot of mistakes. This is a sculpture from my last exhibit.
There isn’t a bit of white in this piece even though I only used white paper. I paint images when I intend to make a colored piece or can’t seem to solve elements of a composition in any other way. So in this exhibition, I decided to use color in the work as background and accents. Abandoning color all together was out of the question for me. This example of a rising swan is all white except for the mat, background, and beak.
I repeated some previous themes for this exhibition including the wrapped bundles that are based on my youth in the Black Hills with Ben Black Elk as my Sioux mentor. Sioux bundles were wrapped symbols important to a warrior and hidden, but mine burst out with the things of the hills that were all around me in my childhood. I have no secrets and I show you everything. This is one of several bundles in the exhibit.
I have repeated the images of quaking aspen and birch groves in the Black Hills many times. They stand out in stark white contrast with the dark green ponderosa pines that cover those mountains. Here is my current version with color used as background.
I exhibit two versions of Owls. Here is one of the owl pieces, among tree limbs with color as background, and light accents on the leaves.
Here is Pegasus, the mythological winged horse, all white on a background of brown.
Those are a few of the twenty pieces in the exhibition but I had to include one large, fully colored image in this example of wind.
And four to go…
Thanks for visiting me, and please visit the exhibit at the Grovewood Gallery to see the rest of the work.