A friend and fellow artist, Kathy Panks, visited my yard & photographed my yard art. This is not a time for indoor studio visits, but summer lets us enjoy safely distanced outdoor visits! Kathy has shared her fabulous photos with me, and your can enjoy some of them here:
Yard art, by my definition, is a special, very playful and loose category of Art. Here there is no judgement, just fun in the moment! This stuff need not meet size, quality, durability or really meet any standard other than my own amusement. It can be messy, scruffy, colorful (or not), sharp & rough edged, and something that will deteriorate quickly; all of this is OK! I do display some of my more durable, considered work in my yard, artwork created with much more care, thought, & effort. And I love it when I can make my more considered, “serious” artwork suitable for outside display. But most of the art in my yard is “yard art” by my personal definition. I do not create this art to be sold, donated, or given away; I create this art entirely for my own amusement.
Although I certainly find that my yard amuses others! Friends, and the odd stranger, visit to see what is new in my yard. My messy, lively yard scares off those who prefer tidy, well-groomed gardens and admire only perfectly crafted paintings & sculpture. But my yard is a haven for me, and it attracts all of us with a wilder and looser appreciation of the world! Yard art is playful, experimental, and energetic: it feeds me, and it leads me to new places in my more durable works.
It is wonderful to have appreciative visitors, and friends who enjoy my yard art. Thank you! Kathy, for the visit and the photos!
These are some more alternatives for a new work. I am struggling with this collage / assemblage. This will “go somewhere”, I think. I plan to complete a finished piece incorporating the print and one of the two angels, but it may not look like much this.
The parts that I am considering include the burn sienna colored paperclay angel, a tinted but transparent resin angel, a small low relief resin tree, leaves or scans of leaves, and a shellac coated poly-lithograph print of trees. The conceptual title is “Reason to Worry”.
I have a sheet of copper that could become a good background for this piece (instead of the chipboard used above). And if I stay with a background & use a mat, I will not use this poorly cut & tinted cardboard, this is merely a temporary stand in for something better!
However the print and angel fit into another possibility entirely, some variation of this drawer piece:
Sometimes less is better! I rather wish that I did not have so many more alternatives for a new work!
Birds in Nest Jade II, my new cast, is not a replica, even though I made this using the new mold of my oil-based clay model Birds in Nest. Read on to find out why! Love, protection, nurture & safety are all present in this small sculpture. A mother bird protects and nurtures two chicks who snuggle to her breast for warmth and safety.
The new, second mold I used for this corrects a major flaw in the first mold. The new mold also includes some improvements I made to the original clay model. So I have a better mold of an improved original work.
About this Cast
But what makes this cast unique? Well, a few things! First I should explain: I just don’t really “do” editions. They bore me! I am a creative artist, unwilling to become a technician unless I really need to. I prefer to experiment and to play. So this first cast in the new mold has a few experimental and custom features!
Birds in Nest Jade II is a mixed media cast: I cast the birds in a custom tinted resin, with “inclusions” of natural quartz and fragments of hardened colored resin. These are not prominent, but are visible. The inclusions show slightly in upper part of the piece, in the baby bird’s head, in the mother birds wing, etc. I believe this makes the piece more interesting, with a bit of the variety of natural stone. I used acrylic modified cement for the birds’ nest. The two materials were poured into the same mold, a few days apart. I have joined the two parts securely by embedding threaded hardware across both sections.
Once I removed my birds from the mold, I cleaned and smoothed a few imperfections, and added a special touch: this mother bird holds food for her young. It is perhaps a worm, or a tiny fish… I certainly don’t know!
I am trying out various options for this arrangement before I work up a final piece. I am currently quite in love with the concept and the arrangements, but of course that will change. I will probably hate the finished work when complete, for at least a few days if not longer. And then I will fuss with it, possibly altering and even ruining it. I can usually “fix” my ruined pieces, but not always!
I think the dimensional pieces will need to be embedded to be secured in a finished artwork, with the paper protected. I don’t like putting anything behind glass anymore. This may mean an epoxy resin pour, with all the stress and mess that entails. I don’t really want high gloss though. Must think!
The angel cast is transparent, with just a drop of yellow pigment in the clear resin. I painted the back, and rubbed on a dusting of metallic gold on the front. The star is slightly yellowed clear resin with embedded LEDs and a wire stem.
I acquired two “mystery material” boards that are 24″ x 30″, with polished metal on one side (wrapping around the two long edges). The metal is probably stainless steel, the board material may be some kind of dense composite, but I don’t know if the dark charcoal grey color is a veneer, or throughout.
The above board has a painting on the back, dark composite, side, currently protected while I work on the metal. This is a new experiment for me: I am engraving the design using the power rotary tool and diamond burr bits. So it will be quite the sampler of textures as I play. I have sketched in a drawing using a Sharpie poster paint pen, but I am working the textures free hand, plus I am not staying inside the lines… it is a bit of a scribble, but fun.
I rubbed on a bit of magenta pigment just to see what I had done a bit better. The engraving raises a burr like drypoint work, so even loose powdered pastel clings to the edges.