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!
Two versions of draft #1 of a “Nonsense” pencil sketch, much modified after scanning! I do love how my digital transforms add color and weight to shaded pencil sketches. The third digital work is based on the scan of draft #2 of this same drawing.
This Forest Angel has a hand over her heart in a moonlit forest. Is this forest in jeopardy? It may be dead or dying; can an angel save it?
Under the angel, under the forest, we see a display of a few mysterious items. These represent a tiny glimpse of the complex web to be found in the earth beneath our feet.
I have completed the lighting framework and cover, and you can see the general effect now. There are still a few details that I will have to decide before I can complete this piece.
I will mount the roll of LED rice lights so that these can be easily replaced in case of failure. I cut three holes at the top to make light wells and painted them black to match the box color. There is “glitter tape” in the center light well, added to test the effect. Not sure that I like the conspicuous golden glow (bling!). I could extend a few of the LED’s down to light the bottom layer, but I don’t know how best to do it! It is relatively easy to make a hole in the back, and bring a few “bare bulb” rice lights through it. It would be more difficult to create diffused light without the individual LED’s showing.
Everything is attached, and very possibly finished, except the upper part above the box. Should I include LED lights? should this be discreet & flat, or will I add some more noticeable features? TBD!
And above I display the photo of a new arrangement which may or may not become an actual finished work. I quite like it today, but already I don’t love it, so will it stand the test of time? It may just not be enough: too insignificant to be worth the trouble! Or I may just need to do more work. Time will tell, yes it will, really!
At right I display my arrangement after digital pixel dust! I desaturated & modified the digital foil applied to my photo.
This pale apparition is a variation of my “assertive angel” sculpture. My angel defends a wintery scene in a moonlit forest. The lower, underground level shows evidence of man, and the metal instrument coils reference mankind’s fascination with mining for mineral wealth.
I will let this piece sit for further consideration, before I decide it is finished. I may extend the background imagery to wrap around the sides, or swap out one of the items in the lower level. And I plan either to add clear acrylic at the top to close off the three openings, or to install glass pieces. I may include lighting in these openings.
This “drawer” is really a three bottle wine display giftbox, stripped of the acrylic front. I repurposed two of these for art projects! So thank you, gift giver, for these!
My studio gets messy! I experiment, and there failures! I work by trying more than by planning, and in the heat of creation I try, set aside, and try something else. Parts, scraps, and more just pile up. Something that does not work in one piece may look extremely promising for another concept! Or may just look so interesting where I set it down that I have to take a few photos!
And then there is my household business in one corner, file folders out of the cabinet to be sorted and “archived”, etc. along with remnants of family history, old drawings of my own or by children, and more.
And the time comes when this must be dealt with, in order to allow new work, and some peace and sanity! It seems to be that time again now.
The above pieces were deemed incomplete, and therefore were somewhat annoying to me. The “incomplete” flat file is huge, and not yet full, but … it should never be allowed to fill up! So now maybe these are as complete as they will ever be. Not great works, but OK!
The final step, just completed yesterday, was to decide and permanently install the glass and LED Lights at the top of this work. These are installed in a circular hole I cut through the wood, with the glass pieces secured with 2-part epoxy.
I embedded a small string of (tiny battery) operated rice lights between the glass pieces at the top, with one bare “bulb” dangling down inside. The whole creates a light fixture that evokes a miner’s lantern of some sort, at least for me! The lights don’t bother or distract when switched off (from the back); they are very inconspicuous. And I do like the effect in the “lantern” when the LEDs are switched on. Also they are just bright enough to dimly light the scene in a dark room, for an interesting effect. If you tuck the dangling LED up into the “miner’s lantern” space, you can make it disappear!
Now this piece really is finished, unless I decide to add a wire on the back for hanging. For now it is free standing piece.
Mining Museum Exhibit I is almost complete: I have attached and tidied up the interior. The main scene is all in place. Now I will make some decisions about the top “mine shaft”, possible lighting, and I will touch up the black paint of the case.
This is a fairly dark piece, as is appropriate for mining, but adding built in lighting is tricky. It can be distracting, or just may not add much. I like the glass piece on top, but I might just install a flat pane of acrylic over the “shaft”. TBD!