The Magic of Texture and Color

For all of our adult lives, Robin and I have been interested in mythology, symbolism, nature and meditation.  From the I Ching to the Tarot Cards, the poetry of Rumi, the way of the Samurai, Mother Earth Spirituality, and the teachings of Jesus we glean wisdom to live by.  Our collaborative art has I suppose been more than anything else, about making meditative icons.  We seek to make art of quiet contemplation to enhance living and working spaces.  Our newest sculpture places Robin’s patina work on center stage.  Making bentwood frames which he clads in copper or brass he’s been exploring wrapped patinas with hammered surfaces.  The result has been remarkable.  We’ve added found objects, enamel on copper and some painted wood elements to his designs.  Our new work can be seen Sept 7-9th in Clayton, MO at the highly esteemed St. Louis Art Fair and the following weekend, Sept 15-16 in Naperville, Il at the Riverwalk Art Fair, as well as on our web-site http://www.WolfCreekStudio.com

A Study in Texture 24″ x 60″

Robin’s New Work & My Retreat

The Other Side

After a 6 year hiatus, Robin will be showing his incredible patinated metal art next year!  We’ve been collaborating since 2012, a decision that was made after breaking my elbow, having shoulder surgery, a torn bicep tendon and 2 dislocated fingers.  I couldn’t help Robin hang his work at the shows, because at that time, all of his work was very heavy, being made from a heavy gauge copper or brass with bronze angle framework on the back.  During the past 6 years he’s learned more skills and come up with ideas for making his work much lighter weight.  Some of the metal will be clad onto bentwood frames to give added dimension and all will feature his extraordinary patina work that is very painterly in approach and feel.  I’m so excited for him.  During the eight years he showed his work he did it all—got into the nations’ top shows, sold well and won many prestigious awards, including Best of Metal at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Fine Craft Show.

I will be taking a much-needed retreat from the art shows.  I’m getting burnt out from the relentless pushing of a theme for the past 25 years.  Not many people outside the profession understand the hoops an artist must jump through just to get into the shows.  The part that is holding me back just now is that it can be a whole year or more from the time you finish a piece, photograph it, apply to shows with 5 or 6 other pieces that all visually make sense together and then actually do the show.  This makes it very difficult to explore different avenues, as the work you have in your booth must be like the images you juried in with.

I’ve got a persistent urge to work in clay, probably stemming from my pre-school years spent making mud pies!  Several years ago I did a series of clay torsos which was a very emotional response to my family situation.  Having moved on past that, the clay work I’ve done the past couple of years making flowers for our wooden boats, isn’t enough for me.  So while Robin shows his metalwork next year, I’ll be on a self-proclaimed sabbatical, exploring new themes.  I will accept commission work during this time, for anyone that wants a boat or Jewelry for the Wall sculpture.

Studio Progress

If you’ve followed our pursuits in the past year,  you know about the fast transition we made to the making of boats and books this year.  We have a working process of experimenting with materials and techniques on our art for the wall, and then these new ideas are incorporated into the boats.  With Robin  taking time once again to experiment on hammering, embossing and patina work lately, I can see already such grand statement pieces utilizing the approach in this new 12″ square.  These are hot!

Embossed & hammered copper w/chemical patina

Embossed & hammered copper w/chemical patina

Embossing2

Embossed and hammered copper w/chemical patina

Different Bodies of Work

Most visual artists work in series, that is producing a number of pieces done in the same medium with a common theme. It’s a logical way to explore and experiment within certain parameters.  Robin and I don’t like being confined  so we’ve explored a lot of mediums and materials.  Each has its own characteristics and associated methods, but we like to mix it up.  I get bored easily and consequently am often working on multiple series, each in a different medium, during the same time period.  It may have to do with attention deficit disorder, but it also has to do with the fact that I express different ideas in different mediums.  It also has to do with the fact that I have to pay the bills as well as grow my potential.  It amounts to a balancing act.  Different series for different markets is the same as an artist “getting a day job”, only better, much better for a variety of reasons.

Jewelry For the Wall is a collection that I’ve produced continuously over the past 14 years.  All of the pieces are basically paint on wood, with the addition of a few other materials used for surface ornamentation and texture.  The common threads are the materials, with a dependence on color, texture and geometric shapes, punctuated with rhythms and flowing line.  They serve as meditative icons as much as ornamentation. These images are where I bring together my scientific and spiritual interest in the cosmos and our place in it.  Our place in the cosmos is married to our approach to the environment.  We are more than a species living on the Earth and dominating it.  We are part of the whole living entity known as Earth.  An example of one from this series shown below is “Lunar Dance”.

My clay sculpture and most of my drawing over the years is about my immediate experience in life.  They are definitely a projection of my personal state of mind at the time.  Shown here is “Cavewoman” from my body vessels series.

Robin favors “working with God” as he describes how the magic of patina on metal is achieved.  His patina work has the impact of a Rothko, the mood of an Inness.  He creates actual paintings without any paint or dyes.  His work is extraordinary and unique.  Shown here is “Remember Me”

Robin and I collaborate on another body of work made primarily from enamel on copper, patina on metals and paint on wood.  Unlike that of earlier periods, much of modern architecture is experienced as a series of planes with varying color and texture and that is what inspires Twitch!.  They are compartmentalized as is architecture and they are also objects of beauty, made to enhance  the living and working space created by the patron.  Twitch! is our day-job.  We are proud of the work and know it is a good value for the patron, but if economics weren’t ruling our existence right now, we’d be spending that time on our other work.  Shown below a Twitch! piece titled Frank’s Right (not a mis-spell but a play on words)

We are now collaborating on new work that is a natural outgrowth from these other series to create new pieces using more elegant materials and innovative surfaces, and exploring free-standing sculpture as well.   We will be showing this work for the first time at the American Craft Council retail show in Baltimore in February, followed we hope by the Palm Beach Fine Craft show.  Images will be available before the end of the year.

Lunar Dance

“Lunar Dance”

 

Cavewoman

Cavewoman

Franks Right

“Frank’s Right”

Remember Me

“Remember Me”

Robin’s Summer

Aside from snake charming, Robin’s kept busy this summer getting the sets ready for the new shoots of The Spiel with Angie & Julie and he’s made a little time for two small projects in his studio.  He’s been working on a 4′ x 3′ piece which he’s now hung in the Zen Courtyard Garden for maturing a little, before he decides if it needs more patina work and/or other elements.

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