The last time I posted images of the metal art that my husband, Mark, and I were creating it consisted mostly of cute, crazy critters made from used machinery parts. We also create “serious” (playfully serious, anyhow!) art – some functional, like tables, lamps, and candleholders, and some more decorative like these new wall sculptures. We had a request for three pieces of metal wall art and thought it was the perfect excuse to dream up something new. Since we can go long periods of time between making items the process always seems to start off slow but it wasn’t long until we were arranging pieces on a large table then getting them all cut, cleaned and prepared for welding. Once we get in a groove it seems to flow well! We started with the piece shown at the top of this post, it’s hard to see in the photos but the four pieces in the center of the outer circles are angled out & away from the base. Wall sculpture #24 (below) was our next creation – I love the shadows it creates on the wall when lights hit it from different angles!
Our final piece (#25, below) I think ended up being a favorite for both of us. We had made similar wall sculptures several years ago but they were painted in a variety of colors. We’ve both become fond of a more “natural” metal look to our creations lately so it was fun re-visiting this idea/style with a different finish.
Every once in a while some creations just need to be revisited. Maybe at the time they seemed complete, or perhaps just “good enough” because nothing else was coming into your imagination. Then later, for whatever reason, a thought pops into your mind and you immediately know what it was that needed to be done. I love those moments! (The ones when you realize, not the ones when you don’t have a clue!) If you’ve looked at my website you know that I make collaborative art pieces with my husband, Mark, using metal. Most of the pieces are created from discarded parts and other recycled materials. Last year we created three new wall sculptures, including the one that just got a “do over”. One piece was specifically for a commission and the other two (including the do over) were the Plan “B”s – in case the client wasn’t as pleased with the original piece as we hoped or (even better) wanted additional pieces. They stuck with the original piece that they had commissioned (show here after it was installed):
One of the parameters for the commissioned piece was that they wanted the metal to be sealed, unfinished, instead of painted. So we finished all the pieces like that. The piece that I still wasn’t completely happy with traveled around a bit and then ended up back home, hanging in the garage next to the entryway into the house. So I saw it everyday until it just became part of the background and I didn’t pay that much attention to it anymore. Then a week or so ago Mark had a request for a piece to be hung in an upcoming show. That piece fit the bill but I couldn’t let it go out again until I was happy with it. One thing that bothered me about it was that it was very “flat”. It had some dimension to it as the pieces were welded on top of each other but basically it laid flat against the wall. Had we been at square one then welding it in a more curved fashion would have been the answer but now I would have to figure out a different approach. The pieces on the outside of the sculpture were fairly thin & flexible so I was able to bend them to where they curled up and away from the wall, adding some of the dimension I felt it was missing. Okay…it was getting better but is still just wasn’t there. Then I remembered a diferent metal wall sculpture that recently sold and how taken the customer was with the way it was painted. Ah ha! That might just be what I was looking for. I am a big fan of the ‘hammered metal’ type of spray paints…it is shiny but also very textured and it keeps with the metal appearance of the pieces. So out came four cans of that in various colors and away I went. I love to layer & blend with spray paints just like I do with acrylics, ink, paper or even pixels on the computer. First a coat of one color, then a highlight of another, a spritz of a different one, some dark followed by some light and a drizzle of paint drops here & there to add interest. After working it for a while I let it sit, went back to it and did a bit more work and, FINALLY, I feel like it is now finished! Here is a photo of the complete piece plus a close up detail so you can see the painted finish:
It will be on display along with it’s “sister” piece that is already hanging at the Continental Office Environments showroom, 9202 East 33rd Street, Indianapolis. On Friday, March 13th from 5 – 7 pm Broad Ripple Art & Design will have it’s “Second Friday Opening” there!
I am posting images of some recently created images. The requirement for the 2nd Anniversary show for Broad Ripple Art & Design was ‘bright’ work. After surveying what art I had available to hang there was not much brightness to be had! The pieces that might have qualified were still hanging in the gallery in Tennessee. I had one piece (shown below – Topiarius) that was made during one of last month’s painting sessions with my artist-friend Shadow. It was the first piece I selected to put in the show.
After that I couldn’t seem to find anything else that pleased me. What a perfect excuse to get out some canvas and create a few new pieces! As it turned out I did not teach the nature-based art classes last week due to the local schools being on fall break. The timing was wonderful and allowed me some free time for creativity that I haven’t had recently.
These all started with a layer of paper, glue, clear acrylic gel or some combination of those items to get a very texture surface. After that it was time to play with layers and layers of paint. It seems that lately I can’t paint without getting my hands & fingers into and using them as my “brush” as much as (or more than) I use an actual brush!
I tried to finish these outside and enjoy the last few days of fall but after one day of my fingers aching from the cold I moved indoors. Unless there is a drastic improvement in the weather I am afraid my outdoor painting days are finished until spring. What a pity, I so enjoy being creative outside! Being able to drip, squirt, splatter and generally just fling paint around without worry is very freeing and, in addition to just enjoying the freedom, I like the effect it has on the outcome of my art as well. Perhaps I need to fire up a heater in the garage, put a drop cloth on the floor and try to duplicate the feeling indoors!