Thursday, July 30, 2009

Moving Sculptures

Facebook Val Lyle: "Use the right tool (or forklift) for the job.
I love these guys! It's pouring rain.
I didn't even need to put my leather gloves on."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Public Art - Big Ropes

"Feminine Entwinement" is the first big rope piece that I had all the pieces of the puzzle figured out on. She was juried into Bristol, TN's "Art in Public Places" by Paul Ha of the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. She won "The People's Choice Award" for 2008-2009. made of Tug Boat rope, she stands just over 8 feet tall. I have included pictures of her year round, and at the "Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion" music festival where folks enjoyed having their pictures taken alongside her. the location is great, at the Farmer's Market in City Center Park. I built her sturdy enough to take public interaction. I kind of fell into it by accident, but there is a growing need for "temporary" public outdoor sculpture as more and more cities adopt a yearly or bi-yearly juried outdoor sculpture competition to beautify their downtown areas and add art for interest and culture and dialogue. Many of the sculptors I met during this, my first outdoor competition, told me about having a number of pieces that they move around from year to year, each bringing between $1,000 to $2,000 for a one to two year "rental" honorarium. That's good money to a sculptor, and you get the piece back in a year or so. Typically the sculptor delivers the piece, and there may or may not be help when you get there, or a concrete slab to bolt down to, or power tools, or power. Typically installation day is "rain or shine", during the week.

I was so thrilled to be selected I hand-made Thank you cards (see lesson #2) for everyone I could think of involved. Each one was unique, but all loosely based on my sculpture.
This is a great opportunity and I am so honored to be a part of AiPP Bristol. It is a first-rate operation, with lots of help from city workers, hotel accommodations for out of town sculptors, a two-day event that ends with a deluxe reception after the official "sculpture walk that makes everyone feel good! I am looking forward to future participation!

Lesson #7. Start Local.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Do It Yourself Promotion

I use the timer settings on my cameras often as I am frequently working alone but needing images of the artist (me) working in the studio or on site. With everything digital now and instant playback built into most cameras, I can take dozens of shots to be able to select the best from later.
Today I sent eight digital images out to several different press people. Most of the shots I took day before yesterday. My dear husband took some of them for me when I was posing in a group shot.
Don't wait for someone else to do it.
There is no one else.
The beauty is that you can control what is said/written/seen, which is a critical thing to control!

Lesson #6. Feed the Press and The Press will Feed You.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Poster Signing at Virginia Highlands Festival

The Virginia Highlands Festival is in full swing!
Part of my honor as Signature Artist this year is to sign free posters for the pubic!
I involved myself from the beginning in every aspect I could of the presentation of my sculpture, both "in real" and on the poster. If you leave details and designs to others, the only thing you can say is Thank you.

I had tested a number of pens already, and settled on a silver metallic felt-tip as looking great on the poster background. I brought a number of the pens with me. Half an hour after the start time, the posters arrived, and I realized the next missing piece of the puzze was no rubber bands to roll up the large posters that tourists were going to carry around the festival all day. Forgot a hat for the sun, but a kind soul loaned me one.

Then we drove back home for a moment before heading out to Johnson City TN Barnes and Noble Book Store for an Author's book signing event to benefit the Carroll Reece Museum on the Campus of ETSU and the Center for Appalachian Studies. There was live music and craft demos along with kids activities, and when customers mentioned the museum at checkout a portion of the sales went to the museum. It was a whole lot more public interaction in one day than I am used to, but it was all good! My little art catalogue may be carried by Barnes and Noble Bookstore because of this benefit effort!

Lesson #5. Assume nothing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Scale Model of the Gallery

For the large Arts Depot installation in Abingdon, VA I've decided to make a scale model of the gallery and all the artworks that will go in it. This really helps me envision the whole space. I like to use one inch = one foot. Here I am easily able to print out the actual paintings and drawings to scale to fit inside the long space, rearrange them by any method I might want, experiment painlessly all before installation day. With this method I am able to take accurate measurements from the model on location for efficient hanging time. I have several small boxes of my artwork models from over the years.

The doors open for the exhibition on August 13, closing September 26th, with a reception on Sunday August 23rd from 2-4pm, and an artist presentation and talk September 14th at 7:30 pm.

Lesson #4. Embrace Murphy's Law.

Big Paintings

I've been painting outdoors on big paper, 7.5 feet by 5 feet 300 lb. watercolor paper. It won't fit inside anywhere that I can stand back from it. The proportion size is based roughly on the Western perfect proportions for a rectangle painting. Started with black gesso ground and added half a tube of brown to warm it up. The finished painting shown here is called "Aileen's Window". It is from the inside of the loft of a barn in Mountain City TN that my great grandfather built. I played on the colors to emphasize the stained glass window effect. Aileen is a dear friend and cousin who loved it there and recently crossed over. Also pictured is my studio assistant "Red", the orange cat, being ever helpful.

Lesson #3. Raise the bar.

Sculpture Dedication, Abingdon VA

Sincere thanks go to many, many people who helped to place this sculpture in such a beautiful setting in downtown Abingdon, VA for the Virginia Highlands Festival Opening!

Lesson #2. Thank everyone often. Especially your spouse/signifigant other.

Juggling Act

Negotiate with the KY foundry to push back the final wax check on the CASA monument for Knoxville because it is a direct conflict with the walk-through installation exhibition set up week. Check with Knox about final unveiling dates. Discuss volunteers to help with Abingdon installation and hanging methods. Check online that the Ridgewood BarBQue arrived to Pennsylvania on time and still cool. Negotiate cash or art or both for payment of BBQ. Offer comes for another adjunct teaching job up the road. Two contracts come email for gallery downtown. Ponder this. Order glass eyes on Ebay for a project I'm thinking of. Arrange meeting time with former student to pass him copies of my new small catalogue to pass to fellow who donated tobacco for exhibit. Remove small bunny from cat. Pull UPS box in from front porch-check contents for digital print presentation kits for 13 x 19 art prints, and art notecard clear sleeves. Husband arrives to inform me we have 10 minutes to be on time for the official presentation of my sculpture to the town of Abingdon, VA on Main Street. Cross my fingers for clean clothes near the top of the pile. Grab the box of notecards I've been printing the last two days to put into plastic sleeves that just arrived in the car on the way, to deliver to Blue Windmill Gallery after the ceremony. Arrive with a few minutes to spare, meet and greet Mayor and council members, Advance Abindon and committee members who really did a beautiful job locating the sculpture is a gorgous park in downtown on Main Street. I'm honored to have the work treated with such respect. Pose for pictures-try to remember how to not look goofy in photos. Jump in car to Blue Windmill just at closing time, drop off cards. Drive 40 minutes back home the scenic route-so incredibly beautiful! I never cease to be amazed at what a beautiful place I live in! Change out of good clothes, unwrap the plastic from the 7.5 foot by 5 foot painting on water color paper in the driveway and roll it up. Change back into good clothes and go to Troutdale for the Jr. League Benefit dinner. Eat and drink, network and socialize.

That was yesterday.

This is my life.

Lesson #1. Remain calm. Make a list. Prioritize.