Archive for January, 2016

Meet Ray DeCatur

Ray Decatur

Ray DeCatur

Ray Decautur, Sculpting a female face

Ray DeCatur, Sculpting a female face

Head to Foot the human body is a marvel. Sculpting the face, which has 43 muscles, is a challenge that Ray has taken on. Here is his bust of a girl done in clay which will eventually be cast in bronze. Working with clay to achieve the desired expression of a face is a monumental task. Ray, being a meticulous workman, works and re-works the clay in an effort to reach his final goal. The slightest change of how a muscle is shaped produces an entirely different expression on the face of the young woman.  Very tricky !!

Best Foot Forward by R. Decatur

Best Foot Forward by R. DeCatur

Amazingly, the foot has 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Here is a foot done by Ray.











The art of casting metal sculpture dates back into ancient times but we have few examples since metal was melted down and reused for war and farm implements.  In The 1900’s it became popular due to the Industrial Revolution which provided new tools for the foundry ( a workshop for cast metal). It was the rage to immortalize warriors, statesmen and writers with a statue in their honor.  Today there are a few foundries still in the United States, one of which is the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where Ray cast his foot in bronze.

Ray Decantur with Sculpturee

Ray Decantur with Sculpture


Sculpture by Ray Decantu

Sculpture by Ray Decantur








Read Full Post »

We begin the New Year, 2016, with a trip to the overgrown, mysterious, Frontera Thicket. It is quiet as we wend our way down the path to sit at a bird feeding station. Soon several people rush by us and we shout, “What are you looking for? What have you seen?” One person turns, cup her hands around her mouth, and calls back “It’s the female Crimson-collared Grosbeak!”

We leap to our feet and follow them to a fence where a Brazilian Peppertree is loaded with red berries and two dozen pairs of binoculars are trained on the tree. “Oh, the Grosbeak must have flown away,” one person says with disgust. Everyone dribbles down the muddy path looking right and left. I stay, hoping the bird will return to the luscious berries.

And then she does! She teases me by perching in the backside of the tree so I struggle to focus through the tree branches, I get a lucky shot of her with her plain, greenish-yellow body and black head. Five years earlier I succeeded in recording a male Grosbeak with his splendid red (crimson) collar and now I have a matching pair of photos of this rare bird. Rare to the United States that is … it is more common in eastern Mexico.

A disconsolate group comes back up the path and are overjoyed to hear I saw the prize at her favored spot. They settle down for another try.

Home we go with happy hearts as the light rain stops and the sun breaks through the drifting clouds. A wonderful start to a New Year.

Read Full Post »