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Archive for the ‘Artist Interviews’ Category

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Olga Escobedo

Olga Escobedo

Down the hall from me is Olga Escobedo. Olga is concentrating her art around the healing properties of local plants and folk remedies used in her community.  She gathers information from her aunts and other members of her family.  Apparently they have quite a store of “how it used to be done” stories to share with her.

Olga Escobedo "Tree of Life"

Olga Escobedo "Tree of Life"

Her ‘Tree of Life’ painting shares a color palette with her sunflower painting.

Olga Escobedo painting with Mother's Milk

Olga Escobedo painting with Mother's Milk

She has started a series of paintings showing the use of various items. This one shows a woman depositing her breast milk in an egg (which has been blown and is empty).  The egg is then put on a stove and warmed before being given to a baby who is suffering from locked intestine, or “Empacho”. Olga says:

“Mothers lactate into an egg that has been drained of its content.  The egg is then placed directly onto a flame to heat, so that the membrane (lining that forms within the egg) melts and mixes with the mother’s breast milk.  It is then poured into a bottle which is given to the infant.”

If you are an adult with the same ailment a tea is prepared from a crushed avocado  seed, herbs, garlic, and water.

Olga Escobedo painting of Curandera at stove

Olga Escobedo painting of Curandera at stove

The second painting shows a woman boiling the tea. Olga:

“Teas are commonly prescribes by Curanderos to their patients.  These teas can be a mixture of herbal plants with other substances like honey, avocado, bone, lemon juice, etc.”

Please note that these ancient remedies are being made in a modern kitchen.  Olga consults books but, more importantly, consults her mother, aunts, and other elders in her community to gather the information.  A fascinating subject … I’m looking forward to more explanatory paintings!

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Travis Trapp has an intricate drawing style.  He begins on a small panel and adds and then adds again.

Travis Trapp

Travis Trapp

 

This drawing is 4 feet by 5 feet and growing.

Travis Trapp drawing close-up

Travis Trapp drawing close-up

Here is a detail of the big picture showing how the forms grow and expand.  He explains “it is a free drawing informed by looking at photographs taken using an electron microscope and then extrapolating from there.  It grows from my subconscious mind.”

Travis Trapp painting

Travis Trapp painting

Here is a delightful painting of a boy sitting on an island …unaware of what is behind him. The color is cheerful and in opposition to the content of the painting which is a bit ominous.

Drawing on the inside of Travis' door

Drawing on the inside of Travis' door

Here is a shot of the inside of Travis Trapp’s door… It is 3′ x 5′ … done with a Sharpie.

Travis Trapp "Portrait of Philip K. Dick"

Travis Trapp "Portrait of Philip K. Dick"

As an admirer Of Philip K. Dick, who wrote many science fiction books, Travis did a portrait of him using his own words.

Travis Trapp "Portrait of Philip K. Dick" detail

Travis Trapp "Portrait of Philip K. Dick" detail

The detail shows the words “a pharmacist on Mars”. Not only is the portrait arresting to look at, it is also thought provoking.  By carefully printing the words, (some of which are unreadable, others which are clearly readable) to create the contours of the face, Travis directs our attention to the content of these ground-breaking works.  Bravo!

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Idalia is a sparkling young woman with many ideas …

Idalia Gonzales

Idalia Gonzales

Here we see one of her paintings devoted to horns and trumpets. When asked what she considered a successful piece of art she replied “It is successful when I begin with an idea and make it happen outside of myself.”  When asked to describe a successful artist she thought a minute and said “It is someone who can wake up any day and say “I want to create and then DO IT.”

Idalia Gonzales with sculpture

Idalia Gonzales with sculpture

Her desire is to explore the “real art world in terms of being a professional artist … where an artist has a career and earns a living creating their vision of the world.” Idalia remarks that she has been exposed to regional and state galleries and museums and is ready to expand to other states and big art centers … go Idalia! … Grow!

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Erum arrived from Pakistan in 1993.  Her masters graduate show reflects her culture in many ways.

Erum Javed, bowl

Erum Javed, bowl

Erum Javed, bowl interior

Erum Javed, bowl interior

The delicate, white, bowls are inscribed with her native language.

Erum Javed, bowl with collar

Erum Javed, bowl with collar

Several sculptures incorporate egg-shaped forms wrapped in crocheted filaments.

Erum Javed

Erum Javed

Here, in the photo of Erum, she has a collar around her neck.  It is constructed from silver thread as are the “collars” around the sculptures.  Note the silvery dress which was made from stiff material which holds its form … the dress seems to be a sculpture in the same vein as her porcelain bowls.  Bravo!

Erum Javed drawing

Erum Javed drawing

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Painting by Susan Fitzsimmons

Painting by Susan Fitzsimmons

This engaging painting is combined with text.  The words are:
To become
an old seed
forced to look for warm
earth
When all the garden
is inhabited

by strangers more desirable …

Sculpture by Susan Fitzsimmons

Sculpture by Susan Fitzsimmons

Sculpture by Susan Fitzsimmons

Sculpture by Susan Fitzsimmons

and then the glowing sculptures!!
they speak for themselves …

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Donning Safety Equipment

Donning Safety Equipment

An interesting development in sculpture class … Dr. Pace introduces us to a “graffiti artist” , a young man who is now an undergraduate at South Texas College. His goal in going to art school is to learn to “come off the wall” … this means to leave 2D (painting on a flat surface) and move into the 3D world (painting or constructing objects which have 3 dimensions – called sculpture).  To do this he devised a 3D version of his tagging name made by using wire and papier-mache fixed on a board. He has hung up his graffiti status and is now an “aerosol artist” but still a “tagger” (one who tags locations with his name).

Aerosol Can Tops

Aerosol Can Tops

He showed us his fonts and the different tops he uses on top of the aerosol can. I could not decipher the letters of his tag name but he insists there is an “S” and an “A” on this board … and a “R”. His friends could read it instantly.

Steven Morin

Steven Morin

Donning his safety gear he began a series of sweeping moves, waving his hand steadily back and forth, up and down, to cover the letters with paint from a few angles.

Steven Morin

Steven Morin

He began with yellow spray …

Steven Morin

Steven Morin

then red …

Steven Morin

Steven Morin

and added blue.

Steven Morin and 3D Signature

Steven Morin and 3D Signature

Steven Morin "Sarin"

Steven Morin "Sarin"

He has a “signature” out in the world of graffiti art which is not revealed. None of the guys who do this want to be known … except to other graffiti makers who recognize each other by signature. Steven said “I can go up and down railroad cars left on a side rail and tell you who did this one and who did that one even though they live thousands of miles away.  It is a community and we judge each others work.”

Tagged Railroad Car, Fresno CA, 2099

Tagged Railroad Car, Fresno CA, 2099

Commissioned Wall featuring several Graffiti artists, including Steven Morin

Commissioned Wall featuring several Graffiti artists, including Steven Morin

Steven Morin "A Manifestation of Calligraphy"

Steven Morin "A Manifestation of Calligraphy"

Signature of an artist on commissioned wall

Signature of an artist on commissioned wall

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