Sunday, March 25, 2018

SCULPTURE: Flying Monkey Upgrade

Nine years ago, I sculpted my little series called the "Flying Monkey Squadron". It was inspired by the flying monkeys of "Wizard of Oz" with a Steampunk/WWI Ace Pilot flavor. This week, I decided to do a makeover and brighten up the color palette. I was again inspired...this time by Fire Fighters and the latest run of super hero movies. Now these guys are a group of Special Ops Rescue Rangers! 

If you want to see step-by-step how I made everything, just click on the LABEL in the right-side column of this blog..."SCULPTURE: Flying Monkey Squadron".

Friday, March 9, 2018

SCULPTURE: "Baby Groot"

Yesterday, my eldest daughter, Jenni, opened a surprise early birthday present that I made for her (at the suggestion of her boyfriend, Brad). She is obsessed with cute little "Baby Groot" from the movie "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" and was delighted to get one of her very own.
Before I began to actually sculpt, I gathered tons of images of "Baby Groot" from the web...front, back side views...whatever was available for research. As with most of my sculptures made from "Super Sculpy" clay, I started the process with an armature of aluminum wire set into a wooden base. I built up the form with aluminum foil, then added the clay in stages. I used a "hot air gun" from the hardware store (for stripping paint) to "cook" the sculpture. You can add more clay and keep sculpting after each baking, if you wish. This helps to lock in the details, so they wont be "mushed" from subsequent sculpting (by accident, usually). Once the sculpting phase was done, I used glazes of acrylic paints to layer in the various tones...darker washes to settle into the cracks, then dry-brushing lighter colors for the highlights. I used metal ball-bearings for the eyes (scraping the paint off at the end, so they'd shine).

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

SCULPTURE: "The Warthog Mask"

After the wonderful experience of helping the UMKC Grad Students production of "The Storytelling Project", I was so inspired by the process of mask-making, that I had to create one of my own for my studio wall. I pulled a lot of research from the internet for inspiration and came up with an African-influenced design of a Wart Hog (one of my favorite animals).
The materials are a combination of paper, cardboard, paper mache, grass rope and a bit of aluminum foil. Now that I've finished this one, I still have a nice open space on my wall for another mask!


Last weekend was the final performance of the UMKC Theater Grad Student's "The Storytelling Project." I wanted to show you a few images of the final costumes and decorated masks (Photos above by Khalif Gillett). While I provided two finished masks that were painted (The Deer Skull and "Fire Head"), the students decorated the "blank" masks and really surprised me with their creativity. The production was colorful, mysterious, funny, and thought-provoking. I was so glad that my friends, Karen Lisondra (Director) and Amado Espinoza (Musical Director) asked me to participate in this production. The 7 Grad students who collaborated on the creation and performance of the show were Khalif Gillett, Chelsea Kinser, Marianne McKenzie, Emilie Leia Karas, Yetunde Felix-Ukwu, Jason Francescon, and Freddy Acevedo. It was a terrific show and I was honored to be able to help with the masks!!