Each year I look forward, and simultaneously dread, the Loveland Sculpture Invitational show. This is one of two shows that happens in Loveland, Colorado each year no the same weekend. They are across the street from one another and combines form the biggest collection of sculptors and sculpture in one place. It's amazing to see and enjoy. The 2013 show is scheduled for August 9,10, 11. As a bronze sculptor, you'd think I might fear getting lost in all the beautiful work displayed. However, the opposite is true. I think each artist stands on their own and has the chance to exhibit their uniqueness. Here is a link to the shows website.
Save the date, the "BIG" show
I was asked by my children's school to teach a sculpting class for 6th graders once a week for the next 5 weeks. Today was the first and it went relatively well. Luckily it's an elective, so the students are there because the chose to be. We discussed various occupations for a sculptor, such as special effects, creating monuments and toys. Then I showed a few basics. Next week we'll give them clay and see what happens.
For myself (and for my dad) the refinement process is the hardest to do and remain focused. When you start a new piece of art work, bronze sculpture or painting, it's loose, it's fresh, it's not set. Once the process begins to unfold, your work becomes more fixed. Additional changes will always happen, but eventually you get to a point when positions, tilts, angles are done. The peice is ready for another stage. Then comes the refinement process. This is the texture, eyes, wrinkles details, details, details and much more. Although absolutely vital for the finished sculpture, it becomes monotonous and at times boring. Only thing to do, keep going....
A constant awareness
Early on in my career I learned the importance of knowing, or at least being aware, of copyright laws. I found"knock offs" of my fathers work almost everywhere. I'd see them in trade shows, catalogs, online, even in an Oklahoma gas station "gift store". Although overseas business and foundries would use his images and recreate his images, the struggle to fight them became too costly and time consuming. However, sometimes the other side of the coin is that we, as artists, need to be aware of copyrighted images of individuals that may still be owned by the family or estate of that individual, especially those who are / were famous. Copyright laws are constantly changing yet it's up to us as the artists to be aware and not become what
A finished snow sculpture
I was recently invited to participate on a team in a local "snow sculpting" competition. Here is a picture of our final piece, two swans forming a heart. Boy it was tiring. Although we didn't win the judges heart, which would have moved us into "nationals", we did win the local "popular" vote. Residents and passerby's could purchase stickers for $1 (which all went to a local charity) and they then placed the stickers on a board as their "vote". Apparently people liked our snow sculpture and many had a chance to take their pictures with it. As an artist it's always good to stretch yourself and learn new mediums and break away from the norm. This opportunity helped me learn and develop more than I expected.
I was invited to participate in a snow sculpting competition team this week. Our design is of two swans touching and their necks forming a heart. Somewhat cliche but it is Valentine's, so it works. I'll be sure to post pictures soon of the finished product. Snow is not clay. Working in a different medium is challenging but hopefully helps develop my talents as an artist.
These updates are written by Eli Hopkins.