Thursday, February 10, 2011

Elusive Legend

I don't know how many people will be offended to know that a lot of my information comes from seeing dead species. How else would you be able to measure a wild animal unless you are fortunate enough to have them to view daily. I will also admit that I am from a hunting family, yes I know I am going to get flack from that but  animals have to be managed some how and licensed hunting is a game management effort to keep  their numbers under control. We only have so much open space and so much to graze on and any over population will just lead to wildlife dieing in tremendous numbers.

Whitetail are a typical example of a wild animal that multiplies at a tremendous rate and has adapted to civilization in such a way as to endanger themselves and drivers by running across highways that in previous times was a natural trail for their migration.

Elusive Legend was an interesting study of not only one of my favorite animals but one of the most graceful animals in the United States. They are able to stand on a fence line and gracefully glide over that fence as though it was nothing. Some animals go through a fence (pronghorn to name one) but a whitetail was born to fly and fly they do.

This piece also depicts one of my favorite sites to see and that is the old cross timber fences, so often people run barbed wire on areas that intend to mark their property and end up snagging a deer and having them become entangled and dieing a slow death of starvation where they struggle and become more and more entangled.

Elusive Legend
 This piece was fun to do because I got to play a little with the type of horns I wanted to see, it was done on a wire armature with Chavant clay and done separate from the fence so I actually never had the two together until they were welded after casting. A hunting friend of mine informed me after I had intended to have my deer flipping his tail that a deer only flipped that beautiful white flag of a tail  when alerted to danger or running away from danger....can't we pretend?

So hopefully all hunters are ethical and truly hunt for the right reason and hopefully they will not be judged by non hunters just because they love animals.....hunters pay with their license's to help manage the deer population because they love whitetails also and most eat the meat to feed their families.

 This is a view of the metal before the patina is done and just after welding, the most important thing I learned from this piece is that you can eliminate the welding scars so to speak and keep it cleaner by leaving the wax of the log that is touching the deers stomach area attached to the wax deer when it goes to the foundry therefore they are cast together not welded together. Then all you have to do is weld the log onto the fence area.
This was also a good study in animal muscle since in the position I placed my deer certain muscles are long and strung out and others were gathered.

On this animal in particular my set up of having mirrors in the corner of my studio to place the animal  gave me the opportunity to check out the proportionate muscle action on both sides at the same time. If you don't have this you are constantly turning the animal and checking it but you can loose the error in turning.

The eye is a fickle partner in art, you see what you want to see...that is where it is good to always cover up art for a period of time and when you go back you are looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes.