It’s late in the month, and the classic Texas heat settled in a few weeks early, so the lack of updates is more to do with taking the habits of one Heloderma suspectum and working predominately under cover and in the wee hours. (Taking all habits might be a bad idea: the neighbors might take issue with sucking eggs and swallowing baby bunnies whole.) That means, though, that between shows and events, new enclosures are getting ready for premiere at summer Triffid Ranch gallery events. Here’s a taste, as part of a dry-fitting before making final adjustments and planting the final enclosure:
More to follow…
A bare hint of upcoming projects, with many thanks both to Custom Cranium and the folks at Reynolds Advanced Materials Dallas…
As to where these are going? Well, you’ll have to come out to Texas Frightmare Weekend in May 2015 to find out.
As mentioned a while back, I’m an unrepentant fan of the palaeoart of Raven Amos and Scott Elyard, two old friends in Alaska who fill my PO box with entirely too much wonderful stuff every time they have an art show. After a while, I started thinking “What would it take to make their work into garden sculpture?” (As the Czarina can attest, this sort of thought happens quite often. This is why we don’t have a hitch trailer for hauling heavy items, because otherwise the back yard of the house really would look like a set for The Red Green Show.) However, not having the studio nor the talent of a Bruce Gray, it was a matter of keeping things small.
Also as mentioned previously, I share so many habits with Gila monsters that they’re practically my totem animal. The venomous bite that’s painful but rarely dangerous is a given, as is a taste for sucking eggs and eating baby bunnies in the spring, as well as looking very fetching in orange and black. No, the wisdom I learned from Heloderma suspectum that I most appreciate is “if you don’t have to be out in the heat, stay underground.” With summer finally kicking in, this means that days off, evenings, and weekends are spent as far away from the yellow hurty thing in the sky as I can manage. Others might fill that time with reading, online porn, or Russian roulette under tournament rules. Me, it’s a matter of getting ready for next October’s FenCon X show. If that means huffing europium paints until I sneeze luminous boogers, then it’s worth the effort.
The real surprise to Cybersaurus (2013), aside from the final plant arrangement in which it’ll appear in October, isn’t that obvious in full daylight. However, inspired by Raven and Scott’s work, most of its best detail is most visible in the dark or under ultraviolet. That all depends upon the amount of light it receives, as one of the best discoveries of the whole project was learning that europium absorbs enough energy in full sun that it glows in shade. (The plan for a subsequent sculpture involves built-in UV LEDs powered via solar cells on its back. I just need to find a suitable Spinosaurus or Acrocanthosaurus skeleton model to make it work.)
And it keeps coming. A very large order of custom glass means that several larger custom arrangements can be finished this summer, with comparably scaled cybersaurs of their own in them. A good wash of paint to bring out the metal, a bit more europium paint, and suitable weathering, and they should work quite well. And so it goes.
To quote Michelangelo, “When I steal an idea, I leave my knife.” This seemed to work for him, considering his career of artistic bootlegging, and it works here. Being a hopeless fan of the work of Alaska artists Scott Elyard and Raven Amos, I’ve argued for years that the gardening trade needs an alternative to flamingos and gnomes for garden ornamentation, and there’s no better alternative than a blatant plagiarism of Scott and Raven’s Dinosaurs and Robots exhibition. What better way to leave my knife than show the first part of a miniature garden series in progress?
Please note that this is just the bare start: besides constructing the rest of the series, this skeleton itself is nowhere near finished. Let’s just say that I’m very glad that I bought enough europium paint and ultraviolet LEDs for the project.
As for seeing the final series, you’ll have to wait. If this doesn’t add a bit of incentive for people to come out for FenCon X, I don’t know what will.