Saturday, December 7, 2013

13P-8 (December 6)

It was an interesting day. We'd had a long discussion about the "Fighting Spirit" situation, and I gained a little more understanding of what a relationship is. Experiments, doing things together, without expectations. I'm too used to planning these things.

Friday started with a run to the store to fix the bare cupboard problem. After that, there were some other errands I needed to do, and a bike ride would have been nice. The tidal window was still open, though, and there was sunlight even if the day was fairly cold. Sand sculpture won the choice.

This continued the series of highly tactile sculptures, with broad curves and sturdy parts that invite touch. The style looks back to 1984, but with something like current hollows and flow.

The day ended with golden wispy clouds drawn on the sky like calligraphy with horsehair brushes and wind. The needs of sand sculpture don't work well with the needs of staying warm, and I left before sunset so that walking could warm me.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

13P-7, "Fighting Spirit" (December 4)

I guess I still don't really believe. This sculpture started with an argument with God, war waged with the #1 Loop Tool against sunlight, cold and caring. We eventually sorted things out. It was still cold.

The sculpture would have benefited from more cooperation and less hurry. There was plenty of sunlight left when I called it done. Still, I like it, and it's an interesting continuation of developing ideas of what a sculpture is beyond the definition that served for so many years: a block of sand with holes cut into it. The arch paradigm no longer rules quite so firmly.

Nor does the idea that there is value in delicacy for delicacy's sake. Yes, it's a great way to show off carving skills, to make a shell-like structure that's less than an inch thick, but does the design work? Now I'm exploring design. Engineering has been well proven.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

13P-6, "Now Do You Believe Me???"

Free-piled sculpture must be started just after the receding tide has uncovered sand fine enough for the purpose. The other end of the window is defined by sunset. The window slides forward, day by day, following the moon's progress in its orbit. When falling tide comes too close to sunset, the window is closed and I have to wait. Late-window starts get the benefit of afternoon lighting, as in this sculpture.

There are a few days left in the present window, and I might be able to get a nice sunset sculpture in. Assuming weather permits, of course.

Note the drying area at the top of the sculpture. This one ran about 4 hours, which is a long time in the sun. I didn't bring a sprayer and had no way to carry water to sprinkle onto the sculpture, so I just had to be careful as it dried out.

Construction images are by Larry Dudock, with my EOS-70D. I did the image editing and adjustments with the GIMP, as for all 2013 sculptures.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

13P-5 (November 28)

The predicted rain was still holding off. Despite the aches brought on by the previous day's sculpture, I packed what I needed and walked to the Breakwater for a Thanksgiving day sculpture. Bright sun, dry breeze from inland that had me worried for a time. Good sand was available.

I deliberately made this one smaller. I'd lost track of the overall shape of 13P-4, partly due to its rare size. I was post-sculptural already so needed something simpler.

The design challenge has always been to balance the space with the hard parts. This one felt good, just stroking the curves into shape. It was very inviting to the touch. I could have put more holes in it but didn't want to fall into the trap of default shapes and default defining spaces. This will take some time to work out, I think.

There have been transitions before. I started in 1982 with a simple catenary arch, and the arch pretty much defined the sculptures until mid-1996. I did a piece I called 'Dance," which was kind of the apotheosis of the arch. From that one onward I was exploring other shapes. Oh, the arch was still there, its structural characteristics essential, but it was quite a bit more complex now. Design questions have continued to arise. It's a good thing my projects end at sunset, if not before, because otherwise the design issues would paralyze me.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

13P-4 (November 27)

This is the day the tide window opened, with tide going down in mid-morning enough to expose good sand. Assuming it was still there, I packed food, water, camera and a tool subset and started walking. The day was warming. Supposedly there is rain due tomorrow, but if so it'll take some work.

Good sand was still available, and relaxed surf meant I could start piling immediately. It ended up being big, for a free-piled sculpture. Bigger than I had the stamina to stay with, really; many details got away from me and the whole design was confused.

I wanted to have some bulbous horizontal elements, with some sort of contrast on the other side. The problem was making things visible. Horizontal elements are hard to carve between, and even harder to see through.

Still a good day to be on the beach. Warm sun, no wind. A flight of pelicans had to work at going south, with no wave-displaced air to ride.

I converted most of the images to greyscale because the lighting was harsh. There might be better ways to convert than I used, which was just the basic mode change in GIMP.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


For years, friends have chided me (reasonably kindly) for my habit of not photographing sculptures. This has more to do with the camera I bought in 2004 than any real opposition to the idea. The camera is big, heavy, and hard to carry.

Finally, last Friday, thinking about buying something more portable bore fruit. A test walk with the camera on Saturday produced a few images. On Sunday I added some sculpture tools to the pack and walked to the Breakwater through the clear afternoon air. Click on an image to see the full-sized version.