Monday, May 28, 2012

King's Cloak
By Robin Dodge

Photograph by Mel Shockner

My inspiration was the immense body of work that Donatello and Michelangelo created with stone and bronze in their lifetimes. I wanted to share the experience of touching stone and pulling out the creation that lives within the stone.
My design strategy was the body of the owl to have a gentle curve to create the sense of movement even though the owl is in a stationary pose. I used the mix of media to extend the drama and to convey the regal presence owls hold in nature.
My work process. Monty Taylor, sculptor and I had shared a really cool studio with three other artists and at that time we became friends. Then life took us in different directions. Recently we shared in a collaborative project, he with the stone, I with the copper. Originally intended to be a fund raiser for a Kenyan tribe trying to put together a water source for an endangered heard of giraffe, we were very happy with the outcome. At the time I was studying the Renaissance sculptors  who used stone. I wanted to try it. At his studio we were looking in his scap stone pile for a small stone I could work with to get my toes wet. The owl was blocked out but the wing had broken off so it ended up in the discard. It attracted me on a number of levels. Re-purposing is a favorite pass time of mine and my love for winged creatures. The stone is Colorado alabaster and I made the wings with copper to resemble a royal cloak.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Michelangelo's Sketch
Copper by Robin Dodge

Photograph by Mel Shockner

My inspiration was the working sketches of Michelangelo. While searching for study materials, I came across a book at Anthology Book Store downtown titled "Michelangelo, The Pope's Ceiling" by Ross King. In his creative process, he created many sketches that eventually lead to some of his greatest works. I was also inspired in learning about his personal life. It is easy to put these Master on a pedestal and skip over the fact that they were human too, with insecurities and shortcomings and struggles.
Like his sketches, he evolved into one of the greatest artists that has ever lived with a Mount Everest of accomplishments to his credit.
My design strategy. My study strategy was chronological, so  Michelangelo was early in the study. I was extremely intimidated by his genius. I went directly over his sketch and added my impression of it in copper.
My work process. The sketch was a line drawing of Madonna and child. Only the baby was shaded. Using the point of reference of the baby, with sculpting tools, I raised the copper up as though the sketch was coming alive and falling into the 21st century.

"The Legend of the Unicorn" 
copper by Robin Dodge

Photograph by Mel Shockner

My inspiration was a French Tapestry in an old art history text book I found at a garage sale. I essentially copied the tapestry, modifying the image content slightly. I was studying Donatello at the time and there was a common practice of taking a pilgrimage to see and copy the works of past masters and Donatello took such a sojourn. So when I came upon the text book photo I was initially attracted to its' mythical value, unicorns specifically.
My design strategy was to make the tapestry into a copper repousee' reflecting on Donatello's "Feast of Herod"
Work Process I used 8mil copper sheet. Drawing the design onto the copper and with sculpting tools, raising and recessing the image to tell the story. I used washes and patina to add to the drama.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Food for thought

Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.

Three reasons why people are motivated to be creative:

need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation
need to communicate ideas and values
need to solve problems

In order to be creative, you need to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. Tests of creativity measure not only the number of alternatives that people can generate but the uniqueness of those alternatives. the ability to generate alternatives or to see things uniquely does not occur by change; it is linked to other, more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown.
From Human Motivation, 3rd ed., by Robert E. Franken:

Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new that has some kind of value. What counts as "new" may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs. What counts as "valuable" is similarly defined in a variety of ways. From Wiki

You cannot use up creativity. The more you use the more you have. Maya Angelou

Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create to bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new. from Webster

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” ~Antoine De Saint Exupery