Thursday, November 6, 2014

I just published my first eBook!

Stepping up to the plate, and into the 21st century, I have published my book "Behind the Paint - Italy 2011" as an electronic book, available through

I got the free book from Amazon "Building Your Book for Kindle", read it over a few times, 36 pages, and it sounded pretty straight forward. Only takes 5 minutes.

Well, four tries and 2 days later I was finished and the ebook was up on Amazon.

My problem was that I set up the book to be printed in a publishing software, not Word. So, I had to copy and paste all of the formatted text from the publishing software into Word, which stripped all of the formatting of headlines, paragraphs and captions and photos. It was dropped into Word as just text, except the images, which did not come across.

Next, I set up the formats in Word as per Kindle's specs, it took several minutes, and then go through each line making sure it was correct. Then I had to import all of the photos and redo all of the captions again.

When that was done, I uploaded the files to Amazon, quite simple really, and checked the previewer. Did not look quite right, so I revised it several times, until I was happy.

If you are a normal author, you write in Word and you don't have photos, and making an eBook is a piece of cake. If you are an artist and a graphic designer, and your book is photo heavy, well, it just takes a bit longer.

I do plan on publishing all of my books as eBooks, slick once I understand now how it will work.

So look forward to two more eBooks in the next few months, and I am editing my fourth book of the "Behind the Paint" series, it is on five National Parks, and I have started to write my fifth book, "Behind the Bronze" a series of stories and photos of my sculpture. Books four and five in paperback first, then eBooks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ready for Stormy Weather Arts Festival 2014.

I am ready for the Stormy Weather Arts Festival. My sculpture demo is Saturday Nov. 8 from 11 - 4pm. With a reception starting at 5pm. The place is Cannon Beach, Oregon and at Haystack Gallery.

I will be working on a new alabaster stone piece, weather permitting outside Haystack Gallery under their white tent. This piece titled "WindsweptIII" is about 14" high and as you see from the image below, she is seated on some rocks with the wind blowing her hair behind her.

This piece first started out as a clay piece to be cast in bronze (the clay figure on the right in the first photo), then I did a life size bronze of the head only,  titled "Spirit of the Sea". Now he is becoming a stone piece. She is very versatile.

I am also unveiling a new completed stone sculpture. She is 18" tall also out of alabaster. A photo of her is also below.

Oh, and I will be having a book signing of my three paperback books; "Behind the Paint" both one and two, and "The Building of Courage".

Come by and see me and my new "Ladies", and stay for a drink and some nibbles.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July, 2014 The Classic Elements:

I have completed all four Elements in this series; Water, Air, Earth and Fire.
On Saturday May 3, I unveiled the first of the Elements cast in bronze; Water as well as the others completed in clay.
Pre-cast prices for the individual pieces are $5500 ea. (except Water which is cast), retail will be $6000 ea. Each is a Limited Edition of 10. Life-size Bronzes of each are available Limited Edition of 2 each. Prices on request. Please email if you have questions or wish to order.

Water -Final Bronze

On the west, is the element of Water. I have tried to capture the qualities of Water: emotion, love and compassion by laying her down in a long, smooth textured, fluid pose, her hair winding under her and becoming the water gently flowing over and caressing the rocks beneath her. In the Greek and Christian beliefs she embodies the season of winter which I have depicted with her headband emblazoned with a snowflake. Water’s “tool” according to the Wicca and Christians is a cup which I have her holding and it has two dolphins which are her “animal” sign, and a water creature like her astrological sign of Pisces. Lastly, on her chest is her ancient “elemental symbol”, the triangle with the point down, or could it also be a chalice?

Fire - Final Clay with Patina Color
The opposite of Water on the eastern point of the compass is Fire. She is the opposite in every way. Fire is energy, passion, strength so I have her rising up as a warrior springing into action with her sword, her “tool” in the moment of attack. Her fiery personality is carried through with her spiked hair and active texture on her and the area engulfing her. Her headband carries the sun symbol, her season of summer. The elemental symbol is the triangle with the point up, the opposite of Water. Her sword handle carries the symbol of her astrological sign and “animal” Leo – the lion.

Air -Final Clay (detail) with Patina Color

Out of the north, is the element - Air. Not only the opposite in direction of Earth, but in all other qualities. She is rising up in freedom, creativity and intellect, and carrying her message and in her left upraised hand, is a bird her “animal”. She has a more youthful and open figure than Earth and on her headband is her season symbol of spring – a budding flower. The “tool” she carries is a light wand with the astrological symbol of Libra. Her elemental symbol, is the triangle with a line through it, but with the point up.

Earth - Under Construction with Patina Color
The south holds the element of Earth. Her qualities of order, stability and maturity are emphasized in a more curvaceous maternal body, seated on a globe holding court with her “tool”, a sturdy staff, and on the head of the staff is Taurus the bull, both astrology sign and “animal” symbol. Her headband prominently displays a leaf, as she is autumn. Proudly on her chest is the elemental symbol of a triangle- point down- and a line running through it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ready for Spring Unveiling May 2-4.

I am ready for Spring Unveiling. My sculpture demo is Saturday May 3 from 11 - 4pm. With a reception starting at 5pm. The place is Cannon Beach, Oregon and at Haystack Gallery.

I will be unveiling the bronze of "WATER" from my Classic Elements series. The other three pieces will be there as well and they will be finished in clay. You can order the three; FIRE, AIR, and EARTH at a pre-cast price, and the bronze of WATER will be sold at a special price for the weekend only. Each is a limited edition of 10.

Nancy and I are driving to Enterprise, Oregon (6 hrs) on Monday (April 28) to check the metal of WATER, and then on Tues. I will be back in the foundry working on the patina with their artist. I will also pick up the casting of the Stone Sculptor and deliver it and the completed stone carving to the client. Then home with the completed WATER. 

I will also have my latest book at the show for sale. They just arrived from the printer, "Behind the Paint - France & Italy 2013". And some of the paintings that are discussed in the book will also be at Haystack Gallery.

Hope to see all of you there.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Latest Alabaster Stone Carving - Part 5

This is where I am now.

I have completed my carving, (see photo on right), and now will put in more details of muscles and drapery as I sand starting with 185 grit sandpaper.

The next 5-6 days will be spent sanding and polishing the stone, using from 185 grit to 800 grit wet/dry paper. The next posting will be the final piece.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Latest Alabaster Stone Carving - Part 4

FYI, when I first started carving in stone, I bought the beginners set of soft stone carver’s chisels and rasps. And they did a good job for a few years until I decided I liked carving and wanted to do more.

That’s when I decided to go all in for tools, so I bought several good Italian Milani rasps and chisels in the sizes that I seemed to use the most often.

Personally I don’t like to use power tools although I have an angle grinder and a Dremel when I really need them. A friend asked why since I could do the carving in half the time with power. I am just starting stone carving and I want to feel the stone and find out how to work with it. And yes, I have made a few mistakes. I have several small pieces of stone that started out as a single larger stone until I hit it wrong. So now I have some practice pieces and have learned a bit about the grain of stone and veins of mud. Hey even the master Michelangelo spent several years carving a piece of  marble when he hit it wrong and it shattered enough that he had to get a new stone and start over.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Latest Alabaster Stone Carving - Part 3

During most of my carving time, I lay the clay beside the stone to make carving easier. Now it is just a matter of carving away the stone I don’t need and work on the various planes of the sculpture. Here I use the small 4-tooth chisel to cut closer to the right depths and have better control of what I take off. I also have used the small flat chisel to smooth out the leg. I decided to go in and start to shape the leg and thighs. For this I use the various rasps.

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Latest Alabaster Stone Carving - Part 2

So, here is how I begin. I am mostly an additive sculptor, using clay I can add clay where I want it and move it around. If I make a mistake, I just add or delete clay as needed. Stone sculpting is subtractive, I can only delete the stone, so if make a mistake, well, that’s how abstract art came about.

I always start with a drawing then I make a clay maquette piece, most of the time it is the same size as the final stone. It makes it easier to transfer measurements, from the clay to the stone, but I have used a smaller maquette on larger stone pieces.

Once I get the stone, chances are I have to revise the clay to fit the actual size and usable part of the stone. You can see in the photos from my last post that the stone came with some challenges, but all is good.

The photo on the left shows my first steps with the stone. I draw on the stone with a blue crayon, the profile of the piece from one side. Then I use my crosscut saw, (alabaster is a soft stone that can even be carved with a knife), to cut kerfs in the stone stopping at the profile line. This allows me to quickly get rid of a lot of stone without a lot of effort. 

I then pick up my pointed chisel and knock off the kerfs. Within a few hours, I have taken the stone down to a profile that is easier to work with. Next step I use my calipers and dividers and transfer measurements and drawing from the clay to the stone. On this piece, once I have the drawing on the stone, I start with the forward thrusting leg and again with the pointed chisel start to carve away the stone.

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Latest Alabaster Stone Carving - Part 1

Had a great meeting today with the couple, Steve and Jane, on the stone carving I am creating for them. They purchased two of my bronze sculptures, The Glassblower and The Stone Sculptor. Jane and Steve told me what they were looking for in the stone, so I did a drawing once I got the stone and emailed it to them.

They had some concerns about the drawing which is why we met today. Along with the sketch I sent them, I also showed them the clay model I made. I always do a clay maquette before I start carving as it is easier for me to see what to carve.

They loved the piece, just wanted the figure to be slimmed down a bit through the legs and thighs. Easy enough.

So I have started working on the stone when I got home from our meet. This is my sketch and photo of the stone and clay maquette.

4 sandbags - made from a pair of cut up jeans
1.5 lb. Milani Soft Iron hammer
Steel Chisels from Milani: small & med point,  
                       small & med flat, small 4-tooth
Milani Rasps: 8” - #657, #660, #662, #667, #664
Safety Glasses with 2.5x bifocals
Shock absorbing Veleco fingerless gloves
3M 7093 Double Respirator labeled P100
Aleve – no surprise here
Mario’s Italian White Translucent Alabaster 35lbs.

Blue-Emu Penetrating Gel –
     For my arthritic hands
Clay Maquette of figure
18” Ruler/blue crayon
3M Sandpaper wet/dry: 165-800grit
Kiwi Neutral Paste Wax
Black & Decker Sawhorse
Rubber Floor Pad
Dremel - for tight areas of sanding
Crosscut wood saw