The informal trail to my plein air studio was marked by something different today. Old tires that were cut apart to extract their metal wheels were hung upon a few select willows like perverse life preservers. I saw few people out today and in fact a light drizzling rain probably contributed to that. Approaching my “studio” I could see that it had been visited again. The “Choir” group of sculptures that had been thrashed a few weeks ago were once again the targets of abuse. All the figures that had once been standing were all broken and horizontal.
By now, I am somewhat accustomed to the destruction that happens to the works I regularly leave out here. This time, however, there was something oddly different. Why would anyone take the wooden plank that I like to sit on while I make these sculptures? I checked all around the area and could not find it and so I assumed it was carried off. My searching did uncover this scene involving a small found object sculpture that someone had previously made and left as a gift. Here’s how it appeared this time.
Perhaps the same people who made a mess of my outdoor studio set this up. A small doll that I had found months previously was decapitated and its head placed on this improvised “pike”. I took a few photos and left it be. Returning to my polystyrene cache, I decided to recycle some of the larger pieces that were now lying haphazardly on the ground and here are a few in process shots of the new sculpture I came to call “Big Red”.
Because this work was reminding me of something I had made before, I decided it needed something different to distinguish it. While looking for my favorite plank, I also came across the unravelling rope snagged on a willow branch with its small figure I had posted a few weeks a go. The rope was now lying in the sand…it had been pulled down from the tree.
I removed the little figure hiding among the fibers and put him in my collecting bag. I will reassemble him once I get home and perhaps make a gift of him to somebody. The shredded barge cable I also took along, but I had a different purpose for this…it would become a wig for Big Red.
I arranged the dishevelled rope upon the figure’s head and decided it needed a bit of styling. Luckily, while walking the river I found the tools I needed. First I found a brush…and I have found many of these over time.
And then, I located a blow dryer!
In no time I was able to coif my figure. Here she is as a train passes over the railroad bridge.
I left the figure where I made her and frankly I don’t expect to see her intact again. It wouldn’t surprise me if she didn’t last the day, but at least I have these pictures to record her existence by the riverbank. Here is my parting image of her as she waves to the river that partially gave her “life”.
One final snapshot…I got a kick finding that little hair dryer and I do mean little! To help judge its scale I placed a five cent piece from my pocket next to this artifact and recorded this image.