I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are

Immortal Artist is dedicated to exploring all aspects of experimental art and creating new and innovative techniques which other artists can use to strengthen their own work.


The blogs creator, experimental artist Grey Cross pursues and discusses art across a wide spectrum of artistic mediums. They include painting, sculpting, body art, digital art, and photography. With an emphasis on teaching artists to utilize today's social networks to further their own art and reputations.


This blog uses the Living Blog concept, an idea created by Grey Cross

Grey Cross Studios/Immortal Artist Operations

New Orleans

Email: greyacross@aol.com

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Lady of Shalott - (Developmental Sculpture Study)

I often do tutorials for sculptures I am working on, especially if they involve new or experimental techniques. But sometimes a piece is just created spontaneously with no forethought other than the shape of a piece of wood or the desire to use a particular object in its creation. With those it is sometimes more difficult to create a tutorial around. But some of the insights involved in their development can still be of interest. In fact I find these pieces the most intriguing because I often stumble upon some things hidden to my conscious mind when I am creating them. 

So with that said, this begins the first a new series of blog entries I am calling "Developmentals".

The dictionary defines Development as: the act or process of developing; growth; progress

This suits fine for a series of photos and subnotes referring to a specific piece of art. These will not be tutorial pieces. And will mostly be shots of the work table. I will not go in depth into the design process but I will point out aspects that I think are important to the process. 

I hope you find interest in these and as always commentary is welcome. 

Slide #1
Starting Point



Here you see laid out some of the preliminary components that I think might suit this piece. I've chosen a piece of driftwood with character and interesting patterns but with no clear design as to where the piece is going. Many of these components will never be used, but I place them nearby to be played with later. 

Slide #2



The large tower you see to the rear was a piece built for a previous sculpture which was later removed. But a lot of work went into its construction, so I set it aside for possible future use. The female sculpture to the front is a statue of the Santeria goddess Yemaya that I purchased at our local voodoo store a few months ago. When I decided to use her in this piece I suddenly felt like the piece needed to be named The Lady of Shalott. It reflects her origins in Arthurian legend where she lives on an island castle in the midst of a river which flows to Camelot. 

Slide #3



I've decided that the base around the tower and wood needs to be water, so I've had to raise the tower up to the level of the wood. I've created a ramp that will be added later as a cross over. The tower is on raised blocks stamped into the natural clay.

Slide #4



The water is now in place using a mix of clay, glue and silicon to create some wave. Everything has been black based to ready it for actual color detailing

Slide #5



The first color has now been applied to the sculpture. I tried to go with a complimentary color scheme that matched the tower. I think I got it right. The water needs quite a bit of work still. I also added the columns leading up to the lady. 

Slide #6



Here you get a real good look at what is emerging. I was not happy with the water, so I went out and bought some silicon (thats what you see in the white). I redesigned the water to give it a choppier look. I also sanded along the driftwood and the tower to make it look like the waves are crashing against the sand. Over I'm very pleased so far with the results.

Slide #7,8,9





Here I am about 95% complete with the piece. The water finally came out the way I wanted it. There are several coats of polyurethane left to be added. After that the piece will be ready. We are considering using this piece in our next Art Garden event as a free raffle giveaway. We shall see. I will post the final photos here once its finished. 

FINAL IMAGES

Here are the final images for the piece. Its been placed on a 72 hour Pay What You Want pricing. After that if its not sold then it will go to the Art Garden as a free raffle prize. 







Comments and questions are welcomed on this piece! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Faces of the Revenant Cycle (Sculpture Tutorial)

Explanation

If you've not followed one of my tutorials before, these are done to allow other artists some insight into the experimental techniques I use to create my sculpture work. This tutorial will take you step by step from concept to the final creation. They are usually done in real time, meaning that as I am creating it I am also taking time to photo document the process and post and write about it as each step is completed. Depending on the sculpture, the process may take a week to two weeks to complete. I appreciate feedback and commentary in the space provided below. I will answer any questions to the best of my ability both during the process and after it concludes. 


  • SCULPTURE NAME: Face #1 (Temp Name)
  • SCULPTURE SERIES: Faces of the Revenant Cycle
  • SIZE: N/A
  • PRICE POINT: Not yet decided

Concept

The concept of this piece was to design a sculptured face series that may eventually lead to doing a series of Mardi Gras masks later on using some newer experimental techniques that I work with. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Image of the Day - The Gift Table


We are now seven days from the Darkness and the Light art show in New Orleans. Most of the detail work has now been completed and I am spending these last few days keeping my hands busy by creating a few last pieces as gifts to some of the people that have been so kind and helpful in the orchestration of this show. 

There is a lesson to be learned here about thanking people who help. Shows of this size cannot be put on without the assistance of others. The final countdown begins on Monday as the week will be filled with last minute details I am sure. 


Why I Don't Do Things Like Most Artists



I was recently asked why I did not participate in juried art competitions. It got me thinking about a whole range of things that I "Don't Do" that others artists most typically do.

The first juried competition I was ever in I placed in the top three with the photo you see on this page. I wasn't even interested in submitting a piece but the theme was "weddings" and I couldn't help but submit a photo of these two wonderful gentlemen dancing at their wedding reception. Mind you this was before gay marriage was legal and still controversial. But it wasn't controversy that made the jury choose it. It was the emotion held within.

But this photo also represented the last juried competition I was to place work. I get asked often why I never enter work in these things. In fact I had one artist ask me if I felt I was too good for them. 

I can honestly say no. I do not feel too good for them and no I definitely do not feel they are a waste of time for some artists. It is a good way to gain the recognition of peers (the jurors) and to be seen in a public space.

But I do not believe in popularity contests. If a juried competition is truly about the art not the popularity of the artist then it is a wise investment of the artists time. If the judges are chosen wisely, and they take the responsibility seriously their advice can be of great value.

So why don't I submit? I am not sure there is one answer to this question.  Part of it is a true desire to never compete with other artists. My personal opinion is that my work is no better than any other artist. Another is that I honestly did not like the way it made me feel when I did well in that first and only competition. I was smug for a few minutes until I saw the other pieces submitted and really felt mine was not the best. There were others that were equal in skill or surpassing my own.

My whole life as an experimental artist has been to learn something new and in turn share it back to others. For me to compete against others just doesn't feel right.

With that said I can't stress enough that it is important for an artists work to be seen. Art that stays in a closet and is never seen is not art, its clutter.

But when I made the transition from professional photographer to visual artist my own personal game rules included not trying to be an overnight success. I knew it would take a slow methodical build up of name, reputation and art to get where I wanted to go. But those rules did not include some of the classic things that other artists did. The list included but was not limited to:

Monday, March 7, 2016

Image of the Day - The Hanging Tree


This is an example of an art technique I am often asked about. This piece is a driftwood sculpture. It started by attaching the driftwood to a tile base Its then hung in an adjustable wire cradle with a drip plate beneath it. Foaming glue is then applied to create a drip pattern on the wood. The piece will be adjusted approximately 30 times in the cradle to cause the foaming glue to dry in different striated patterns and to build up and expand slowly. Each adjustment takes about an hour to place the glue and allow it to dry and expand. The piece seen here has had 11 turns so far. Its a slow process but the patterns that come from it are sometimes amazing. This would not be possible with normal glue as the dry time would make it a hopelessly long process. Foaming glue dries within an hour and because it expands it increases the pattern. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Orchestrating a Unique Art Event (Show Prep 101)



On March 18, 2016 I will be doing a show of my work with two other very talented artists. After discussing it with my co-artists I've decided to use this as a teaching platform for other artists wishing to put on their own shows.

Unlike a gallery show where the gallery takes a lot of the weight off the shoulders of the artists when they host, this one we are doing ourselves. This is the wave of the future. Gallery hosted shows are becoming rarer and artists are having to take on the burden of a show themselves. Many artists are are going towards pop-up galleries. This will be much more than a pop-up gallery and much less than a gallery hosted event. We hope to aim for somewhere right in the middle of the two.


Because this is an artists hosted event, we feel there is benefit in sharing the details with our fellow artists on this site and on the wuzzleit.com site which is hosted by my co-artist Rosie Hartman.



With that in mind, I want to share some of the details as we go along on this journey towards the show.


Friday, March 4, 2016

The Faces of the Darkness and the Light - The Artists




March 18, 2016
YaYa Art Center
3322 LaSalle Street

New Orleans

The Darkness & Light show in New Orleans is about more than one artist. A special group of creatives have come together for one extraordinary evening. Each of these artists have very special qualities that make them who they are. While this page is merely an introduction to each of them we encourage you to come and meet them at the show and find out more about their special talents and gifts!

For more information on the show click here: