Friday, June 29, 2007

A Mini Surprise Idea

Ms. Muse was staring at the fish tank when I approached. “Look at those little fish under the plant, do they ever come out?” she asked.

“Well of course, when they are grazing the floor of the aquarium for food they do,” I replied. “Sometimes you will also see them dart to the top of the water for a gulp of air,” I said.
“Really,” she commented completely mesmerized at the fish tank.

“Just look at the lovely, tiny blue and pink fish, hanging around together,” she said. Her statement trailed away into a thought I was putting together. As she put her finger the the glass and gently coxing the fish to follow her movement.

“Ms. Muse, I have a friend who has a birthday coming up and I would like to make him a mini-cake, but I don’t know what to make him?” I inquired.

“Let’s put on our thinking caps,” she stated. “What is he like?”

“Hmm, he is quiet, unassuming, a good coworker, and seems to be a loner.” I replied.

She was looking at the snail moving up the wall of the aquarium. She turned and looked at me while pointing to the snail and said, “That quiet, unassuming critter just might be your answer.” “Put some color into him like those blue and pink fish,’ she said.

I looked at the school of Neon Tetra’s and thought of rainbow colors. The new creation was formed.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's Finished

The tulip piece is complete. It is called Ode to Mapplethorpe or It’s All Just Beefcake.

Sometimes I wonder if the end piece of my creation is appropriate or not. Ms. Muse seemed very entertained by the tulip piece, but I am less then please in the end. However, the sculpture has been submitted and I did all I could do and that is enough.

Ms. Muse had the right idea, but sometimes she is so literal that I think she takes the fun right out of discovering something new through the peeling back of many layers and revealing its soul. She is only concerned about the conception of the idea. Maybe, though, a one dimensional fun piece can be enough.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Road Down a New and Old Path

I came upon Ms. Muse walking on the bike path. It was a well known spot for agate hunting. She was carefully examining one she had just picked up.

“Well hello Ms. Muse,” I called to her, screeching my bike to a full stop. As I jumped off she plopped the stone into a coffee can she had brought. “I’ve been looking for you.” I stated. She looked up and smiled. “What I am doing next with the tulips?” I asked.

She sat down on a dead log and patted the spot next to her. Because we were in a sandy area, instead of putting the kickstand down on my bike, I moved it off the bike path and laid it down in the grass. The back wheel was still turning as I sat down beside her.

I anxiously said, “I have three sugar tulips and three leaves finished. Now what?” I asked her.

“We are going to create a tribute to Mapplethorpe,” she said while rummaging through her stones in the coffee can.

“What?” I exclaimed rolling my eyes. I was so disappointed. Every hack photographer has created a flower still life similar to Mapplethorpe’s, just as every aspiring painter has painted a piece in honor of Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers, I thought.

“It’s been done.” I stated matter-of-factly in the best uninterested voice I could muster.

With a twinkle in her eye her voice barely above a whisper she said, "Not the way we are going to do it." She cupped her hand around my ear and began sharing her secret.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Delightful Announcement Morphs into Future Pieces

When I came across Ms. Muse this morning, she was lying idly on the knoll, gnawing on a piece of grass watching the white cloud from the airplane exhaust dissipate into the brilliant blue sky. I plopped down beside her.

“Remember when we played Tag last month,” I asked her.

“Yup,” she replied without breaking her concentration on the exhaust.

“Remember the Cowboy that became Lady Liberty and the cookies shaped like an elephant and donkey that became white chocolate,” I asked again.

“Mm hmm,” she nodded still not looking at me, while the grass blade bounced up and down in the air.

“Remember how we turned the sculpture into a brick wall with graffiti?” I asked again. “Well,” I continued, not letting her reply to my last question, “We won Best in Category — Sculpture in the International Juried Art Show — America,” I exclaimed in absolute delight.

Over 15 years chasing the creative bug in photography with nothing to show for it at all and during the last year and a half learning how to create in sugar I’ve been in three art shows, received an arts grant and now this honor along with being in the show! I couldn’t be more pleased with myself, I thought.

Completely indifferent, Ms. Muse sat up and wrapped her arms around her knees and took the piece of grass out of her mouth. She looked directly into my eyes and said, “That’s nice; now shouldn’t you get busy and finish your tulip sculpture?”

Stunned with her reaction and sucking in my breath, I got up from the ground and started to walk away shattered. A ship with the wind taken out of my sails, I thought.

She called after me, “Getting the honor is not the end you know, but the beginning.” “You were trained well and you had the talent all along,” She acknowledged. “But you were using the wrong medium. You have a lot to say, now get busy creating your new pieces.” She stated matter-of-factly lying back down on the grass.

I agreed and continued to walk away and began to think about the tulips.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Latest Trends or Over the Top Sugar Art

The average person off the street does not normally have the chance to see the trends happening in sugar art, formally known as cake decorating. They usually purchase boring “ready-mades” from the locally grocery mega-store and have someone write the innocuous “Happy Birthday” in frosting in the space provided on the cake. (The writing on cakes along with the lighting of candles is in itself another topic for discussion.) The most recent airing of the Food Network’s Cake Challenge “Villain Cakes,” provides viewers with hints of the next levels of our sugary consumption. Adding the likes of animated cake parts, one might think the taste sensation rather boring in comparison. This is not a new trend in the over all scheme of the affluent.

For instance, in a review of the a Shelburne Museum doll exhibit there were 31 mechanical pieces being exhibited and made in Paris during the last half of the 19th century, The New York Time’s Tuesday, June 12, 2007 article mentions that, “Automata first appeared in Europe in the early Renaissance. They were virtuoso demonstrations of the great skills of goldsmiths and of the new discoveries of engineering and science…” And like todays over the top sugar art consumers interested in the latest trends like movable cake parts, the expensive dolls were marketed as toys for adults, and according to The New York Times, “most likely displayed to entertain guests.”

As like the Automata of the 19th century that inspired engineers and drove technology forward, this new trend with sugar, which usually has marked very special occasions such as pending birth, christening, birthday, wedding and finally death and shared with family and friends, is challenging the world with new creations showing the talent and skill of its artisans elevating it to heights greater than just a simple cake to eat, but rather a variation in entertainment for guests.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A New Game

“He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, and he loves me not - - - aha!” Ms Muse cried. She was holding onto a stem that use to look like tulip. She was sitting under an old Elm tree and the six petals were strewn all about her. “How have you been?” She laughingly asked me as she waved the headless flower stem at my direction.

I looked at the decapitated flower and stated, “That ugly thing reminds me Ms. Muse, You wanted to talk to me about bugs?” I asked as a dragon fly flittered onto the stem top.

“Not right now, later in the summer.” She brushed away the question hanging in the air. “We must create some tulips and cake slices.”

“What? Tulips and cake slices?” I asked incredulously. How do they fit together as one piece? I just hated how she would jump from topic and new piece to another idea entirely.

“Not together silly” she replied as she admired the lovely green and violet translucent bug.

“Well how then?” She had such a way of aggravating me drawing things out just to tease me.

We are going to create an artist book of cake with cake slices! Then we are going to deconstruct Mapplethorpe through sugar tulips of course.

Oh, sure of course, I thought sarcastically. Sometimes her statements made absolutely no sense at all. I sat down beside her as she handed me a fresh tulip to decapitate. “Loves me, loves me not, loves me”, she started chanting. “What colors do you think would work for Mapplethorpe, since he worked a lot in black and white photography?” I asked. “And, how are we going to create the cake slices for the artist book?” My mind was racing at the speed of sound and thus began our next game.

About Me

Artist Statement: As an alternative sugar artist, it is my intent to surprise and delight my audience with sculptures that depart from everyday boundaries, thus creating rich dialogue around objects of edible art.