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First 8

August 22, 2016
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The first 8 2ft x 2ft panels

Somehow, I’ve managed to get to this point, completing the first 8 panels for the Halsey project. The actual wall placement isn’t correct yet, but there’s still more to figure out. The Meadowfoam flowers completed the set.

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Original hand cut paper image

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Finished metal cut piece. 

Interestingly, here at home the city has been working on the water main/meter for the past 3 days. Today, I actually chatted with the guys and one of them LIVES in Halsey! In fact, I even know which house! It was nice to show him the piece in progress. He knows which building I’ll be hanging the work on and said he’ll stop by. It’s such a small world around here.

Last week I was returning from a Eugene trip and stopped in Halsey for a few more photos before sunset. Well, traffic in Eugene was horrible (due to a major accident) and I was late heading north. By the time I reached Halsey, the sun had already set. However, there was another big event occurring in town: one of the seed warehouses was on fire! A major bummer for DLF. From what I heard, no one was injured and I still hope that’s true. The building was the farthest south in their lineup and it won’t effect our project. Of course I had my camera along and snapped a couple of quick photos. Then I went off and visited a barn I adore. You’ll be seeing it in the side panels along with Mary’s Peak.

Halsey Fire

Large panels to get started tomorrow! Or so I hope!

And for those just checking in for the first time: This is my journey to create a public artwork for the city of Halsey, OR. The work will be hung September 20, 2016 and will remain up for 6 months. I was inspired by Halsey’s connection to the land: agricultural crops and the scenery looking west from town. This project is sponsored through The Arts Center of Corvallis and DLF/Pickseed USA.

 

Radish blooms and a bee

August 17, 2016

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Finally panel #7 is finished! I’ve been reading more about certain crops like Meadowfoam and Radishes. They’re grown for oil production. Bees are 100% required for pollinating the crops, nothing else can do the job.

Panel #8 is now in design mode. I started a piece focused on apple branches, but I’m getting pulled towards creating a meadowfoam image. We shall see which one wins. Here’s a preview of the flower cut. Still more to figure out.

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Three out of Four

August 13, 2016

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Progress continues forward as energy levels fade. Three out of four pairs are now cut. The wheat image (upper right) was completed today after almost four days of work. Granted, the work wasn’t continuous. I burned out after the first four squares and had a difficult time trying to move forward. This type of project is probably the hardest to push myself through. A completed project is absolutely required! No skipping off to work on something else. I made a solid commitment plus contract so I’ll get the job done.

What holds me back? Part of it is the tediousness of daily cutting. It’s boring work. I drill holes, thread my saw blade, tighten things up and cut. Then I shift to the next section (unhook the blade, insert into the next hole, tighten and repeat). Some panels have well over 100 sections to cut. It makes me feel bad when I lose energy towards a major project. I feel like such a slacker if I take time off, yet my brain can’t actually turn off. Adding in Netflix to provide some entertainment helps a bit. Another thing holding me back is the lack of clean cuts. Yes, I want perfection but lines are uneven and wander.The backside of the work is really frazzled and requires loads of clean up. I want the clean edges of cut paper! Yet, I have to keep reminding myself that this is an experiment. If I ever decide to do something more substantial for a city project, I’ll have another company cut the work. Thanks to one of my friends, I now know who to contact in the local area for this type of job!

What’s the next step? I have two more 2’x 2′ panels (Radish and other). Then I move into the big ones (2′ x 5′)! The granary image requires a bit more touch up. There’s also the other two outer panels that remain a mystery. Also a couple of 1′ x 1′ hand images. I figure if I get too stressed for time, the outer long panels could be sacrificed and the design would still hold together just fine.

Now, if we could just get a bit cooler weather. I’m melting in the garage these days. Should reach 96 F (35.5C) or higher today.

On to the next piece!

BTW: If you’re just tuning in, this is a public art project that will hang in Halsey Oregon in mid September. The Arts Center of Corvallis OR, are the ones running the Art in Rural Communities program. This was a juried piece that will be on display for up to 6 months. For additional information please click here

Figuring out spacing

August 8, 2016

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How will the final spacing of work come together? It’s something that requires thought right now before moving on to larger panels. If I stay with this spacing (1ft), then the long panels will remain 5 ft long. If I choose to pull the squares in more, say a 10″ space, then the little square and long panel will have to shift accordingly. It’s more likely that I’ll pull the images closer than spread them out more.

On Sunday I tacked up the current squares and a paper center piece (for reference), to the backside of the garage. Along with spacing, the final color remains undetermined at this time. I sent an email to one of the city employees to see if they had any wishes for color. Hopefully someone will respond. Otherwise, I’ll take my big color swatch book to the site and start looking at options that wouldn’t clash with their green building.

If anyone has a color suggestion, please let me know! The panels will be painted a solid color (no accents or additional design work) There might be more than one color used, or not, or three, I don’t know!

More panels to cut this week: Young grass, wheat, radish, and the final mystery square (still in design mode). And I’ll probably start designing the two small squares that will be hands. Long panels will continue to wait.

Hopefully I’ll have more to show by next weekend!

 

 

Completing the first quad

August 7, 2016

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I’m pushing for a goal of 4 panels per week. Wednesday was the Hazelnut panel. It didn’t look all that complicated, but I had several interruptions that broke it into two days of work. Thursday, I set in motion the least liked (but certainly impressive) tree ring image. The day didn’t bode well as I immediately broke two new blades during installation. Urgh! Then I managed to make it 20 sections in and broke another. Eventually I made it to section 32 before another break. Not my day! Friday I sat down and actually examined my machine and figured out the problem/solution. Cutting went more smoothly (and without breaks) from that point forward. That’s what I get for learning a new machine during a project.

 

The original ring drawing was from a cedar tree that had super wavy growth rings. Douglas Fir have very strong circular rings , so I’m cleaning up the image as I cut. The radial short lines are checking from a drying process. The wider line is from where branch was growing outward (it changed the growth rings).

 

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It took 3 days to complete cutting on the Doug Fir rings. A total of 149 sections cut! So glad that it’s done! I’ll take Sunday off and start again on Monday with the next four!

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I should also note that the squares are 24″x 24″ (61cm x 61cm). The larger panels will measure 24″x 60″ (61cm x 152cm).

And if you don’t recall, this project is for an outdoor public artwork to hang in Halsey OR. The project is through The Arts Center of Corvallis and part of their Art in Rural Communitites program. Two artists have bee invited to participate this year, Bonnie Meltzer and myself. Our work will hang from mid September 2016  to mid February 2017.

Clover and Grasses

August 1, 2016

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Whew! It’s August 1 and I’m finally making advances creating art for Halsey, OR. July was consumed by house projects, from re-roofing to installation of a new heating system. Those projects are completed but others have sprung up to compensate for the changes. I won’t bore  you with that stuff, but I suspect the work will take us through to the new year and beyond.

Progress report on art!

I waffled over how to create an enlarged version of the paper cut works. Initially, I planned on passing a disk off to one of the copy centers and have them deal with it. Then I got cheap and figured it could easily be accomplished in-house with tiling the images together. I spent some time reviewing how it could be accomplished with Indesign (which I have an old copy of). However, my copy is SO old, it won’t tile a poster image. *Sigh* Then I jumped into creating a PDF and seeing if my old Adobe reader/writer could accomplish this task…. nope! However, I did figure it out on the newer system and it works!

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Two panels are now completed (clover and the mature grass)!  The poor dogs are rather neglected from all the extra time spent in the garage (a dog free zone). Not sure how I’ll make up for it tonight, but a walk might help!

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The clover cut took about 10 hours to complete. The grass only 6. I’m dreading the wood ring cut. That will take several days! Urgh! Hazelnut design will be tomorrows project.

 

 

Chopping

July 21, 2016

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The household has finally settled back into a normal routine. We had a nephew, on leave from the army, visit for 5 days. It’s always nice to see him because it gets Dave out on new adventures. This visit involved two days of fishing. I stayed home with barking dogs. In addition to the nephew, the roofers were scheduled work. One day to remove the old, one day to repair and replace everything. They were done by 2:30 yesterday afternoon. Both dogs were not impressed by the work and voiced their opinion quite heartily. They will have two more opportunities to bark at the gutter guys and the heating system replacement on the 28th. We sure know how to have fun around here! Hardly any work has been accomplished towards completing the art project until today.

I started unloading the boxes of sign panels. The company sent compatible material from two different manufacturers. I’ll use the Compbond (above photo) for the botanical silhouette squares and the E Panels for the longer strips. The aluminum/plastic panels cut like butter on the table saw! What a joy to slide the 2′ x 4′ panels through with a clean cut. The squares are now waiting for the design transfer. So, how will the designs be transferred? I’ll be traipsing down to one of the copy centers to get the drawings enlarged to fill a 18″square. There will be a 3″ solid border around the work. Four images are now scanned, altered, and adjusted to the proper size. Hopefully this will work! I still have a few more days before the scroll saw blades arrive.

More fun to come!

This is the chronicles of my current public art journey for the city of Halsey, OR. The project is through The Arts Center of Corvallis and their Art in Rural Communities program. The piece titled “From the Land” will be hung in mid September 2016.

 

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