With the two weeks that remained in the residency, I decided to remove myself from the seclusion of the studio and to explore the different museums and cultural happenings in and around Barcelona. The first few days were dedicated to getting lost. I wanted to wander around and stumble upon parts of Barcelona that I was not expecting to find. While there are plenty of galleries, museums and monuments, I did not want to spend my time racing from one destination to the next. Instead, I incorporated time to meander through the streets and find things that were unexpected. While I am highly influenced by artistic masters of the past, they are not the solitary source of my creative inspiration. I wanted to soak in as much of my surroundings as possible and see how these different elements would reemerge in my future creations.
During my hikes, I have been noticing the different forms and colors found in the surrounding environment and how the native fauna here differs from other places I have traveled. Something that stands out is the color of the lichen growing on the trees near the Montserrat mountains. While the circular shape of the moss is not so unfamiliar, I have never before seen this bright golden color.
I spend a good portion of time on my daily hikes looking either down at the ground or up towards the sky and tree tops. On the ground, I find many natural materials that I can use either by drawing inspiration from their form or by incorporating my natural treasures right into the sculptural work.
On this particular walk, I came across an area of empty snail shells. I began to wonder why the shells were empty. I created various stories to explain this phenomenon. In the end, I brought the vacant shells back to the studio and began to create some snail-like creatures emerging from the shells.
I have also created an Octopussy sculpture to accompany the paintings. Here is an in-progress shot of one of the sculptures and an up close detail of one of the "suckers" on the tentacle.
I continued working on the smaller plant today by creating another layer of tiny teeth that fanned outwards. While it may not seem like much progress from the previous day, this type of detailed work is more time-consuming than imagined. Also, showing daily progress while working in sculptural mediums is proving to be a challenge which I have created for myself during this month.
I started a second, smaller carnivorous plant sculpture. I am trying to plan ahead in terms of transporting these artworks back to the states, so I am leaving the wire stems uncovered and flexible to make it easier and more compact for shipping.
I took a break from sculpting the carnivorous plant today to return to my Man O' War paintings. I have also begun a new set of images, titled Octopussies. Together, these paintings will create a new body of work, called Under The Sea.
Born in New Orleans, LA