Friday, December 31, 2010

One-man SculptureShow

I am very excited about my show which opens on Friday January 7th with a reception 5pm to 7pm. This will be in Kathleen Bradford's Studio/Gallery at 4259 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, Florida 34134. The show runs until 28th January.
Come and have a glass of wine and see 10 of my sculptures set among Kathleen's wonderful mixed media assemblages.
I have been very busy for weeks with dog portraits, a house and a large drawing of Disney images from our last visit to Orlando.
Visited St Augustine for the first time last week hoping to photograph wildlife at the Alligator Farm but it was so cold it threatened to snow! Good shots though of the quaint old town and a very old sailing ship which will make a good drawing soon.
Come to my show!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Great news yesterday!

Florida West Arts has its first National Juried Art Competition this week and my latest sculpture, Homage, won an Honarable Mention. Local press interviewed and photographed me and the Reception is at FWA on Saturday, 20th November, 5.30 to 7.30.

There were hundreds of entries and 80 selected to hang from 15 different States.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The artists in The Promenade studios are, from November, to be in residence 6 days a week rather than 3. Going to be a lot busier but should have more exposure. The popular Artwalk evenings will now be twice a month -- from 5pm to 8pm on the second and the last Thursday, and the studios will open until 8pm every Thursday. I am lucky to be sharing my studio with Ed Takacs (wonderfully detailed wildlife oils) so I can a few days off.
January next looks to be exciting. Kathleen Bradford has her studio on Bonita Beach Road and has asked me to stage a one-man show of my wood sculptures from 7th to 28th. Will be inviting everyone I know and will give more detail later. Incidentally, Kathleen is a very talented mixed media artist. She constructs these amazing, beautiful wall pieces out of glass, seashells, plaster, etc. Visit her gallery at 4259 Bonita Beach Road.
I have had lots of requests to teach recently. Now this is going to happen. also in January. I am the instructor for a two-day course -- Graphite Pencil Drawing from Photos -- on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd, 9am to noon. Anyone interested should pop into the Bonita Art League and sign-up!

Friday, October 1, 2010

We had the monthly ArtWalk last evening at the Promenade, here in Bonita Springs. It was an excellent turnout and as usual a mixed bag of old friends, fellow artists and lots of compliments but, alas, no sales. It's the economy, you know.
I sold a color pencil commission in September for an Art League member who wanted an Anhinga -- that amazing bird that swims under water to spear it's fish dinner. She wanted the pose with the wings outstretched to dry in the sun and that's what I did.
Someone told me they had seen a recent newspaper article about me in the local press. I had supplied information recently but didn't believe it had been used yet so I googled. Amazing how many Peter Sargents there are! My webpage was mentioned but some of the others sound fascinating -- a racing driver, a college dean, a bankruptcy specialist (!) and of course John Singer Sargent who I don't believe is a relative. Wish he was.
Just completed a house drawing and have started another, this one a brand new home on a site without any landscaping. Houses look all wrong without landscaping so I created trees and bushes -- one advantage of a drawing rather than a photo.
Having been alone in my Promenade studio for the last few months I am about to share with my friend Ed Takacs who paints beautifully detailed and startlingly realistic wildlife in oil and acrylics. Ed is a character so its going to be interesting.....
One last story. At the ArtWalk this gentleman looks at my drawings and comments; "These are very good. Almost as good as my work....and that's a compliment." (?)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Homage is finished, mounted and waxed and photographed.
Next sculpture is started -- a very tough walnut, 9"x9" x 2". My friend Allen cut a 6" diameter hole for me and I am off on a voyage of discovery working from sketch ideas but (as usual) letting the piece tell me how it should look. Sculptures only work if they look good from every angle. At this stage I have some good views and some "Nahhh!"
I was asked how many pet portraits I had completed so I counted them. 28 dogs, 2 cats and a horse. Plus 9 people and 48 house portraits.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just finished my pencil drawing "Pipes". Been fascinated by the complicated water pipes to be seen outside every Florida development. They all have great colors -- red, blue, orange, mauve, yellow. Don't know the reason why the different colors. Is this to mark the engineering function or does it depend upon the whim of the installation engineer or is it just what paint they had in hand that day? If anyone knows, let me know. I had to produce a color version, too. That is now on display in Florida West Arts together with the color pencil Island Cafe.
We spent a few hours, early in the morning to avoid the hottest sun, at Naples Zoo. Snapped some good drawing material, not only animals and birds but some of the amazing trees there.
The lemurs and the leopard will be good for my style and so will the 5 or 6 giraffes now installed in their new home.
My latest butternut sculpture is finished and mounted on its base and is to be called "Homage".
Why? Because the tall piece curves forward in deference to the lower, flatter piece. But I have a problem. The low piece has holes and I have a carved ball which fits one of the holes. I can't complete Homage until I decide whether it should have the ball of be without it. I wake up in the early hours worrying about it. That's when I have my most creative ideas. But I'm not yet decided.
Don't worry, you will be the first to know!
I just finished two dog portraits. I love meeting and photographing my subjects because I can then understand their personality and choose the look that reflects it. But one of my subjects died last year so I worked from the owner's snapshots. The owners are happy with the result but I am always a little sad for them and sorry that I didn't meet their lovely pet.
Next drawing, an anhinga. A request from a friend. Has to be with his wings spread out to dry in the sun. In case you don't know, anhingas have no oil in their feathers as most water birds do, so after swimming and catching their breakfast they have to spread their wings to dry their feathers. I see anhingas doing this all the time. But because I wanted to photograph one I never saw one for weeks. I finally located one a few days ago so I'.m good to go

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I feel very guilty.
No blog for I don't know how long!
Been to Santa Fe, that magic artists' town filled with super galleries and good food.
We met the gracious Phyllis Kapp and bought two of her exuberant watercolors from her Waxlander Gallery.
Bought a T. Barny sculpture from Hunter Kirkland Gaalery. My kind of work. It is carved from Utah Calcite, a rare stone -- yellow and translucent with delicate fault lines running through.
In the early morning when the sun shines through it glows.
Eight of my drawings and four of my wood sculptures are on view in the FineMark Bank here in Estero. The bank open with a reception -- the best snacks and wine of course -- which was attended by about 75 people.
This meant the removal of that many drawings from my wall in the Promenade so I had to spread out a little there and draw furiously to catch up. Hence new drawings -- a Great Egret, Siblings (two baby Morning Doves), a cat (title Siamese if you please!) plus two dogs, Nicky the yellow lab and Sebastian the Doberman. I met Sebastian to photograph him at his home with a little trepidation but he was a sweet, affectionate soul despite the teeth.
I also produced, unusual for me, two color pencil drawings; Contortionist, a flamingo I photographed at Busch Gardens ( he was standing on one leg with his head and neck tucked into his feathers -- hence the title) and a watercolor and ink of the Rapallo Main Gate.
My current Butternut wood sculpture is almost finished. I am at the dust filled smoothing stage. It is another two-part piece as yet untitled. This piece of Butternut has a very strong grain which is exploited by the curves and holes I (as usual) have carved in it.
As well as the bank and the Promenade studio I have two drawings in the Florida West Arts gallery show and two in the Bonita Art League current show.
Keeping busy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Its all happening this week!
First of all this Thursday (27th May) is the monthly ArtWalk at the Promenade. Come along and have a glass of wine and a snack while visiting all the studios full of great art -- including mine of course!
Then my studio will be closed while I have a few days in Santa Fe and then come back to decorate the studio and rehang to fill the space after Maureen leaves for Boston. We should re-open 12th June.
And then on the 15th June there will be a reception at the FineMark National Bank & Trust on Coconut Road here in Estero to show my drawings and sculptures. My work will be on show there through August. I will publish more details of this later.
Its all very exciting!
I just finished Relax! -- a graphite drawing of a group of four very large alligators cuddling together looking deceptively benign.
Also just finished is my latest wood carving in Basswood called "80-something". You will understand the title when you see it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I am at the finishing stage of my latest wood sculpture -- sandpaper to smooth the surface.
I would compare this to climbing a mountain in Scotland. Mountains there are not too craggy and you simply walk up the 3,500 feet to the summit. Problem is that you never know when you are at the top. You see a skyline above you and your legs ache and you say "at last!" But when you reach that skyline you see another one above. Then another, and another until there are none and you are there.
Well, smoothing your wood surface is like that. You scrub away with that sandpaper until you think its smooth enough. Then you turn the piece in the light and you see another little blemish. Smooth that one and then you see another, and then another. Some are so stubborn that the sandpaper doesn't cut it and a file or riffler is required, followed by sandpaper.
I am a perfectionist about a good smooth wood surface but if I wasn't I wouldn't be able to enter the carving for the woodcarvers shows. The judges there are merciless! They never miss a blemish!
So keep at it, Peter, keep at it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I promised pencil artist tips, didn't I?
Just finished a drawing using a charcoal pencil and it reminded me forcefully how careful you have to be with that beautifully black but touchy medium.
Unlike graphite your charcoal leaves loads of powder on the surface of your blacked-in area.
You blow it off and if you don't blow hard enough the powder just rests on the unused white paper and is the devil to get off. Even using your eraser can leave ugly streaks.
Of course you have to spray fixative when you have finished but be prepared to use a good few coats with a five-minute wait between. Boring but necessary. Test the blackest bit delicately with your finger and if it shows then do another coat until it doesn't!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just finished a cute little dog drawing which will be delivered (unusually) unframed so that the owner can choose a frame to suit the decor. He has a black, curly coat which takes forever to draw but is rewarding to finish. Next commission will be started on Monday.
Come and see me at the Promenade where I work for five hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 10am to 3pm. I have all my best drawings up on the walls and several of my wood sculptures including the basswood piece I am currently working on -- provisional tentative title "Eighty-something". You will see why when you see it!