Saturday April 16, 2022 is World Circus Day. A day to celebrate the amazing entertainment circuses around the world have provided us. Every year an artist is commissioned by Princess Stephanie of Monaco to design an announcement card for this special event. In 2013 I had the honor of being selected to create the artwork.
“Huntley & Brinkley” lead off a new series of sculptures – The SHEEEEP! These irresistible, happy guys were welcomed by the Mauritson Winery owners and staff just in time for the 2021 harvest.
This family winery is well known for creating superb wines. One in particular makes these guys, well Huntley for sure, an appropriate addition – It’s Clay Mauritson’s Black Sheep Zin. And yes, there is a great story behind it!
Cut from heavy aluminum plate and finished with a hard shell powder coating, these guys will endure all kinds of weather and bring smiles forever!
There is even a Little SHEEEEP guarding the wine in Mauritson’s tasting room!
The SHEEEEP Series has a herd of colorful ewes and rams looking to graze almost anywhere. Huntley & Brinkley stand 4 feet tall but depending on the installation they can be larger or smaller. Here’s one that hangs out in my studio….
For information, availability, pricing, shoot me an email. I’m happy to answer questions.
This installation will most certainly brighten a neighborhood. Good it doesn’t come with audio! Ricardo is six foot tall and quite handsome………..He’s been a labor love. He is paired with the Pickettes, two rather gorgeous hens.
I designed him a number of years ago for a public installation that never happened. This year I was thrilled to be commissioned to fabricate him for a private installation.
I had a few challenges though to overcome with this one. I had to re-engineer the pieces to suit a residential site and because of the pandemic I had to work remotely.
The designs and vector drawings I produced on my computer went via email across the country to my metal fabricators in Florida. They fed my designs into the control system of a waterjet machine that precisely cut sheets of aluminum into the parts of the sculpture.
It’s quite a fantastic process and there is no room for error in the drawings. It cuts exactly what it sees! I was on pins and needles awaiting the assembly of the raw parts! So relieved they came together without a hitch!
The sculpture parts are now off to be powder coated. From there my installer takes over, assembles, delivers and carefully installs on the site.
The powder coating came off beautifully and the trial assembly was a success!
The installation is scheduled for this week!
It’s been a crazy couple of years getting settled on the west coast. Fires, flooding, oh yeah, more fires, power outages and Covid19 have offered up some major disruptions to my creative self. BUT!…. I am finally back to the drawing table, full of fun!…… New amusements – sculptures are in the works!……. SHEEEEP! are moving in. Artwork is flying off to Zazzle and lo and behold, the website is getting a facelift!
These two jitterbugging fools have a new home in the hills outside Santa Rosa, California. They can dance away while the ivy covers their toes!
Walter is making his mark in California!
After months of hellish rain these guys were finally unwrapped and given a little freedom. Sunday, April 7, 2019 the latest in the Walter series was installed. Dressed in their new, very suave red, two great rabbits are kicking up their heels.
When I first drew the dancing rabbits I penned them “Jitterbug” but seeing them installed I can’t help but think “Twist and Shout” might be a more appropriate title for them.
My very favorite alligator “Lily” is a pleasure to play with. I introduced her into my work as “The Waiter Gator” when I was the artist of the year for the Florida WineFest.
Her 3 dimensional debut came in 2012. The alligator became a public art installation on Palm Avenue in the City of Sarasota.
Her suave figure has appeared in a number of illustrations….
Last month Lily was again cut from aluminum plate and finished as a four foot by eight foot sculpture named appropriately – “Tickle Me”.
It is difficult for me to grasp the ending of The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I’ve lived most of my life in the city that was distinctly shaped by and benefited tremendously from their presence since 1927.
The Greatest Show on Earth ends Sunday May 21, 2017.
John Ringling knew what he was doing when the Florida building bust devastated the city in the 1920’s. Moving his circus winter headquarters to Sarasota brought visitors and business to the city while much of the state continued to struggle through heavily depressed times.
With the winter quarters established in Sarasota it wasn’t long before every travel guide linked the city to the circus.
In the 1950’s entertainment attractions began popping up throughout Florida drawing visitors away from Sarasota and Ringling’s winter quarters circus performances. A grand metal entrance sign was erected to provide more visibility for attracting tourists to the quarters.
The circus has become a favorite subject for me to paint and has given me some outstanding commissions from Feld Entertainment and The World Circus Federation. Through these I’ve been privileged to get to experience some fantastic, behind the scene private tours including a visit to the exceptional sanctuary Feld Entertainment has provided for the elephants.
There are dozens of other circuses performing world wide but none will ever seem quite as great to me as the Greatest Show on Earth.
And just a note:
If the Ringling Museum Gift Shops are sold out of the Winter Quarters poster you can purchase them through my studio.