Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Man With All The Answers, a Will Rogers Parody.

I started out wanting to do a self portrait and it is for the most part. I made an adhesive cast of my face and attached that to a styrafoam head. I didn't want it to be all that realistic because that would be unrealistic, afterall I don't view the world that way, I see only the end of my nose and my hands mostly. So I did not look in a mirror. I had a basic impression of my cheeks, nose, mouth and forhead and oh yes, my eyes which were closed; now what I wanted was the artistic me to come out, the one that is me not the one that I see. Since the sculpture can transfer feelings to me and me to it, I gave him the blonde curly hair I would have liked. In some ways his little smirk and hair remind me of my uncle Jerry.
I made this man in the garage while listening to the musings of my mind and the music of Cindy Lauper, Billy Joel and Andre Boccelli. Now days I listen to John Mayer's Continuum and the sound track from "Finding Neverland". During the work, I would show my mother, who would say "Oh my God, Michael, I don't know about him", and I'd beam back and say "he's my little buddy" and she would laugh and it made us both feel good. When I finished the painting this man I drove with my wife and mom over to my brother Danny's house to see him and his wife Cathy. Dan would always come out to help mom walk up to the house and he leaped two feet that day when later he went back out to the car and saw this man sitting in the back seat of our car, he thought he was real. Scared him good he laughed and laughed, we all had a good laugh.
I envisioned this man as a sort of a wry spokesman who shared his observations on the quandries of our life and times. On the bottom of this unusual sculpture, I wrote these comments: Why is it that we get to vote on only the presidential candidate and his running mate and not his whole cabinet? Afterall, it's like buying a baseball team with only the pitcher and the catcher and then the rest of the team is just thrown in there after the deal is done. Secondly, why were Martha Stewart and her ex-boyfreind the only two found guilty in their case? Someone in the securities departmant leaked information or why would they have been so hasty to sell their stock? The securities department is supposed to protect people like Martha and Sam by not letting out the results so they will not be tempted to do anything wrong. What you do not know cannot tempt you. Someone leaked information about the results of the food and drug administration's testing.

I am trying to find out where this "Will Rogers-like" man is? If you know or have seen this sculpture, please contact me. I miss this work very much and just want to know who owns it. I made it in 2002 and 2003 and he was sold at the Steve Slotin Folk Art Auction in 2003. I also sold two sculptures that were called "The Walkers" and two paintings called "Rowanda Man" and "Rowanda Woman" (that can actually be seen on my website). I would like to know the whereabouts of those works as well. It is just nice to know, as an artist, who has collected your work.
Mostly, I want them to know who has This Man With All The Answers? I can never get the walkers back because that what they do, walk away but this man means so much more to me now that our mother is no longer with us. To whoever owns it, I would like to buy him back if they are interested and make them another one.

Mike The Sculptor

Self-Teaching Artist

The little chair pictured above is the kind of art I produced in 1987. I would say that I am a self taught artist but that would sound like I'm all done and indeed I am not finished creating my art nor will I ever will be. Neither do I want to write pejoratively about formal training. Actually I had three college classes and a metals casting class at the Crucible in Berklely. My first two classes since high school were in 1987. I enrolled in two art classes, one in drawing and one in design, where I was taught somewhat to mitigate my hibernating art desires into useful expressions. The third class, some 10 years later, was in scuplture; by then the younger students in the class were calling me "the already accomplished one", "the Picasso", "the new Giocometti". My experience in school was transitory but my desire to make art was ample, so I took to teaching myself. I was zealous and determined so the work came fluidly. I am still teaching myself and improving, although I lament at not being able to the have the freshness and naiveity with which I began. The desire to create was the sustaining confidence that infused my work with burgeoning and poignant experiences. I felt replete, I could now approach my work with frankness and facetiousness.

To play, to humor myself, to reach the boundaries of my creativity and push them out; this gives me joy.

I do not mind selling my work if I can have a good conversation with the buyer and we can understand something about life together. I like to know who has my artwork in case I should like to visit them again.

I welcome your engaging comments.

Michael Schramer

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My life as a bee

The picture above is a class we were invited to give to elementary students in the Larabee public school in Fairhaven Washington . I love working with kids, we make such a connection.
In the late 80's, among other things, I kept beehives. I wanted our two boys to have a good experience in their childhoods while my wife Debbie and I were reliving ours. We drove up and down the streets of the little town we lived in, looking for opportunities to salvage plants and wood and other interesting things that were in the way of "progress". We had the energy and the space; all we needed were the materials.

First I dug a big vegetable garden, then I proceeded to dig an even bigger flower garden for Debbie than the one she all ready had. The fences I made were from branches gleaned from the local university's gardens which had been pruned and discarded. In the end we had three ducks, three geese, one cat, a small pony and too many rabbits. With winter coming on and the greenhouse completed, there was only the loneliness of seeing the garden turn cold and knowing the wait for spring would be long. Then something overly wonderful happened. Debbie, who I thought would tire of all of our projects, was always trying to stay busier than me and I of her, started making art from the twigs and flowers she had saved from our garden. She begged and begged me to help her build her growing menagerie of small art furniture and the rest is history. That's when my life as an Artist really began.
The BeeBoy Works With Kids