Tag Archives: Bob Brown Sculpture

Agastopia (For Bob)

Agastopia*
(For Bob)

At my dear departed husband’s behest,
my ode extols the female breast.
In a dream world of his making,
breasts on beaches would be baking,
naked in the sun, to gold,
then, unashamed, to brown and bold.

No petty thoughts would cloud his mind,
his excitation, an artful kind,
and as he paints or sculpts or molds,
each scoop of plasticine he holds,
will take a shape of his devising,
as he works, his hands revising

all that God and nature wrought,
their perfect beauty therein caught.
While some malinger at their tasks,
a breast is all my true love asks—
to do what nature first has done
and duplicate them, one by one.

 

*Agastopia is the admiration of a particular body part.

 

Prompts today are dream world, petty, malinger, revise, excited and agastopia (the fetishestic admiration of a specific body part.)

Forgottenman reminded me of this post of more of Bob’s sculptures: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2019/07/12/mentor/

 

The Poet Artist

The Poet Artist

“Poltroon!” He calls out in his sleep,
caught up in words, even when deep
in dreams—those places where he goes
where fresh ideas, rows upon rows,
spreading farther, stacking higher,
crowd his brain . And now, “Pismire!”
Is he building poems or sculptures there?
What new dream, what bold nightmare

will he allow to come to light
as soon as he has finished night
and carved his way into the the day?
The worker ant come out to play?
Carving stone into a face
or moving words from place to place.
All those schemes conceived in dreams
turned into his creative schemes.

I intrude, a kiss, a cuddle,
bringing love into the muddle
of his early morning head,
still sleeping here in my warm bed.
This is no coward sleeping here.
He has no qualms, displays no fear
of any challenge of his art
or adventures of the heart.

Metal, wood, paper and stone—
no one material alone
can solve his lust. He needs them all.
No stone too heavy. No scheme too tall.
And, alas, no woman will
manage to completely fill
that questing heart. That grasping soul.
seeking to reach that final goal.

See some results of those dreams HERE.

Prompt words today are poltroon, cuddle, pismire, allow and worker.

Interesting Objects: Nature’s Art

 

Click on photos to enlarge.

The first tiny sculpture  of a bear attached to a branch of driftwood is exactly as I found it on a branch on the beach. I haven’t colored or shaped it in any manner. Nature’s sculpture. The second photo is of a lamp made of elements found in nature by my husband, Bob Brown. The shade of handmade paper made from tree bark and liana was made by me.

For Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Interesting Objects

Hibiscus: FOTC, Nov 9, 2021

 

 

My husband Bob carved this plaque that I’ve hung on the palm tree where I pass it every time I go down to the garden. The quote on it, “And Owl moved to some other tree,” is from Winnie the Pooh, I believe. It looks like flowers just want to grow nearer to join it!

I see hibiscus, thunbergia grandiflora, bougainvillea and crown of thorns blooms in the photo.

For Cee’s FOTD

Mentor

Mentor

As an old man, he grew his hair long
and wore it unsecured, flowing white over his shoulders,
hiking it back as he walked with one sure toss of the head.
Few except himself would have judged him anything but superior.
His art, original and finely-crafted, showed him as the rogue he was,
yet he pored over art books piled around his chair—
large books rich in imagery and heavy to lift—
a laborious chore to plow through
page by page for anyone except him,
looking for himself in the pages, perhaps,
or looking for part of what he would become.

She thought he thought too much,
looking for answers in books
instead of in himself.
Religion, philosophy, art—
he searched for solutions
in Swedenborg and Picasso.
Compared his poetry to Sarton, Frost and Whitman
while others compared their art, their words to him.

Every piece he completed, he saw himself in as he created it,
but once done, it was as though he’d lost a part of himself in it
and so he started the search again in metal and wood and stone
larger and heavier each time, risking everything
to build himself ever higher.
Seven feet, then twelve, then eighteen feet—
stretching himself to the heaven
that he sought, also, through books.
Searching for what to be.

Wood, stone, metal, clay, glass, paper, words.
None quite solved the puzzle of himself.
Books on the shelf he read again and again
never had all of the answers.
He went as deep into himself as he could go.
Digging for the words he mined
from the parts of himself he most feared,
he often came up empty-handed,
as though he could not bear to see
all of the truth already revealed
in the pure instinctual lines of his sculpture
and those few fine poems he got out of the way of.

A virile man, he worked his angst out
in the shape of children—ten of them
with three different women—going through women
as he went through plasticine or wood or stone,
leaving crumbled remnants to reconstruct themselves
afterwards, as he built poetry out of their mutual pain.
He moved through the world
as most beautiful things do—unaware of his swath.

I rose from his rubble, missing him but remembering
all he taught. The scrape and cut and vibration of a fine machine,
the shaping with hands, the dip of the mold and deckle,
the power of a 20-ton press, the fine hiss of a torch.
Showing me how to get the beauty out of myself,
he formed that confidence within me that he lacked in himself.
Looking in books for what he already had,
looking in the faces of women for love
he never quite believed in,
he never fully realized that it did exist,

even during his worst rages,
right here in the heart
of one who so long afterwards
tries
to sculpt his essence
through these words.

 

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Here is also a write-up and photo shoot that a gallery owner did of our home and studio during the Santa Cruz Open Studio Tours a few years before we closed down our house and studio to I move to Mexico: http://www.wmgallery.com/cruz/brown.html

And here is another blog I did on him and his art: https://judydykstrabrown.com/tag/bobs-sculpture/

Prompt words today were hike, write, original and superior.

Crafted Heart

IMG_3737
As an artist who worked in wood, stone, metal, paper, glass and any other material he could find to project his mental imaginings into concrete objects, my husband had mallets of many shapes, sizes and materials, but my favorite was the one he fashioned himself as part of the first gift he ever gave to me—the musical instrument shown towards the end of this post.

Crafted Heart

He handed it to me without ceremony—a small leather bag, awl-punched and stitched together by hand. Its flap was held together by a clasp made from a two fishing line sinkers and a piece of woven wax linen. I unwound the wax linen and found inside a tiny wooden heart with his initials on one side, mine on the other. A small hole in the heart had a braided cord of wax linen strung through that was attached to the bag so that the heart could not be lost. He had woven more waxed linen into a neck cord. I was 39 years old when he gave me that incredible thing I never thought I would receive: his heart—as much of it as he could give.

It was the first handmade gift I’d ever received from a man. Inside, over the years, I have put a lock of his hair and a tiny tiny animal of indeterminate species hand-cut out of wood by his youngest son and presented to me. Twenty-eight years later, this bag is all that is left of what was once my union with the man and his eight children from three different women. When he died, we returned him to the inevitable earth and all of the children returned forever to their real mothers.

The bag lies in a box with other relics of our past together: a silver heart brooch, another carved of wood with wings attached and, strangely enough, a miniature computerized hand piano. Years after his death, it struck a chord on its own, just lying on the shelf beside my favorite picture of him. One last dying gasp from the tiny gadget I’d put in his Christmas stocking but then grown tired of hearing him play and so had hidden away, only to enter our bedroom one night to find him playing it under the covers like a guilty pleasure hidden from the adults, although he was already in his sixties.

For our first Christmas, he gave me a large sculpture that was also a musical instrument—three hand-raised copper gongs in the shape of breasts suspended over a wooden keyboard played by rawhide mallets, (ironically, they are not shown in this photo)  the gongs suspended from the long horizontal neck of a copper wind instrument with two necks and two mouthpieces, so two notes could be blown at once. When he died, it was the sculpture chosen by his youngest daughter, and I let her take it. Now, the remnants I have of him are only the leftovers that remained after eight children had chosen. I was moving to another country and could not hold onto everything he’d given.

daily life color023

Sculpture by Bob Brown,1986.  4′ X 5.5′, wood, hand forged copper, marble and hemp.

                            daily life color024

                                 Miniature hand piano, 4″ X 2″

I moved away from most of those things we had collected over the years, but somewhere hidden away in the thousand objects in my studio is the small leather bag and the tiny hand piano, now forever mute, his father’s pocket watch, his biking medals and the other assorted pieces of his life that will one day wind up in a secondhand store in Mexico. All of our gifts finally melding with the parts of all those billions of other lives that strike their brief chord before blending, inevitably, back into the cacophony of the universe.

 

Some material in this post was posted four years ago. The prompt today is mallet.

You Have Become the Art You Lived For

You Have Become the Art You Lived For

The caustic smell of metal in your sweat
that by the end could fill the room,
as though the bronzes you had formed
had now invaded you
and filled you, blood and fiber.
Art can’t hurt you,
declared your favorite T-shirt,
colorful and now the final irony
of your life.

My dear,
art brought about your ending
as surely as it made your life,
yet you would have loved the bittersweet joke
as your kids and I
dressed you in that T-Shirt
for your final viewing.

You surround me even now—
brought two thousand miles
from Northern California
to middle Mexico.
The life you hoped to live, I live with those
who know you only through
your spiral lamp of stone and liana and paper,
Chi Wara standing feathered, bronze and tall,
the nude I posed for, on her side
with sticks for head and feet and cassowary feathers
hanging down from them,
the spirit sled of beaten copper, rawhide and willow—
all of them as exotic as you
never felt yourself to be.

They were beautiful and rare
and loved as you were.
How maddening
that you could not be
convinced of it.

That is why, when I think of you
now, so many years after,
the air grows pungent
with your memory.

(click on first photo to enlarge all)

 

 

To see more of Bob’s art and read another poem about him, go HERE.

 

The prompt today is “pungent.”