Harold's Creative Adventure
I sculpt movement, sometimes figurative, sometimes abstract. For thirty years I've found gestures in life that connect what we know with what we do not know. These gestures--metaphors really--form the basis of my work.
My breakout came with the creation of Novus Grande in 2008. This flowing stark white dancing surface came completely new-to-the-world. And rightly so, none of my new techniques are published in any book or taught in any art school.
I started as I had for twenty years, making traditional expressive, sweeping, representational, detailed bronze dance figures. People would often comment on the detail and exact proportions, but sadly, miss the core of what I wanted to say. The human body communicates with heaven and earth like no other. It's the only instrument we fully control, and its message, the gesture, the movement, is unique in time and personality. The rest is just detail.
I applied my energy to distilling this communication, losing the detail. I said 'no' to everything that was not central. I discarded the texture, the volume and the color—leaving only a plain (and plane) surface that I curved and stretched into figurative dance gestures.
The result was astounding to me and exhilarating to all who saw these fresh white dancers. People saw more detail and emotion than before. They saw volumes where none existed and joyful motion from the sweeping curves. Because of their curves and smooth surfaces, I named them Swoopies.
My original patterns are created from state-of-the-art composites or, increasingly, with digital images. Being an engineer enables me to use techniques and materials seldom seen in traditional art. The dancers can be small as your fist or large as your house, pearly composite or white bronze, ringing steel or sculpted stone.
One day I puzzled if there was an even more more distilled way of presenting flowing beauty. I had subtracted so much from traditional sculpture forms that all I had left was surface and edge. Hmmm--surface and edge. Could I make my artist’s statement using only edge? What a crazy idea (and as you know by now, I love crazy ideas).
My new, edge-only, sculptures avoid the bulk and volume of traditional sculpture enabling me to create delicate lightness in grand scale so as to elate, not dominate, the setting. From any angle, you recognize the unmistakable form of these monuments, sweeping edges, high in the sky, weaving together into a joyful dance
I call them Flourishes.
Traditionally, a flourish is a finishing mark in calligraphy where the calligrapher takes off with her pen across the paper to create a swirling delight surrounding the hand-made message. I chose to name my latest collection Flourishes to honor this hand-made beauty and to announce these pieces as Calligraphy-in-the-Sky.
White, the color of purity and honesty, permits the sculpture's glee to reflect and be reflected in the setting. I allow Steel, the strong, boxy workhorse of materials, to fly in curls of joy as a lasting monument to beautiful life. Together they form a unique tribute. A tribute to the beautiful world I get to pass through.
Technology plays a big role in calculating the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of curves that make up one of my dancers. Much of this technology did not exist even five years ago. But none of that needs to concern you. My sculptures are made to enthrall and exhilarate you. Never mind how they were created. But, If I had to go back to my slide rule, you would not see anything from me for a long, long time.
I work every day, if doing what you love can be called work. Sometimes I handle the tools, and sometimes I sketch out space and figure relationships in my mind. I'm never far away from sculpture.
My “unfair advantage” comes from knowing many methods of creating physical models from my mind’s creations. I can then apply an extensive knowledge of composites and materials and design to provide a spirit with a physical form.
My artistic 'Board of Directors' includes Michelangelo (form and depth), Rodin (gesture and movement) and Richard McDonald (texture, balance and tension). But, these days I pretty well have to direct myself, since nobody I know of, past or present, creates as I do.
Each piece I create aims at a specific feeling hoping to connect with that same feeling in you. I don't imagine every piece could connect with every viewer, but when it happens, it's wonderful for everybody, especially the sculptor.
Over 1,000 of my sculptures reside in private and public collections around the world. Some have garnered top awards in juried shows in Greeley, Colorado; Dallas, Texas; Keystone, Colorado; Lakewood, Colorado; and Sheridan Wyoming. For fifteen years I've also exhibited and sold sculpture at La Tour Restaurant, Vail Colorado's best. I was elected to membership of the exclusive National Sculptor's Guild and have a popular following at many of the nation's best art Festivals.