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Vermillion Promotions presents Art, Wine, Culinary Festivals in Arizona

Mike Greenfield

Even as a child I was interested in art. In college I took art appreciation and classes involving the study of the human body such as anatomy and kinesiology. Classes with Burbank, CA artists influenced me to begin drawing using pencil, pen and ink. Upon moving to Lake Tahoe, I studied watercolor and combined watercolor with my pen and ink drawings. Later I explored the three dimensional art of sculpting with UCLA and Lake Tahoe Community College bronzing classes. It was at LTCC that I learned the entire bronzing process. I sculpted in wax, invested and poured the pieces, and finished by patinaing the sculptures. Moving to Goodyear, AZ I had the opportunity to study under Cowboy Artist of America, John Coleman at the Scottsdale Art School. My latest endeavor carving agate, and petrified wood combining it with bronze pieces. It has been a challenge to carve the stone to emphasize its beauty and then sculpt the bronze to compliment the stone. This combining of stone and bronze has been the hardest, most difficult art to work on. Working with 50, 100, 600 pound stones, carving material that is almost as hard as a diamond presents problems that go far beyond just sculpting clay. If I was sculpting in clay or wax, I could fashion the clay or wax after my minds eye, just complete what I had already conceptualized. With the stone and bronze it is much different. Sometimes I have the stone in my studio for a month, just looking at it. Turning it, handling it, looking at it from different angles, trying to see what is in the stone. How does the color in the stone run? What is the shape the stone will want to take? Then after I decide on a shape, I must decide what bronze will go with the stone. Will it be a man or women? Will it be passive, aggressive, or war like? Will the motion of the piece be in the stone or will the motion be in the bronze or in both? Will it be American Indian, African, or something else? The last thing I must consider, is when turning the wax into bronze, it will shrink about 7 percent.