All posts by Birgit Zipser

Frog-Headed and Beaked Characters

The Frog-Headed Character is modeled on Prince, a Michigan frog that sat on my driveway shortly after we built our house near the Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI. I had left my car and began to snap Prince, coming closer and closer. He had just sat there looking at me. His red eyes are borrowed from a tropical frog.

Frog-Headed Character, height 8 in

The Frog-Headed  Character was an afterthought after I had sculpted the Beaked Character, thinking a soft-mouthed, laid-back companion was needed for her.

Beaked Character, height 11 in

After Steve Kline had sculpted her shoulders, I added the head with beak and feathers. Back then, I had not felt ready to sculpt a human head. A bird head came to mind since I was  feeding crows and lots of other birds during the snowy Michigan winter.  However, the red beak was borrowed from the tropical toucan.  The polka dots on the human-like shoulders of the two new critters were Steve’s idea, so were the feathers on the back of her head – our collaboration.

My first ceramics were shown before

Amaco Celadon Glazes (before firing, a glaze may have a totally different color, making keeping notes imperative):

Pear, Wasabi, Obsidian, snapdragon

River that flows on…

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, oil on wood, 24 x 24 in

River of life that flows on, Troels said looking at this painting.

The body of water depicted here is called North Bar Lake. Currently, it is  flowing into Lake Michigan which caused its water level to drop about a yard, thereby widening the curve of the sandy beach, here covered by snow.

A decade ago, someone filmed different spots around the globe for the full 24 hour day without naming the locations. Videos were projected in Times Square, NYC. North Bar Lake was one of the locations.

This is my first snow painting using as a motif one of the memorable spots around the world.

Canoe paintings – mine and Peter Doig’s

In 2009, when I posted my painting ‘Yellow Canoe’

oil on wood, 12 x 24 in
on the now dormant blog artandperception.com, someone told me about Peter Doig‘s canoe paintings.
Peter Doig, 100 Years ago, (Carrera) 2001

My painting was based on a montage of three photos: a Northwest Pacific canoe, New Mexico clouds, the clouds and their shadows reflected on the backdrop of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

My painting expresses energy and Doig’s painting expresses the unease of drifting.

Quoting Nicholas Serota (former director of the Tate) : Doig’s paintings have a kind of mythic quality that’s both ancient and very, very modern. They seem to capture a contemporary sense of anxiety and melancholy and uncertainty. Lately, he’s gone more toward the sort of darkness we associate with Goya.

Others ‘go more toward’ love and joy.