Coyote Art and Stone Sculpture

After all the work these past several months finishing and posting two literary pieces (the novella BAT IN A WHIRLWIND and my gay memoir THERE WAS A SHIP), completing and posting my next Aztec icon (ITZPAPALOTL, the Obsidian Butterfly) for the accumulating coloring book YE GODS!, surviving fairly merry holidays, and starting a happy, hopeful new year, I’m now taking a breather of sorts. However, constitutionally incapable of totally disengaging, I’ve shifted writing gears and in my idle time started in on a sci-fi epic inspiration from my box of intriguing ideas.

In the unaccustomed leisure of the past week, I’ve also played in some of my other artistic frivolities, like manipulating photographs. At some point I’ll be able to post some improved shots in my photo gallery.  Check out the current stuff anyway.  In the past few days I’ve photographed some more of my collection of others’ art for a future blog post, probably quite soon.  In digging around, I stumbled on a couple interesting sculptural items of my own proud handiwork to add to my sculpture gallery.

First, I’ve got to confess very contritely to doing something that most artists in Santa Fe won’t admit to doing—as too trite and commercial: Coyote Art.  But I won’t recant.  Recently, I brazenly posted my Aztec icon of HUEHUECOYOTL, the Old Coyote, which I dare say far transcends the trite and commercial.  But this wasn’t my first offense.

Way back when I was simply a Mature Gay Professional (maybe 1991), a dear lady I worked with asked me to design a commemorative pin for her installation as the Grand Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star. Even for gratis, I call that a splendidly official commission.  She wanted a coyote.  I shamelessly framed it in New Mexico with an obligatory moon:

Coyote Pin

Coyote Pin

Later on, when I was becoming a Grandfatherly Gay Character (around 1996), I wore out a lot of files and chisels on a sculpture that was dictated by the medium itself. It was a stone with a thin stratum of lighter stone into which I gnawed out an intaglio of the Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio, more or less per the Squier survey as it appears in my old book REMEMBER NATIVE AMERICA.  There’s something about its emphatic reality that I really appreciate:

Serpent Mound intaglio

Serpent Mound intaglio

So, although I claim to be a sculptor of found object assemblages, in fact I’ve done a few things in good, old-fashioned stone, though some of those are also assemblages. These are already shown in my sculpture gallery, but let me highlight them here.

Canyon Viejo

Canyon Viejo

Canyon Viejo is a split piece of stone in a bowl of sand that makes for a miniature Zen sculpture of a cliff-dwelling in homage to Canyon de Chelly.

Creeping Creature and Calf

Creeping Creature and Calf

Creeping Creature and Calf is two eccentric fragments of stone found in widely separate locations that called out to me that they are family.

Crouching Creature with Cub

Crouching Creature with Cub

Crouching Creature with Cub is another pair of strange pieces of stone that are clearly related.

Lair of the Bear

Lair of the Bear

Lair of the Bear assembles a few ursine and otherwise anomalous stones found in many locations over the years to create a mythical environment.

As maybe you can tell, I think art is where you find it.

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