Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fiberglass Bison now in Custer, South Dakota

A few weeks ago the bison was ready for the clear coat to seal it against the elements. Then the local auto paint shop said they couldn't do it. So I bought the acrylic varnish to brush on. I emailed the client in Custer, South Dakota, and as a result found out the bison had to be clear-coated with the automotive sealant and there was a shop in Custer that would do the job.

So, all set to drive the bison to Custer on Friday, May 27th (when I returned from my art residency in Pendleton, Oregon.) Upon returning to Lewistown that day, I learned that substantial portions of the roads I needed to travel were closed due to major flooding -- in fact, the town of Roundup, MT was under six feet of water from the Musselshell River. I phoned the client and it was agreed that I wait out the weather and the re-opening of at least one good route.
The sun finally prevailed on Tuesday, May 31st, so the bison was loaded into an 8 ft UHaul trailer, hitched to the truck and headed to Custer at 5:30 a.m. the next day (when it started to rain -- again.) Custer was reached in time to drop off the bison at the shop that would clear-coat the bison. Yea!

The photos posted here of the finished and clear-coated bison were taken at the Steele Collision shop (either in the spray booth or outside the shop.) The outdoor installation sites for all of the fiberglass bison are not expected to be ready until mid-June. Until then, the fiberglass "herd" will be in safe storage. Click on the photos to see a larger image.

 One side depicts prairie, some distant bison and native cone flowers (also known as Mexican Hat flowers.) Clouds are building into thunderheads and large thunderhead moves over the bison's shoulder hump and head.

I used a rich brown hue on the hooves to represent the deepest connection to the earth, followed by a reddish brown/sepia to signify the fertile soils. The yellowish (ochre) represents the vegetation. A slight hint of red beneath some of the horizon-touching rain curtain of the large thunderhead signifies fire started by the lighting of the passing storm

The flip side of the bison depicts essentially the same prairie landscape, except this scene shows a harvest operation underway in the distance instead of more bison. In the foreground is wheat -- prairie has been transformed from native plants to the mono-culture cropland

Overall, I'm pleased with how this turned out. It would have been great to have more time to create this. The short turn-around schedule was cut even shorter by a 10-day delay in shipping/arrival of the fiberglass bison plus another 7 days lost to prep and prime several areas that the manufacturer completely missed in the priming process.

1 comment:

  1. Totally impressing and touching, Carol. What a beautiful piece! I am going to share this!