Category Archives: Sculpture

No ordinary path ~ Tidal Glider Ocean Coastal Wall Sculpture Wall Art

Like a snowflake and a thumbprint, there are no two identical ocean waves.  As I Triathlete and avid ocean swimmer I take the same roadway, highway, parkway, pathway to my training point.  That’s where the ordinary ends.

I plunge into a fluid, oscillating world and spot my bouncing turning point in the distance, backlit by morning orange.  With every propelling stroke, I ascend and descend with schools of tiny visitors darting left and right. Erratic synchronicity.

I sight my turn and adjust. Sight and adjust.  Sight and adjust. A large single seagull pilots over me.  Rhythm settles.  As the water darkens my navigation increases with my breathing.  The red turning buoy wanes but reappears.   Cadence resumes for a moment and I’m swiftly pushed closer to the splashing tethered ball as I turn.  New spot, new bearing, new course. No ordinary path.

Artist:                    Paul Shampine, Newtown, CT

Exhibit:                 No Ordinary Path, THE MONASTERY GALLERY OF ART

303 TUNXIS RD., WEST HARTFORD, CT 06107, 860.760.9766

Artwork:              Wall Sculpture

Detail:                   Seven hammered copper pods connected with four sets of intertwined receptor-tentacles.

Material:              Aluminum, Copper. Copper pods are heat-treated/naturally oxidized.

Size:                       Overall length, 33 inches, 17 inches wide, body depth, 4 inches

Price:                     $1,750


Stopping time…

Scientists, land developers, farmers and I battle with Mother Nature.  We all do on some level.

Early on when creating metal sculpture, I attempted to preserve the scrolling texture and the organic feel metal has after forging and forming.  I wanted to protect the clean deep hammer marks, the wrinkle in the bend and the abstract patterns from my 25 pound metal grinder.  It’s a challenge.

Finished steel is the end result of a process.  Even raw off the shelf, it’s still a manufactured product. Rust, once my nemesis, now my friend, is the action of steel regressing to its original natural state.   I don’t think the process can fully be inhibited…especially if you desire a natural “metal” look.  The same really applies to wood as well.  It’s like trying to stop time.

I find great satisfaction in combining stone and metal with my work.  As a result, I’m a rock junkie.  I’m constantly eyeballing stone on country roads, highways, weddings, funerals and backyard barbeques.   On a recent stone hunt, I found a magnificent collection of rock unlike anything I’ve discovered before.  After trekking 10x times my weight in stone, exhausted and trying to put my arms back in their sockets, I found the most beautiful specimen of Mother Earth.  It’s so outrageously breathtaking that it caused me to reflect on an ugly but real phrase….something like “ambition exceeding talent”   No artist’s talent  can compete with Mother Nature.

So, alone this rock stands…for me.  Not to be incorporated in a sculpture or altered in any way.  When my forearms ache from drilling, my back from lifting or when my brain feels bankrupt, it’s my God I talk to, confide in and yes, for a moment, it stops time.

Is it boredom? Do I have ADHD…or something else?

Fire pit...with a twist...

Often when I perform a task, I find myself adding a twist. Even with the ridged parameters of an excel spreadsheet, I’ve found art in numbers with cost analysis and business plans. As a bored teenager, I would create abstract-impressionistic patterns when mowing the lawn, and it doesn’t and won’t stop there. In search of answers, I turn to my genetic line.

My Father was a very creative and innovative engineer who designed intricate conveyor systems that robotically handled the most delicate items to large bulky raw materials that required micro-modifications and delivered from point A to Z with precision and efficiency. My open-minded, care-free, adventurous Mother brings just that to her paintings. She’s a great experimental watercolorist that tests tradition and strives to learn and develop her own voice. Her drive to learn and evolve comes from her Father , a beautiful and simple, but extraordinary complex man with a great soul. In retrospect, I believe he never found his true calling, but he lead a very happy and satisfied life.

I fall squarely in the middle with a slight slant on my Father’s side. I view business challenges with a different perspective and hopefully bring that same innovative and fresh ideology to my sculpture. My career choices have been diverse and I’ve lead a very adventurous life. I think I’ve passed those heritable traits, along with a few others to my daughters.

So, for now, let’s go with what I’ve heard before….”you’re something else.”

My current studio...

As I prepare for my upcoming show, I’m getting away from metal for awhile, but sticking close to nature. As nature struggles to repair itself from our invasive actions, I’ve discovered gravity again as I wrangle an invasive plant (wild grape vines) on the property here in Newtown, CT to construct a series of spheres representing…