Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Heart Lives In The Forest

Every once in a while, when I'm explaining to someone how being able to spend time in the woods is so important to me, they will look deep into my eyes and say something like, "Oh-- I know," and I can tell I've found a member of my tribe.

Since I was a little kid the forest has drawn me in.  There were many forests-- we moved a lot, but as soon as we settled into a new home i'd immediately begin scouting for a distant tree line and head out, usually on my trusty purple banana-seat bike, for parts unknown, yet familiar.

That is the the wonderful mystery of forests; they are all different, yet all sort of similar, as if the world is perhaps one giant forest that has been rudely interrupted by civilization.  In every one there are little hidden alcoves, mossy wonders, ancient stones, and a sense that you are inhabiting a living breathing thing.  All around you things are transforming at various rates, all in tandem and oblivious of humans.

When I discovered mountain biking in my mid-forties, I discovered not only a new way to enjoy time in the woods, but a whole population of people who feel the specialness of it, that childhood flutter, the same as I do.  Riding through the woods on two wheels feels as close to flying as I may ever get.  It's incredibly freeing.

When I began creating this design I wanted to express that thrill I felt as a kid, discovering another forest in another home, as if the woods was tracking me, casting out a safety net to help balance me out no matter where I wound-up.  It's the same thrill mixed with comfort I feel to this day, either spending time in my favorite hometown woods or discovering a new (to me) mysterious jewel box.

I used several graphics of my sculptures to create the design; my beloved "Wing"- the first sculpture I even made and will never sell, the little "tree line" sculptures I made for years, sometimes called "Groves", and a complicated root system I cut out of steel by hand for a wall piece.  

 It's almost as fun rearranging and playing with these images as it was to create the sculptures.  The creative residue lingers.  Thanks for visiting.  Please subscribe to the blog, and like/share/pin/tweet.  It will help support what I do by allowing me to get the word out, since I don't have gobs of advertising money laying about  Thanks! 

To see about having these designs hand-printed on a tee or bag from Artitude Tees-- click here.  :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Origin story

Hello Everyone.  Thanks for visiting Artitude Tees.
My name is Sue Seeger and I'm a metal sculptor living and working in Minnesota (USA).
I'm pretty sure I have the world's cutest welding shop (on the outside-- inside it is pretty standard-- lots of grime and metal dust.)

I LOVE making steel sculptures, and love sharing my work with others.  Here is a pic of a piece I did as an underground installation (guerrilla art) for my local mountain bike trail (another passion).  She is made of an old stock car found in the very woods she now perches in.  She's named "Tina" after a name found painted on a rear fender, one of the *pit crew*.

She represents a lot of things to me, creative freedom, the spirit of adventure, my respect for her forest home, the trail, and the local mtb culture.  I guess she became my spirit animal in a way, so was a natural choice for the Artitude logo.

I started Artitude because I found my sculptures, my thoughts about them, have a life beyond the physical piece I create.  The images live in my head for quite a while before they make it into form, and even after the fact they are still tumbling around up there.
Playing with them as graphic images is another creative outlet for me, and it allows me to share my process and my work with more people.
The items you see are not printed at some huge screen printing company.  I do everything myself in the 1/2 of the garage my husband allowed me to commandeer (and this is a guy with no basement!)  So everything you see here is very much a hand-made creation, and every purchase you make helps support me and my work. 
Thanks for checking it out.
~Sue Seeger

Friday, September 5, 2014

Little fox in the big woods

Hello-- So- wondering what is up with the little fox in the big woods?  

As you may or may not know, the fox is a sculpture I created not so long agoYou can read all about his story HERE, but here is a pic of him at the gallery which sold him.

I have been making tree related art since I very first began sculpting.  I am a total woods gal-- it is where I feel most happy.  Along the way I came up with a design for a little grouping of trees that was very very simple.

People loved it and were always fascinated that it stood on it's own.  For some reason they couldn't work out how it held itself up until I showed them the small welds up in the branches.

I sold tons of these.  People liked grouping them into mini forests, giving them as gifts, decorating them various ways.  They were extremely popular.  

They look simple, but were actually pretty labor intensive to make; lots of tiny branches to de-burr etc.   It took a bit of a toll on my hands, so I had to stop producing them.  I need to spare my hands for less repetitive artwork.

But everyone can still enjoy the design as a screen print on any of the Artitude tees, or the messenger bag-- alone or with the little fox.

Meet the curious fox

Hello-- Meet the curious fox-- the first of several fox sculptures I've created out of steel.
He began as a sketch on the floor of my workshop.  That's how I often start-- I keep a supply of sidewalk chalk on hand for this.

Next I framed in his body and head.  It's important to get the proportions right, and also the biomechanics- balance etc.

I actually have kind of a thing about the feet.  It's a detail that is often overlooked in sculpture, but I like my pieces to balance properly- to stand on their feet just as they would in real life.  So I take a lot of time to get the feet right, even if most people will never notice this.

Slowly he was filled-in and took shape.

He went home with someone else, a gallery sale, but now anyone can enjoy a print of him on any of the Artitude tees or the messenger bag.

Meet Tina; The patron saint of Artitude Tees

 Tina really exists-- out in the world.  I'm a full time working metal sculptor.  I do it all by hand-- bending, shaping and welding steel to form things from my own imagination. 

Tina was made mostly out of old stock car parts scavenged from my local mountain bike trail.  She used to be an old Chevy Nova from the early 70s.  That old Chevy, found in pieces rusting away in the woods, had no idea it was going to get a second life, as Tina.
 She gets her name from one of the fenders; it had some names hand painted on under "Pit Crew", and "Tina" was the only one still readable.  It's part of her arm now.

She lives at the trail, a guardian of the park and mascot  for the riders there.  She represents a lot of things to me: that wild spirit inside many of us (just below the surface), creative freedom, female power, courage, rebelliousness-- and my love of mountain biking and my local trail.

When I decided to get into graphic design and screen printing, I knew one of my very first designs would feature Tina.  This is a whole new world for me.  I'm used to making things out of steel.  I'm still learning more, every day.  Above is the pic of Tina I used as a guide to help me create my logo.  It gave me a good idea how light and shadow fell on her face.  I drew the graphic image by hand, probably the slow way, but I am still learning, and am happy with how it turned out.

 I think I captured her proud, wild spirit.  I hope when people wear this tee they feel like they are capable of anything-- bold and awesome.  Thanks for checking out Artitude tees.  Get the Tina tee (aka the Artitude Tees logo tee) HERE

Meet Marty

Hi Folks,
I've made a number of ravens over the years, but Marty was the first, and I got rather attached to him.

 I put him in one show, and secretly hoped no one would buy him.  Then I took him home and decided I needed to keep him.
 I've made ravens for other art shows, and people sometimes commission them.  Here is a pair I made for someone a few years ago.

 You either are a crow/raven person or are not.  I find them fascinating.  They mate for life, and are scary smart.  Here's a pretty interesting video showing just how clever they can be.

My initial raven sculpture, Marty, was the model for my raven graphic design-- which you can have printed in a variety of colors (black with blue, purple or teal) on any of the Artitude tees or the messenger bag.