Late August 2016, Gallery Walls, Birdhaven Studio

currently displayed

upon the WALLS

at

Birdhaven Sculpture Gallery

Late August, 2016

Jonah, The Maiden Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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With the long-awaited opening of my new Birdhaven Sculpture Gallery I am at last able to exhibit my Colorado Yule Marble Collection Series of Direct Method Curvilinear Reductionist sculpture in a manner best suited to present their unique qualities. Since it’s inception however I confess to having found myself eagerly anticipating the arrival of two large gallery walls on which I am at last able to lay out at least set a relevant backdrop to the story being played out in stone  just a few short feet away.   And so, along with regular updates as to just what is currently showing upon the plinths and racks, I will also be adding regular ‘upon the wall’ features – a sort of up-close stroll around the wall sort of thing.  This blog post itself in fact marks the very first in an on-going series. Just how it will morph and change down the years will of course remain to be seen.

Upon the Walls at Birdhaven Sculpture Gallery, Part One. Late August 2016. Woody Creek CO.

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The New Birdhaven Gallery Begins to Take Shape: Jonah, The Maiden Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney

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I can’t say that I am a big fan of bare walls.

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The Aspen Public Library, pen and ink, Martin Cooney.

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Fine for a library, perhaps.

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Life Drawing Class meets the Aspen Library, pen and ink, Martin Cooney.

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But, surely a gallery’s first obligation is to entertain?

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Life Drawing Evening Class, Carbondale CO, pen and ink, Martin Cooney.

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The rest, as a truly great chef once explained to me, “is simply a matter of taste”.

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Detail, 'Liberation', pencil, Martin Cooney.

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Ever since I can first recall I have loved to draw.

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Detail, 'Liberation', pencil, Martin Cooney.

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Try as I might I just never took to paint.  Consequently I possessed, hoarded, wore out and wore down, mountains of colored pens and pencils as a child.  And although I willingly concede that the time allocated to such detailed drawings rarely presents itself these days, as with everything however, as life takes me through each various stage, the time of the pencil will surely return, one day.  All in good time.

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Although prone to quite chronic doodling as a child (first cousin to daydreaming) I did perform rather well in my Technical Drawing class.  And although I was not to realize the significance for many years, such spacial awareness skills were to prove pivotal when designing and carving solid stone fireplaces, elaborate ornamental decorations, and the like.

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The Curious Lion of Massa, colored pencil, Martin Cooney.

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For me the cartoon panel forms the ultimate blank canvas.  Frustrated,  just pick up a pencil.  See what happens.

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A Long Way From Home,1979, Mixed Media, Martin Cooney, Portland, Oregon: 1 of 3.

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I doodled these three panels when rather perplexed, and living in the Jack London Hotel, Portland ORE, during the winter of 1979.  The place had just been condemned and closed for renovation.  My job at the Elephant and Castle Pub and Fish and Chip Shop had yet to materialize.

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A Long Way From Home,1979, Martin Cooney, Portland, Oregon: 2 of 3.

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Days were spent obsessively not spending much in the way of money.

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A Long Way From Home,1979, Martin Cooney, Portland, Oregon: 3 of 3

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And yet, tantalizingly, the bright lights of Tinsel Town beckoned like never before, or I’m happy to say, since.

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The Garbanzo Coffee House, poster, mid-eighties, The Angel, Islington, London, England, UK. Martin Cooney.

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Years later it’s an altogether different story as Kris and I boldly set out to go where no Independent American West Coast Laid Back Coffee Shop had, has, or ever will, again.  Just 25 yards from the old super-deep (accessed by a huge elevator), narrow platformed, ever-crowded Angel Tube Station, we served only the very finest coffee, pastries, cakes, ice-cream, brownies and confections.  It may not prove an odd concept now, but back in the mid-eighties the very idea that a bunch of common ordinary folk were busily munching on the very same tantalizing fare as that served in the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, in Mayfair, at the Savoy!…. was indeed most revolutionary.

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The Garbanzo Coffee House, poster, mid-eighties, Martin Cooney, London, England, UK.

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Aided and assisted by the free stickers we enthusiastically handed to our most loyal customers (and random visitors alike) we reaped the bounty of hungry foodies, groovies, artists, dancers, anyone at all really – who loved good food,  a fun artsy vibe, great coffee, unbeatable prices, and as eclectic a bunch of people as you are ever likely to meet.  Believe it or not,  as unlikely as it may sound,  people actually crossed huge swaths of London to spend time here: the ultimate accolade in my opinion.

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London and me go back quite a long way.

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The City of London, architecture, photo bw, early eighties, Martin Cooney.

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As a child my family’s seemingly frequent forays to the capitol were like visiting another world.  So very far and remote it was.  And so very, very huge.

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In 1979, freshly returned from my year-long sojourn to Israel, I was to spend the first of the five years that I was to call the capitol my home, when I worked as a printer for a radical newspaper located in Bethnel Green, far, far from the grandiose avenues of The City, as pictured below on Christmas Day, 1984.

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City of London, Christmas Day 1984, bw photo, Martin Cooney.

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And so just wander around as you scroll down through the rest of the post.  It’s all pretty much self-explanatory… and besides, it’s already late, late August and I am more than a little eager to get back outside.  Don’t forget that you can simply run your cursor over any picture to reveal its caption, and post your questions in the comment box below.  Meanwhile, have fun, and I’ll be back in a day or two with a photo compilation of each and every Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture currently showing in the newly opened Birdhaven Studio Sculpture Gallery, Woody Creek CO.

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Bresson Brevette, solid brass, Harmon "wow-wow" Mute. Much prized cornet of Martin Cooney.

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Postcard: Summer at the Lake.

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Postcard: How to Behave... mid eighties, London, England, UK.

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Postcard: The Stag and Box, Portland Oregon, mid nineties.

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Detail, Guatemala Villagers head home for the day, early eighties, photo Martin Cooney.

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The Rigors of carving the 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture by Martin Cooney.

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and now

the slideshow

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Martin Cooney self-portrait, pen and ink, Portland OR, early eighties.

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thanks for visiting martincooney.com

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