Thursday, December 11, 2008

Art n Gun Studio & Forge

"People of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads,

the East Coast, America, the World and Beyond!

I am the spokes Bear from the new

Art n' Gun Studio & Forge...

Opening this 2008

We will provide Educational and Practical Services for

Artists & Sculptors

Classes in Life Drawing
Life Sculpture Classes

Apprentice Opportunities

Mold & Pattern Making
Lost Wax Bronze

Vacuum 'Silver' Casting


Bill Osmundsen 757-392-1488 or Joe Filipowski 757-623-4675
1046 West 24th Street, Norfolk, VA.

Get in the Holiday spirit with

Art n Gun Studio & Forge
Gift Items

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Visit to the replica of the FOX


This is an exact replica of an 18ft Boat which was rowed
across the Atlantic Ocean in 1896
by George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen.

It is housed at the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club in
Long Branch, NJ

read more ....

A Visit with the

Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club

The FOX Sculpture Project Continues

October 28, 2008

New Jersey has many faces which it presents to visitors. The Jersey Shore is a one-of-a-kind strip of resort towns that runs about One Hundred Miles down the Jersey Coast. Going ‘down to the Shore’ says it all to Jerseyites, it is a mix of old, new, tacky, glitzy;- big sandy beaches, salt water taffy and every ones destination the day after the high school prom. I drove that southern pilgrimage, living in Northern NJ, for more than 30 years. This year Joe Filipowski, Master Wooden Boat Builder and I headed north out of Virginia Beach, in what was such foul and windy weather that we were turned back at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and had to tow our trailer through the Baltimore and Washington route, taking a nail biting 13 hours, to reach our destination, the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club, in Long Branch, NJ.
Fishing Villages, like what was Long Branch, thrived in the late 1800’s. A lot of industry, pollution and increased population has changed the active fishing and clamming that brought Harbo and Samuelsen, the two Norwegian Emigrants that rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and are the subjects of the Fox adventure, and my sculpture work.
Long Branch, New Jersey has a close proximity to Manhattan, the lower Battery and Brooklyn where the FOX was launched and Harbo lived as a Sandy Hook Pilot with his family after their Atlantic adventure.
The Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club is tucked away on pretty sheltered harbor and that is where Wooden Boat builder Joe Filipowski and I met up with Victor Samuelsen, Project Coordinator for the Fox Sculpture Project, who also made the rain soaked trip, from Greenwich, CT. We were all greeted by Dick Hauter who is charge of the Fox replica, built to the exact specifications of the original Fox and by wooden boat builder Donald Godshall.
Later the Commodore Tom Bray and a other club members joined us in their cozy eclectic club house which is filled with photographic memorabilia.
Joe Filipowski made a detailed photo essay of the Fox Replica which was housed under it’s own roofed open building display. Joe and I later visited the small boat shop of Donald Godshall who had built the Fox replica under the guidance of Harold Seaman, the son of the original Fox builder who drew out a set of plans from memory at age 90.
Donald Godshall has a great shop with a wood stove,- burning.
It was a warm welcome as it started to snow. With the weather and another nine hours ahead of us we begged off lunch and headed north to New Hampshire to reclaim some studio equipment.
On our return to Virginia, Joe and I will revisit the 3 foot working model which I completed this year and which was displayed at the reopening of Skipjack Nautical Wares in Portsmouth, VA. and construct a more accurate revised boat model using the plans supplied by the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club and Joe's detailed pictures. This will further refine the sculpture which like most artworks goes through a metamorphose before reaching it's completion.
The new "Voyage of the Fox Sculpture", will be cast in bronze by our
Art n' Gun Studio & Forge in Norfolk, VA.
For purchase and exhibition information e-mail:
Have a Happy Holiday Season,
Bill Osmundsen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Skipjack Sails Again

Avast! Saga of the Skipjack
There was an ancient mariner who stopeth one of three
by his long gray beard and glinting eye
he then spake to me.
Skipjack did run aground about a year ago you know
she was heading on a long reach
but met a blizzard of woe
They had to cut away her rig and make previsions last
Her deck sloped so much
the Captain grabbed the mast
The First Mate cried 'Oh Thunder'!
The hull lied broke and smashed
All their hopes and dreams lied on the rocks and dashed
We can't go back! Only straight ahead the ragged crew surmised
A new vessel is what we need
to every one's surprise
We'll build it better, we'll build it longer, we'll sail it straight and true
By God in Thunder, we'll make them wonder
It just sailed out of the Blue
So set your date and plan your watch, the motley crew survived
Joe and Alison have planned an opening
The Skipjack has arrived
Seventeen October, Two Thousand and eight,
from Twelve Noon on
You best not wait
Be you there, see you there, only days away
Join the joyous celebration
As we all cry Hurray!
Bill Osmundsen

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Legend of the Grey Goose

" Grey Goose" acrylic 50"x 50" (c) Bill Osmundsen
Ode to The Grey Goose

The Grey Goose flew over the water
With a silver chalice in his beak.
He knew he was the inspiration
For a drink served both cold and neat.
The Grey Goose honks victorious
His fame spread meritorious.
From Canada to Southern climes
He migrates to survive.
Oh where would the Martini be
If he hadn’t flown bye
Maybe with ole James Bond
In Scotland or about to die.
Only with fortitude
Did the Grey Goose make plain
That the Martini has won
Lording to everyone's acclaim.
The Grey Goose fly's over the wetlands
Endangered by the years
So lets drink to Grey Goose
With laughter and with tears.
The Grey Goose flew over the water
With a silver chalice in his beak.
He knew he was the inspiration
For a drink served both cold and neat.
For particulars on purchasing the original acrylic painting
Grey Goose by Wm Barth Osmundsen
please visit our web site:
Enjoy the Summer and your Grey Goose
Thanks for visiting, Bill Osmundsen

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April Blog; Project Fox continued /Felix de Weldon remembered / Earth day

Avast!!! Project Fox:- "The Voyage of the Fox, the first transatlantic rowing adventure, in 1886, by George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen, a Sculpture work in progress", has been published in large 11" x 17", 22 page format and is also on view and available on my web site:-

Bronze of the Fox

Victor Samuelsen who is based in Greenwich CT and Manhattan is the project coordinator. Victor introduces the Fox project, in the publication, the idea, which caught our collective fancy in July of last year.

We both share a common heritage and love of the sea. When Victor unearthed the little known story of George Harbo, Frank Samuelsen and the Fox,- he thought it would be a good motif for my ongoing Bronzes from the Sea series. We also thought with a little luck and good will "The Voyage of the Fox" in Bronze would be a fitting monument for the home town of both Frank Samuelsen and his distant relative and my friend Victor, both of Farsund, Norway. As we delved into the story of this adventure it grew and became more and more worthy of such a memorial.

The story of the Fox, which I touched on in the March Blog, is about two Norwegian immigrants who, in 1886, decided to take up the challenge of taking a small boat, by oar only, and row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. This type of adventure and daring was a great part of the mid to late 19th century. The American Yacht America in 1851, had challenged the British in a race around the Isle of Wright, winning and beginning the legacy of the Americas Cup. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886, an event witnessed by George Harbo.
John L. Sullivan was the bare knuckle Boxing champion in America, his last fight going over 70 rounds. The promoter of these fights, Richard Fox became the backer of Harbo and Samuelsen's voyage. Everyone was looking for a 'big idea' something which would set them apart and maybe make them rich and famous. Harbo and Samuelsen wanted to become part of this dream and so they set out to build a row boat, outfit it and row from the Battery, in lower Manhattan, to Le Havre, France. Today there are rowing clubs and one of them is even international. People continue to attempt Atlantic crossings by oar alone but still no one has beaten the record set by Harbo and Samuelsen.

Felix de Weldon and Bill Osmundsen, Beacon Rock, Newport, RI, 1984

When I consider developing a monument like The Voyage of the Fox I like to draw from my friendship and mentoring of Felix de Weldon who was perhaps the greatest monument builder of the 20th century. We met in Newport RI during the America's Cup in 1983 when I exhibited my new collection of bronzes featuring a history of the America's Cup. He became an instant friend and supporter of my work. We both share a birth date in April, just a few days apart, so I always think of Felix around this month.

When I met de Weldon he was owner of Beacon Rock, a Newport RI mansion, originally built for Edward D. Morgan, J.P Morgan's cousin. Felix was very humorous and a great story teller, when we lunched in Woodstock, Virginia with several other people and his son Byron, he kept all of us and eventually the whole Waite Staff, in rapt anticipation, of the punch line, of the next story told.
Felix worked at his sculpture, using oil based and water based clay and frequently plaster, in a suit and tie. Rising by 5:30 or 6 AM each morning Felix would come to the studio between 7 and 8 AM after his breakfast which he took in town. During the times I did some work for him he would put me up at Beacon Rock, in a bedroom suite, and after his breakfast, when I was already in his studio, Felix would graciously bring me a smoked salmon on bagel, for my breakfast, without fail.

Felix de Weldon passed away here in Woodstock, Virginia in 2003, he would have been 101 this year. He is most famous for making The Marine Corps War Memorial , near Arlington National Cemetery, which is the massive monument of the taking of Mt Suribachi and the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.
Here is a link to an interesting verbal history made with Felix de Weldon in 1969 at the Truman Library.

Earth day, earth week;- Everyday should be Earth day!
It took a noble leader who won the Nobel Prize, to wake everybody up. Kudos to Al Gore!
I believe, with a little effort provided by everyone, that this mess we have gotten into, environmentally, is reversible.
I started Eco-Tips, a weekly environmental cartoon, published in the Granite State Extra, while living in New Hampshire, in 1993. The town of Wolfeboro had also planned on adopting the characters of Emerald Moss a frog and his side-kick Half-Shell a clam to bring environmental consciousness to the area. As the years followed, recycling and environmental interest dwindled. The message is not really fun because it makes you do things you don't really want to bother with;- sort of like when your a little kid and you have to quit playing at night and come in and take a bath. But, good habits, like bathing take hold and so will follow recycling, reusing and rehabilitating our habitat.
Happy Earth day,
Bill Osmundsen

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Beware of the 'eyes' of March; THE FOX; Skipjack Nautical Wares

The Blog:- Well, it's like opening up the garage to find an old favorite car after the Winter snows. I haven't visited this Blog since last December. Speaking of snow in Virginia Beach, the extent of our winter snow was about 1/4 of an inch, which quickly melted.
When I lived in New Jersey you couldn't expect Spring until sometime in April and in New Hampshire, where they are still up to their armpits in snow drifts, maybe in May, so this is a great treat to see flowers already blooming around the beach.

The Fox:- During this winter I have mostly been intent on refining my project on "The Voyage of the Fox". This is a remarkable story of two men, who were Norwegian Immigrants who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1896. I didn't know about this until my friend and collector of my work, Victor Samuelsen returned from Norway in July of 2007 and called me to tell me the story of the Fox.
Victor had a distant relative from Farsund, Norway, Frank Samuelsen, who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean with another Norwegian who immigrated to America named George Harbo. Victor suggested this would be a great motif to add to my Bronzes from the Sea collection.

If you think about it, this adventure was nothing short of breathtaking, in fact even with modern means no one (and quite a few have attempted it) have even come close to the feat that Harbo and Samuelsen accomplished. That's why we hope this project develops to the full Monumental proportions we are currently planning. The sculpture work would give long overdue credit to this superbly brave and tenuous feat by two Norwegian-American Immigrants. Please watch my Web site; and look for THE FOX as this project progresses.

Skipjack Nautical Wares and Gallery:- At the end of last year, there was a tragedy of enormous magnitude visited upon our very special friends and Galley representatives Joe and Allison Elder. Their Portsmouth VA. fine Maritime Gallerye and apartment was destroyed as collateral damage of the Baptist Church which had a gas explosion last December. The Elders, members of their family and pets were able to escape and in fact, the building, was still standing strong, with minimal damage. This was a relief to all. After all the Elders had their life in this building;- upstairs as an apartment and downstairs as a quality seller of Maritime Art and artifacts.
Skipjack Nautical Wares and Gallery was without question one of the finest examples of the quality shops that are marching up the now resplendent High Street.
Skipjack was an apparent labor of love for the Elders for each and every display was unique and a delight to the eye. Aside from the amazing and often one-of-a-kind marine artifact was a growing collection of fine contemporary Maritime Art. This was displayed along with some truly significant Maritime Paintings from the past centuries. The name Butterworth comes to mind as one those artists that I viewed on Skipjack's walls.
In my travels I have always been interested in unique harbor side shops and galleries. Places like Mystic Seaports' Gallery, in Mystic CT. make Mystic CT., which is an out of the way destination the purpose of the trip. For me and other people I know, Skipjack was a destination. It was located in Portsmouth, VA., but Portsmouth wasn't the destination, Skipjack was and the hours you could spend at one of their special events or just browsing.
Last year, for instance, Skipjack hosted a special exhibit benefiting wildlife and the Elizabeth River. There was also a book signing by local author Amy Waters Yarsinske who spent years researching and writing "The Elizabeth River". This event or many others such as authentic seashanties during 'First Friday Exhibitions" made Skipjack into something of a living PBS Televison Show that you could walk into and interact with. The Elders' are shopkeepers on the simplest level but that only defines their basic premise, so I was like so many other people, that I have talked to, outraged by the action, the City of Portsmouth, took following the gas explosion that rocked the family out of bed at 4 AM.
You might ask what could be worse than being evacuated from your home and business a few days before Christmas after this early morning horrific explosion. An explosion that damaged your building, blew out your showroom windows and left you 'homeless'. Immediately, you would say "phew! we are still standing! more than 90 percent of our inventory (much of it one-of-a-kind or Art on consignment) is at least still intact, not harmed by the devastating explosion. You would think, "We can go back, we can fix this, set that and although we are damaged at least we are still in business".
All those carefully placed and loved items that I described to you earlier could be saved with almost no damage. One of kind, thousands of dollars, thousands of hours to carefully make the crafts, to make the Art; to place the antiques and exhibit these items. All of this would be bulldozed into rubble by the City of Portsmouth within a day or two of the explosion.
Joe and Allison Elder thought they were talking to the City to get things in order and the next thing you know they were watching the destruction of their home and business. Holly Crap! I thought we lived in America where a 'Man's home was his Castle'. Is there or will there ever be a reasonable explanation of such hasty and careless treatment of these valuable business owners, residents and citizens of Portsmouth.
Aftermath; Last month Joe, Allison and myself sat on a bench, about 50 feet from what was Skipjack Nautical Wares and Gallery. The corner was all fenced in like it had been immediately after the explosion, so one would assume the public was protected from any falling debris. Despite this the building was demolished to protect the public. So, for now Joe Elder, like Bernard Baruch will meet and discuss the business of Maritime Art and Antiques with you on a High Street park bench. Good Luck Joe and Allison... we will keep you all advised of their progress.
Enjoy the Spring; - Beware of the 'eyes' of March!
Bill Osmundsen