Sunday, December 26, 2010

Xmas in Greenwich Village

"a Winter scene at Washington Sq Park" Watercolor (c) Bill Osmundsen

Merry Christmas

and a very

Happy New Year!

from Greenwich Village

Bill Osmundsen

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Sloop Clearwater under sail on the Hudson

"Clearwater on the Hudson" Watercolor on Paper (c) Wm Barth Osmundsen

New to our work is a collection of tile Artworks designed for the Clearwater folks up in Beacon New York. They have taken over the 'University Settlement' which is located up in Beacon on 9D. This large woodland camp will be a headquarters for many of their pro-active environmental activities and work with inner City Youth. To see more of these motifs which are planned for rendering in low relief and duplication as ceramic tiles and copper Repousse see 'Whats New' at our Web Site.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

VIXERAT for Bill Zechel

Bill Zechel a portrait on paper by Bill Osmundsen

I have been visiting in New Hampshire for a good part of this year and after returning only once in 6 years I found a great and dear friend slowly and with some pain dieing. His death occurred in August. I visited Bill in the Hospital and Nursing Home and not reading a regular paper I missed his funeral. Two years before when I presented Bill with the portrait above he told me I've got my funeral music all planned out. Bill loved music and as we sat in Saunders at Rye Harbor, in Rye NH; in the restaurant that he built, he explained each selection of music and what it meant to him. Kind of a crazy evening to spend listening to your friends funeral music selection. Rest assured the music wasn't real sad or pompous. Bill loved life so much that he was even enthusiastic about his own funeral and that is where the Latin word Vixerat comes into play. When a Roman would die they wouldn't say he died;- they would say he lived:- Vixerat.

Bill Osmundsen

Friday, October 15, 2010

Great Blue Heron and Clearwater are new designs for Ceramic Tiles

The Sloop 'Clearwater' 18" x 24" Watercolor on Paper
(c) William Barth Osmundsen (click on image)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jordan Hanssen Ocean Rower endorses Fox Sculpture

The 29-foot fiberglass Rowing Boat, James Robert Hanssen,
crossed the Atlantic Ocean on June 10th, 2006

Our (The Fox Sculpture Project) Project Director, Victor Samuelsen was recently out to Seattle, Washington where he met with Jordan Hanssen who captained the three man crew of the James Robert Hanssen.

Jordan named the boat for his father who died from an asthma attack when he was just three years old. The young Jordan also developed asthma but quickly set his mind to strengthening his lungs through exercise. As a four-time champion competition rower in the Northwest Conference Rowing Championship he decided to set the bar a little higher and row across the Atlantic Ocean.

His personal story reads a little like the story of George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen, who were the first adventures to cross the Atlantic by oar in 1896. You see, at that time, in 1896, there was a competition award for anyone who would dare to pick-up the challenge to cross the Atlantic. It was $10,000. US and gold medals for the successful oarsmen.

Jordan Hanssen who heard about a transatlantic race much like George Harbo, was a bit of an instigator and began to talk to a former UPS team mate by the name of Brad Vickers. Just as George Harbo spoke to Frank Samuelsen, who was his fishing partner and friend. I'll make a bet that Brad received the idea a little like Frank Samuelsen did more than 110 years earlier.

'Are you really serious or simply insane?'

An article in a paper called the Arches, published in the Autumn of 2006 reports Vickers asked for a meeting and after 10 hours agreed to join on. (Tony Robbins are you reading this? You've got big competition if Jorden Hanssen goes into motivational speaking). Brad Vickers agreed, they added two more men, Greg Spooner and Dylan LeValley and carefully planned the voyage.

The Voyage of the Fox was also meticulously planned, this was part of it's success and certainly a significant part of Jordan's recent crossing. The young crew decided that they would also use the race to raise money for the American Lung Association (ALAW). Approximately half of the funds raised would go to ALAW. The boat and voyage itself cost about $300,000. US. each man borrowed $10,000. US for his stake against achieving their dream.

The four man crew made their goal of Falmouth, England in 71 days about 15 days behind the open wooden surf-boat Fox but they did achieve the fastest time in the race and I recently read they are planning another crossing.

On Victor Samuelsen's recent trip to Seattle he had the pleasure to go out rowing with Captain Hanssen, on the James Robert Hanssen, with his cousin Tom Samuelsen and his son Tor, a young teenager. This remarkable first-hand experience led to our knowledge of these determined young men who are proud to walk or shall we say row in the footsteps of George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen.

I hope you will take time visit our link: to read his supporting letter for The Fox Sculpture Project and connect with Jordan's web site.

Enjoy the Summer,
Cordially, Bill Osmundsen

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Police Gazette on George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen's Fox Voyage

The Fox (c) Wm Barth Osmundsen, Sculptor, Victor Samuelsen, Project coordinator

About a year ago or more the Fox Sculpture Project was in touch with William A. Mays, Editor and Publisher of the 'new' Police Gazette, which is only online at this time.
If you are under 40 you may not remember going into a Barber Shop and fingering through a 'pink paged' tabloid with rather provocative pictures and writings in it. It was a magazine far ahead of Playboy having been published in the mid 1800's. The run of this 'pink press' tabloid lasted until the 1970's. Our particular interest (besides the women displayed in the periodical) is the sponsorship of the 'first transatlantic crossing by oar in an open boat' ; which is the Fox Sculpture Project, presently ongoing and in planning as a bronze monument.

The 'original' publisher (he made it famous after purchasing it from the original owner and was also the one who decided on 'pink pages') of the 'Police Gazette' , Richard Fox was, in fact, a man of diverse interests which ran from promoting some of the great bare knuckle fights which John L. Sullivan participated in to investing in a small row boat which two Norwegian American seamen and fishermen thought they could row some 2000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

I don't really think we can fully appreciate the risk or frankly the organic quality of this whole venture without somehow taking a time machine back to lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Jersey Shore where the FOX (an 18 ft 'Surf boat' was built by William A Seamens, in the Long Branch, NJ area. The film 'Gangs of New York' I believe has some of the grit you might have found then. For instance the last John L. Sullivan, bare knuckle fight went over 100 rounds.

Richard Fox didn't like John L. Sullivan, because Sullivan was rather dismissive of Fox. Actually Fox hoped Sullivan would loose, which he didn't.

Fox sponsored George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen to row across the Atlantic but had little hope the open boat would make it across. His comment to George Harbo who presented the idea was, "What makes you think you can do this other than you have a giant (referring to the 6' 4" Frank Samuelsen) for a partner. He promised them solid gold medals if they accomplished the task.

The excitement surrounding Mr. Mays article, lost for about 100 years, about the Fox voyage is that it is the most complete and comprehensive article documenting the link to the historic crossing, by oar, in an 18 foot open 'Surf Boat by George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen to Richard Fox and the Police Gazette. On our web site we have two other articles online both published by the New York Times in 1896.

Here is a link to the Police gazette article and thanks again to the new editor and publisher William Mays for his research and sharing it with all of us. I think it is a great piece of information and we are pleased to add it to the Fox Sculpture Project.