New Ulm

Conceptual work

   This post contains conceptual sketches for a variety of upcoming projects.  These projects are just getting started.    At this point in the process, there's a lot of "what if" and gathering of possibilities.  Anything could happen and that's frankly a little exhausting.
    You should have no illusions about me as an artist...I generally know very little about the final product when I'm starting to think about it.  It's almost as if I discover the artwork through exploration.  This is in contrast to the popular image of an artist who sees the final product in his mind's eye and charges forward with irresistible willpower.  
   Those early ideas are almost always the most cliche approaches in the history of a developing project, but without them I have nothing to climb on.  An early idea becomes something I can react against.  I can bend and adjust those feeble beginnings and start to get some traction.  Somehow, there's more brainpower available after the first ideas are on paper.  Each successive stage offers another opportunity for improvement, much like a writer submitting drafts and revising according to an editor's suggestions.  The biggest decisions seem to happen early and they seem to require the most effort.  Later on there are still exciting twists, but they are not so difficult to discover.  
    Sometimes I'm shocked when I look back at the very first concept sketches for a project after it is finished.  I tend to forget my early, often strongly felt, ideas.  The path is rarely a predictable one.  Part of the reason for posting my works in progress is to archive my meandering developments.  It's also a friendly invitation to those interested in creative processes...
    So here I am at some beginnings.  I suspect that there is much to be discovered in these projects.  However, for now I feel a little awkward, aimless, unsure of the outcome.   I'm looking into a fog.  The sureness comes later.  I suppose that's the nature of exploration.  Adventure is out there!

Baptism concept
Thoughts on Baptism.

Searching for Mary Magdalene by drawing from classic sculptures.
Geometric interpretation of "Sunrise"
Some layout ideas for
"Saint and Sinner" illustrations.
Beginnings of a "Saint and Sinner" series.
Gathering ideas for
Wanda Gag project.
Early thoughts on
Spark and Echo project.
Concepts for New Life project.

Musing on giant portraits in German Park.
Figure study for
 Wanda Gag project.
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WELS Synod Convention opening service sketches

     The 2013 WELS convention opened with a beautiful worship service.  Overwhelming bass and tenor voices of the assembly boomed out hymns new and old accompanied by instrumentalists and a choir.  Hearts crumbled as they considered "Who can stand" in the presence of the Lord?  We were directed to the throng of believers who DO stand before the throne, the church victorious, who have come out of the great tribulation.  God be praised for his glad tidings!
   The history of WELS missions at home and abroad was presented in a procession by the LWMS (Lutheran Women's Missionary Society).  WELS involvement was explained for each country (or state) as its flag was shown.  
See photos of the opening service at this link.

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"Hermann's Footprint" project

This summer the City of New Ulm will have a new attraction!  Watch here to see Hermann's Footprint develop.  The New Ulm Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with Haberman Modern Storytellers again to let the world know all about the fun that happens here.  They had a sweet campaign last year and the plans sound great again!  Stay tuned!

A little preliminary leveling.

Total coverage.

The thumb-busting stage.  I heat my oil-based clay in a microwave to soften it a bit.  My hands still get a workout from this rough application stage.

must attach chicken wire...

I made this maquette made for a lunchtime discussion of the project.  I used my 11-year old daughter's sandal as a template for the shape of the footprint.  The hobnails are historically accurate as far as I can tell.  The Haberman Modern Storytellers behind this campaign have something far more interesting in mind than mere accuracy.  Stay tuned for more fun!

See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.