WELCOME to my blog and creative art space!

Since our retirement and relocation to the Puna District on the Big Island of Hawaii, (where we proudly admit to being "Punatics") my artistic energies have largely gone into our new home, addition of an ohana/apartment, and our acre of land. We have planted fruit trees, built lava walls, dug holes, reclaimed the boundaries from the jungle, and developed the landscaping.

During all this rewarding, hard work, I have wondered in what way the art I had been creating (you can see some below) would transition to reflect this dynamic island life. I have doodled in an art journal as impressions arose, splashed color, scribbled images, words, half-formed raw ideas, inklings of bold color, and fractal-like geometry -- all rather abstract. So, what do I do with all these musings, particularly since it is so VERY different from the art I was creating in Humboldt County?

I have some beginning shapes now and color; it is time to play. I'll try to add some of my thoughts here, for those few who are curious. And, if you'd like to know more, you can email me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


One of my favorite places is the junk-yard, where on the ground, I find the best rusty stuff -- free. These rusty things worked well with a newly found beach-worn pine cone that happened to look like an owl with his back turned away.

The bent coat hanger became the branch, the bed springs became the eyes, and I thought the tightly wound springs at the bottom suggested tail feathers. I weathered and rusted the top finial (originally plastic), and used upholstery samples (in fall colors) for the background.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"In The Beginning Was the Word..."

(NOTE: Someone with an eye for my work over the past few years, may recall a similar piece that was called "In The Back of My Mind." NO...this is not a re-work of that piece. Delightfully that piece was purchased the year it was made. I've included a thumbnail of it...or you check out my collection of "Strange Angels" for more of the story/process of it.)


So, back to "....the Beginning." Some months ago I disassembled a typewriter -- what a hoot! It took days to hack through it, carefully retaining all the parts.

(Some people simply cut off the keys for a cheap and fast thrill. Not me -- I wanted all the springs, and mechanism for future projects.)

As with most of my art, the piece tells a story. In this case, the visual pun plays with the idea of "the Word" as both literal and symbolic concepts. While the typewriter parts/keys suggest letters and words, the baby head suggest an organic incarnation and a head full of possibility. The typewriter keys are form three old machines, but I also included one of my coveted IBM Selectric "heads," and some contemporary computer hardware.

By using a rusty old small animal trap and bike gear I suggest that we trap and process words, symbols and ideas in our head. We then 'tap' them out to the world as messages about ourselves.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"My Mobile Mind" -- work in process

I get these ideas that are part concept, part word, part image -- so nebulous they are hard to 'catch' -- but it is fun to try. The idea ?? a head full of ?? things that represented how the mind works. Symbols like Lock and key, letters, idea-light-bulbs, wheels, music? -- that would "float" inside the head somehow? How does our mind "mobilize" all these modalities that I can translate into art.

So what then? How do I help create that fleeting conceptual bucket full of ideas and words into some artistic expression? It is always an exciting territory to head into.

Sometimes doing so requires new materials and doing things I have not ever done before -- learning as I go. So, here I am solving that challenge making a 3-d sculpture from paper mache' and wire. How to get it strong enough to support the things I want to hang from it.

Then the idea comes that I could hang little mobiles inside the head -- a mobile mind....HAHA. My Mobile Mind! At least it's a working title.

And, I've got to get this done by 8.31.11 for entry into a competitive juried show.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"A Tribute To...."

During the last few years as I have explored the world of assemblage art, I came across the art and assemblage of Louise Bourgeois. I checked out books about her art and biographical material from the library and discovered that we shared some similarities related to childhood trauma.

Last year, when when Louise Bourgeois died, I knew I wanted to create a tribute piece to her, and in thinking about that idea, I also realized this might make a worthy theme for an exhibition. So, I presented it to The Ink People Center for the Arts. (www.inkpeople.org)

The show goes up this week and will be available for viewing during the month of AUGUST -- on the 2nd floor at City Hall from 8-5 Monday through Friday

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Tough Chick" -- Angel Re-deux

The former version of this "Strange Angel" was called "Which Came First" so it already had the chicken-and-egg components. I wanted to turn the fluffy chick into a tougher version -- one who rides her motorcycle through the redwoods!

The motorcycle was created from a wrought iron detail, a clip-on glass handle, a couple of bike gears and some cool piercing and chain accessories. Her little copper helmet was something I purchased in France, on my pilgrimage to the village of Lunel.

The piercing and spikes came naturally, but I found myself giggling as I sewed on her head....more piercing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Wise or Unwise Man?

Recently while digging though treasure boxes, I ran across this lone figure from a broken nativity set. I was amused at his body language -- suggesting a bad headache or a bad day for the S&P. He was in a box right next to the coveted treasure of discarded injection bottles and empty silver pill-packs. Hmmmm I wondered...so what's the story. Before I even had one, I decided to lay all the tiny bottles down inside of a box so they would form the backdrop to the assemblage. Then, for a couple days, I added to and subtracted from the pile of hopeful candidates. Just what would be included, I had no idea.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Still Live #2" (is this a series?)

Rather than trying to "file the pile" of accumulation on my back table, I decided to keep going with the idea of using what was in front of me. While working on this piece, I was again struck with the notion that these ARE 3-d "still life's" -- they are "still" because they are not moving, but the are "still alive" because I am giving new life to things -- hence the idea of "Still Live." (OK, it's a little dorky....but fun.)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"Still Live #1"

It has been weeks -- long weeks since I have approached my art studio. It's been the longest time away for several years. Maybe my own OCD needed a reality shift about my process; maybe I just needed a break. Whatever!

I'M BACK...and in cleaning up the studio I noticed a small group of things I'd begun to play with in May. So, it was a fine place to start.

In doing this one, I simply allowed the patterns, shape and color lead. And, I had so much fun, maybe I'll just do a little series of "still live" pieces.

It is SO good to be back...excited about "what's next."

Monday, May 30, 2011

"You're Shakin' My Confidence Daily"

I am THRILLED to receive word that this piece was accepted into the July juried exhibition "AMERICA" for Second City Council Gallery in Long Beach!


Juxtaposing contemporary and historic recycled found objects in this assemblage creates a visual metaphor expressing our national systemic malaise. Symbols include wheels within wheels, a tattered Constitution, large rusty screws, dice for risk, an old Ford battery for dependable USA products, unzipped zippers displaying failing male dominated systems, bombs threaten war, a forefather faces away, credit card accumulates debt, flute and nails play notes, a lock blocks access to information. An old jar lid shows we "see through a glass darkly," (1 Corinthians 13) while the gripping claw suggests the greedy clutches of self-appointed, unauthorized proprietary power.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Fibonacci's Trunk"

....about the process and birth of this piece....

A week or so ago, I spent two whole days sorting piles of accumulation in the studio -- things people had given me, things I'd picked up at garage sales. While doing so, I again wondered how I would ever give up my precious 8-ball in an assemblage -- that it would have to be a really good reason!

Then, the tacky silver violins got sorted into the "silver box" and the domino's into "games and toys box." When I picked the elephant and saw how the trunk pattern matched the violins something clicked, but it wasn't until I reached for the nautilus shell (then whole) I began to understand....numbers!

Numbers....music...FIBONACCI!! Then, suddenly, the domino's made sense too -- but the elephant -- how would that fit...and then, taDAH ... of course, "Fibonacci's Trunk!" Even the old typewriter keys look like "notes!"

People often ask "how do you think of these things?" Well this is a perfect example of how it works for me as an artist. (By the way, this piece can sit as pictured -- OR, hang flatly on the wall. Either way looks great!)

For those who don't know, in 1201 the Italian Leonardo of Pisa (known as Fibonacci) presented the numeric system that describes the growth patterns in biology 0-1-2-3-5-8, and so on. But Fibonacci news wasn't really "new" as this beautiful mathematical principle dates back to ancient India and early Sanskrit texts.

During April, this piece will be on display (and for sale $500) at Many Hands Gallery in Old Town Eureka, but I also have two other pieces in exhibits: "Tears of the Phoenix" is up at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, and "Fire and Ice" is on exhibit at Eureka City Hall.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Fire and Ice" -- Crash Glass Art

During April, The Ink People Center for the Arts exhibit is a about global warming, but, I thought, those words are only half the story -- at least so most scientists tell us.

The other half is another ice age, and what a perfect chance for me to create another piece using my newest favorite material -- broken auto window glass.

I began with a map from 1500, drawn by a German cartographer -- after all the theme was "global." After scanning the 'segmented' map in Photo Shop, I drew a landscape using hot and cool colors. The landscape was, of course "flat" so I included branches -- both in the art as well as in 3-d, adding icicles to complete the image.

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Derby Brothers" Assemblage

I thought I was all done with this new assemblage when I remembered the old stock exchange ticker tape.

Father's Day is couple months away, but I think this one will make some dad a GREAT Father's Day present.

"Hats off to DAD"

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Tears of the Phoenix" -- completed!

The Phoenix is a magical bird who lives 500 years, but, when old, can set itself on fire only to emerge young again. The Phoenix tears are thought to heal wounds.

This assemblage unites images of blood, bone, fire and tears. The tears have been captured in the glass vial on the side. The shape of the glass bobbles at the bottom not only suggest flame, but are the shape of droplets, and the color of blood.

The wing bone is from a pelican; the tiny skull is from a shore bird. Glass mosaic in the background looks like veins of fire, reflected in the blood-red eye of the Phoenix.

This piece was accepted for the 53rd Annual Spring juried exhibit of the Redwood Art Association at the
Morris Graves Museum of Art in Eureka, CA.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Tears of the Phoenix"

After visiting in Hawaii for two glorious weeks, I felt sure some inspiration would come through from Pele because there IS flowing lava happening right now.

What came, however, was the Phoenix -- and some sense that our blood, and fire and birth and death are all connected. So, here's my beginning work with my newest assemblage. The tears of the Phoenix are thought to be curative.

There's a mess all over my art table. It will be fun to see how this proceeds.

Friday, January 7, 2011

"Life Is But a Stream"

I used two of my colored pencil drawings to create this diptych. These pieces are composed of thousands of tiny shards of broken glass. The solar image reflects warm tones and the rays of the sun flash with parrot-bright colors of orange and green. The lunar side has cooler tones, and the rays flash with pale ice blue and soft lavender.

Crash glass is created from using broken car windows. Although I have created several these compositions, each time I allow the shapes of the glass to help inspire me. I created the lunar image first and was pleased with the outcome. But,I was surprised when I broke the second window for the solar image, that the shapes broke into marvelous wavy shards that were completely different from the first window. It is these "happy accidents" that keep a good artist on their toes -- learning from and working with unpredictable materials.