Wednesday, May 19, 2010


When it comes to the desire to reproduce, the maple tree in my front boulevard has the Octomom beat by miles. She has been sending thousands of her perfect seeds out to my sidewalks, to my porch, to my newly tilled flower beds and to the lawn. Perfectly weighted, they land flag side up speckling the spring green lawn with a golden straw color. The heavy seed end burrows into thick layers of mulch covering my flower beds. Her efforts to reproduce are easily thwarted. I sweep or rake them off the pavement and porch. The sprouts will be mowed down if they take in the lawn. In flower beds, maple sprouts, like dandelions, are easily recognizable. I love to look at the delicate roots and clinging bits of seed head when I pull them from the ground.

The maple seed has long been my personal symbol for flying creativity. Full of potential and promise, the seed catches the energy of the universe to fly on toward fertile ground. When I am sweeping and raking, I have second thoughts.

Today I noticed that a similar old maple anchors the other end of my block of Fulton Street. Early residents of the area had the prescience to plant maples here when elms were all the rage for boulevards. A week after I bought my house, two of my elms on Oxford Street were cut down due to blight. The third elm has survived. In fact, enough of the old elms have survived in the two or 3 blocks of Oxford south of my house to continue to create a credible canopy over the street. This makes the approach to my house from Lake Street extremely pleasant at this time of the year. My maple punctuates the edge of this canopy.

I have two more reasons to be grateful to the early Eau Clairions who planted the maple tree at this corner. In addition to the late afternoon shade for my porch, she has provided some low hanging shoots of branches that have found their way into some of my sculptures.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Photos from EAC

Bellow in front of wall of cones and pods. Other installation shots can be seen on my Flickr site.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oil Paint and Cold Wax

Shielded Pod

This small piece got a face lift. The face lift began as an experiment at one of Rebecca Crowell's Cold Wax Medium Workshops. I continued with more cold wax and oil paint then toned it down with cold wax and marble dust. First, I made a paste with marble dust and a bit of water. Then I mixed it with a good amount of cold wax. Rebecca tells me that you cannot mix wax and oil, but it seemed to work. It was very slow to dry, however. The inside has oxides mixed with clay plasters-no oil paints. It was satisfying to scrape the paint over the surface textures that I created with the clay plater. This pod seems to have just released it's seeds. It seems more alive than other pieces which speak more of fall or winter colors.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Work in EAC

Slopes, clay, maple, wax, seeds, waxed linen.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Productive Day in the Studio

Today I started five new pieces. I sketched, formed pieces from willow, tied knots, and stretched temporary skin over one piece. Four are small wall pieces as I try to make some small pieces to start a momentum of production. Then there is one long pod piece that will hang on the wall. It is a much more bulbous pod than the recent long, narrow pods, Like Prairie Wing.

In addition, I have also been refinishing an old piece. Somehow, I feel like a cheat. I used oil paint on the surface of this piece. I love color, but all of my sculptural pieces have been the color of the clay or of clay related pigments that I have applied to the surface in various clay plaster mixtures. It is so strange, because, of course it is only my own rules I am breaking. And what is oil paint anyway, but a mixture of pigment and oil. Does it matter that someone else mixed the pigment with oil instead of me mixing powder and wax or oil in my studio? All pigments come from the earth somehow, somewhere. So where do I draw the line? What pigments are eco-friendly? Natural dyes and pigments have the same chemical properties as their synthetic counterparts. So the natural colors can be as toxic or as safe for people as the synthetic ones. On the positive side, tubes of paint help me avoid any dust particles in my breathing space. Did I mention, I love color. True to my own process, I applied the paint to the surface in a plaster-like manner. When the final wax layer dries, I will take a picture and post it. Before the paparazzi find it first. Ha!! some big juicy confession here.

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EAC Show Announcement


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Edwardsville Art Opening

The Edwardsville Art Center is a beautiful space that is possible due to the hard work of the local art community. I am showing with Raymond Yeager. His beautiful paintings based on tree branches making marks against the sky complement the branches in my own work. Raymond's family fell ill before the opening, so I did not meet him. Maybe we can meet on my next visit to Edwardsville.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I received this announcement from Philadelphia artist and friend, Ava Blitz.
I used to go on kayak rides down the Schuylkill river with the canoe club back in my post Tyler School of Art graduate school days.
  • Ava Blitz, Sculptor and public artist Philadelphia area sculptor and public artist, Ava Blitz will be floating sculptures on the river in conjunction with the Philadelphia Canoe Club Open House! She will be showing a work in progress, a part of a monumental floating sculpture garden that will grow year to year. This may become an annual tradition. Don't miss it!

Supported by a grant from the Independence Foundation.

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