“Baby-Carrier” 2018
38″ x 18″ x 16″

In my current sculpture, I am noticing that compositional ideas ring true in comparison with my older work. Perhaps the personal way one builds a composition is one of those core truths. 

I start simple. Think of a Japanese sumi-e painting: Broad simple strokes, the detail very limited and only as much as needed to convey the message.

In a way, my chairs are composed in the same way.  In “Baby-Carrier” the bones of the chair are simple and strong. As are the bones of a woman of baby-carrying age.  Simple details accompany the chair: An egg, the womb, and an entry mechanism. Not much more.

Even with the strong bones and simple function, the chair is unusable as a seat. That is the point of these feminized chairs. This chair is different from later work, in that the chair is made from the parts of many totally different chairs, save that of the armrest and support element on which the egg is sitting. In much later work, more of the original chair is included making the added detail more like a superstructure to substitute for the missing parts of the chair. 

What challenges me in this work is the interdependence of form and function. The final structure has to support compositional integrity and have enough strength to live in the world. Or be shipped from place to place. 

Then, according to my visual art history, for the next piece, more detail is included. Below is the piece created after “Baby-Carrier”. 

“Dreamgirl”  2018
37″ x 16″ x 18″

And here is the piece created before “Baby-Carrier”, “Young Woman”.

“Young Woman” 2018
39″ x 17″ 18″

Protect Yourself

“Protect Yourself” 2018
42″ x 12″ x 16″

I love using text in my work, whether it is embroidery or sculpture. Sometimes the text adds to the meaning of the piece, but most of the time not. I will place the letter or syllable, upside down, inside out, any odd way so that it is unreadable, but suggests a language inside the placement of my shapes, which are obviously the visual language for the piece.

Lately I have been chopping chairs basically in two, letting more of the integrity of the original chair just “be”. Then modifying what is left. 

I do what I have to to make the chair stand, as in the way women must make some kind of internal repair to withstand experience.

In this view, as in most for the piece, the chair looks very unsteady. It is larger in mass at the top than at the bottom. Yellow pointed shapes provide a first line of offense.

I cut a spindle in half and placed each half at the far edge of what used to be the seat of the chair, trying to imply an invisible plane by that placement. Shapes on the bottom rungs stop at the same implied plane as well. Under the half-spindles are antique wooden window latches. 

At this point, I never apply color in this work. If I find a material that has color, good. But normally it is sanded down to the tint or shade that I want it to be for the integration (or not) into the piece. 

I am having an exhibition of these works in October 2019 at River Gallery in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Dark Side

“The Dark Side” 2018
Currently on view at the South Carolina State Museum until March 9, 2019

I am a textile person who is no longer making textiles. It has been a difficult experience giving up creating in a place where one has an amount of expertise and moving to a medium where one has not. Some basic sort of composition skills did transfer between modes of work. But not long ago I noticed that my sculpture has moved from making 3-D work with a 2-D attitude to the realm of true 3-D work. That leap came with the current chairs. 

My husband lent me tools and taught me basic joining techniques. I scoured two counties for raw materials. And worked for about six years with windows and chairs while learning, and making nothing significant. Those years were hard and I felt like a failure. 

With the fourth view of this piece, we finally see “The Dark Side”. I have been surprised when entering competitions with 3-D work that many allow for only one view of the piece for the jury. This seems so off to me because sculpture must work “in the round”. 

So, yes, “The Dark Side” was entered in a competition, the level of which is on par with my former textile exhibitions. This was a huge accomplishment for me. But I hate that we have to pay to play. 

Remind me to tell you about the obscene art opportunity offered to my husband this fall.

Hello to Sculpture

“Patchwork Mama” 2018  38″h x 16″w x 18″d

I know. It’s been a long time. Been busy making art. Tried writing a book but found that while I love creating a 500-word composition, I hate working with tens of thousands of words. I learned that a visual art aesthetic where ideas are merely suggested, as in poetry and which interests me,  many writers disagree with such a simplistic goal. I get that but am not trained in such a way. And I hate writing dialogue.

A lot has happened since we last spoke. 

So above are three views of an Uneasy Chair (thank you Rachel Haynie) called “Patchwork Mama”.  A chair one cannot sit in. A chair that has been internally repaired in reaction to experiences and events. One may be able to drag this chair to the table, but just try to sit down. Sound familiar?

This work was created in response to the #MeToo movement, and as in most of my visual work, women are the subject of the composition. One could view this piece either as pathetic in that the strong lines of an elegant and simple chair do not exist in this composition, or bold and creative in that a superstructure has been crafted to deal with specific experiences.

In this series, the chairs are women and modified to speak about roles or characteristics which apply to them.


Interesting exercise.


Bought the laurels above for almost nothing, played with them for a couple of years, and gave up.  It is too hot here for Mountain Laurels, and they all developed holes in their leaves.  So not a lot of money was lost.


Neither was it with all these Agave.  They all come from one mother, which is in another place on the acreage.  These love the sun here.  Same pots on the columns; common Prickly Pear is in them now.  This pool environment has lots of spiky things, counterintuitively.


The Holly bushes on either side of the entry gate must be about two years old here.  A plywood box covers the machinery for the pool.


Above, the hollies make a tunnel over the gate.  Brick has been added to the entry, tile to the pool deck and a little silo to cover the pool equipment. Confederate Jasmine almost covers the back fence now.  It was completely covered about four years ago, so much so that its density absorbed garden space and we had to start over.


This is Sidney’s Live Oak, planted in 1997, the year he died.  Look at the sandy soil.  It is only with a system and a well that we can have grass.


Here is the adolescent live oak today.  Have more of these, it takes some work to photograph and crop to make a good comparison.

Call to the Post: Equine Art at Gallery West

My husband, Glenn.

palmetto artifacts

Equine Art: Family Portraits

opens April 1 at 134 State Street as part of First Friday State Street Art Crawl, 6-8 p.m.

Gallery West is the starting gate for yet a third equine-centered event hosted in the area this spring. Aiken’s Spring Steeplechase was held last weekend, and the running of the Carolina Cup is April 2. At Gallery West, though, the horses are much more static, appear in multi art mediums, and even include some of their four legged relatives – a delightful donkey and an exotic zebra.

Gallerist extraordinaire Sara Cogswell entitled the visually exquisite jewel-of-a-show Equine Art: Family Portraits. This playful overview of the family of horses showcases works by seven revered artists with loyal followings

And, yes, while the work is static, there is great visual movement, as evidenced in “Rebel”, a metal equine sculpture by Glenn Saborosch. The Missouri native now imbues static objects…

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Enjoying our current spring featuring no late freeze, my Facebook friends and I are posting amazing works of Nature, almost perfect.  I have not seen our acreage of bloomers ever producing this well.  There is a subconscious river of conversation about azaleas, roses and the like running through my dark spaces.  Is “one” of something ever enough? This morning, I thought not.

I have a huge Lady Banks.  It couldn’t be better.  Moved it from an old dead tree on the edge of our woods about ten years ago.  They can do well on an old tree armature; have seen it done.  My dead tree on the edge of the woods was not positioned for full sun, so moving it to the side of the back porch made it more available for admiration and for sun.   First year moved, I counted four blossoms.  You know, sleep, creep, leap!



This climber is not near at its height of the season yet.

A white rose a friend gave me two years ago is almost in bloom for this year.


During last year’s growing season, I was whacking it down every month.  Janet gave it to me because it was too big for her garden.  It is getting too big for mine too, but my mind went another way.  It occurred to me that this must be a mislabeled Lady Banks!  True, the flowers are bigger than my other Lady Banks, but with the speed it has grown during my ownership, what else could it be?


For its size,  the simple little zig-zag of “invisible”gardener’s fencing was not enough.  We had this broken bed.  This is what we will modify to accommodate the climbing rose, after it blooms this season.  Agreed.  Something tugged at me though. This big white rose had almost two inch thorns. That, gentlemen, is no Lady!

Came home from my run yesterday down Todd Creek Road.  Told Glenn that there was a middle sized Lady Banks bush in the area where we foraged for some Wisteria years ago.  The purple blooms must go for 4-5 hundred feet along the road, smelling and looking like paradise.  Had to have the rose, although there is no sunny spot on any of our three buildings that could accommodate a bush as big as our current Lady.  I thought maybe my daughter could use it.


Glenn took his newly licensed old Jeep down the road and here he is with the bush loaded into the back.  See the Wisteria in the background?


It wasn’t difficult to dig up, Glenn always has the right tools.  Wish we had a picture of our zooming down the country road with the white-flowered limbs stretching out behind us.


Above Glenn has emptied the bush in the back of the house.  I went inside.  Five minutes later he came in and looked at me as if I had mud all over my face, and didn’t know it.  Asking what was wrong,  he said that bush is not a Lady Banks! There are no roses, there are clusters of tiny white flowers!  Gobsmacked, I looked.  It was a big damn Bridal Veil bush, and I have three already.  My Bridal Veils are just starting to bloom, below.


See the difference?

white bridal veil

Bridal Veil

white lady banks

Lady Banks Rose


New bush in its new spot.


You have heard that he has died.  He had been, in the last years, doing so well fighting his personal devils.  He had lost weight, stopped drinking I think, toned up.  They were blindsided by this cancer as everyone who experiences it is, and poof.  The truest lover and best promoter of our eccentric little state is no more.


I always say this. South Carolina is so small that you can know everyone you need to. We have all had experiences with Pat Conroy.  Many people I know went to school with him at the Citadel.  His descriptions of Columbia in the sixties were my people’s lives.  My ex-husband knew that tiger in the cage on Gervais Street and fed him chicken bones.

Glenn and I last saw him when he was awarded a life achievement award at our annual O’Neil Verner Award ceremony several years ago.  He was looking frail indeed.  This may have been just before his late resurgence to a kind of health.  His wife, Cassandra King, was very protective over him  (I heard her once on a local NPR show.  Herself a writer of southern stories, she spoke at book shops and libraries.  She said that one woman in attendance heard that she was married to a writer and commented to her that she loved her husband’s stories of contemporary horror and fantasy!).

When my kids were young, there was always a tug of war over what they wanted to do and what it might be good if they DID do.  I was always alone on my side.  But Pat Conroy was on my side, twice, and I think now my family might admit that my ideas were worth doing.  Not sure about that however.

We were meeting my mother and stepfather in DC for a long weekend.  We drove.  It was the early nineties, so the kids were about 10 and 8.  I got the hairbrained idea that we would listen to one of Pat Conroy’s books on our nine hour drive because it involved places that the kids knew, Bob knew, and had compelling family stories (to say the least).  I presented the idea.  Everyone was aghast.  Below, we enter DC in our Ford Aerostar.


But we listened to the book, and it became a part of family lore.  The best book Braxton had ever read (the only book Braxton had ever read and he listened to it)!  It is difficult to remember details now, but it seems it was a good experience.

I got more demanding.  The University of South Carolina used to  have a fine book festival every spring for a week.  Now it is only a shadow of its former self.  One year, Kurt Vonnegut was to be the keynote speaker.  It was the year his home in Manhattan burned down, he was indisposed, Pat Conroy stepped in.  I wanted the four of us to go for my birthday.  A LECTURE, WHAT?  But it was my birthday.  They wanted to refuse, but did not, so we went.

conroy273A (1)

Always wanting to teach the kids that the world is indeed small and you can see things and know people by simply participating in it, I wanted them to have read a book and then hear the author talk about it.  It demystifies books. And writers. Makes them more real. This parallel is especially poignant with Pat Conroy.  He was a totally honest speaker about his life in these books.

And really not a very good one.  His spoken sentences were kind of like dry bullets.  Maybe he was an average speaker, dunno.  But compared to the lyrical love story to South Carolina that blazes from every page of his books,  his speech simply could not compare to his calculated art.  But I remember this also as being a positive experience for the family, perhaps there was an admission that participating in this kind of thing was not as bad as they had imagined.

Pat Conroy looked at the eccentricities and strangeness of our state, which abound (Strom Thurmond had a black child?), and smooths its landscape with a kind of understanding love.  Knowing what we know about his life, his writing was an attempt to save his.  And it was a generous everlasting gift to the rest of us.




Undependable.  Exaggerates and embellishes.  Bossy.  Rather than using the ugly characteristic of “liar”as our reference, let’s just use the initial  “G”.


A gift really, at first, I have become a bit callous to G’s reality.  Pushy on one side, and when I aim to fulfill direction, overcompensation is the result.  It is like having a relationship with a chameleon.  For me, anyway.  There is no anchor, no fact. How can one have a true relationship with an ever changing partner?

I can feel in my bones that I am being prodded.  And judged.  Am I sleeping too many hours?  Too lazy?  It is my overwhelming desire to keep G happy.  But can G really be so or is it just manipulation?  Where is the truth here?


G’s bigger footprint, interacting with 21st century tools is just not that great either.  Creating our conversation was just such a chore.  Things are not changing in this venue, and I get false feedback.


Above is an image of my new Garmin.  A minimal millennial.  Less is supposed to be more.  On average, on some measurements it is a pretty consistent 20 percent more. I know my run is four miles, and it measures the same five miles every day.  With stair climbing, who knows?  Sometimes when I am actively climbing to the second floor of the barn just to make Garmin happy, it refuses to record my work.  What does it use, barometric pressure?

I love that when in the proximity of my phone, I can read email on the watch.  And know the weather.  It could do more than I ask of it in this way, music, for one.

Is it worth having?  Yes.  Does it work well?   Kind of, if you know your own statistics.  It DOES tell the time.  I think devices like this are why some are saying that people are starting to wear watches again.





Finally, it is cold in South Carolina.  It has not been for long, and the length of the good weather at the end of last year was remarkable and unsettling.  Now over, we have to face the normal chill for a little while.

Our big chill is all my fault, not Glenn’s.  When living here alone, building this house, I chose not to include central heating.  The system I could have bought, it was the monthly bills that scared me.  And it is so moderate here,  I wondered about getting by with a gas log in one of the two huge fireplaces we have.   So that is what I did.


It really has not affected us much.  There have been really only about four cold days where we did not care to go outside.  But outside is where all the appealing stuff exists, including our art work.  Creating my work is a pathway to feeling OK, and I need to do it.  Running will do that too, but running is tough in the cold weather as well.


What work I have accomplished is changing.  Getting simpler.  Keep thinking about poetry and editing writing.  An image should contain only what it needs.  Nothing else.


This piece is called  “Impulse”.  It is pretty spare, but the relationships between the lines are interesting.  I am using three legs in this series, lifting the window off the ground, and importing colors only through objects used.


Chair legs, spindles and a child’s wooden block are the only recognizable images in the piece.  Other shapes are just odd pieces of wood we have around here. Yes, the piece leans in.  It seems to move.


Other side.  This window has been several colors in its life time, and that is where the patterning is coming from on the right and bottom of the window.  It is so easy for me to reveal color; to apply it, the worst.

The piece above is entitled “Gravity 2.11.16” for the obvious reasons.  It is woozy in its stanze as well.  Space and time.  Unpredictable?  Maybe not, thanks to Einstein.


Not a very flattering angle, but this image shows the depth of the piece.  You can see it is a visual cousin to “Impulse” as spindles and legs from the same chairs are used. Work tends to flow in this way.  If work is truly expressive of a temperament at a given time, examples will have common denominators.  Unless you are doing commission work.


Above is a detail from a current commission.  Only thing in common with my work is the “waste” part.