These “invisible” people are defined as those who “reclaim reusable and recyclable materials from what others have cast aside as waste”(wiego.com).  They provide informal non-paid services to communities all over the globe.  They often work on speculation.  If they are lucky, they might solely rule an area to pick and even have a buyer lined up for the end product of their work.

They are like artists.  They make a commodity out of nothing.  They sort.  They find “like” things.  They create alliances with objects or shapes which state something new.  And waste never ends.


Anything looks significant when presented in great numbers.


A “style” can refer to what waste one chooses to elevate.  Elevating all waste would be wandering into the category of hoarding, and hoarding is not stylish.  A site of hoarding is like a visit to the inside of a mind.  Like a Susan Sontag work of literature.

Death Kit“.

the three musicians

Went to an exhibit of Picasso print work yesterday.  If you know his painting, ” Three Musicians” (MOMA),  I can tell you that there are numbers of smaller prints made in that vein by him, for a gallery who hired a professional printer to print these largely three and four color works.  Picasso did what he did best, create and design, and the print makers did what they did best, register the different layers and deal with printed surfaces.

The following are four from yesterday.

picasso 1

picasso 2

picasso 3

picasso 4

Looked that these, thought about the process of layering, and realized this is exactly what I need to be addressing in my newest sculpture.  Looking at art often solves problems:  a good lesson for wherever you are stuck.


Above is my informal non-paid service to communities all over the globe, created in speculation of a market!



Among those who create, there are planners and there are followers of voices and processes.  Ideas come, and some are not good enough to be implemented.  It is important for an artist to reject the first idea, the second, the third to get into an area of innovation.  I know this.  When younger, much time was spent creating images that did not need to exist.  This is different than working only hard enough to create one solution, and going with that.  Students do that.  No more work than necessary.


The cameras on our smart phones are wonderful for preserving ideas as we go forward.  With this record, no tiny inspiration is lost.   The first photo above is of the rough “sketch” of a piece that I had thought to make.  Its parts had to be glued and grouted in stages.  The tile for the back plane was installed and grouted, with bits of bird detail from a broken plate installed at junctions of tile.

The front structure is part of an old drawer.  It was placed symmetrically on the finished back plane, the window.  That may have been the first mistake.  Symmetry is too easy and too predictable for really innovative compositions.   Symmetry looks like old album covers from the sixties and seventies.


The idea was to have warmer colors of old kitschy bird collectibles on the top section of the drawer, and cool on the bottom.  Wonderful use of color can carry a piece.  I re-glued and sanded this drawer.  The back was removed.  Varnish was applied to give it a little sheen and tile applied in some places to give it detail.

Then I thought about what in the hell this drawer had to do with birds.  What is the reason for this accumulation of stuff, then?  My goal is to use at least two windows in my current compositions, and to make them sculptural.  Is this really the best way to satisfy that goal?  No.  I am one window short.  And what do the birds have to do with the window?

I trashed the drawer.  It is important to know when to stop, and this can take years to learn.  Self talk can ensue, but reams of narrative cannot improve an image if it is not speaking itself.  Good images do not need words.  Less is more.

Left with one window plane (yes),  hanging device already installed, I started to play in the space for that at the back of the barn.  Some pieces of metal that Glenn took off a sculpture had intrigued me for a while, and I tried applying them to the symmetrical window to knock it off balance.

1-second try

This was beginning to make sense.  Glenn helped me to screw the rusty metal “lines” into place, but one thing had to be modified.  He took a torch and blasted off about a half inch of the metal re-bar at the upper right.  The second window needed to hover in a little wonkier way.  Above, it looks like it wants to be parallel to the base window, and I did not want that easy a relationship between the two.

1-next step

Looking at the bottom of the piece, you can see that we clearly do not have parallel lines now.  The front window “hovers” over the bottom at about three inches in places, and about four in others.  Now I am playing with the bird collectibles in the space between the two windows, making that space meaningful.  The composition will go through several incarnations.


Confusing color.

1-sea birds

The sea birds are coming together.


What are caryatids anyway?








1-sports glass

Don’t know what else to call them.  The pairings are not of objects of the same shape, color, or category.  But they have a common denominator as in the pair above.  The old potato chip can and the glass both feature sports activities.  So that makes them fair game to be “mates” in the interior landscape.  In fact there are two of these glasses and two cans all on a hammered aluminum lazy susan  in the kitchen.

1-second glass

Intellectual pairs can interact with one another.  The pair below are in no way alike other than their physical action.  Their juxtaposition creates a visual conversation between them, based on their relative positions (see “SYMBOLS’ at leemalerich@wordpress.com).

1-figure pair

1-two paintings

These two works, which live in the red and white kitchen are both one dollar wonders from the local flea market.  The top one is an oil (and created by a fairly well know SC artist;  she would be miserable if she knew her work was on the market in this way) and the bottom a collage including paper, fabric, and acrylic paint.   They are paired because they create an interesting visual conversation.  The red ground color in the bottom image is the figure in the top image.  The color of the ground in the top image is used in the bottom one.  They employ similar shapes and lines.  They are good together.


My precious Picasso poster, which I love because Picasso so effectively plays with figure and ground here, is pared up with one of my husband’s impressionistic sculptures.  The figures are basically in the same scale, and interact with each other taking the two compositions as one.

1-music room

In the corner of the music room, my old lawn chair and the ceramic sculpture behind it have amazingly similar surfaces.  They were made to be shown together!  This chair is of a much higher grade than the dozens we have outside.  It is aluminum!  And it has been clear-coated to make its surface very shiny and protect the white carpeting.


In fact, everything placed in the music room is there because it is basically black and white.  All are  speaking with the same visual language.