Calligraphic or Lush?

I used to say that sometimes a work of Art will be born as a burp, and that meant that it had no place in the spectrum of my current work. These works of Art are too different from ones that came before or after them. A wild child. Projectile vomiting.

When making art with stitches years ago (as seen in the insert on my masthead), I lusted over simple, calligraphic work. It seemed my stitched work was way overdone, and the truth was that each piece took FOREVER to create.


In “Shield” above we see where my work is currently. I am heading towards making a piece that might be described as calligraphic. But not quite yet. There is detail in the piece that might not need to be included. Currently on my workbench is a piece with just four parts of a chair, reworked. If that chair finishes as a winner, maybe the c term can be used.

And that’s how artists work; on a continuum. You make a piece, finish it, and then ask “What if?” For me, the process goes—ooh, I like that part, what if I can make it do this in the next piece? But do it better?

And also I like to think of a piece of work as a poem. Nothing unnecessary is used. The form is stated in its essence.

Above is the back of “Shield”. It is quite different from the first side. I like that to happen too, and as I sit and write this, it occurs to me that if my work were to get more calligraphic, there would be less of the contrast of two or more sides going on in the piece. Hmmmm.

Screen Door
35 x 15 x 21

So here is my burp. What the hell am I doing? Is this lush or what? I like the repeat of the swirly shapes, I love the aluminum screen porch door elements. But there is a lot going on here.

This is not like a poem. It is like an orchestra. It satisfies my textile sensibility only in wood. But should I want a textile sensibility in wood and aluminum?


“Pose” is going to Maryland

“Pose” 2019
33″ x 15″ x 15″

This piece was juried into the 20th annual Will’s Creek Exhibition in Cumberland Maryland.

This exhibition is to be held at the Saville and Schwab Galleries in downtown Cumberland, Maryland. The juror is Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, and Chair of the Maryland State Arts Council.

The opening reception is to be September 21, with the juror speaking about the work from 5:15 to 6 PM. The show is up until October 5, 2019.


And any interested parties.

I am going to group recent work in “families” where a common aesthetic consideration can be observed.  Then we both will understand more about the work.  It is important for an artist to write about their work as it installs information in another part of the brain.  And formalizing thoughts into words does the same.

“Artist Statements” are about this but are usually so dry.  So.  I have three recent works that utilize the same straightback chair, and therefore “feel” similar to me.

Any work of interest to you can be recorded with much more detail and posted.


another play 1

Play, 2015


Replay. 2015

Funny, this process is already working.  I had thought each of the above examples featured the same small straightback chair as a base for the composition.  They do not!  But each pairs a chair and a similar window, table legs, whimsical parts of playthings, wooden beads cut in half, and primary colors.  The piece just above shows the first time a large circle was drilled into something to become a motif.  The (is it Chinese Checkers?) board that is part of the base has two circles drilled out, plus a small wooden cylinder that repeats a circle in a different way.

These three works depend on symmetry more than most.  Usually discouraging it with my students as the easy way out in composition, I embrace it here, although the first of the three is the strictest (its name is not posted; it is on view at USC Sumter currently and I cannot remember its name).  Even within the strict context, elements are not repeated symmetrically, but are placed to move away from it.  And of course, there is no symmetry present when viewed from various angles.

Duck heads, duck bodies in profile, headless ducks and wings are common to the second two.  Halved croquet mallets are common to the first two.



First starting to work with chairs in this way was when I made a gift for my grandchild celebrating his first trip around the sun.  For a work for a child, there was necessary whimsy.  That feature has stuck around in these later works.