It’s been 4 months since my accident and I am pleased to report that I am making great progress. I am able to walk totally unassisted and can easily do stairs. This great news means I have been able to climb up to my studio and create new sculptures. The first sculpture to be completed is an Endangered Starry Night Toad. I am currently working on an Endangered Red Wolf. Images of both pieces are forth coming.
I am honored to be a part of the Michigan Fine Arts Competition and to receive the Corinne Maillard Robinson award for my Black Footed Ferret.
The Angonoka or Ploughshare Tortoise is a critically endangered species that live in the grasslands and dry scrub forests of Northern Madagascar. In ideal situations, their lifespan is from 50-100 years. Unfortunately, these tortoises are at an extremely high risk of extinction due to poachers, habitat loss, and illegal trade.
A new challenge occurred a few months ago. On March 11th, a freak accident resulted in a displaced femur, fractured acetabulum and pelvis. After three operations and a two-week hospital stay, I was sent home with a wheelchair, walker, and physical therapy exercises. The directive is to keep weight off my right leg for 3 months followed by out-patient physical therapy to learn to walk again. I should see positive results at the 6-month mark and be good as new in a year. Needless to say, this has been a major setback. My studio is located on the 2nd floor of my home. Extensive stair climbing won’t happen for quite a while. My make-shift studio is now on my dining room table. I’ve had to redirect my art making process from sculpture to 2-D work. The good news is that my creative juices are once again flowing. My new studio routine includes Alchemy research, journaling, and drawing. I am receiving many insights along this healing path and remain optimistic for the future.
7″x12″x7″ Wood, handmade felt, geodes, amber, hematite
Endangered Galapagos Penguins are found in certain areas of the Galapagos Islands and live on the equator. They are threatened by pollution, climate change, starvation due to extreme warm weather, and predators such as cats, dogs, owls, hawks, snakes, and sea lions. Strong El Nino events caused mortalities of up to 77%
12″x13″x13″ Glass bottle, wood, gampi fiber, religious medals, beads, handmade felt
The Black Panther is considered threatened or even endangered mainly due to deforestation of habitat and human encroachment mainly for agricultural purposes.
The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake is Michigan’s only poisonous snake. The population of this timid snake has declined due to habitat loss, human persecution, indiscriminate killing, and illegal collection.
The African Wild Painted Dog is the third sculpture in my Endangered Species Series. I feel it’s important to bring these animals and their habitats into the consciousness of the public. Hopefully my work will draw the viewer to the piece and then remind them of all the animals that are being unconsciously eradicated. Many species are still alive albeit severely diminished in numbers.
I first began the series by researching the most endangered species. Certain animals spoke out to me. When exploring each animal, I was also drawn to their environment and how they struggle to adapt and survive in their ever-diminishing habitat. You Tube is a wonderful technology for viewing live footage.
Each piece is created with a handmade felt environmental backdrop and ground cloth or like the African Wild Painted Dog, a handmade felt terrain.
I hope you enjoy these in-progress images of my African Wild Painted Dog.
I am excited to be exhibiting a grouping of my sculptures at Form & Concept Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s a wonderful gallery with a friendly, astute, energetic staff and talented group of artists. I look forward to visiting the gallery once again the end of April.
Haleakala National Park
- Haleakala National Park
- Inactive Volcano Crater on Maui
- Kaniakapupu Summer Palace of King Kamehameha
- Heiau in Residential Neighborhood
- Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation
24”x29”x17” Handmade felt, hand stitching, needle felting, wood, stones, shells, crystal, cabochons.
The Eastern Bongo Antelope of Kenya is a critically endangered animal. Bongos are hunted for their horns and luxurious pelts. My Bongo has wings to bring attention to the fact that these beautiful animals are quickly becoming extinct. The felt wall cloth depicts the Kenyan habitat. The cloth is first hand felted and then needle felted to add greater detail. The borders are pieced together and hand stitched on to the larger cloth. The sculpture of the Bongo begins with a wooden armature. The hand felted pelt is then glued and sewn to the armature. Stones and crystals are embedded in the felt surface. I’ve added shells for horns and cabochons for eyes. The wings are made of wood. The last step is to saturate the felt of the animal with glue and the lightly sand the entire surface to a smooth finish.
I am excited to have Dr. Dora Apel’s article on my art work included in the hard copy of Essay’d 3 // 30 Detroit Artists. The Book Signing and Launch Party takes place on January 10 from 6-8pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
This past May I spent two wonderful weeks visiting with my good friend Diane in Santa Fe. I brought along a list of places I wanted to visit and sites I needed to research for my work. As I look back on my list, I am amazed that we covered everything and more! The top priority was visitations to historic missions in Santa Fe, Truchas, Chimayo, and Taos, NM. While a few of the missions were not open to the public, several were open and in very good repair. I was most taken with Santuario de Chimayo. I had visited it many years before and remembered it to be quite an emotional experience. The site has been expanded to include several more outbuildings with more ‘touristy’ kinds of items for purchase. While the sanctuary appears to be a bit more organized, it remains a deeply sacred and holy place. I hope you enjoy the images of these missions and devotional images.
I am delighted to have my Stone Teapot included in Morgan Contemporary’s Teapots!12 exhibition. The teapot is primarily constructed of stones and fossils collected on the shores of Lake Huron. The inside contains a surprise glint of geodes tucked away at the bottom of the vessel.
I am honored to have Threshold #7 included in Detroit Artists Market Biennial All Media Exhibition: Terrain. The exhibition was juried by painter extraordinaire, Jim Nawara and features work by 40 talented Detroit artists. It opens April 27-May 26.
While vacationing in northern Michigan, I discovered a dead possum on the side of the road. Although seriously flattened, the jaw and front paw appeared to be fairly in tact. I grabbed some plastic bags at the cottage and returned to the scene for possum pickup. The rest is evident! Stayed tuned to see how Possum works his way into a future art piece. Special thanks to Diane Pinney for her assistance and photo documentation.
A special note of interest: According to Ted Andrews in Animal Speak, opossum teaches us how to use appearances. Sometimes it is necessary to ‘play dead.’ Sometimes it is necessary to put up a particular front to succeed most easily and effectively. This is what the medicine of opossum can teach. It also can show you when others are putting up false fronts and deceptions. The opossum has an archetypal energy that helps us to use appearances to our greatest benefit and that helps us to recognize when others are creating false impressions.
Teapots!11th Invitational @ Morgan Contemporary in Pittsburgh runs from April 7-June 10th. This year I created “PinePot” from primarily pine branches and pine cones. The handle on the lid is a prehistoric bison tooth. The various sizes of pine cones were collected from many places…Michigan, Florida, and Connecticut. I have utilized whole pine cones, pine cone cross sections for the lid and individual parts of pine cones for the lid and foot of the pot. The inside is covered with pine needles from Florida. I wrapped small bundles of pine needles and then wove them together to create pine needle mats. (14″x13″x8″)