Thursday, September 30, 2010

Broken Art

I have a collection of broken garden tools and other collections from gears and auto parts and random bits of metal that I occasionally find. Last week a client was touring my garden and studio and saw my garden tool scrap pile and commissioned me to create a garden gate from the salvaged
pieces. My first welding project in three months and it was wonderful for my soul but hard on my hands!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sit on It!

I began my painting experience last year and this is my very 1st painting! You may notice that it is not on canvas. I have made a lot of these benches. They weigh about 100 pounds and are my answer to the Chinese imports! At any rate I had the urge to paint and this is what I had to paint on so I just did it! Somewhere I have a photo of the table that goes with it. The paint wasn't even dry when it sold. never made it to a gallery, it sold out of my backyard. I am thinking this winter I will make some more of these and paint them for a "Spring Collection"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More Garden Party

So, just a little more about my garden party. The recession we are in hurts all artists and we have to constantly look for new ways to expose our art to the public. For me this garden art walk was an incredible way to meet a lot of new people and I had a captive audience. They came to me and saw my studio, the tools of my trade, my beautiful garden and the art pieces I had all over the place. Far more than I had ever put into a gallery. Reminds me of the baseball diamond, "if you build it they will come"! And they did! Local television and radio people, lots of photographers and someone who is writing a book on outdoor structures, rich people, poor people and curious people. and Edwin Root with his guitars (he is googleable!) and Jimmy Torres (who knew he lives in Eugene!) just shows up! The music in the garden was special and captivating in itself. The reason I am telling this story is when you have trouble getting your work into a gallery you can create a gallery in your own environment and bring the people to you!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Garden Party!

Last summer my garden was featured on a Garden Art Walk. I live in center of a small town in the middle of Oregon, on one third acre which I share with my house, my studio, my wife, one dog, one cat, a lot of squirrels and the rest is all garden, my famous tomatoes and about a bazillion flowers. This was an opportunity to show off and I had my metal art pieces scattered
all over the place. But I wanted this to be fun. I found a stainless steel sheet about four feet by three feet and framed it in steel and set it up on an easel for all to paint on while there! 152 people showed up! each contributing $10 to the local art society! and all of them added to this painting! A friend of mine who makes wonderful hand-crafted guitars (I'll show them to you tomorrow) showed up with five guitars, and Jimmy Torres (google his name, please!) showed up! I had never heard of him! Turns out he is famous! Wrote the song, "Sugar Shack" and some others. He stayed for five hours and kept these garden artwalkers here for most of that time!
What was supposed to be a fifeteen minute tour became an all day adventure, and I will tell you more about it tomorrow!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Being an Artist?

For me, "being an artist" is the desire to create something that has never been done before. I could take my skills and work in a factory repetatively making the same things and make more money but I wouldn't be happy doing it. These copper panels are five feet tall and two feet wide and became the main features in an Entry Gate for a local winery. I dreamed about this first and then found the job to apply it to. My next ambition is to make a working water fall within an Entry Gate! Wouldn't that be fun!

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Real Paintings"

I can't do "real paintings", the perfect landscapes that are so clear that I confuse them with photographs. I do impressions
and try to capture what it all feels like to me. This painting, acrylic on copper sheet, is my impression of the Mckenzie River, a famous river spitting distance from my house that Presidents have fished in! It is one of the cleanest rivers in the world and is full of Salmon and Steelhead. This is the 4th painting that I have ever done!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What IS Art?

Dirty Again!

I'm lovin it! After over four months of not welding or working in my shop, I have a gate to build! My hands have been so clean and sore these past few months and now I am ignoring them! Hurt if you want to but I am going to weld!
This neuropathy will not stop me. It hurts when I do nothing and doesn't hurt more if I am working. Tomorrow on my other blog, Cancer Free, I will show you what chemo does to the nails!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Galleries are Closing!

Art Galleries all over Oregon are closing, one by one shutting their doors and giving up! I think this recession, these horrible economic times, are especially hard on artists. We are the luxury of life, our art is purchased with excess money after the bills are paid. Now there is no excess money and we are in trouble. I can't think of a quick solution to this problem, we can reduce our rates only so much. There will always be rich people but the death of the middle class in America has hurt my business considerably.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Drop Outs!

Well, how fun all this blogging is! and you learn that people from all over the world are no different than ourselves! Ruby (I will soon learn to link I promise!) tells me she dropped out of High School, so did Ralph (our guru glue who holds these blogs together!) and me too! There must be others and I would bet there is a book here! I have never written a book but for some reason I often hunt for story lines. What is happening in the world that is not being told? Is there a connection to dropping out of school, not quite "fitting in" and becoming an artist?
Clearly we have all developed skills but what are we trying to say? Maybe it is just an affirmative thing, "I am different and it is okay!" But if you were a "dropout" I would love to know why?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I kept this old blog just so I would have two I think. It is funny rereading these old posts, and seeing my idea, almost two years old now. I didn't follow through with my idea of hanging art all over town but someone caught it and now there is art everywhere! There are no bare walls in most of the local business now and artists have a variety of places to show and rotate their art!
Galleries probably don't like this concept because most businesses don't even charge a commission. They like rotating art in their shops!
The other reason I kept this site is that in the first blog there is a link to EIGHT of my websites,
mostly all connected to my love of metal art. It takes some time but if you ever get bored you can travel through them and get a lot of ideas for your gardens and outdoor spaces.