“Heaven’s Gate”

I finished a round piece recently.  That’s a rarity anymore.  The year my mom died, 2006, was a difficult transition in my personal life and for an artist that means there’s going to be some kind of impact on your work. The result is not easily predicted, especially the long-term effect.  But the short-term effect is often a disruption in the flow of ideas or in the creative urge.  For me it not only slowed down my production, but caused me to re-evaluate why I make what I make.

 By 2006 my signature pieces were usually round disks counterpoised by lines, ladders and flowing waves, punctuated with richly colored, textured surfaces. They indeed looked like giant brooches and years before I had named them Jewelry For the Wall after having been asked so many times if I had once been a jeweler. It was a catchy name that people could easily remember. However, I had been about the last person to recognize them as jewelry pieces.  To me they were signs and symbols.  They were cosmic bodies interrupted by event horizons.  They were stars spinning on an axis.  They were about energy flows and they were symbols pointing us to the heavens in order to understand what lies beneath our feet.

 I don’t know what the casual viewer thinks they are other than giant eye-candy.   But I can tell you that circular format is powerful and for me and many of my patron’s my suns, stars and moons are meditative icons.

 Since mom died I’ve only made a fraction of the number of round pieces that I had done in the previous 7 years.  Each is now more personal. Before she died I made a horizon piece . Distance The  heavy atmospheric dark top half of the painting hangs over the lower white half. Thick and textural, the white is almost claustrophobic.  I titled it “Distance”.  I hated to see it go, but alas I can’t keep making them if I don’t sell the babies.

 Several years later I thought of making a sister piece to “Distance”, but after working on it for several weeks,  I abandoned it when I realized that it was merely a shell of the original.  That’s how it came to be standing in a dusty corner for   several years when I decided recently to clean it up and rework it.  With a new clarity I could still feel the power inherent in that symbol and I let the energy flow.  Instead of being impenetrable doors that wouldn’t/couldn’t open, the carved blocks feel now like energized gates that could swing open giving access to the power on the event horizon.  The energy flowing through that edge, spills upward into the dark, powerful atmosphere above as well as into the more delicate entangled veins below.  Such is the complexity of life in the cosmos.  Welcome to “Heaven’s Gate”.Heavens-Gate

Long Awaited Website

We’ve been working with a web-designer, Megabytes,  on a new web-site and it’s up!    The beauty of this one is that I’m not dependent on anyone else to update photos, itinerary, etc.  We’ve got capacity for videos and will be adding more regularly.  We’re showing some installation shots which we didn’t have before.   You can check out our itinerary, read our various artist statements, check out our resumes and enjoy videos of our home & studio, process, TV interviews and our sculpture.    Our collaborative mixed media work has advanced and new images are being added weekly!   Same address as before:   http://www.WolfCreekStudio.com

Kimono detail

In the Moment

A lot of things haven’t turned out as we expected this year, which shows how ineffectual expectations are.  But we are in a better place now than any other time this year. The year began on another roller coaster–such is the life of artists.  We’re used to that.  But I was particularly burnt out on most everything.  A number of issues came together to turn us in another direction to market our work.

As a result, for the first time in 20 years we’ve been home all spring and summer without wheeling all over the country for art fairs.  The result has been comforting and restful, though a financial hardship.  We’re sorely in need of a vacation without connection to the outside world and the worries of marketing.  But being home has at least been without the horrendous stress of getting to and from the shows, the stress and danger of set-up and tear-down and the stress of being without our heavenly creatures.

So now that I’m getting the past tucked away and not focusing on the possible nightmare scenarios of the future, I’m coming back to the  center, in the moment.  The creative flow is back.  For a while now it has been momentary and with herky jerky contact, a result of high stress levels and not enough decompression.  It’s a matter of regaining conscious awareness of choosing to do what we do best and having faith that we’ll be carried by the universe to what ever purpose we can serve.

The new work is awesome already and getting better everyday.  We are extending the journey of marrying textures, materials and color. By experimenting with both new materials and new methods with already familiar materials, we are refining the textures.  Deconstruction of the surface to produce more layering has become much more important than in the past.

As a result, we’re looking forward to a schedule of shows beginning with the Memphis Riverarts later this month.  After our break, and armed with new ideas, I’m looking forward once again to shows.  As Robin said just the other day, the art fairs are instant gratification.  And they are–from the moment set-up ends until tear down begins on the last afternoon.  That in-between-time of the actual show is, or at least used to be wonderful….Talking to interesting patrons, selling art, seeing fabulous homes, visiting with artists, seeing some wonderful art and craft and alas eating wonderful food in little bistros.  It was a good time, and it will be again.  Here we come Memphis, Bonita Springs, Miami, Baltimore, St. Paul…….