The number 2019 is appealing to me for some reason. Perhaps because“19” is a favorite number of mine. “19” looks and feels like an even number - a friendly number - without the angles of "3, 5, 7” or the simplicity of “1.” Plus “19” is my birthday number although I swear my attraction to the number isn’t because I was born on the 19th. The newest bronze will be offered in an edition of only 19 - just wait til you see it!!!
I hadn’t planned on creating an owl but during the first full moon of 2016, a Great Horned Owl visited me. The majestic creature sat like a sentinel on top of my beloved tree outside our cabin. I stood at our bedroom window, captivated. When Tala was a little puppy, Cliff used to call me on nights when I worked at the studio past dark to warn me if an owl was outside. The owl could easily snatch our little round glow-in-the-dark furball pup if I didn’t protect her on the walk home. The point is, owls are not rare up here but that owl, that night, was so vivid and powerful that I felt compelled to sculpt a palm-size owl for 2016.
Cliff was exceptionally excited about the sculpture, partly because it was an owl and partly because I was finally sculpting after the long PTSD caused hiatus from studio life. But then Cliff died unexpectedly and I could not finish the sculpture. During 2016, I lost Cliff, my mother, my aunt and my cat. I got married, totaled my truck and left for Bhutan to carve for the king. I did not complete the yearly palm-size bronze. Again and again I picked up the little lump of “owlish” clay but simply could not create. On a cold winter night in 2017 I gave a stranded motorist a ride to his home up Paradise Valley, a giant Great Horned Owl flew past my truck window and looked directly at me. Those of you who know Cliff know he was legendary for the assistance he gave friends, family and strangers alike. I knew it was time to finish the little owlet. Emotional but healing, the little sculpture began to find itself while a fire crackled in my studio.
I felt so much of Cliff while working on his owl that of course “Cliffness” emanates from the owlet. He was one-of-a-kind, gentle, strong and damn loyal.
Chloe spent Thanksgiving with Raymond and I. We enjoyed the special time with my little (ok - not so little anymore) niece. Thanksgiving Day began with a soak in the Boiling River and ended with a magical full moon hike up here on the mountain. She made art while sporting my Carhartt overalls and a HUGE grin (in between lip-biting bouts of concentration). I’m curious what she would consider the holiday highlight…but damn she was STOKED on ice…!
The Stapleton Gallery encourages it’s carefully curated stable of artists to venture out of their “norm” by spinning themes and creating shows that are experiences (out of the “norm”). I delved into the creation of five new works for the Trophy Show. Raymond and I are looking forward to the evening/event/surprises that await for us at The Trophy Show.
A few years ago Raymond and I were going to Boulder for a special conference which fell on Halloween weekend. I invested in a pallet of professional make-up paint because it was easy to pack on a plane and because I don’t need much of an excuse to purchase art supplies…ever. Plus I figure I can get lotsa costumes using just the paints and our regular wardrobe.
Leftover wedding stuff went into making my headpiece. FUN!!!
Recently I joined Stapleton Gallery. Jeremiah Young and Abigail Hornik have a unique vision, a beautiful space and a stellar group of artists. The gallery is unconventional in its location, its hours and its shows. The group shows are more of an “event” in theme and execution - at least that is the kind of magic which has intrigued me about some of their past exhibitions, which is why I am honored to join them. The photo above was from their recent show in conjunction with the MINT Film Festival. I love how they hung three of my drawings within that beautiful huge frame and showcased two of my bronzes in the glass cases on each side.
I hear you.
Your rather Eeyore-like way of saying ”Ohhhh Honey...!”
Soothes me. Still.
Your spirit fills my heart in a gentle grip of pure love. Unending gratitude. I miss you. I adore you. I am so ever grateful for you.
Happy Birthday dearest friend.
She arrived near midnight after a 14 hour ride from Minnesota. I tucked Kiera into her bed at the studio nap room as she excitedly gaped at the stars. Just after dawn Kiera zipped over in JD (the ATV) to drink tea while I geared her up for the promised summit adventure. She’s been itching to tag a peak since early spring when she visited with her sister (and we almost summited a local peak but were turned around by snow conditions near the top).
Snow, once again, played a part in our summit day (we were on snow the whole approach). But nothing was going to stop us. What a fine day we shared...!
October began intensely with our involvement in HATCH. The only other time Raymond and I had 8 days off together we spent on our belated honeymoon in Bhutan where I worked for the Prime Minister to create a special carved artwork for the Bhutanese king. The first 10 days of this month, Raymond and I worked together with the HATCH team to help facilitate the annual summit - what an honor to be part of this valuable cause/mission.
To learn more about HATCH, view this recent article.
Chased by demons after a sleep-deprived night, I lurched into yesterday with my list of “to-dos.” The darkness demon persisted, my mood and gumption spiraled as I fell into an inner loop of anxiety which I opted to quell by tagging an impromptu summit. Mid-afternoon I parked at a trailhead surrounded by aspen already turned golden. I saw beauty everywhere. Tala exuded joy. Yet eight satisfyingly quick trail miles did not slay the demon, neither did the burger and Moosetracks milkshake. But after a night of vivid post-summit, dream-filled sleep I can happily report we needn’t call an exorcist today. Phew...!
The yoga pose-of-the-month during my 6am class is “Tree Pose.” The pose involves balance on one leg. I’m not sure why a one legged pose would be “tree-ish” but I’ve always thought perhaps the the idea is to root through the standing foot while allowing movement in your “branches.” Balance with my right leg is more challenging for me since the dog pack attack. Certainly frustration isn’t suppose to be a factor (it is yoga after all) so I try to morph frustration into curiosity, love, and humor as I tip and teeter on my right leg.
But it’s been 3 years..!
Today I thought of my tree reliquary sculptures and how much strength comes from the hinges. The trees are split open - exposed and vulnerable yet much less likely to fall once opened and hinged. The trees I use have been killed in forest fires. Not a single tree is without cracks and scars from the life it led before its death. Each one of us has cracks and scars. What kind of helpful hinges do you use in life?
My contribution to the Teslow Birdhouse fundraiser. The iconic grain elevator was saved by destruction thanks to the efforts of a few passionate locals. Basic birdhouses constructed by reclaimed Teslow wood were embellished by a dozen or so local artists. Hand carved walnut wood trout with metallic copper patina, gold leaf and 100 year old barbwire went into my creation to be auctioned off this Friday.
Photo taken by Audrey Hall
At last...! Creating this little one was pure joy. The clay sculpture was delivered to the foundry last week. Why a fox? I'll share the story soon...