"(You are the) Landscape of My Dreams" assemblage currently on exhibit at the Spring Bull Gallery, Newport, RIRead More
"Wish" alabasterRead More
"Float" alabaster, in the sinkRead More
I love Newport Art Museum- the professional staff, beautiful exhibits, and especially the opportunities it offers to artists of all kinds. For the last two years, the event "Wet Paint" has intrigued me. On a beautiful summer day in mid August hundreds of artists fan out from the museum, and create an art work, on site, in one day, all to be auctioned off to benefit the museum. The energy and determination is palpable!
I took on the challenge, but as a stone carver. I set up a small cube of translucent alabaster, determined to carve a sculpture in less than 5 hours. I found a beautiful dogwood tree, a lovely shady bench, and set to work. With sandbag, chisel, point, and mallet, I enjoyed trying to bring a sprig of the dogwood to life in stone. The energetic project drew curious walkers, who were supportive and enthusiastic. Several times I doubted if it was possible, but luckily I was successful and I hoped my little stone would bring a donation for the museum's work.
As I set the completed sculpture down, warm from the hot summer sun, on the edge of the museum's porch, I saw someone approach with a small dog who was anxious to see what I had. I smiled at his curiosity, until I realized he was starting to lift his leg, about to douse my little pristine, white sculpture! I felt I was in slow motion, trying to head him off...nooooo!!!!...I scooped the stone up with barely a second to spare and saw the owner's surprised face, as she wondered why I was so protective of a rock on the porch.
Luckily, the little dogwood sprig in stone made it to its museum pedestal, unscathed, uncontaminated, and was a part of the evening's festivities, culminating in a sale for the museum. Whoever purchased this piece- I hope someday you enjoy reading about your little stone's adventure.
Knolling – the process of arranging related objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organization (Wikipedia)
A good artist-friend of mine once remarked I am a knoller, like him. We were working in my sculpture studio located in a beautiful brick tower in a 19th century mill. I am a stone carver and my friend is a furniture designer. He explained the term, linking it to our common RISD background, and an instructor he loved…
I am a knoller, I’m also a ruminator, and the two go hand in hand. Carving is inherently intuitive to me, so I often pause and seem to see where forms are going inside my head…seeing but not seeing, leading to the soft, repetitive nature of lining up the hand tools, listening to the music, chisels with chisels, points with points, sorting, assessing, thinking…until the next move is ready.
I am a direct carver, which seems rare. One enters the stone from a side, rather than trapping a fixed form. The backdoor is left open to allow the freedom and versatility one needs when exploring such a fixed medium. Forms shift like water under the stone’s surface, constantly changing, reliably drawing me into the collaboration: sculptor: one vote, stone: one vote. We’re equal. I prefer this approach to the whole “freeing the form from the stone” idea. Stones don’t hold anything hostage- they are beautiful with or without the interference of an artist.
Knolling- an attempt to distract, to loosely organize, but mostly to think- to give the mind just enough to do to clear words from the thoughts, and to vaguely imagine where the next angle will begin and possibly end. Maybe, maybe not- it’s a dance.