Archive for June, 2008


Catching Up

    When I started this blog last month my plan was to write several times a week. Here it is, June 27, and it has been way too many days since my last entry. OK, so I am getting back on the horse.

    Studio work continues to move along, and in the past six weeks I have completed eleven small assemblages and four tin can works. I am currently working on series based on Mexican wrestling masks. This grouping will be part of a show called Estano Luchador, which will open September 12 at Gallery on 43rd Street, Pittsburgh. A few days ago I started a large tin can work (36″x36″) that is actually made up of four 18″x18″ panels that will interlock to make the one large piece. This approach should help to make transporting larger works a bit easier since we now have a smaller truck. Plus, I realize these sections are easier to handle in the studio. My working title for this piece is Laughing Man in a Green Hat. This could change.

    Central PA Festival of the Arts is only three weeks away! This is the only summer arts festival I still do and is an event I focus on to bring a new body of work each year. I’ve got to kick things into high gear now. There are also a couple of juried exhibitions coming up which I plan to enter. Of course, there is always that threat of rejection that looms over those events. Time to thicken the skin a bit! Ha!

    I put the studio behind me last week as Chris and I, along with our friends Paul and Janice, headed to Hocking Hills for four days of hiking (with periods of hot tubbing in between hikes). We tried something on day three that none of us had ever done: ziplining! We zipped above the forest canopy on a wire! We experienced this three hour adventure at Canopy Tours, and it was great! I must admit, I was a bit uneasy the first few “zips”. There are ten of these, and each one gets higher and longer. However, our guides, Matt and Shamrock, were great! These two guys were very supportive and really helped to build up our confidence level, resulting in a fun experience for all of us.

    This photo shows myself along with my wife, Chris, and our friends Paul and Janice as we take a break along the zipline trail. The second photo shows me coming in on the line as our guide, Matt, prepares to give me the braking signal. 

    As much as I love working in the studio, getting away and experiencing the outdoors is revitalizing, as well as beautiful and just plain fun! OK…. time to make ART!




The Big Six-Oh!

“I never feel age…. If you have creative work, you don’t have age or time.”  Louise Nevelson

    Last Saturday I hit the big six-oh. Holy crap, sixty! SIX-TEEEEE! Wow! I mean it is just hard to believe. I recall my grandfather at 60, and here I am. My wife, Chris, put together a great party for me at our favorite local cafe, Later Gator. About 36 friends and family were there and it was a great evening. The cake looked liked a team baking effort of Dr. Suess and Peewee Herman. When I saw the number sixty at the top of the cake, well, I guess that made it real. I am SIXTY!

    I am thankful for the fact that not one person got me a birthday card that made reference to me being “over-the-hill!” (I really hate all that over-the-hill crap that seems to fill the average greeting card display.) I don’t think about age much, except when I reach a birthday, or run into someone from high school. I think, “Good grief! He/she is OLD!”. Then the realization sets in that I am that age! 

    So does the age thing bug me? I mean I shouldn’t be embarrassed about being sixty. I do feel positive that I have survived this long. And I don’t believe one can reach this point in life with some regrets, however few they might be. I feel lucky to have a wonderful wife, family, and friends. And I am fortunate to have my art making and teaching. 

    I ran across this poem which seems quite appropriate, (but I have no idea who the author is.):

Twenty eight or fifty nine? 
Age is only a place in time 
where we live our lives from day to day 
never thinking about the way 
we use the hours, the days, the years 
as we float alone within the sphere 
of time and space with birth and death 
to mark the boundaries of our quest. 

Who we are, or were, or wish to be 
is not connected to age, you see, 
but more attached to what we’ve learned 
along the way between the turns 
of truths and trials and traumas past 
that helped to form the final cast 
of who we are at journey’s end – 

then have the chance to begin again.


Rogers, Ohio












 I love flea markets! It’s this wonderful strange mixture of stuff and people in this beehive of activity. As an assemblage artist I often refer to the flea market as my palette. Most of the materials I use in my work come from flea markets, and one of my favorite markets is the Roger’s Community Auction in Rogers, Ohio. My wife, Chris, and I were there this past Friday. That’s right, I said Friday. While most flea markets tend to operate on the weekends, Rogers has been open on Fridays for about a half century. The market attracts so many people on a weekday that one wonders, “Does anybody work?”.

    I should clarify here that I love outdoor flea markets. I find those indoor flea markets in old shopping malls, with merchandise bathed in fluorescent light from hell, to be quite depressing. Ugh! And the sales items in those indoor venues appear to have been on those tables forever. Stuff that nobody wants, not even an assemblage artist!

    My purchases on this trip resulted in the following: 3 old  photo albums with pictures, several tin cans (for de-construction, including one oil can in black. Why are black painted cans so difficult to find?), four 19th century paper puzzles with great graphics, and a few miscellaneous items. Not a big haul this time, but good usable material that will find itself in some artwork soon. As a bonus, it’s great to just be outdoors, walk around and take in the variety of humanity that abounds at these places. People form all walks of life and social strata. And the stuff. You wonder how some of it actually finds a new home, but it does. And you see people carrying things and you just ask yourself “Why?”. Then again, those individuals are probably looking at my purchases and mentally shaking their head in disbelief. In my mind, I’m thinking about the fun of getting getting back to the studio and putting some of my new materials into a piece of art. I’m pumped!