Stick Figures

  • Audible Stick Sculpture Standing Audible Stick Sculpture Standing
  • Collapsed Audible Stick Sculpture Collapsed Audible Stick Sculpture
  • Hand Held Audible Stick Sculpture in Repose Hand Held Audible Stick Sculpture in Repose
  • Propped Audible Stick Sculpture, detail Propped Audible Stick Sculpture, detail
  • Hand Held Sculpture, suspended Hand Held Sculpture, suspended Hand Held Sculpture, suspended
  • Hand Held Sculpture, detail Hand Held Sculpture, detail Hand Held Sculpture, detail
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Why Sticks?

They are an almost "ready-made" found objects selected from nature rather then being retrieved from the overlooked, untitled artefacts of man made civilization. Their inner nature is revealed when their outer garment of bark is removed. Their elegant nude form and contours are alluring, mysterious, and provocative. They are satisfying to work with in a conversation based on both touch and vision. Unlike other materials they require no carving, shaping or other preparation before assembly. I often collect sticks without using them for construction, as in my counting project: The Year. Science is not involved in this process, simply thought and a co-operative object, thus a partnership, a collaboration occurs.

Best of all they are met while walking in the woods. I gather them as if I were a bird preparing to make a nest. I carry them home, undress them and find a way for them to be comfortable with other sticks. Sometimes, they are assembled, becoming an object of contemplation, thereby suggesting a new idea, or reflecting on an old idea and thus becoming a nesting place for thought.

Like a bird nest, they are in a sophisticated dialogue with the forces of nature...twining, curving, cohering in a way that is compatible with their environmental circumstance. Like a nest hidden in a bush or tree fork they lean against walls waiting to be be noticed and inhabited by human thought. Wound layers of yarn and string occupy locations provided by nature. The forking of a stick is a perfect holder, a niche and safe resting place. It is also in their character to expand, extending and stretching into a line seeking form until they once again become contained and reside in place in a protective mode.

It is this attribute that causes me to remember Penelope, the wife of Ulysses. Each evening, as she waits for his return, she unwinds the weaving of the previous day only to replace it in the morning. Let us, also, not forget that their bed was built in connection with a live olive tree! And what does he do to prove his identity?...he strings the bow, which is made we assume of string and branch.

 

 

Stick Figures: Much of my work is a commentary on traditional form and visual language. As used in our every day world stick figures relate to icons, road signs, and hieroglyphics. They may also bring to mind the haunting minimalistic figures by Giacometti that so impressed me when I first saw them in the 1950s. His are frozen in place while commanding the space around them. In contrast, mine are restless and always ready to move. They are diagrammatic documents of future action. Their presence acknowledges the fleeting temporary nature of life. This is a different meaning and role than the stable, monumental stone and bronze works that have dominated the realm of sculpture for so many centuries. Their task was to fortify a belief in eternity and the long lasting power and importance of Pharaohs, gods, village mayors and grim generals.

Mine don't even have bases. They are ready for action. They tremble in gentle agitation softly audible as they come to life and begin to move their articulated wooden parts which bump against each other like the murmuring low notes of a marimba or a disturbed tree branch in conversation with the wind. Similar to Stick figures, “Handhelds” dwell in the continuous present...leaning, resting, and reclining until conditions occur that bring them into motion. They are windows into a part of life where action is on the verge, intimated rather than asserted or recorded.

  • Three Stick Figures Walking Along Three Stick Figures Walking Along
  • Two Couples Strolling Two Couples Strolling
  • Four Figures, close up Four Figures, close up
  • Stick Figure Resting Stick Figure Resting
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Grids

Within the genre of contemporary painting and sculpture “the grid” is a prevalent motif and an almost sacred theme and component in geometric abstraction. Grids provide a sense order. Their modular nature immediately establishes control and serves the cause of stability and unity.

As with other conventions that I choose to transgress in pursuit of discovery and poetic truth my grids are rebellious. They refuse to behave. They are made of bent sticks not crisp clean lengths of metal or wood. My grid structures are messy and won't stay in a designated space. They are like an obstreperous child who rebels against confinement.

Nestled grids suggest a parental relationship...one smaller than the other, repeating the larger one's general structure and physical appearance but having multiple differences from it. Yet, it hopes to be compatible and returns to the larger for protection and comfort while sometimes tumbling forth at unexpected angles.

  • Freestanding Grid Freestanding Grid 3.5'x3.5'x1.3'
  • Freestanding Grid, upper left Freestanding Grid, upper left 3.5'x3.5'x1'
  • Freestanding Grid, lower right Freestanding Grid, lower right
  • Nested Grids Nested Grids 3.5'x3.5'x1.3'
  • Nested Grids, detail Nested Grids, detail
  • Leaving the Nest Leaving the Nest 3.5'x3.5'x1.3'
  • Gradual Departure Gradual Departure Free from its horizontal constraints.
  • Tilted Grid Tilted Grid
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Conceptual Abstract Paintings

These are on panels 24”x32” (61x81cm) and are developed layer by layer by placing banal objects on the surface and spraying around and near them to suggest space, location, and shape. Shapes are broken and folded. With indistinct contours they detach themselves from associated objects and placements and veer off into undefined spatial areas which are sometimes misty and sometimes clear. I find them to be analogous to thought processes: wandering, subtracting, adding ,finding and retrieving memories whose images and sensations coax us onward to more intricate thoughts and concepts.

  • Conceptual Abstract I Conceptual Abstract I
  • Conceptual Abstract II Conceptual Abstract II
  • Conceptual Abstract III Conceptual Abstract III
  • Conceptual Abstract IV Conceptual Abstract IV
  • Conceptual Abstract V Conceptual Abstract V
  • I I
  • II II
  • III III
  • IV IV
  • V V