Saturday, December 8, 2007


This morning I woke up thinking about the twisting path that has led me to the art work that I am doing today. I'm realizing that every bend and turn and change of medium was essential to my growth as an artist and as a person. All those stepping stones... and the absence of any one of them would change where I am today...and I don't want to change a thing. Also, I am noticing that ideas and skills, from way back when, keep circling back around...another chance for them to get put into the creative stew. They keep rising to the surface like bubbles long trapped under water.

I moved from Arkansas to Washington in 1993 after the death of my older sister, Betsy. Betsy's last year was a hard one...she had been diabetic for 30 years and blind for the last 10 years. I moved back to my parents home for most of that year to be an extra pair of hands for my mother as she took care of Betsy and Inca, her guide dog. I needed some kind of creative outlet...maybe a steel fish sculpture for my yard.... so... my brother gave me a quick lesson with a cutting torch. I took to it like a fish to water...a pun totally intended.

I had done a lot of woodworking...building my own house in NW Arkansas and various craft I was familiar with tools. I found that I liked working with metal...steel. I liked that grain was not an issue and that there was no concern about checks and cracks and moisture. I loved the weight. I loved making something look like what it was...not a cartoon of itself. I am a fisheries biologist so proportion and scale are important to me. But I think I most loved the longevity...these sculptures I was creating out of 1/4 inch steel would, more than likely, outlive me. I'm not sure I knew it at the time, but I think I was trying to leave my mark.

For the next several posts I will show some images of my steel work. I called that business AS THE CROW FLIES.

Here are some of my early fish.

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