Monday, November 30, 2009


This is my most recent box called THE YOUNG ENTOMOLOGIST. I have always loved bugs, insects and especially beetles. I think they are so architecturally perfect for what they do.


On the exterior of the box is a luna moth photo-etched in nickel. The moth stands off the background, which is photo-etched red brass, by just enough that the wing becomes the handle for opening the door. The leaf finial on the top is etched copper with one section scolloped where some insect had a meal.


There are some surprises on the inside of the box. The young girl, etched in nickel, is from a turn of the century vintage photograph. I chose her because she looks a little tomboy-ish and not afraid of bugs. She reminds me of myself....quick to dissect a wasps nest....nimble at capturing fireflies (or lightning bugs as we called them in the south)....and fascinated by dung beetles. Behind the young girl and etched in red brass are the orders of the insects. I was a biologist long before I became an artist and scientific names are familiar and important to me. On the shelves to the right are a microscope....some specimen bottles with collected insects....and a wasps nest behind a magnifying glass. The body of the box is cherry and is intended to be wall hung by the connected Japanese yen coins. So far, this is one of my more complex boxes and I'm excited to try some more.

This limited edition box measures 12" wide x 12.25" tall x 1.75" deep when closed. When open the width is 26 inches.

Once while I was living in Arkansas I witnessed an owl sitting on a post near an outside porch light. The owl would fly away and in minutes come back with a luna moth. It would hold the moth in it's talon and strip the wings off with it's beak letting them flutter to the ground before eating the body of the moth...I was reminded of peel 'em and eat 'em shrimp. I will never forget those wings fluttering down like little ghosts. The owl repeated this ritual over and over again. The next morning there was a pile of large greenish moth beautiful and a little heartbreaking at the same time. How could I not love insects....

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Being 5 months behind just about sums up my life. I am just astonished when I look at the date of my last post. I'm going to try to do better.

Here is a brief summary of the last 5 months. First of all the Art Sale at GreyBird Barn did happen and was a tremendous success. We had about 300 people come through the barn in two days. I had a lot of help from my friends to pull the whole event off. Here are a few photos of the event and of my barn shining brightly. I love that barn....and it has proved itself as a great spot to showcase art!

The rest of my summer was filled with art fairs and much anticipation mixed with a little expectation. In late July I participated in the Bellevue Museum Art Fair....In August I found myself in Sun Valley for an art fair....and in September I was part of Art In The Pearl in Portland. It was a bit of a challenging summer. There were lower than expected crowds at Bellevue and maybe people were feeling the economic crunch a little, although I had friends who had a great show. At every art show someone is having their best show ever and someone else is having their worst show ever. I usually fall somewhere right in the middle. At the other two shows all the artists were challenged with a lot of rain and wind and exceptionally cool weather. The defining moment for me was when my booth blew down at Art In The Pearl on the second day. Luckily for me, I didn't have significant damage but it woke me up. I'm determined now to try another let go of outdoor shows all together and instead look for more galleries or the higher end indoor shows. I'll write more about this is a future post.

In October, along with 3 other artist, I was part of the 11th annual Port Townsend Studio Tour. There were 47 different studios open to the public and again GreyBird Barn turned out to be a perfect venue. Although I have lived in Port Townsend many years, this was my first year to be part of the tour. The weather was beautiful....fall was so in the King apple tree was heavy with fruit (15 apples down one slender branch) apple cider and pumpkin bars....good sales...and again a large crowd...about 265 people. We couldn't have been more pleased and plan to do both barn sales again next year around the same dates. Here are a few images from the Fall Studio Tour.

From left to right: Shane Miller, Wendy Jarvis, Linda Jarvis, Diane Gale and Dianna Cronin.

And last but not least I just have to show a photo of my 1952 dodge truck, Baladeuse, and my 1952 Farmall Tractor, Bliss. They definitely offered a little farm ambience to the barn sales. Remember you can click on any image to see it larger.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


My whole life I've wanted a barn....actually I would love to live in a barn. Several years ago I had one built on my property. Over time it became a big storage container for all my tools and anything else I didn't have room for in my house. That was never my dream for such a wonderful space. So a couple of months ago the topic came up in my art group about having a studio sale out of the barn. The kind of thing where one could have it year after year on the same weekend and create a following. After a lot of organizing and a lot of work pulling it all together the sale will happen this weekend. A wonderful group of artists will be gathered at GreyBird Barn.

Many friends have helped make this possible... unexpected gravel shoveled into the ruts in my driveway...homemade cookies and lemonade for the duration of the with chainsawing up a bunch of logs that were in the way...and many hands helping make my property look presentable. Also, all the participating artists have contributed hugely...creating the postcard....making the sandwich boards...distributing flyers...etc. My heartfelt thanks to everyone.

If you are in the neighborhood stop by for some cookies and lemonade and a chance to see some exceptional art.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


TOO FAR FROM WATER is the second box that was created for the show entitled ROADS at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island, WA. I'm pleased to say that this piece sold on the opening night to a significant collector of art in the area. It is a limited edition piece with a total of 25 in the edition.

The copper doors and nickel background are all photo-etched. The finial on this piece is a vintage level vial from Scotland. It symbolizes balance and water. The box itself is cherry with splined corners. The image of the boys in the sail wagon is from a turn of the century photo taken in a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. You can tell that it was a cold and damp day...I love the reflection of the wheels in the pavement...but not too cold for a little sailing adventure...even with no water.

The copper doors on the outside of this box depict a stylized wave pattern....the inside of the doors show day and night tide tables. This is the first box I have made with copper doors and I am very pleased with the result. I cut the sail wagon out and have it standing off the back wall by about 1/8th inch so that I could rig the mast with waxed linen cord.

Here is a detail of the etched nickel sail wagon. This box measures 12 3/4" tall by 9 1/2" wide with the doors shut (approximately 19 1/4" with the doors open) by 1 3/4" deep. You can click on any image to see it larger.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Last Friday, March 6th, Bainbridge Arts and Crafts (Bainbridge Island, WA) had an opening for the group show titled ROADS. This box WALKING AGNES was part of that show along with two other boxes that I created.

WALKING AGNES is photo-etched from vintage imagery onto red brass, nickel and copper. The box is made of cherry and the ostrich leash is made of waxed linen. This box measures 11" H x 12" W x 1.75" D. Click on the box to see an enlargement.

I was particularly drawn to the tree lined dirt lane receding into the distance when I first saw it. I knew that this photograph would be perfect for the ROAD show. I added the woman and ostrich from other sources. They are etched in nickel and stand off the background. There seems to be some question as to who is walking who. The woman seems to be going in one direction and the ostrich in another. Actually, we don't even know which one is Agnes???

Over the next couple of weeks, I will post the other two boxes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This image of DAEDALUS AS A BOY is one of my favorites. I have used this image as a piece of jewelry (a neckpiece that you can see in an earlier post) and will soon be using it in one of my narrative boxes. Last year I began making what I call abbreviations....these are smaller abbreviated versions of my larger boxes. This one is 4.5" x 6"x 1.25" and is photo-etched nickel. The frame work is cherry. The plate of nickel is held to the cherry using small round headed brass nails. It is made to be wall mounted.

I am drawn to images that depict flight....both personal and metaphorical...where wings are tried on for size and fit. The vintage image of this young boy, taken at the turn of the century just when man was beginning to challenge gravity, is a reminder of everything I love about flight...the magic...the courage...the freedom...the breaking of one's ties to the earth...the need to rise above it all. Daedalus, in mythology, was the father of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Wow...I'm amazed at how quickly time passes these days. My intention was to just take a little break from the blog but the little break turned into several months. It doesn't take long to get out of the habit of doing something....such as posting. With a fresh year ahead of me I hope to re-find my habit and become a blogger once again. Thanks for your patience....don't give up on me.

A lot has happened in my art world....and in my personal world ....these last few months. For starters, I was accepted into 3 late summer and early fall shows. The SUN VALLEY ARTS FESTIVAL was the first. It was my very first time to show the boxes in the category of 3-D mixed media and I was surprised and thrilled to receive the award in that category. For me it is an affirmation that I am on the right track and that I have to just keep moving forward. My good friend, Helga Winter, also received an award in her category...Wood. We traveled to and from the show together and so it was wonderful getting to share our good fortunes with each other. Because we won our respective awards, we will both be invited back next year.

The next show was ART IN THE HIGH DESERT in Bend, OR. I was accepted in both 3-D mixed media and jewelry. This is a brand new show...beautifully organized...wonderful location...high quality art. I think we overwhelmed Bend with the quality of the show. Hopefully this next year the public will be more prepared for us.

Last, but certainly not least, was ART IN THE PEARL. This is such a great show and not an easy one to get accepted in. I applied in both jewelry and 3-D mixed media (boxes) and was accepted in 3-D mixed media only. I have applied for 12 years and have been accepted twice. This is a show you can never take for granted. I was fortunate to be approached by two different galleries... Beet Gallery in Portland and Mary Lou Zeek Gallery in Salem. Both galleries and the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland are interested in representing my boxes. It's going to be a busy winter building inventory for these and other galleries and feeling prepared for summer shows.

I made a couple of unexpected trips back to Arkansas in October and December. In October I spent 2 weeks with my 89 year old father. He was in failing health and I am so pleased that we got to spend that quality time together. We didn't do a lot...4 days in the hospital....watched a lot of CNN and the weather channel (his favorite)....talked a lot about remember when...but it was all time spent that is so precious to me now. My dad passed away in December. It's odd having been on one side of the river with parents that hung the moon and now being on the other side of the river with none. I'm still processing a lot of my feelings about being an orphan. I'm sure some of that processing will show up in my artwork. It can't be helped If there is little distinction between one's art and one's life.

Since my last post there were many days spent with dear friends. Some are artists...some are cheerleaders for us artists...all are sweet to the core and so dear to my heart. I am wealthy beyond words when it comes to my friends.

It's going to be a good year. I'm feeling creative and inspired regardless of the slump in the economy. I'm excited about looking forward. My intention is to nurture the creative idea in my head....let it circle my heart and pass through my hands. If I can do that, all will be well.