I am principally a sculptor of organic forms. I create what my hands see and feel, ignoring fashion and embracing the lessons I have learned from teachers, past masters and a life of conflict and beauty. Sometimes the results, animals and the human figure, are recognizable. Sometimes they are abstract. But always the motive is to create a solid shape of emotional consequence in space, and to give that space new context, new interest, new possibility and new power.
I have created a great number of sculptures and paintings over the last four decades, many of which are in public settings and private collections worldwide.
My paintings are a counterpoint to my three-dimensional work, using color and texture to create inner landscapes that express the music of my spirit. I often work on both sculpture and painting projects simultaneously.
I grew up in Escanaba, MI, a town on the northern shore of Lake Michigan where the forests and waters informed my early sensibility and, decades later, remain central to my being and my aesthetic direction. After graduating from the University of Michigan, where I began my work as a sculptor under the guidance of Paul Suttman, I was confronted, as many beginning sculptors are, with wanting to produce pieces in permanent materials. I was not ready to cast in bronze, so my early and tentative explorations were with pieces of metal I purchased from junk yards and gathered from behind buildings. I would cut and weld them together, creating new three dimensional shapes. I also experimented with cutting and gluing together balsa wood, cutting and bending paper, modeling with Roma Plastalina, and carving and modeling plaster.
When at last I had the resources to do larger works I started with fabrication of aluminum and Corten steel, using Lippencott Inc. of New Haven, CT, and then New Haven Art Fabricators. But minimalism and fabrication did not continue to hold my interest. I wanted more dimension.
Chaim Gross, with whom I studied in New York, encouraged me to cast my work. I began to have my work cast at the Cavalier Foundry in Bridgeport, CT and the Paul King Foundry in Rhode Island.
Over a number of years I also worked with Umberto and Ugo Antognazzi, in Pietrasanta, Italy, creating works in Carrara marble. I love the Antognazzis, their studio, and their craft.
In the 1990s I began working in Asia, traveling regularly to a foundry in Thailand and, more recently, China.
During the summer of 2010 I worked in Shanghai, at the newly formed China Fine Art Foundry, guiding my new flower series through the enlarging and bronze casting process. One of these flowers is installed in front of the newly renovated Chandler Art Center in Randolph Vermont.
My fascination with nature is also intensified by experiments with propagation within the greenhouse that is connected to my studio. There I observe the cycles of various species of plants, some that I have started from seeds I have gathered or purchased from specialty nurseries. The forms and colors of these plants are very beautiful and are a continuous source of wonder and inspiration for my paintings and sculpture.
The flower series, a search for a purity that explores, expresses, and touches emotions, evolved from my early connection with Michigan’s natural environment. Now in Vermont, I am surrounded by the foothills of the Green Mountains, and the magic of deep forests and wide open skies — and my search continues.
My work can be viewed at The West Branch Gallery in Stowe, VT (802 253 8943) The Gallery at 4 India in Nantucket, MA (508 228 8509) and by appointment at the artist’s studio.