I am a bit remiss that I have neglected my blog for many months. I hope that the images that I post here and the story that goes along with the creative process will inspire you as artists and as art lovers. So here is the tale of the creation of a garden sculpture which will make it’s way into a hotel lobby soon.
I made my first Garden Lookout sculpture in the summer of 2002 out of a Canadian sandstone that I found on Vancouver Island. The natural shape of this stone lead me to cut the bottom and a hole for looking through. Holes in stones are a metaphor of the passage through something hard and difficult, yet possible. Whenever I would find a stone on a beach that had a hole in it, I would think of the work that it took for the water and the sand to wear through. Many years later I carved Garden Lookout II, this time I used Basalt and Limestone to complement each other. The movement of the Basalt stone I continued down the limestone design. I sold both of these Garden Lookout sculptures when I lived in Washington.
This past summer, I got a commission for a taller version of Garden Lookout ( 7′ tall ) for a hotel lobby. I was asked to make it in a similar version of Garden Lookout II. I wouldn’t try to replicate, as I want all of my sculptures to be original and not copies. I selected a 5′ tall basalt stone while up in Washington and cut out a limestone base from my stone inventory. I transported them down to Art City, a Ventura stone yard where I have been doing my stone sculpting since moving to Ojai. The carving was interrupted by several other sculpture carvings and shows, as well as a bulged disc in my lower back. This took a few weeks to heal before I could finish the commission. I experienced the thought “what if I cannot complete this sculpture using my own physical strength and skills?” Could I direct others to do the hands on work? Would it not be a sculpture of mine if I didn’t do all the work myself? This lead me to a place of recognition where the artist in me can direct many hands, like an orchestra conductor. As it is my design, I can make it anyway I want. This was a great release from the pressure of having a pinched nerve and not being able to hold a tool in my hands for 3 weeks. I found it liberating to watch my mind, and keep myself in a positive light, that I would get better, heal my back, and complete the commission in time. I am happy to share the photos of Garden Lookout III, and hope to have additional photos once it is installed in the hotel on the east coast. And to top it off, I completed my work ahead of schedule.