works in progress

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

the hidden world

The way I think about this painting, it has something to do with those marginalized in society - the poor, the 'mentally ill', the homeless, etc..  It is based on a memory, but it also reminds me a little of Andrew Wyeth's famous painting, Christina's World...
To me, one of the beautiful things about Wyeth's painting, and about mine as well, I hope, is that alongside the feeling of empathy for one of life's victims that the painting seems to want to express, there is something more - admiration for toughness, for eccentricity, for forging one's own path despite being marginalized in some way.

Anna Christina Olson (1893-1968) was a lifelong resident of the Cushing, Maine farm pictured in Christina's World . She had a degenerative muscular disorder (undiagnosed, but sometimes identified as polio) that took away her ability to walk by the late 1920s. Eschewing a wheelchair, she crawled around the house and grounds.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Monday, November 17, 2014

Pictures from the Old Studio

This is the old family sculpture studio (dating back to the mid-19th century) in Steinheim, Germany, where I found my vocation to be an artist ...
When I was first there, at the age of six, the studio was already very run down and largely abandoned, but the courtyard - which may be centuries old - was not overgrown as it seems to be now.  The place may look abandoned -- what with the grass in the courtyard and all -- but it's not, as this picture shows...
The roofs in this picture look like they are  new and in good shape, and for decades that was a big worry.  The nearest roof always covered a second story open-air shed where, as I was told, wood was kept for sculptures.  When I was at the studio at age 6, and later at  15, it was decrepit, the most worrisome part of the whole complex, but now it looks to be in good shape.

I think there are five buildings in the complex as a whole, which was - as I recall from family conversation - originally an inn on the road just outside Steinheim (now at the center of Steinheim) in the 1500s.   These pictures show  what fascinated me as a child and fueled my determination to be an artist - the semi-abandoned air and the masses of huddled, dusty old sculptures...

As I recall, from when I was six, and from later memories of my visit to the place when I was 15, the old, semi-abandoned parts of the studio were even more crowded with old sculptures (or rather, plaster models) then.  Many have probably been lost in various ways over the years.     The studio complex was a world unto itself, a world where I felt more at home than I had ever felt before (or since) in my life.

This was, without a doubt, my true home.
My grandfather, Opa,  seemed to understand this, though no one else did.

This shows where I used to sit and make little clay sculptures, when I was six...
You can almost see me hunched over a workbench in the back by a window!

Thank God my aunt, Tante Klara, has been working hard to restore the home and studio complex as a kind of house/studio museum.  There is so much to be done and she is very brave to undertake it all.
Not only is the 19th century studio itself historic, but the house and the complex in general are even older (1500s or earlier?) and played an important role (as an inn) in Steinheim's history (at least as I recall from family conversation)...

The age of some of the buildings in the complex seems evident from the structures themselves ...

Got to love the stone stairs that look like they have been ground down by many footsteps over many years...

I can't help but wonder if this is part of the old city wall, or something like that?

 I believe that all  photos used here are by Ernst Ludwig of Bad Nauheim, Germany.


This is my current workspace, in Bloomington, Indiana, at the Farmer House Museum ...