Tag Archives: wood

Friday Finds: A Little Birdie Told Me So

20 Jul

One of our favorite things about living at the lake this summer has been our evening walks.  Once the heat begins to wane, all the birds begin to sing.  We often end our walk by making our way down to the dock where we sit and watch birds both great and small as they hunt for dinner.  I’ve even told George I’m going to take up serious bird watching.  I’m going to be a funny old lady with her huge hat and binoculars watching all the birds that fly by.. So today’s round up is brought to you by some pretty little birds of the artsy kind that I’m admiring this week!

Mindy Hawkins

Maribel Angel

Abigail Brown

Sophie Woodrow

Mindy Hawkins | Maribel AngelAbigail Brown | Sophie Woodrow 

What say you, Artsies?  Want to grab a big floppy hat & your sunnies and join me on the dock for some birdwatching?  Happy weekend!

Featured image is by Abigail Brown.  All images are via the artists’ websites, linked above.

Assemblages of our Discarded Past: Aaron Moran

21 Jun

I have always been a lover of things past.  Some of my favorite places have been cities or towns that truly celebrate their history, even revel in it.  To walk into a building that has been repurposed and restored is such a delight.  But it seems that more often than not, older buildings and homes instead of being loved and revered are neglected and then torn apart to make way for the shiny and new.  The sculptural work of Aaron Moran uses pieces of found architectural wood to create works that are as complex and chaotic as our history.

Progress Sprawl, found wood, acrylic, graphite, house paint, varnish, 23x19x21

Each piece becomes a small monument to our collective history.  Just scraps might be affixed to repair a dying structure, so these scraps from buildings long gone are bound together physically in each work and spiritually in their shared destiny.

Low Base, found wood, metal, acrylic, house paint, graphite, 19x12x14

Instead of languishing at the bottom of a landfill, these relics become sculptural harbingers of what we hope may be our fate– to leave behind a little of ourselves, to know that our existence is remembered and celebrated.

Geom Ridge, found wood, acrylic, house paint, pencil, 11x8x9

To see more of Aaron Moran’s work, please visit his website.  My husband and I used two pews from the church where my grandparents were married for our outdoor wedding last year.  It meant so to have that continuity and share in the past as we began our future.  Is there a building from your past you wish you had a part of?

Featured image is Tier 2, found wood, acrylic, house paint, graphite and varnish, 10x13x14.  All images are via the artist’s website.


And One, No Make That a Bunch, to Grow On

9 Mar

OK, maybe we’re not taking a total break from color today.  Spotted this installation by Marilee Salvato and just had to share it with you!

Growth Patterns, etching, digital prints mounted on wood, this installation 7'x34'

Be sure to check out her website for more images of the incredible installation!

Requiem for Modern Relics: Michael Todd Harrison

16 Feb

I grew up in a household where old things were relished and appreciated.  My dad and brother refurbished antique cars.  My mom had a knack for painting and reusing old furniture.  Family vacations were taken to historic sites instead of Disney World.  So it isn’t any wonder that I have a fondness for the sculptural work of Seattle artist Michael Todd Harrison.

13, assemblage

Architectural fragments and wood are stacked together as building blocks of these humble monuments to the past.  Some of Harrison’s pieces, like the one above have a charming, vintagey-homey feel, as if they were plucked directly from the wreckage of a derelict Queen Anne home.  Others, such as Burst, are more abstract in feel and organic in shape, carefully hap-hazard.  In the artist’s hands, what could have simply been a pile of scrap wood becomes an explosion of line and shape.



Harrison’s latest series, Skyscrapers, takes inspiration from walks through the city, with it’s tall monuments built long ago by men who have since been all but forgotten.  There is a poetic loveliness in these folksy, wooden sculptures paying homage to albatrosses of glass and steel.  A reminder, perhaps of architecture’s humble beginnings, as well as our own.


Small Church

To see more of Michael Todd Harrison’s work, please visit his website.  He is currently the Artist-In-Residence for the James W. Washington Foundation in Seattle during the month of February.  You can keep up with his residency work here!

Featured image is Horizon by Michael Todd Harrison.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy Design Finds: You Bowl Me Over

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day, Artsies!  I hope you have plenty of love being lavished on you today and lots of folks in your life to love on.  Here’s something I love:  serving pieces that are a perfect balance of function, beauty and artistry.  Here are a few beauties I found, pretty enough to serve the ones you love!

Ceramic Bowl by OneClayBead


Ceramic Bowls by Aida Dirse


Pottery by Yassi Mazandi


Medium Bowl by Kurt Anderson


Frilly White Collection by Liz Kinder


Blue Carnival IV Elm Bowls by Natural Selection Studio


Hope you enjoy a wonderful V-day, hope it includes a meal with your favorite person ( or people ! ) and if served from a beautiful, handmade bowl, even better!

Featured image is the Dots Collection by Liz Kinder, available here.  

Elegant Embodiments: David Engdahl

3 Aug

I have not tried to reproduce nature, I have represented it.

— Paul Cezanne

Never where these words more true than in the work of sculptor, David Engdahl.  The former architect has been shaping wood to create beautiful sculptures for over twenty years.  Inspired by the forms in the environment surrounding his home in north Florida, Engdahl takes his cue from organic shapes, simplifying or exaggerating them to create elegant embodiments of the natural world.

Lamelliform 128

Using plywood, a mechanically manipulated natural material to create these organically inspired sculptures creates a dynamic tension between the material and inspiration source.  By taking a normally lower level type of wood source and creating spledid sculptures, Engdahl is not only taking something “ugly” and making it beautiful, but also hearkening back to the wood’s original forms.

Lamelliform #91

Lamelliform #21

The beauty in nature is all around us.  But we rarely notice it, much less ponder it.  Engdahl’s work may help us recall the glimpse of  antlers in the woods, the shadow of a sea turtle making its way across the surface of the deep or the swaying of thin branches in the breeze.

Lamelliform #200

He brings nature and artifice together in a way that reminds us that they can work together to reveal the best in each.

To see more of David Engdahl’s work online, visit his website. Be sure to check out this wonderful video in which the artist explains his creative process and give you a glimpse inside his home studio.  If you’re in the North Florida area, stop by Studio 121 at 121 W. Forsyth Street in downtown Jacksonville, where he will be the featured artist, August through October.

Featured image is Lamelliform #194.  All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.

Pick of the Crop: Not Your Average Joe

16 Jun

Here in the Northwest, the trees are so spectacular that they grab your attention and demand to be noticed and admired.  St. Augustine, Florida artist Joe Segal’s work does the same.  His sculptures are a celebration of these kings of the forest, their textures, patterns, their cycle of life.

 Instead of a literal translation of branches and limbs, Joe instead chooses to focus on the core of what gives a tree its strength, character and economic value, the hard, fibrous wood.

 By cutting, stacking, carving, painting, even burning the wood, Joe re-envisions the pattern of the tree’s life.  He takes the normal processes for which and by which wood is harvested and calls our attention to the beauty of the materials in their simplest forms.

 The steel used to cut the tree becomes instead, the connecting force that holds the wood together.  Pieces of stacked wood, recalling a firewood pile, are juxtaposed with charred wood creating an interesting “before and after” effect.

Working with the nature of the materials, rather than against them, going with the grain, if you will, Joe is exploring the rhythms of the natural world and reinterpreting them into beautifully designed works of art.

To see more of Joe’s work, check out his Pick of the Crop page here at Artsy Forager, where you’ll find a link to his website.  I hope you love it as much as I do.

Lucky Spasms and Other ArtWalk Goodness

7 Apr

Beauty was abounding in Jacksonville last night and I’m not just talking about the perfect weather.  My sister-in-law and I attended the monthly Downtown ArtWalk and were treated to not just the usual visual stimulation but mental and emotional engagement, as well.  Now, I had a list about a mile long of the spots I wanted to hit, but we arrived late and spent quite a bit of time at each one, so.. yeah, we only made it to a few. 

But we began the night with a bang at The VAULT Gallery, Willliams-Cornelius’ space in a former bank vault ( yes, you read that right! ) on Forsyth Street.   Greeted by the Mr. Williams & Ms. Cornelius themselves, and intern Adam, we set off to see what artist Jeff Whipple had in store for us.   Whipple has been working on this “Spasm” series for more than thirty years.  What began as a painterly device to fill negative pace, the three-barred icon has grown from an element in the background to become the object of an entire series of work.

The three bars that comprise a “spasm” serve to symbolize life, lifetime or a lifestyle.  The artwork is open to interpretation, based on the viewer’s own experience– how you see it may not be the way I see it and that’s OK.  All of our lives are different and it is in this difference that we each find meaning in the spasms.  This is work that truly that makes you stop and think– what does this mean?  To the artist?  To me?

In conjunction with the showing of Jeff Whipple’s work, Williams-Cornelius also presented a performance piece by self-proclaimed “deformance artist”, Liz Gibson.  Gibson was born with a birth defect causing her to have only seven fingers– five on one hand and only two on the other.   The performance last night was a character of Gibson’s own creation “Ben Wa Betty”.  Betty appears as part archetypal Asian lady, but in a hip and provocative way.  Gibson tells stories of how at times she felt lucky or unlucky to have been born with a deformity, all while pouring wax over her deformed hand, proving how you can take something that seems unlucky and make something beautiful out of it.  

The overaching theme is one of contentment– be happy with who you are and how you were made.   At times you may feel unlucky, but there will always be a reminder of just how lucky we all are.

 Our next stop was Southlight Gallery, where there is always a display of exceptional art by some of the most well-known artists in Jacksonville, right along side with talented emerging artists.  The featured artist last night was wood sculptor, Grant Ward

I’m a sucker for any burl or wood sculpture and have been a fan of Ward’s pieces for a long time.  There is something about an artist that looks at a log or a tree stump, sees the potential for creating something unique AND possesses the craftsmanship to create something polished and beautiful out of such rough raw materials.

I have always especially loved Ward’s pieces that combine burl wood with spun metal.  These pieces take on, for me an other worldly space-like quality.  It is as if the wood is a planetary surface and the metal pieces are alien pods making their home there.

After leaving Southlight, we made our way toward the river to the Suntrust Tower, new home of Town Editions, Thomas Hager’s new line of accessibly affordable limited editions– making this artist’s beautiful work available to even a young collector.


These hand-crafted, signed and numbered editions are created using vintage photographic processes, which give the simple subject matter an elegance and sophistication lacking in much of today’s photographic prints.  Also on view are some of Hager’s paintings ( He paints, too!  I know! ).


Filled with texture and a pastel & neutral palette, these pieces are reminiscent of sand or rock.  They have an organic feeling to them that such completely non-representational work rarely possesses.   I’m looking forward to seeing Tom’s paintings evolve just as his photography continues to do so.

I wish I could tell you more about all the places we visited and amazing art we saw, but alas, that was the end of our night.  I can tell you that I will be back downtown soon to visit the exhibits and studios I missed.  I’m not sure how anyone could see it all in ArtWalk’s four hours.. but what an awesome problem to have! 

May’s Downtown ArtWalk will be May 4, 2011.  More information available here.  Hope to see you there!

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