MARIA BALLADON CON LE STELLA is the companion piece to ST. JOHN THE MOSACIST and represents the young cousin and muse of St John the Mosacist. Like ST. JOHN THE MOSACIST, MARIA BALLADON CON LE STELLA is a 24” x 24” ceramic and stained-glass mosaic wall hanging. It consists of a single piece of hand built and raku fired paper clay made by the artist and somewhere between 900 and 1000 pieces of individually cut squares of stained glass scavenged from the donated glass boxes of the Ann’s Choice Stained Glass Club. Also, as in the case of St. John the Mosacist, the story of Maria Balladon Con Le Stella has been woven from whole cloth. ( 2022) ($325)
I suspect that EMERGENCE will be interpreted differently by different people, and to be honest, my understanding of the piece is still changing with events. Originally, I saw the center figure as an act, or form of creation: now I am starting to see it more as a violent, explosive, eruption, like the outbreak of a virus as it starts to spread. My personal insight is that an abstract image may be, or at least is intended to be, timeless, but its message, even to the artist, will be changed by time and circumstances. EMERGENCE is a hand built and raku fired paper clay wall hanging mounted on quarter inch plywood. (2020) (21” x 15” x 2”).
As we enter week six, (or is it seven?) of staying at home, sheltering in place or self-quarantining and contemplating the economy, the pandemic and the civil unrest it seems that the days are starting to run into each other in a kind of grey fog. Is today Tuesday? When was the last time I was out of the house? What did I fix for lunch yesterday? QUARANTINING is an emotional response to the current situation. Unlike SAINT JOHN THE MOSAICIST it is a minimalist piece using only six pieces repurposed from a couple of uncompleted projects and a drab palette. It may also be an unfinished piece with the potential, like life, to brighten considerably. (2020) (24” x 24” x 2”) ($150)
Saint John the Mosaicist, one of the more obscure members of the pantheon of Saints, is known primarily for never having been observed or heard to have sworn or blasphemed despite spending his entire life gluing small pieces of glass, stone or ceramics to wooden boards. Although most historians believe that he worked in northern Italy during the period 1358 – 1387 AD, no one has been able to authenticate any mosaic pieces from that time and place as having been the work of Saint John the Mosaicist. There are no known images of him and the Church’s canonization records are surprisingly vague. While SAINT JOHN THE MOSAICIST is composed of a hand built, raku fired paper clay “mask”, a border of stained glass strips left over from a prior project and a background of glass tiles and stained glass pieces liberated from the mosaic shard pile at the Abington Art Center, the story of Saint John the Mosaicist has been woven from whole cloth. (2020) (24” x 24” x 1 ½”) ($275)
SELF-PORTRAIT #6 is a wall sculpture consisting of 20 hand sculpted and hand glazed paper clay tiles which were then fired to cone 04 and mounted on an MDF backer using Thinset. Like all of the other pieces in the IRIAAM (It Really Is All About Me) Series – with the exception of the photographs – there are large measures of both artistic license and artistic ineptitude involved in SELF-PORTRAIT #6. It does illustrate why I don’t consider myself to be a painter and thus may be , by some measure, considered to be an accurate, if not particularly flattering self-portrait. I could have subtitled it PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A PAINTER. It was, however, fun to make. ($669) (2020) (15 ½” x 19″)
MOTHERBOARD is a mixed media, found object, wall sculpture which incorporates the motherboard from a refrigerator, ceramic tiles left over from two backsplash projects, and three press molded and distorted images made from handmade and raku fired paper clay. An exercise in anthropomorphism, it is intended to put a face on and give personality to something that has neither. (2020) (19” x 8” x 1 ½”) (($195)
INCUBATION, a hand crafted wall hanging consists of 56 triangular raku fired paper clay tiles. Different raku glazes were used on the tiles with some portions being left unglazed. Inspired by a National Geographic program, a subtitle for INCUBATION could be “Penguin in Winter.” (2020) (19” x 13 ½”) ($275)
I am very pleased to announce that juror John Sabraw has selected my hand built, raku fired paper clay sculpture AN OLD MAN’S PRAYER to be part of Mississippi State University’s national juried exhibition “The Art of Hope”. The exhibition will run from January 20, 2020 until March 27, 2020 at the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery, 75 B.S. Hood Road, Mississippi State University, MS 39762. There will be a reception on Friday, January 31, 2020. AN OLD MAN’S PRAYER is part of my “Expressive Hands” Series of small, hand built, raku fired paper clay sculptures from 2017 and 2018. In AN OLD MAN’S PRAYER the fingers are bent with time and wear. Expectations have been colored by the disappointments and trials of life but there is hope – perhaps this time.
REVISING DARWIN is a hand built raku and glazed fired, sculpture with found objects (gneiss) and is part of the “Avianus Abstractus” Series. It is intended as a very tongue in cheek exposition of a new, never previously advanced, theory of evolution. I am hopeful, however, that the scientific community will take up the challenge and that new evidence supporting it will be uncovered. (2019) (13 ½” x 11” x 15”) ($350)
Are you a bird watcher or a whale spotter? Do you see the crested head of a bird or the flukes of a whale’s tail? You can be and do both. HEADS OR TAILS? was originally intended to be a “bird” only and part of my “Avianus Abstractus” Series of hand built, raku fired paper clay sculptures which I was creating for submittal to a show themed as “Wings and Water”. However, with a couple of modifications to the original design and an adjustment to the glazes, I think I was able to create a piece that could be either fish (well mammal) or fowl and which fit even more squarely within the “Wings and Water” concept. Other than some of the pieces I created specifically for my solo show “Myths and Legends, Gods and Demons” the pieces in the “Avianus Abstractus” Series mark the first time I have created pieces for a specific show. (2019) (13 ½” x 9” x 8”) ($295)