American Beauty


How I create these works is a mystery to me. I often set out in a direction only to have to turn around or go off in a completely different tangent. The “not knowing” is both a source of joy as well as a source of frustration. And surprise.


I finally got to use a beautiful carved, wooden rose that has been laying around in my workshop for years. It was so delicate that it easily got lost in a larger piece. Trying to create a smaller work to be in scale with the flower, I kept adding textures: a honeycomb carving to contrast the flowing petals; a linear strip to highlight the wooden background surrounding the flower; a circular piece of copper that turned a beautiful vertigis color. Although I wanted to keep this small, I kept adding textures and “ingredients” to this Foundling, including an old worn trivet that kept this piece growing ever larger. As it grew, something started to look familiar about this combination of textures and yet, I couldn’t place it. I liked adding these elements and this work did feel like it was moving in the right direction.


Then it occurred to me. It looks like the cover of the Grateful Dead’s album, American Beauty. Not that this was in any way my intent nor is this an exact interpretation of the cover but it did make me smile when I realized what I had created. I never know where (or when) my creative influences come from. It’s just a matter of being open.




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