A Plein Air Dream

Close up of the two plein air painters.
Close up of the two plein air painters.

Lately I feel interested in plein air paintings. I like the idea of an artist outside trying to capture the ever changing view of nature. You’d have to work quickly, roughly, have a sort of flexibility about your painting. Sometimes I see a man painting the farmfields and hills near my house when I drive into town, but I’ve never seen his work.

Gabriel Craig: the Pro Bono Jeweler

What if you could do other artforms en plein air? Imagine potters in the forest, metalsmiths in the fields, printmakers by the river. Sure, you could actually do these things – Gabriel Craig took his jeweler’s bench to the streets of Richmond – but it’s a little more difficult. Plus you usually aren’t capturing the view in that instant of nature, but more just being inspired by being in nature. I guess knitters are probably the best example of plein air craftspeople – they knit EVERYWHERE.

hammering en plein air ©2015 WTEK
hammering in the wilds of Quebec ©2015 WTEK

Maybe there could be a plein air revolution. People will start accounting in the mountain meadows, running actuarials on a park bench, maybe even barista-ing near a geyser. Imagine the steam you could use for your lattes!

For now, I guess I’ll stick to hammering in my studio, it’s probably better for my neighbors’ sanity. I can dream though…

Into Darkness

Fragmented side web
Dark, but not scary – Fragmented ©2015 nickel, brass, copper 13.5″ x 13.5″ x 3.75″ $1550.00

For some reason, in our culture, maybe even throughout humanity, darkness is associated with badness. Light is good, it is illuminating, it keeps the monsters at bay. So naturally, its opposite must be bad, right?

I don’t think so. Darkness is mystery, it’s a velvet cover where we can hide and sneak and move undetected. Darkness helps us hide our flaws, helps others focus on the parts we choose to show. Without dark, everything is bright and makes our eyes hurt.

Dark and maybe a little scary – Scavenger ©2015 nickel, brass, wood, acrylic 18 ¾” x 8 ¾” x 4 ½” $1,300.00

Not everything is shiny and that’s OK. Our flaws make us human; give us a different experience than everyone else has. They are the filter through which we see everything. Without darkness how can we choose the light?

These pieces are at Handmade Holidays 6 at Some Things Looming in Reading, PA
Darkness you can wear – These pieces are at Handmade Holidays 6 at Some Things Looming in Reading, PA

Yes, my work is dark. It isn’t shiny, sparkly, or brightly colored. But those of us who love a mystery, love the layers, those who cherish the patina that life has left on us understand why I make my work the way I do. We are all dirty, textured, and dark in our own way. As we slip into the darkness of the Winter Solstice, celebrate that with me. Darkness can be shiny too.

Being Thankful

Sometimes when the going is tough, it’s hard to be thankful. We have to consciously step back and look for all of the good things we have in our lives. It’s nice to have a specific time of year that forces you to do just that.

  • Rose Bowl ©2015 WTEK brass, nickel, copper 7.75"h x 15"w x 12"d
    Rose Bowl ©2015 WTEK brass, nickel, copper 7.75″h x 15″w x 12″d

    I am thankful for all of my patrons

  • I am thankful I have the ability to make my art
  • I am thankful that I have a job
  • I am thankful that I was commission to make the Rose Bowl Trophy
  • I am thankful I have artist friends who like my work
  • I am thankful for each and every sale of a piece of my artwork
  • I am thankful for Indian Jewelers Supply
  • I am thankful for all of my online friends and connections
  • I am thankful that we are all different
  • I am thankful I have a hammer and a torch
  • I am thankful we finally got our internet back up after a weekend of no email, blog, or facebook
  • I am thankful that metal is so versatile

    Sleepy dog ©2015 WTEK
    Sleepy dog ©2015 WTEK
  • I am thankful that I get to walk my dog tomorrow
  • I am thankful I don’t have to eat turkey
  • I am thankful that I’ve visited Turkey
  • I am thankful I have a car that works
  • I am thankful that you read all the way down to here
  • I am thankful that Skynet isn’t a real company
  • I am thankful for Apocalypse Whenever

There are many other things I’m thankful for, but right now you’re probably thankful I decided to stop listing them. WHat are you thankful for today?