Intergenerational Art

Intergenerational Art

How many uses can art provide? This summer I made a work that marks the history of a family descended from a Hudson’s Bay factor. The piece consisted of the iconic HBC stripes wrapped around three trees in a stand of clumping birches. The trees had been planted...
Green Stream

Green Stream

Few artists are fortunate enough to have a wild stream to work in, but I have one running through my backyard. This summer saw the installation of Green Stream: a dozen reclaimed window frames mounted in Sibley Creek. Playing with transparency and opacity I removed...
Leonardo Invented Paint-by-Numbers

Leonardo Invented Paint-by-Numbers

 In an obituary for Dan Robbins, the illustrator who created paint-by-numbers, it was revealed that he got the idea from Leonardo da Vinci. Apparently the Renaissance artist numbered the objects in his backgrounds and had his apprentices fill them in.Robbins, who died...
Pre-Dawn Raid on Art

Pre-Dawn Raid on Art

As mentioned before its almost impossible keeping a piece made with toys intact when kids kept tearing it out. A second piece suffered the same fate, for different reasons. The piece (titled Boom*) consisted of a series of twenty eight-foot painted planks each...
Dead Ducks

Dead Ducks

Two other pieces stretched the limits of community tolerance. My partner spent the better part of one summer engineering a weight and attachment system to send a line of rubber ducks out into Lake Superior, where their arc would define the currents of Sibley Creek as...
Interference Patterns

Interference Patterns

The summer of 2016 produced a procession of pieces made from cut spruce and banded stripes. Using 2 x 2’s my partner made a deer with an inquisitive turn to its head that had everyone convinced that the animal was meant to be a giraffe. The piece became the...
Floating Spirit House

Floating Spirit House

But I wasn’t done with birch bark. Inspired by the Ojibway spirit house in the graveyard I decided to make one of my own. I had long been fascinated with the extraordinary ability of birch bark to resist rot. According to an architect friend its so resistant to decay...
Things That Get Caught in Trees

Things That Get Caught in Trees

The following summer I decided to work again with available materials. Looking closely at the clumping birch tree on the beach with its multiple trunks, I noticed that driftwood had gotten caught in its base, thrown there by winter storms. This observation inspired me...
The Erotic Life of Trees

The Erotic Life of Trees

One afternoon my partner got this idea to make clothing for trees. This led to the making of a “tree corset.” After repeated tries I got a strip of birch bark and punched holes in its two ends to allow for lacing to close the piece. Wrapping it around the trunk of a...