My pieces reflect my life. That’s true of every artist. When someone visits my studio, they see the humor and the whimsy in my work. But then as they get to know me, and know the story of a piece and its history, the work also becomes very personal to them.
I enjoy seeing other people’s reactions to my art. It’s always fun.
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The first inspiration for Brünnhilde was the helmet that I found in an antique store. We were huge opera fans at that time and had recently seen Wagner’s Ring Cycle. And the idea just pounced into my head — and I do mean pounced — because that’s how these things just hit me.
So I went home and thought “OK, I’ve got to build a Brünnhilde.” She has rings on her toes; she’s also a warrior. The TV antenna is her sword. (I’ve never found one of those since, so I was absolutely meant to have that.)
The red flashes on her chest are her boobs. This was before I was brave enough to use chichis and ding dongs like I do now. Like with Miss Henderson, for example. Now I don’t care if a ding dong has balls on it … I don’t stress over that.
Brünnhilde has a cape as well. She is a Valkyrie, a protector, a lover, and a warrior.
He’s just out taking a walk. Got the family with him. I drew his figure from a photo that I shot. The middle dog is Lily, our Golden.
I had the opportunity to work with a bicycle, so I went for it. This piece marks the beginning of my butterfly era, about three years ago. But I’ll probably stay in it for awhile. I was into stars for over twenty years and I can see that I’ve phased out of that.
The Cyclist has whiskers on her face, and a rear view mirror. And she’s got her roller skates on because, after all, she believes in cross training. Her head is … what else? A bicycle seat. Of course, chains run up her arms and legs.
Little Red Wagon
I like using signage. But actually, the genesis for this piece — the SAFETY sign — hung on my wall for many years. It’s a fun thing, but I didn’t think I could use it because it’s so thin I didn’t think I could weld it.
Then I figured out one day that I could cage it, and I was off and running. The head is a Sun battery tester, and the wagon does say Little Red Wagon. It’s probably out of the '50s.
Years ago, wandering through my beginning boneyard with friends, someone remarked to me, “That’s a jack!”
And I looked and saw that yes, what are now Jack’s front legs and feet were indeed jacks. So here is Jack. Not Jack Rabbit. Just Jack.
He’s got an odometer (he covers lots of ground), a rear view mirror, and he lights up. You don’t even know you’re a rabbit, do ya, buddy? But you are.