what you think about when you spend hours in a field day after day


Landscape painters are known to go back to a certain village wall, or scenic viewpoint and paint in different lights, and a variety of times of year. After a decade of periodic interpretation the work can document a change in viewpoint, skill or emphasis. You could say that this one sheep pasture at the Hartsbrook School in Hadley Massachusetts is where my eye and heart is drawn to for my artistic expression. This is my third sculptural event in the fold in as many years.


My father once asked me, "Why don't you paint a nice picture of a fly fisherman in a stream"? This is a legitimate question from my New England father. Painting something he knows and is familiar with is actually what I am doing, just not with oil and mineral. I get to put myself inside that pastoral “painting” everyday as I work in most weather, my fingers freezing in the morning frost and snagging on the wire. My jacket picks up the smell of lanolin, and I hear the chickens screech at the hawk up in the oak tree. Over the hillock to my left I can see the heads of horses as they kick and gallop in this November chill. A cow bellows from one of the three surrounding farms. I can hear the wind singing through the chicken wire and at once I am both on a mountain top and on a sailboat. The other day I even heard a mouse family in the field calling to each other. I get to witness the sun and clouds change the grey November landscape, at first indiscernibly, and now after ten days, it is magnified and dramatic to my learned eye.

Not only do I get to experience this sensory “painting”, but my viewers do as well. As a sculptural event where viewers are asked to participate in the building of this pasture wall, they too get to sense the atmospheric changes, feel the texture of the wool and stop to listen to the hillside cows. It is as much a part of my work as the finished sculpture.