Welcome to Painted Rock!


welcome to Painted Rock
Who am I and
what am I up to?

I have power tools
and I love to use them

When a mower is
not just a mower

What inspires me
Connecting with
others for better understanding

who am I and what am I up to?

other projects

Cistern revival
Passive Solar Awnings





The life of these objects didn't end with this
project. In between stages of the shadowbox finishing, I explored different visual avenues,
giving them their last moment of fame...or their
"final cigarette"... before they are forgotten forever.
Here are some of those experiments
(some are clickable for larger views):

tea lights










I made a promotional poster and card for the event.
It included photos of some of the purged objects.
It was intended to look like a catalog inventory
(shown at right).




As a post-party gift I created a calendar using some of my illustrations. The final two pages included the text on this page, in case any of them were curious about why they were helping me do this or in case they'd had a little too much to drink and forgot
(wink wink).




Here's an outline illustration for the calendar cover, inspired by the left half of the finished piece.

calendar cover

first purge - letting go of stuff
purge objects

There was a time in my life when I measured my success by what I had. Then came a time in my life when I no longer had the means to amass as much stuff and felt I needed to cling to what stuff I had.

clothespinMy family is a resourceful bunch and we found ourselves using things in different ways or extending their usefulness during times of hardship. I continue this skill and have found myself holding onto things that I can see other uses for. My life has become so busy with this and other stuff that I don’t seem to find time to make with the stuff I had saved. Some stuff does finds ways into projects and fixes, some stuff becomes piles waiting for purpose.

I recognize the flaw in saving all this stuff. I’m trying now to simplify my life in order to “see" better, to remove the clutter and static that seems to fill my space and mind and heart. I’m learning to let go. Detach from objects. I am not my stuff. I know this, intellectually. Socially, I see pressures to collect stuff. I’m now irritated by those pressures. I see things in stores, online, or on TV and think, "I want that stuff." I’m a work in progress.

I have an annual bonfire party in the fall where I invite friends over for food, libations, socializing around the burning of my brush and wood leftover from the seasonal pruning. This year I decided to make it more of a unique event and include the event in some way in my graduate work—I would use my stuff to make art with. I began by going through the drawers and cubby holes in my house pulling out stuff that was part of the clutter mentioned earlier. I would ask my friends to help hold me accountable to purging my stuff and from it we would make the art piece.


Inspired by autoconstruccion on a website (blogs.walkerart.org/design/2013), at first I thought I would let the process be completely organic allowing the art piece to take whatever form the group decided upon. My friends include faculty (of disciplines mostly outside Art), programmers, insurance claims adjusters, grade school teachers, and a hodge podge of skills and backgrounds. When I approached one of them, an English teacher, with the idea. She quickly said to me, “don’t make me think too much, I’ll be drinking." With that prompt, I decided to start with a little more structure so the group didn’t struggle so much with beginning the process. I looked up assemblage art and through the myriad of selections, I found Louise Nevelson, an abstract expressionist, popular in the 1950s and 60s. I built a shadowbox primer with varied sized compartments. The whole piece mesaures 42" X 48". Let the construction begin!

assemblyI gathered up a total of four boxes of stuff. After full bellies of chili, beverages in hand, the group of friends dug through the box, found their favorite objects, and commenced with gluing/screwing/nailing. This became a human experiment. I stood by, offering glues and tools as needed, snapping a few pictures, while watching my friends take ownership in the process. Ownership to the level of defense of compartments and specific objects. Some of my stuff went home with friends and found new purpose. Other objects stayed in the boxes, unwanted, without artful purpose. I will have to deal with that stuff differently.After 3 or 4 hours, people drifted home—hands covered with glue—the art piece was done for the evening.

The next day I went to the garage to assess the project. I glued on a few more pieces for visual balance and story filler. I was amazed at how the separate compartments had developed their own personality, their own sense of purpose or story. This, the result of this human experiment, art-making event, that took place the night before. My friends are great subjects, and friends. They may not have been as aware of helping me simplify or why that was even important to me, but I believe they saw some of themselves in my stuff. Perhaps the process of making this art piece was cathartic for us all.

I used a few cans of Kilz to prime the overall surface. This made everything the same color, off white. The next step was to paint it all dark brown. Strangely, it makes all the stuff the same, a way of equalizing the importance of all elements. They are all now part of a whole. All part of the same story. The story of my stuff, given new purpose, if only for a while before ultimately making their way to a landfill.

finished purge project


starting a conversation
begins with a box of thoughts...

Powertools with purpose
With a new mission and a means
to do it, I tackle some projects...

Poeple I've met
There are those who've traveled
a similar path and have a lot to share...

connecting with others
A designer needs to understand their audience.

In order to to this, I created a survey and polled my community for friends, colleagues, and family. Through a series of questions I got a bette idea of where many folks position themselves regarding environmental concerns and degree of engagement in sustainbility efforts.

read more

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