Thursday, July 30, 2009


Remember this?

Then and now.

To see more of the Disintegration Project results go here for the links.

A big thank you to Seth for all the effort you put into these projects....and yet still find the time to create wonderful, layered, textured artworks that are pleasing to the eye and the heart.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


An old friend of mine who used to live in Zambia sent me the most astonishing photographs of elephants at Mfuwe Lodge, South Luanga National Park, Zambia. The lodge was unwittingly built on the herds migratory path to some wild mango trees on the property but the dozen or so elephants aren't going to let a little thing like that hinder them.

They lumber through the reception area at least twice a day for 4 weeks or so to feed on the mangos on the other side. Then for another 3 weeks they pop in for tea whenever they feel peckish. Apparently over the years they have become very relaxed and often explore the reception area. Everybody treats them with the utmost respect and no incidents have been reported to date!

"Wonky Tusks", a female elephant (above) who visits every year brings her babies along and passes down the knowledge of this picnic spot to the youngsters.

All photographs belong to Mfuwe Lodge. There are more photographs here.

To see more re-posts go to The Altered Page, here.
Several people have mentioned the giraffe post, soooooo...... this is the link, here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Curious Crow by James Kitchen

I'm taking part in Seth's "Buried Treasure" collaboration and am re-posting CROW, one of my favourite posts because it made me laugh at the memories.

2 Crows by Katherine Treffinger

For some reason artists have found crows and ravens highly portrayable and many of the artworks are created in a humorous light. I will share a few I found browsing the internet.

Hand Carved Flock by Allen & Mary Dee

When I was just a kid my brother arrived home with a poor pinioned crow that had been advertised in the Pets for Sale column. The owner couldn't handle him so my brother bought him for me to tame. Crow, however wasn't going to be tamed by anyone. He had the meanest of mean streaks and if he hadn't been pinioned we would have set him free.

Crow handcarved by Allen & Mary Dee

We put him in the avery outside the bathroom window where he could chat to all the wild birds in the garden. He mimiced everything including running water, flushing toilets, ringing telephones and a whole repertoire of bird calls. He had us on the hop from morning til night, rushing around the garden looking for gushing taps and then belting back inside to answer the telephone .... all of which he found rather exciting.

Sculpture by Gunter Reimitz

Eventually he managed to entice my Indian Minor (which I had reared from a featherless fledgling) to the wire and before anyone could blink he had yanked poor Zombie's head through the wire and swallowed it whole. That was the end of that...... Crow had to go!

Craven (half crow and half raven) by Rod Bearup

My husband's friend owned a pub...and a crow. The crow kept the patrons entertained every evening. She would strut up and down dipping her beak into the glasses, getting raucously drunk. Her favourite trick was to swipe an ice block out of a glass when nobody was looking and rush to the other side of the room challenging anyone to give chase. When she was sure that nobody was watching her, she would hide the iceblock, either under the corner of a mat or behind a curtain. She then strolled nonchalently to the other side of the room where she kept watch, making sure nobody went anywhere near the hiding place. Inevitably the ice melted and she couldn't resist having a quick peep at her hidden treasure ....only to find that somebody had stolen it. Much to the delight of all the patrons, she flew into a rage, jumping up and down, squawking and flapping her wings. This would happen every night and crow could never quite understand how someone snuck past her watchful eye to steal the iceblock.
Clay Crow Sculpture by Virginia Wyoming

In Africa crows are considered to be guides, protector spirits and messengers. They warn people that danger is approaching.

Two more crows by Katherine Treffinger

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Tree Deva, carved in 2007

Its been a long time coming
A whole day to myself

Good Morning!

I was outside carving as the sun came up.The monkeys arrived soon after, following their noses to a pocket of granadillas that just happened to be resting against the courtyard wall. I, of course, know nothing about it ( I'd be in hot water if anybody thought I was feeding starving monkeys). I didn't put the pocket there and I didn't see frenzied little hands empty it quicker than it had been filled. I was too busy carving.

The bad weather arrived at noon which gave me an excuse to move inside to do my 10-minute collage. I  (Free E-course, here.) These collages are teaching me to reconnect with myself. Not every day is an AHA! moment but I notice I'm gradually understanding myself more and remembering things from way back that have influenced the direction of my life.

I spent a little time looking through my Picasa files at the carvings I've made over the last year and had fun reinventing them in photo montages.

Friday, July 10, 2009


"Work begets ideas, which begets work, which in turn begets more ideas.". - Rice Freeman-Zachery

I know there are definite cycles when it comes to creating art.... a prolific period followed by a fallow period. I've also noticed that if I keep working steadily the ideas will keep flowing which means I keep working and the ideas keep on flowing and .....well, you get my drift :-)

At the moment I'm going through an almost frenzied phase of carving, which is part of the cycle. Autumn and Winter are the most creative seasons for me but come Spring I start slowing down and with the arrival of our harsh South African Summer work usually grinds to a halt for days on end. So I am making hay while the Winter sun shines.....and I'm covered in sawdust from dawn til dusk.

This week I've been revisiting my earlier totems.

"I will wear my heart upom my sleeve for daws to peck at " - Shakespeare

Three years ago I started carving a tribe which became the "Tribal People" series for an exhibition in 2007.

Then ..... the "Broken Angel" series.

Browsing through old photos of pieces long gone I'm rekindling and reinventing old ideas; doodling and playing with old sketches and developing them in new directions. The piece I'm working on now is related to these pieces.
Small detail of carving I'm creating at the moment.

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." - Carl Jung.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Photo mosaic using details from my wood carving. 

These last few days I've been quite industrious and managed to complete 3 commissions. One piece is a carving for someone who left South Africa in search of job opportunities in Britain. I carved Letters from Home, trying to incorporate memories of life in South Africa.

Another commission I enjoyed doing was a small carved cow. M emailed me that she enjoyed a particular post here and that all she wanted was just one cow. The piece was duly named 'Just One Cow'.

I've been keeping up with my daily 10 minute collages and I've started the 2nd Deepening Creativity course through Shelley Klammer here.

A visit to the scrap yard on Friday was the highlight of my day (who would have thought) and my mind is ticking over how I'm going to use these lucky finds in my work.

The brass foil was a great find! I had been inquiring at the craft supply stores and nobody knew what I was talking about. A few minutes after arriving at the scrapyard, hubby in toe, I pounced on the two little parcels of brass foil sticking out from a sack of crushed metal. Hubby hates going to the scrapyard but he said the amazement on my face made the trip worthwhile.

Last but not least, while visiting my friendly art dealer, I spied this Punu mask hiding behind a pile of kuba cloths. The photo doesn't do it justice at all. It has a wonderful patina and the features are so delicate and beautifully carved that I keep running my fingers over it and thanking my lucky stars that I found it before anyone else realized what a bargain it was.

These masks from Gabon are worn during ceremonies by performers on stilts. 

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Offering (detail) by Lin Lisberger

I love wood. The smell and the feel of wood in all it's forms. Magestic oaks casting shade .... natural forests flourishing on hillsides....... rotting tree trunks on forest floors providing food and shelter to all manner of creatures .... weathered drift wood on lonely beaches....wood stacks next to the hearth.... and then there's the transforming of wood that has been crafted and chiseled as if by magic into art.

Soundingboard by Lin Lisberger

"My medium is wood. Wood appeals to my close affinity with nature and things organic. Wood is a magic material, alive and working organic, and never completely at rest." - David Hostetler

Cycladic Tree Goddess by David Hostetler

It's worth a visit to Hostetler's website, here.

Asherah Tree Goddess by David HostetlerBig Hanging Eight Flowers by James Surls (Charles Cowles Gallery, Newyork)

Peace Burden by James Mellick

.....And now for something completely different. I'm thinking spider ....poised for attack....or as Karin commented...something that skitters across the floor when you switch the light on.

Strider 2 by Ben Carpenter

Ben Carpenter's work is strangely compelling. The wood grain is beautiful, the polished surface inviting to touch. There are pieces reminiscent of seeds, pods and plant forms, all beautiful in a Venus Flytrap sort of way. See for yourself here.

Shell4 by Ben Carpenter

Eolian Drifting Pod (maple burl) by Ben Carpenter