Monday, December 22, 2008

The Process

 What is a clear picture in my head passes through many states of being before completion - currently this newest project (a large commission piece of an Iris garden) is in what I refer to as THE CHINESE NIGHTMARE phase.  Now, this is not meant to be a cultural insult of any kind, so I hope none of you are taking offense.  Rather it is simply what a nightmare dreamt by a single-language American girl might look like in Chinese........but in another couple of weeks it will be quite another story.  Till then, enjoy the pictures of the process....and, btw, the finished work will be on display for the opening weekend of The Celebration of Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ, Jan 16-18.

Monday, November 3, 2008


It was delightful meeting so many new people this past weekend at the ACC/Charlotte show! It was the first time that I've shown in Charlotte and it was a beautiful and succesful show - and fun to know that many of you will visit our studio/gallery just 40 miles up the road in Salisbury. To those of you who recognized my work from other NC shows in Asheville, Blowing Rock, Piedmont and Cabbarus County, thanks for the compliment! Achieving that "voice" in one's work is something we all strive for. Three days is a long show and I'm glad to be drinking my coffee this morning in my own home. On Wednesday, after the election, I'll be back at work preparing for the Piedmont Craftsmen and Carolina Designer Craftsmen shows. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Work

Pushing the medium again, moving more into the sculpture realm - but never leaving the color behind. Looking forward to showing the new work at the Celebration of Fine Art, Scottsdale, this year.

October Flies By

Last night we had the first Pecha Kucha Night in Salisbury (and the 2nd in NC - our friends at Point8 in Charlotte beat us to the punch). Over 100 people watched 10 presenters on topics ranging from "Wayfarin' Stranger" to "Adventures in SurRealism". That's me doing my presentation, "Color in Translation". Take a look on or for a full explanation of this combination powerpoint/slide show/poetry slam event that is now held world wide. Going to Singapore, or Berlin, or Tokyo or San Francisco, or Salisbury, NC........check and see when their next PKN is's a great way to meet new people involved in a wealth of creative endeavors.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Time Flies

Hard to believe that it's Sept already! NC heat is abating somewhat and soon I'll be able to open the big garage door on my studio. Can't imagine what it was like working in this climate pre-air conditioning days!

The Loveland Invitational Sculpture Show was a great success for my first year and I was very glad I made that long drive. We actually packed all the sculpture and ourselves into our Toyota Scion (!) and got 35 mpg. I had been hoping, as we drove, for respite from the heat but we got to CO in time for a heat wave and the humidity was only slightly less extreme than NC. Wonderful to see the mountains though and the wide open spaces.

And it was also good to hear a broader range of political views. It's an important election. Please take the time to track down facts, investigate stories, demand that your questions be answered by both sides, and ask yourself, in this shrinking world, if your personal issue is really the most important one to make voting decisions on. Or, could it be that foreign policy might be more pertinent this time around?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gourd Workshops & Classes

At last! The Gourd Workshops have begun! Click on Workshops & Classes to see what's coming in September. We'll have a great time and you will love Salisbury in the Fall!

Monday, June 30, 2008

"Seven Poppies"

Here is one view of the finished Poppy piece. It's debut will be at the Loveland Invitational Sculpture Show & Sale, Aug.8-10, Loveland, CO. I hope you'll get a chance to see this breakthrough work. This is, of course, a one of a kind piece. There is no mold of it and it will not be cast in anything. The beauty of working with gourds as material is that they give inspiration by the very nature of what they are. I choose to honor that by valuing each piece for its individuality.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Working on new Poppy Sculpture

Here's a sculpture in progress - poppies. This is very much a additive/subtractive way of working, both with the sculpture medium and the paint process. Messy - and I HATE having messy hands - but it works for me and allows me to create the piece as I go, changing details as well as mass. I'll have it finished for the Loveland Sculpture Invitational Aug. 8-10, so I'd better get back to work. Weather's still great here in NC - heat coming soon, I'm sure.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Best Laid Plans and all that....

So much for the best laid plans! Saturday we got only as far as Charlotte on our way to Malaysia, and today we're back in Salisbury, without having passed Go or Malaysia or Dubai! (No collecting $200 either.) Air traffic control problems in D.C. caused us to miss our international connection. No seats available till 6/8 (which is the day we were leaving Malaysia for Dubai). Couldn't readjust our summer schedule. Trip cancelled. Bummer.

We were so bummed that we went to three (yes, THREE) movies on Sunday and ate out at a Malaysian restaurant in Charlotte. Our favorite Charlotte movie theater, the Manner, was showing Son of Rambow (yes, that's the correct spelling), and The Visitor. Rambow was a charming young-boy-finding-his-creative-self film that touched on bullying, religious narrowness, sibling relationships, isolation and ultimately the meaning of friendship. The Visitor is a moving film about surviving grief, the many sides of immigration and compassion. The acting is superb, the topics handled with balance and attention to avoiding stereotyping. Not to be missed. Third was The Fall, a sumptuously filmed thousand-and-one-nights funny, touching story telling with an absolutely runaway performance by the little girl. Acting all round was excellent but she ran away with the film. I would see it again and again.

Having, by now, recovered from our anticipation of the jet lag not experienced, we are back at work in the studio. We'll be here. Where are you?

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Community and election year - sometimes that seems like an oxymoron. I've been on the phone bank for Obama before this KY primary and I'm both amazed and encouraged by the number of people heartily concerned with the idea of our country as Community.

One woman said to me that she felt confused and apart from her neighbors regarding the election choices, that she wasn't a "political person" and maybe she just shouldn't participate because she didn't watch t.v. and wasn't really up on the issues.

What response is there to her and so many others who feel confused and manipulated by the media? She didn't feel comfortable speaking with her neighbors since people seemed so angry about so much. In the last eight years many of my friends have fallen into this trap - afraid of being labeled unpatriotic - and have kept still on decisions and policies that affect everyone. I was one of those, too. Afraid. That sums up the last eight years. Afraid of (and you can check all that apply): terrorists, Muslims, born-again Christians, radicals (yikes! how many things can we put in this huge category?),global-warming, food additives, the "Godless", the Other, rapists, bedlam, blacks, whites, Mexicans, illegals, guns, hurricanes, the government, Cary, Bush, Clinton(s), Obama, McCain, scientists, sharks, earthquakes....where is the end of the list?

The list is so long and burdensome that there is no space for home, no tiny increment of time for the possibility of Concensus, of movement toward what my grandmother used to call a "meeting of the minds."

Back to the woman from KY - and then, about ten minutes into the conversation, I heard her find Possibility, and the tone in her voice lightened. I could literally hear her walk into that space of What Might We Change if we wern't crouching in fear. That light of Possibility, the belief that you and I may not agree on many, many things but we could be willing to come together to talk, to find common ground encourages me to stand up and be counted.

Don't be afraid to recognize, to face, to admit that the Other (whomever that is for you) wants peace, family, home, compassion and hope - just as you do. Can you make the first step towards the Other, just to listen for the possibility of coming together? Let's, together, step out of the anger and darkness of Fear and into the power and energy of Possibility.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Exciting venture coming up...we're going to Dubai to research galleries and the art haps on our way back from Malaysia! We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


It was just too depressing to report on our 2nd breakdown on the way home, so I didn't. Till now. After getting "fixed" in Tucumcari we were only on the road for a day when we broke down with the SAME problem, in Joplin, MO. It was Friday, so no one to do to work till Monday. But, having gotten on the NPR Car Guys site, Syed found us a great mechanic and we were on our way by Tuesday afternoon last week. Expensive trip, especially since we had to transfer everything from the van and trailer to a U-Haul to get home.

But, we arrived to gorgeous NC weather, a hip new restaurant in town, and a Saturday full of fun local events, including our own Salisbury's Got Talent! Great, great, great to be home! Check out to see what we're up to in our building!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Thought for sure we'd be rolling into NC by now. Wrong. Stuck in Tucumcari, NM with a bad wheel bearing. Parts are coming. From where I don't know, but no where near here. Motel smells like old spaghetti. Yesterday I managed to work a bit on some small gourd boxes, using my Apoxie Sculpt in the car. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is saving me at the moment. Hoping to get out of here today sometime. On the up side, we have managed to avoid any contact with the big storms hitting OK City and regions north, south and east of there.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Home for Geisha Pot

A great ending to this year's show at the Celebration of Fine Art - the collaboration between myself and Joe Woodford, the Geisha pot pictured in previous posts, has found an elegant new home in Scottsdale. It is the first of a body of work to come at next year's show.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Last Day at the Tent

What a great show! Thanks to all of you who helped make this one of my best years! Tomorrow we start packing up, but tonight we just unwound with friends from the tent, swapping stories and eating, eating, eating....tomorrow we return to health food, try to lose the ten pounds I gained in the last six months. We're all tired, but full of ideas for next year - new work, better booth spaces, different living accommodations. Nine months and we'll be back in Scottsdale at the Celebration of Fine Art. We hope you'll be there too!

Meanwhile, keep an eye on my blog for news about our trip back to NC where we'll be making some additions to our building, getting ready for our Open To the Public month of May, with workshops, classes and work in the galleries. Check out the link to EastSquare ArtWorks.

This next week we'll be all about packing up, but if you want to reach me, you can call the number on my home page.

Friday, March 21, 2008


This has been a fantastic show! We are exhausted AND exhilerated! Monday morning we'll all be packing and heading off to our "other" lives in near and far flung places, gearing up for the summer shows, exhibits, working on commissions taken at the show. But SATURDAY AND SUNDAY we'll be present and looking forward to seeing you, so don't miss this weekend, and especially don't miss the art that's at the show....we've all worked throughout the ten weeks and even on this last weekend there are NEW pieces to see. And something should see how Emma has grown!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

WOW! Here's the process...

The next step, after carving, is applying color or glazes...

Coming out of the kiln - red hot! That's Joe with his fire gear on.

Joe lifting the pot out of the kiln. Look at the red hot interior!

3 pics of Joe spraying a chemical solution onto the glazed pot, changing the oatmeal color to a dramatic bronze-gold. The black "splatters" turn deep reds at the pot cools.

The reduction of oxygen process - Joe places 55 gallon drum over the hot pot which has been placed in a sandy pit. Then he packs the bottom with newspapers, which ignite, then shovels sand to shut off all air to the inside of the drum.

Removing the drum - will the result be what we hoped for? And here she comes! Beautiful!

Inspecting the finished Geisha.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Firing Tonight

Tonight's the night! Joe will be firing the Geisha pot....keeping our fingers crossed, but excited to see how it comes out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Two weeks left!

YIKES! Only two weeks left at the Celebration of Fine Art this year. I can't believe how fast the time has gone, and we are all still creating NEW pieces - what an amazing group of artists gather for this show! I was out for a few days with the flu and while I was gone my show neighbor and friend, Ken Newman, sold his beautiful wood carving of a Pheasant. If you can see this before it gets shipped, it will linger in your memory. And painter Linda Koch has new pieces hanging. Linda's work is so beautifully imagined and painted that it brings a whole new expression to the terms organic, abstract and botanical. It is the perfect crossover work for those seeking something less representational and yet organic and natural. She is the best colorist I know! I'll post some pics of all this tonight.

Today, back in good health, I'll be glazing the Geisha pot. Come on in and visit!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Prickly Pear Pics

Finishing touches on a cold day in the tent, and the finished piece - Prickly Pear, carved and painted gourd, approximately 18" diameter, finished in a combination of high gloss (flowers), satin (cactus pads) and matte (shadows).

Collaboration on Geisha Pot

Carving the design in while keeping the rest of the pot from drying out, and Joe pushing areas of the head, hands and obi out for dimension.

Pinning the design onto the wet clay, getting ready to scribe the outlines on.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Geisha Pot

The Woodford-Peckman collaboration continues. The Geisha pot is almost ready for its first (bisque) firing! Thursday's the day. Working in clay is a lot different than carving on gourds....I had to work much faster before the clay got too dry. Joe kept telling me to be careful to spritz the pot so it wouldn't crack. I spritzed away, carving and spritzing, spritzing and carving. YIKES! The clay began to cave in! Joe came over. NO MORE SPRITZING, WHITNEY!

Only three weeks left in the show! It's going quickly and if you haven't stopped by, don't miss it! Come on Thursday and see the firing.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Collaboration at the Celebration

Been down with a cold for a couple of days - back up and at it now. Just in time to start working on a collaborative project with fellow Celebration of Fine Art artist, Joe Woodford Joe is a potter. Dramatic and huge raku pots are his signature. We both have a love of things Oriental, Japanese in particular. So Joe threw a huge vessel and today I'll be working on incising a Geisha to fill the side and wrap around the sides and back. This is a completely new venture for both of us - I've never worked on pottery and Joe has never done figurative, detailed work. I'll get some pics up tonight, so keep watching.

On another subject, problems with my website and presumably this blog as well, have continued over the past couple of weeks. Most of you are finding me ok, but some are still getting only my old site. Once again, we're working on it, and hopefully in the next couple of days it will all be resolved. You can help me by emailing me if you are getting strange results when putting in the address line, or when googling me. My old site has my name in script, while the new site name is in typeface and has a scrolling center image. Thanks for helping!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Going Fast

Wow, half way through the Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale! The weeks are flying by and my inventory is shrinking...which is a really good thing, and thanks to all of you who've added my work to your collections. I'm working on a new piece of grasses and dragonflies but it was cold today so most of the work was about keeping my fingers warm.

The experience of working for 70 days in the company of about a hundred other artists is an amazing thing. My own work has become sculptural as a result of watching Kristine Poulson work on her clays of bronze vessels . We have a common love of botanical themes and if you haven't seen her work you're missing a unique voice in the world of bronze. Here's the funny thing...Kristine started out doing mosaics! But another sculptor, Martha Pettigrew, urged her to try her hand at sculpting. A year later Kris was a full time sculptor and hasn't stopped since.

The exchange of ideas, materials, critiques, and most of all support on those not so great days is what makes this show so exceptional. The parties are pretty good too.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Friends At Work

Michael Jones (left), steel sculptor and so GQ in his work clothes - at work at the Celebration of Fine Art, Scottsdale. Show runs through Mar. 23. Michael can tell you amazing stories about Native American petroglyphs and glass insulators (!)...interesting guy.
Eric Poulson , painter, also at work at the Celebration of Fine Art. Eric works with palette knives only and gets the most amazing effects in his paintings of gorgeous desert scenes, stone buildings, and my personal favorites, great ceramic pots of flowers. His little studies for larger paintings are fun to see grow up into full sized, and sometimes very large paintings.

BlogSpot I Love You

Just changed over to Blogger and it was EZ, even for a dinasaur like myself! Hope this will be easier to respond to....let me know...

The Prickly Pear is finished and on display at the Celebration of Fine Art. Go to my website to see more work and link to the show.

It's actually raining and thundering tonight in Scottsdale....amazing.

Long Weekend

Long weekend
February 18th, 2008
by Whitney
President’s Day weekend and a cold snap didn’t dissuade folks for coming to the show. I had the new piece, Prickly Pear, on display, tho it still needs waxing. It’s a real success as measured by what I had in my head. And…my daughter and two granddaughters came for the weekend. Wonderful break for me on Sat and for Syed today. Back to normal tomorrow and the beginning of a new piece.

Happy Valentine's Day

and by the way…
February 14th, 2008
by Whitney

Prickly Pear continued
February 14th, 2008
by Whitney
Finished the painting on this piece today. Tomorrow I’ll work on the finishes and it should be complete Sat or Sun. The deep relief carving really is accentuated by the painting, and the thin blossoms are delicate and luminescent…so far, so good.


February 13th, 2008
by Whitney
OK, so now I know how to put a pic up, but can’t figure out how to post all your comments (so far, nothing unpublishable…and that would not be a challenge). So, for now I’ll just be telling you about how the Prickly Pear is coming along. I have the color on and it’s looking very rich and dramatic. Tomorrow I’ll finish the deep shadows and post a pic for a look at the process. There is always a time during the creation of each piece that it looks wretched and I wonder if it’s all going to come together. I passed that point today, and boy, does it feel good! This is a majorly sculptural piece - a direction in which I hope to travel. See ya’!

Early Work

Early work
February 10th, 2008
by Whitney
A great time of the day for me is early on these sunny AZ mornings. The light is wonderful for working outside, which is where I need to be to continue carving on the Prickly Pear. I’m excited about how it’s coming along. Come to the Celebration and check out the process before it’s finished…it’s a beautiful day to go to an art show!

February 10th, 2008

It’s only two weeks of figuring out how to put pics on the blog…if you see Kay…tell her it’s a tough road! Anyway, I’m working hard on this gourd…Prickly Pears. Almost done with the carving…hope to have it finished in a week. The surface is built up with Apoxie Sculpt, then carved back into, with further relief carving into the gourd itself. The epoxy dust is very fine, necessitating serious mask wear. Does anyone make one of these masks to fit a woman’s face? I feel like there are gaps all around mine…I can tell by the sinus headaches I get. Maybe the dust in my head is what causes me to take two weeks to figure out loading the pic!

Celebration of Fine Art

From the Celebration of Fine Art
January 31st, 2008
by Whitney
Fantastic first two weeks here at the Celebration os Fine Art in Scottsdale! Thanks to all of you art addicts who continue to make this show my biggest and best. We’re rolling into Super Bowl weekend, so if you’re looking for a diversion from football, come on over and check out some of my new work, and see Syed’s new glass too.
The big Mesquite tree looks great as the backdrop to Michael Jones’ huge steel gate. And have we ever kicked it up a notch at our end of the big tents! Our “group of seven” spent the year planning our new “gallery” look and it’s fabulous. Each artist’s work complements the others - come watch the work being created.

Ilse Noor - Artist

Ilse Noor– Artist
January 14th, 2008
by Whitney
Last year I told you about Ilse Noor, whom I had the great pleasure to meet in Malaysia. This year we visited her again and saw her new work. These exquisite etchings are so refined and reflect such a delicate sensitivity that I was compelled to bring some home to show. I am in the process of having them framed and they will be available for viewing and for sale at East Square Artworks in June. Please visit Ilse’s website,, to see more of her work. If you love etchings and despair of finding superior work, please contact me to see these pieces. You will not be disappointed.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my website, to read about our projects, and for your continued interest in my work.