Fallen Suns

Golden orbs, fallen suns, dead sons… war settles disputes by killing.


Photo snapped by cell phone fails to show details.

This was my last completed acrylic painting, pure emotion on canvas board, raw with anquish over my nephew being sent to war.  The year was… oh, I can’t look to see as it is not here… it hangs at Metamorphosis. 

I wrung myself out painting, pouring everything out: grief for the fallen, my fears for our nation’s children and not just my nephew. 

Okay, so I have a hard time picturing the little kids who played tag in my yard, or took my daughter to a dance, as all grown up Army and Navy men, or her half-brother as a big bad Marine.  In my memories, he is still a little boy with a goofy ass grin trying to catch a plastic fish with a toy pole in a kiddie swimming pool.  Every time I turned around, someone else’s child was being sent to Iraq and for what?  Another Vietnam? 

In my anger over war, I stirred up a liquid mix to dry in the color of dried blood and scratched in words, the truth of it all:  war settles disputes by killing. 

I hated it, could not stand to look at it, and turned it to the wall.  Time passed.  I finally framed it and hung it where I could forget about it, as I knew what was on the other side every time I saw it leaning.  Yet, at the same time, I could not toss it out with the trash. 

Then one day, while I was talking on the phone, I glanced at it and whoa… what the hell did I paint? 

It was like seeing it for the first time… with my emotions not so raw.  I saw my nephews face, many faces and other things… started showing it to people who came by and different people saw different things (you really have to look at it in person).  My father can see representations from every war our country has ever fought, points out a revolutionary man sitting at a desk, boys in a fox hole.  He sees things that I don’t see, or didn’t until he showed me. 

It sickens some people. Some vets are drawn to it.  People love it or hate it, with no in-between.

It was my last acrylic painting as I could not paint any more.  I tried, started things that I couldn’t finish, and time dried paints up in the tubes.  My favorite brand of paints, Winsor & Newton’s Finity, was discontinued when they introduced a new line.  I found other means to express myself creatively, took up colored pencils, mosaics, leather tooling, whatever.  I played with watercolours and gouche, but that is on paper, so not the same.

The desire to paint again started coming back ye around the time Fallen Suns was hung on display at Metamorphosis.  Maybe I had to show it?   Maybe I need to sell it, to let it go?  A cool grand was suggested as the price, but I would consider a decent offer.  How much is a set of Winsor & Newton’s new line of paints, an easel, some canvas?  If I could get enough to set myself up with paints again, oh yeah… I would let it go. 

I know I never painted anything like that before and will never be able to paint anything like that again.  I don’t want to ever feel those same raw emotions again. 

If you want to see this painting in person, wander into Metamorphosis at 2 State St, Struthers, Ohio.  Their posted open to the public hours are:  Monday 8 to 10 pm (poetry night),  Thursdays 6:45-8:30 pm and Saturdays 6:30-10 pm (open studio nights).  Artist members have 24 hr access to the shared studio space so there are people there at other times, a private viewing could be arranged if those hours are not good for you. 

Yes, I plug Meta, I plug my art… but I do not sell online.  I just want people to see it.

Thanks for viewing my art!


Cups & Meta


Wrapping up unfinished art projects here, including this colored pencil and watercolor piece called “Cups” shown above (cell phone photo snapped before glass was added to the re-claimed frame).  It is 8×16 inches or roughly 9×17 framed, if you are in need of long skinny artwork.  Available for view or sale at Metamorphosis in Struthers, Ohio.


This mosaic tile is also at Metamorphosis now.  Did you see it on display at the YSU Festival of the Arts?  Tiles for the public art project were laid out like quilt squares near the rock.  Here is a photo snapped when I was there. 


I was surprised by the lack of entries this year, not as many as in years before.  I hope more people participate next year as it is fun and I always like to see what others do with the object provided.  Maybe some people shy away as they think they have to be an “Artist” with a capital A to play.  I happen to be an artist of the camp of the little a, who laughs at, snoody attitudes.  Anyone can make art. 

Yes, the copper/steel floral piece called “Art Grows in Youngstown” was in the back row (the only 3D scupture/assemblage there) but I accidentally snapped the photo too low, cut the height off.  That piece is also at Metamorphosis, look for it in the window if you happen to drive by.  Or better yet, stop and wander in during open studio hours.

Metamorphosis is an artist co-op with shared studio space located in a store front in downtown Struthers, but it is not like your average art gallery type place.  It is pretty laid back.  Anyone can wander in during open studio hours on Thursday and Saturday nights to check out the art on display, watch artists at work, or kick back and enjoy coffee and conversation.  Feel free to bring your own art supplies and play in a creative environment, check place out and talk to Becky, if interested in becoming a member.  Meta needs more artist members (and/or art sales) to be self-sufficient.  I plug Meta because I am a member and I want to see it keep going.  This is Becky’s dream, Meta has a purpose, but I will let Becky tell you about that… I believe in her dream.

Monday nights at Meta are “open mic” poetry nights, which is fun and also open to the public.  The crowd is friendly and not too big, so it is a great practice place if you want to get comfy reading your poetry out loud.  I read my first poem there last Monday.  It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

Oh well… thanks for viewing my art.  If you are local to the Mahoning Valley, I hope you come to Meta and see it in person.

Making Posies

I can’t leave the flowers alone.

Okay, the only thing I did “at home” was replace the couple wraps of thin wire holding the posies stems together with a tight wrap of heavier wire. Everything else (except soldering under the seed beads) was done last night while hanging out on the wide sidewalk in front of Metamorphosis Gallery in downtown Struthers.

I hope it is okay to go UP because this “floral arrangement” is going on a tile provided by Art Youngstown, Inc. for the public art project to be displayed at the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts in mid-July.

I picked up two tiles yesterday (the other one will be a flat mosaic using the copper elements shown last post), then raided my studio for supplies with ideas churning while watching the clock so I could hop the next bus out of here to Metamorphosis.

I am a member now, with full access to the shared studio space 24/7. The light there is oh, so much better than this “cave” called home. Sometimes, we drag tables, easels, whatever outside the storefront and work on the sidewalk. It is a busy street corner, a main intersection near three popular dining establishments, so it is like making art in public. People stop by to talk, check out the art, wave when they drive by… it’s all cool.

Found objects, re-purposed objects, recycled… (forget the exact wording) is “strongly encouraged” so my flowers are made out of old bulb end copper plumbing tube things with floral petal looking lamp parts, copper wire in various guages, leftover beads and Swarvoski crystals.

I told a friend that I would finish it at Metamorphosis as she wants to see how I do it, so I’m going to pack it up with whatever tools & supplies might be needed for what comes next, then finish it there.