Sunday, March 30, 2008


Another of my reflection series.  Once again this features 
our koi.  Still experimenting with different filters, blend
modes and sharpening.  I've been trying the low angle
photo suggestion that Laura and Sarah  with 
some success.  I've also been trying different times of
day to get shafts of light illuminating the schooling
koi.  I printed it out at 10.5"x 14" on A3+ glossy paper.
My wife, Karen, thought the image blurry.  I think it is
due to the rippling of the water and kind of like the way
it gets blurry the closer you view it.  Kind of like the way 
a Seurat dissolves into points of color. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Reflection and Koi

I've been continuing with reflections in my digital work.  About 
two weeks ago we had a rain storm that washed the remaining 
ice off our pond.  The big rains also provide a lot of clarity 
to the water.  I was very happy to discover that the koi made 
it through the winter ok.  Now I'm on a mission to get a credible
image of them seeming to swim through the branches of the
reflected trees.  This is my first attempt.  I need to get a more
luminous original.  Easier said than done.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Perfect Day

Katukawa Shusho (d. 1792) Late 1780's. John C. Weber collection.
Photo copyright John Bigelow

Yesterday was one of those perfect days. Karen and I caught an early train to
NYC to meet up with a friend we hadn't seen in a long time. It's sad when 
distance and careers get in the way of connecting with dear friends. We finally
decided we hadn't seen each other in 17 years. We met at the Asia Society.
They are hosting a wonderful exhibit, "The World of Edo Japan in Print and
Painting". While I count Japanese art as one of my main influences, viewing
the exhibit with Patricia Graham was eye opening. Pat is a former professor
of Japanese Art and Culture.  Her latest book, "Faith and Power in Japanese
Buddhist Art" is encyclopedic. We spent an hour or so viewing the exhibit before
lunch at Asia Societies excellent restaurant. Pat was accompanied by Lee Schneller, 
a fascinating woman, who has lived in Japan for over four years.  She is a premier
expert in landscape design based in Maine. Her company has designed more 
than 150 Japanese inspired gardens, using native plants. Watch her website
for the launch of a book on how to create continuous blooms late this year.
During lunch we turned to catching up on years of family, career, travels
 and children; then back for two more hours of viewing our influences til we 
stumbled out, bleary eyed from visual overload. 

We did manage a visit to two galleries owned by friends of Pat's that specialize
in Japanese art.  The Joan B. Mirviss gallery was especially exciting with many
pieces by Sakiyama Takayuki.  The ceramic pieces, some the size of bushel baskets,
are very earthy; evocative of sand dunes, beaches or plowed earth.  In late afternoon 
we departed, tired but inspired.  A day out with an old friend and meeting some
new ones - perfect.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Reflections

I've been intrigued with reflections and shadow.  I started a digital
series on this subject a few weeks ago. Searching with the camera 
for subjects that look at first glance to be straight photography,
but at at closer examination seem a little off. I hate to disclose 
trade secrets, but four copies overlaid and filters in photoshop
produced this image.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Old Reflection

I was out today to photograph some new reflections for a
series of digital art I'm working on but decided to shoot
a few shots of a sculpture I did years ago.  A small piece,
not quite three foot square.  I have it perched on a
protruding piece of ledge in our back yard.  If not for 
the ledge I'm sure it would be sinking to the center of 
the earth due to it's weight.  It consists of two interlocking
welded steel pieces best described as three dimensional
horseshoes.  Six cast aluminum wedges driven in the center
hold the two steel plates and five cast lead plates at each
end.  A piece that is held together by it's own internal tension.
Much like myself.  Call it a self portrait. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Ixchel or as I call her 'my wife Karen' has been a little  distracted
from her current project.  I know this is very strange but Karen
is a true Goddess that indeed weaves the universe of many souls.
While I spend my time making cabinetry and art she spends her
day overseeing a state mental health program; on call 24/7 and 
tireless advocate for rights of the mentally incapable, as well as
 those that work in that capacity. I'm surprised she has any effort
at the end of the day; yet she sits down to the loom after work
and works for an hour or so. I'm sure I'll never know exactly
 what is going into this shadow weave; read hard to do, I think
it's weaving the universe. I thought maybe the blog was about 
me, but tonight it's more about art pain.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I've been working on a new digital series based on reflections.

I've been looking out the kitchen window for years.  Looking at
the pond.  So many reflections, so many sunsets over the 
Connecticut river.

Why have I waited so long to make some reflection art.  It's right 
there in front of me.  

I think we forget to see the beauty in the everyday.  These everydays are printed at
 10.5 x 14 image size.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Wren on Bamboo : 12" x 19"

Having a hard time deciding what to post.  On one hand I've got this
photoshop collage of men in gas masks ascending a Times square 
subway, but it's two years old; on the other I got a wren perched in bamboo.  
Both nice works.  Just hard to believe that they are produced by the same 
artist. I went with the wren.  We have developed a rather large contingent
of wrens that populate our 1.5 acre plot of earth we call our 'own'.
Well, our usually well stocked bird feeder is the answer.  Complicated
little birds that I can observe at length as a day passes.  I'll return
to the photo collage work soon.  My best advisor, my wife Karen, thinks 
that I shouldn't publish older works, unless relevant to a new. Also, check 
out my friend Sarah - she has posted an interpretation of her children and a niece.  
I'm wondering with the Kids project whether we go off our usual art or keep our
artist eye. Are we sentimental?  Can we project personality? Perhaps
show what hasn't fallen far from the tree?

Thursday, March 6, 2008


After Jafabrit's 3/6 post, I thought I would share my version of 
Karen's and my son. I admit I photoshopped the hell out of him. I was 
thinking that it might be a great blog idea to have artists submit their 
versions of their kids.  Comments?

I started with a respectable photo.  It's a few years old and now those dreds
are gone.  Ian is finishing up a productive run at Berklee College of Music.
He's a bass player and a photographer/artist in his own right.  Ian got 
me to start blogging.  Due to his full time work and courses, he posts
infrequently. I did call to get his permission to use him in this post.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hair Brush

I've only been blogging since the first of '08.  I'm new to 
sharing art online.  At first I was very concerned how
other bloggers would find the blog and what their perception
would be.  Jafrabrits latest post made me realize that I am 
putting myself out there and art is just in the genes.  It's 
after 6 and I haven't had a Frida, Vincent, Hockney 
moment all day.  I did get an email from my nephew
concerning sumi-e and want to share. Who knows
what tonight will bring?

Monday, March 3, 2008


Taking a break on this piece.  Well,  it's a study, because I want to add
more elements.  I discovered this rooster on an old Chinese scroll.  I 
love the pose and have been trying to 'copy'  or reinterpret this rooster
in my own style.  I haven't quite thought out what I'm doing with him.
Just thought I'd share a partial composition.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Although my work tends toward digital, my training was in sculpture.
On occasion I return to feature some of these efforts.  Just as I 
return to the brush.  It's an impulse to maintain skills and to 
let each discipline inform the other.  Checks and Balance.

This work, about 2' x 3', features a scroll form with bloodwood
slats framing.  Word heavy, the scroll contains the Buddha's 
fire sermon.  'Everything is burning'.  The frame contains
engraved musings on being a prisoner.  these musings are 
obscured with gold leaf - hard to photo.

I'm still trying to decide whether to include 'hands'.  I constructed
the hands from a wire mesh, covered with paper and painted.
The hands are pierced with pins that have gold leaf attached.
A clawing gesture for the words and against the flimsy string
representing prison bars.