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“Sometimes we trudge.” That’s a saying from the world of recovery, but I think all of us can relate. Some days we feel inspired and on top of the world, and some days we just put one foot ahead of the other and keep going.

The most successful creative people trudge more than you might think.

They work, feeling inspired or not. And on a good day, magic happens. Inspiration comes, and a rich vein of creative gold opens up and takes them to unexpected places as they mine it for all they can.

If they wait for magic before they sit down to work, they probably won’t create a lot.

The past few weeks I have trudged and I have been inspired. In the process, I created some larger pieces for studio display at the June 7 Tarantula event at Sixstar Art Studios. I also completed a commissioned piece that was a lot of fun and of which I’m proud.

My work rhythm has settled into a new groove, and it’s a joy working around talented and generous people like the other five artists at Sixstar. Their artistic work continues to inspire me, and there is a palpable creative flow in the space. I could not imagine a more supportive group or a better place to be.


I have thousands of digital pictures, many of them taken in recent years with an eye to using them in collage art one day. But the older ones I just took because they were interesting, or they captured a moment. Many are of the sky, or sky and water; and many I took while flying.

I started going through my portfolio of sky photos recently, and started printing those that caught my eye again. Before long I had a stack of prints, mostly from earlier years.

Although I intended to use them to create a background pattern, that would be overlaid with other material, the piece felt done when I completed what was to have been the background.

This was my second collage on wood panel, a large one at 30” x 40”. These strips of sky, taken from the ground and the air, at day and night, in clear skies and foul, some at night with lightning flashing, each tell a story. And together i hope they are a symphony of mood and light, of juxtaposition and reflection.

Skyscape, 30 in x 40 in collage on wood panel, May 2024. $1600

Spring Showers

Spring Showers is another large collage, also 30” x 40” with mat and framing. I used photos shot through water on glass, creating blurry backgrounds behind prominent drops of water. And the prints are torn, adding additional lines and texture.

I think the effect is visually powerful.  But rain on windows has always fascinated me, and not just visually.

I love the sound as it hits the glass as much as the distortions as I look through raindrops to the outside world.  I love the feeling of being warm and secure inside. And I am taken back to a memory of childhood, lying at the front screen door, during spring and summer showers, watching and listening and smelling the fresh rain.

Spring Showers, 30 in x 40 in collage on mat, May 2024. $1400

The Perfect Piano

I had a lot of fun creating this piece on commission. It features photos of an 1898 Steinway Model B piano, a model still being made today. This model was often called “the perfect piano” as it is not as large as a concert grand, but at almost 7’ long it is large enough to have a full range of tonal color and dynamic response. A baby grand it is not!

This particular piano, one of two I used in another piece a year ago, was sold in 1898 to a Baltimore family. Steinway repaired the piano in the 1930s, and at some point it was donated to the Jewish Community Center in Baltimore. In recent years David Hughes of Baltimore, a renowned piano technician and Steinway restorer, rebuilt the piano again. It is a glorious instrument, an absolute joy to play. And it makes great visual material for collage.

My friend Ann Potter commissioned this piece for her nephew and his husband, Austin and Philip Gustin-Helms, who have already hung it over their own piano in their Rhode Island home. Thanks guys, you made my day!

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The Perfect Piano, 24 in x 26 in collage on mat, May 2024