Monthly Archives: March 2024

Ride A Painted Pony…

Apologies to Blood Sweat and Tears, but I just couldn’t resist. I am continuing with my exploration of animal print patterns with a Paisley Pony. I don’t often create horse sculptures, though I have created several zebras. This equine ommission is on purpose, and for the same reason I don’t create many dog figures. You see, people don’t generally own zebras, so no one is going to inquire if I will do a portrait of theirs.

After sketching this piece in my notebook, however, I just knew I had to bring her to fruition. As with the other sculptures in this series, I have taken the animal’s distinctive coat pattern, and have added an unexpected twist. I started with an appaloosa pattern known as halo, or peacock spots, and transformed it into a swirling paisley.

Horse sculpture, needle felted wool over wire and batting armature- grey appaloosa coat becomes colorful paisley pony. Iridescent glass bead eyes
Paisely Pony (left view)

She is needle felted wool, over a wire and quilt batting armature. Her iridescent glass bead eyes are sewn in place. I created her flowing mane by anchoring long strands of wool on to a felted strand of wool. The mane was then felted at its base into a chanel I created up the back of the neck. Her long tail was made by overlaying long locks up a strand of white yarn.

Wait for Paisley Pony.

You will have to wait until my featured show this July to catch this pony in the gallery. The show goes up on July 23rd, and the opening reception is Friday July 26th from 6-9 pm.

Horse sculpture, needle felted wool over wire and batting armature- grey appaloosa coat becomes colorful paisley pony. Iridescent glass bead eyes
Paisley Pony (right view)

More Minis

I also created a couple of new mini sculptures since my last post too. They are intended for the Mother’s Day Pop-Up on May 11th. Meet Daisy Head, and Mush #2. Mark your calendars, there will be lots of interesting work available!

Bee Now And Mini Later.

This week I turned my attention to some smaller “mini” pieces. I think that I mentioned before that HGA will be having another Pop-Up event in May on the Saturday (11th) before Mother’s Day. Though it would be wonderful for visitors to all want to give their moms one of my larger sculpture creations, I am realistic about Mother’s Day gifts. Most mother’s day gifting is in the form of smaller remembrances, flowers, cards, etc. Much like my one-of-a-kind ornaments for the holidays, I sketched up a few smaller sculpture ideas. So far, I have settled on a few anthropomorphic botanicals. I wanted to strike a balance of sweet for mom, but not too “cutesy.”

Meet the Mini Sculpts

From my work table are some small sculptures that would be at home on a book shelf, or desk corner. Meet mini Mush, Morel, and Thistle. They will make their debut at HGA for the Mother’s Day Pop-up. It may be hard to wait for their arrival, but May will be here before you know it. I will be creating a few more of these in the coming weeks, so check back to see them too.

Speaking of Gallery Debutants

You met Coronation, my queen bee, a couple of weeks ago. She came into the gallery with me today. She seems to already be making friends. I think that she makes a sunny addition to this front pedestal grouping. There is nothing mini about her presence.

Coronation of Queen Bee (anthropomorphic bee sculpture) at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts
Coronation at HGA


This Sunday at 4pm, HGA will be hosting a performance by Mary Rocap, the singer songwriter who served as a muse for our yearly “It’s All About the Story” show. Me and many of my fellow HGA artists will also be in attendance and can guide you through our inspiration for the visual component of the show.

Update: My piece for the “It’s All About The Story” show, Venus Dances For Herself”, has already sold and gone to her new home. Normally, works in a feature show stay with a red dot until the end, but this was a special birthday purchase, so we let the piece go home with the customer. So, just in case you missed her…

Sacred Cow?

A cow patterned coat we all might recognize.

I continued my exploration of altering and reenvisioning animal prints and patterns this past week by considering the cow. The cow print is a friendlier, less threatening, less exotic animal pattern. Cows simultaneously hold wholesome (family farm), villainous (deforestation, climate, health), and even sacred reputations. This variability in how bovines are viewed is intriguing. The term “sacred cow” is equally intriguing. Rising from the Hindu veneration of the animal, it’s usage refers to something unreasonably immune to criticism or opposition. Finding that cows are also held as a symbol of Mother Earth inspired this piece as a “sacred cow” I could agree with.

Gaia - Sacred Cow sculpture, needle felted wool over wire and batting armature with globe patterning
Gaia – Sacred Cow

She is inspired by the ancient Greek godess, Gaia, who is the personification of Earth. I replaced the classic black and white patterning of her hide with the blue and green of the globe. Gaia is my first cow figure sculpture, but she may inspire more.

Gaia is needle felted wool, over a wire and quilt batting armature form, with iridecent glass bead eyes. Her horns are felted wool over a pipe cleaner support. The sculpture’s coat was created “coloring book” style. I marked her globe pattern by hand using outlines printed and cut from a simple world map. I then needle felted the green and blue areas with my colored wool. You supplied positive feedback from previous posts where I included process information and images like those below. I will try to remind myself to keep sharing photos and descriptions like these. It also aids viewers in understanding the creation time involved in each piece.

Though she was quite time consuming, I am happy with the results.

Gaia will most likely make her gallery debut this summer for my feature show at HGA. Stay tuned for further information.