Since the river washed away my old studio site, I have started two fresh ones. The studio situated by the roots of a fantastic cottonwood tree is in the park’s western section and is pictured above. I will show you the second site in a future post. My studios are very informal affairs and have more to do with stockpiling materials for future use. Try as I might, I can’t carry this junk everywhere I go and so I need places to park it. Of course, anybody is free to use whatever I place there and sometimes people take me up on it. This western studio is where I made the figure with the gavel in my last post.
To reach the western studio is a longer walk from the Interpretive Center’s parking lot and receives fewer people. That, however, doesn’t make it immune from the visits from the “Smashers”. Years ago, that was the name my son Michael came up with for the kids that feel compelled to break every glass bottle they find in the park. On more than one occasion, they also destroy my sculptures. Such was the fate of the subject in my last post…the “Smashers” got’em. That figure was so utterly destroyed that all I found were a few scraps of polystyrene and the toy hammer it was carrying. I try not to dwell on it too much. There’s always the next piece to make and the sun is shining today and spring is near and life is good.
The birds are feeling it and soon the migrants will be winging it this way from points deep south. Today I was serenaded by Carolina Wrens and Northern Cardinals. I saw my first Red-winged Blackbird of the new year and a Belted Kingfisher flew by my studio. The trees are beginning to show the buds that will lead to blossoms and leaves. A stray fly lands on my hand. It has been a long winter and spring will be more than welcomed.
I quickly gathered enough sticks and Styrofoam to make three small figures. I imagined that like the birds I had heard, these guys are also singing. I moved them around a bit, but in the end, decided that I liked this one image the best. I left them in the roots of another cottonwood tree and went home. On the way back to my car, I came across a tangle of driftwood and found a child’s broken plastic chair mixed into the lot. The brilliant red color caught my attention and I offer it as a parting gift to you.