This sculpture was built for an exhibit I had at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The gallery that my sculpture was going to inhabit had a very high ceiling. Standing in the middle of the large room I was filled with a sense of potential. Sketch book in hand I sat down to respond to the space and the possibilities that I was feeling. In my studio, I had a young maple tree that had grown with a vine wrapped around it, two elegant branches, one with twists and bulges in the upper portion. Now I knew how to use it in a sculpture. The base is two large circles, grounded on the floor, and gently resting between them is an small footlike form out of which spouts the elegant maple branches. I turned them upside down so that they grow thicker as they reach upwards, drawing the eye upwards to the form that leans gently on the wall. The sculpture is almost twice my height. It still feels both grounded and dreamlike to me.

September 13, 2017/No comment

These days I am feeling a sense of urgency. Maybe it is because I am growing older. In any case I bring it up here because it is also associated with my art work. I have always felt an urgency around my work. Interestingly, my studio is both the place where I find a sense of space and unhurried timelessness, and where vulnerability and the question of what is worthwhile emerges. When I near the end of a sculpture it will either surprise and delight me, or seem to be too familiar. I think that right now this is a bit too safe and familiar even though I have never put parts together in this way. I am not quite done, I need to sit with it for a while. The relationship between the parts - a shift in perspective, a slice and enlargement of one part is working for me. It reminds me to stop and pay attention to a detail that I may have overlooked. I also like the awkwardness of parts juxtaposed but I think not awkward enough for the way I am feeling.

September 11, 2017/No comment

I am working on a new sculpture. I wanted an idea that would be open and consist of several simple parts. My drawings were no coming out that way. I kept coming back to a zigzaggy shape. (the first image) I would leave the drawing book in the evening and come back to it in the morning. Something about this form keeps pulling me back to it. I hesitated, it seems to me that the form is not complete, too soft, I try a few other option in the following pages of drawings. But they do not seem to be working. I keep coming back to this image, I decided that I need to try it and see where the idea will take me. I understood that I will need to change direction at some point while building this form. That the drawing in my book will not be the final sculpture. There is a commitment I make to any sculpture. To make this object the very best it can be. If I am not sure were it is going then I am on shaky ground. That is both unsettling and exciting for me. The possibility of discovering something. I concentrated on the bottom of the sculpture and then returned to my drawing book to seek some new options. (last two pages). A straight cut, a raw piece of wood and on top a different vantage point on the original idea. Now there is air, there is something strong and a bit disruptive. I will show you when it is done. I am hopeful.

September 3, 2017/No comment

Each morning I do some relevant business chores, this morning, I was looking at some older images from my sculpture files. I decided to include some of them on my web-site. In the 1990’s I managed to get into my studio regularly enough to make very strong sculptures. At that time, I had five young children and I was running the Jean-Pierre Weill Studios office and making dinner every night. (thanks mom for instilling that value, a well-rounded meal that the whole family sat down together to enjoy). Seems formidable now but I can still remember how refreshed I felt when I could get into my studio. This sculpture came to me whole one night, just before I was closing my eyes to go to sleep. That had never happened before or since.

August 24, 2017/No comment

A few hours of drawing for the next sculpture. I keep returning to empty vessels but I think I want something more expansive. Do I follow the thinking and push the pencil in that direction?

August 23, 2017/No comment

I put myself in this image to show you the scale, which is so important to understand how this sculpture feels. Like fingers interwoven, these two pieces are built separately, when the sculpture is hung on the wall one reenacts the process as each “finger” needs to be placed in the proper space. The two halves hold and balance each other. These twisted vines are wonderful lines that I build right into the wood. Take a look at the relationship created between the bark on the vines and the scraping on the surface paint around the edges of the sculpture. When I look at this image my mind jumps to other related ideas. I have a desire to build larger sculptures because they are more challenging and I get to sink into them for months, get lost in them, pray I will find my way.

August 23, 2017/No comment

I received a branch from my friend AlZaruba. He was about to throw it into his fireplace when he noticed how beautiful it was and thought that I might like it for a sculpture. I was reminded of “Back IV” by Matisse as I drew. Toda means thank you, thank you for the gift the branch, thank you for the idea, thank you for the presence of this sculpture.

August 19, 2017/No comment

Last week I spent hours each day in front of my computer writing and rewriting a way to speak about my art work which is concise and authentic. I find it a grueling process which I need to attack from time to time. I never feel entirely comfortable with the end product. By Friday I had something that felt reasonable. I went into my studio and added purple to the “inside” of this sculpture. I swept the floor of the studio, I do that between sculptures, it is not only necessary so that I don’t trip on wood pieces, it also reflects an internal cleansing and willingness to think about something new, with the piles of sawdust bagged, I become aware of the solid floor under my feet again, I pick up my drawing book and I feel at home. Even though the development of a new sculpture is difficult and challenging, there is reward in the process and in the end product that feels like I am where I belong.

August 12, 2017/No comment

In my relationships I cannot meet the other at every point. That does not mean we do not belong together. Of course there needs to be a meeting place and the parts we bring to the table must complement each other. But I am not going to grow if I only seek out those who think like me. Sometimes I need to turn a piece over to make the whole thing work. It is much more interesting that way.

August 9, 2017/No comment

I am working in Israel. I have been asked if my work has been effected by the location. My sculpture emerges out of my experiences and thoughts. Despite the politics, I am an optimist. I have worked with Palestinians, I have shopped in stores of Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. My experience with people varies not with their nationality but with who they are as individuals. I believe that the more we interact respectfully the more likely we are to find peaceful ways to live together. In this sculpture, I built a variation on the infinity symbol. One inside the other. On the left the unpainted wood embraces the painted wood. On the right, it is reversed. We hold each other and move endlessly together.

August 6, 2017/No comment