Mar 242013


“Snow Squall”, like all of my painting, just sort of emerged from the canvas.  When I paint I don’t try to create a specific item or scene.  The process of painting itself produces the subject matter.  What I am beginning to realize more and more, however, is that I am for the most part a landscape artist.  Regardless whether the final product is abstract or representational, the environment and many of its elements are present. Sometimes it’s the expanse of the sky – the light of the sun diffused by the clouds or the colors of the impending storm.  Other times the composition emphasizes the endless variety of terrain and its relationship with the atmosphere. “Snow Squall” and others of my recent works reflect brief glimpses of my perspective of the world around us.

 Posted by at 2:15 pm
Sep 202011

Rick Pitt,, is a featured artisan on  Rick continues to produce very noteworthy pieces.  We asked if he would update us on any new projects and he sent this along.  We wanted to share his talents.

This church lectern was inspired by quilted wall-hangings that were made by members of the Unitarian congregation that hang in our sanctuary with beautiful Madrona trees native here on Whidbey Island.  The graceful lines of the red Padauk sweeping upward are reminiscent of the red bark of Madrona trees.

The curly maple in the body of the podium matches other woodwork in the building.  Shelves and a drawer complete the piece from the back.


 Posted by at 7:15 am
Jun 152011

Is there a place where nothing is seen,

where nothing inspires,

where only the passing of time marks the place?


I take that question with me when I go into the fields and woods of the flatlands and the forests of the Northwoods.  There must be something of memories to be found.  The reason for going is to discover with my senses, the loamy, decaying pungent smells, the touching of the seasons, a visual game of hide and seek.

Anticipated but hidden,

giving an awareness for why.

 I know to look but I’m reminded by the finding that there is more yet to be found.  I know that when I’m with nature I will succumb, lulled to drift through my emotions, wondering where I will be when awakened.

Of all that is expected,

nothing but this

to remind

an awakening.

 Posted by at 5:24 pm
Mar 062011

For me the creative process is either directed by specific imagery or suggested by the media itself – sort of a subconscious to conscious ordering.  The natural environment figures into much of my work.  You can see a lot of my boyhood home in South Dakota in my abstract landscapes.  I also draw inspiration from my current location in a semi-rural part of the Midwest.  Each painting begins as a physical manipulation of the media.  But just as changes in nature alter our surroundings, the actual process of painting guides the evolution of my work.  As the painting develops I fine tune the composition.  The initial image becomes less important and features may appear that are not planned.  Some of the unplanned features enhance the composition and some do not.  As the artist I must pay attention and only keep those that contribute to my vision of the final product.

 Posted by at 7:31 am
Feb 122011

Project Overview

Cast glass and stainless steel raised eating counter

Mill Street Fabricators has recently completed a project incorporating stainless steel and glass.  Mill Street partnered with Crawford Company’s Custom Welded Fabrication Division and Meltdown Glass to deliver the project.  The piece, a raised glass eating counter on a kitchen island, was designed by Mill Street in collaboration with the General Contractor and home owner. 

The design for the glass and bracketing first was submitted to Crawford Company to cut a template for the glass and an etched outline for the bracketing.  The template was used by Crawford to fabricate the stainless steel bracketing and then shipped to Meltdown Glass to be used as a pattern for the cast glass.  The cast glass incorporated flat areas in order to accept the bracketing in the highly patterned piece.

Once the stainless steel bracketing was completed it was sent out to have a glass bead blast finish applied and then shipped to the contractor.  Meltdown Glass shipped their finished work just in time for installation.

The home owner and contractor have praised the artistic approach to providing a unique and functional element to the new kitchen.

Bracketing Detail

Close view of Stainless Steel support bracket with satin, glass bead blast finish.

The stainless steel with a glass bead blast finish bracket was shipped and installed before the Granite Counter was set.  The design consideration was to keep the counter top free from glass supports and for the bracketing to be minimally intrusive to the glass.


Closer View of Glass and Pattern

Closer view of cast glass counter with hand laid pattern and supported by Stainless Steel bracket with satin, glass bead blast finish.

The glass pattern design and blank outs for the bracket were laid by hand in the kiln mould before firing.  The etched, laser cut template supplied by Crawford to Meltdown Glass allowed for the phasing of the elements to be delivered in time to be incorporated into the project as progress dictated.  The bracketing had an early delivery date and the glass was shipped to the job site near completion.

 Posted by at 1:04 pm
Dec 262010

Once the seed drops…

In urban landscapes the Burning Bush (Euonymous alatus) has been popular for its bright red color in the fall.  Favored in the landscape, it is cursed in the wild places.  The invasive nature of Burning Bush has become a threat, especially to urban wild places.

Barb, Lorene and I played in Black Hawk State Park, growing up in Rock Island, Illinois.  I’ve played in the park since the ‘50s and still wander the trails through all of the seasons.

 This urban forest, bordered by the Rock River and surrounded by urban areas contains many mature native hardwoods and a forest understory rich with native wildflowers in the spring, colors and textures of deep shade in the summer, brilliant fall foliage and the quite solitude of winter. 

Black Hawk is very much as it was when it was home to the Sauk and Fox, mostly, except for an ever increasing threat of what has become invasive, the Burning Bush, brought to the park from the urban landscape surrounding it.  Volunteers routinely gather in the park to remove non native, invasive species in an attempt to keep this wild place wild. 

Mill Street Galleries,, and its partners all share a connection to nature.  Much of what comes to us as inspiration comes to us from nature.  For us, our earliest memories of wild nature comes from Black Hawk Park and to those who continue to preserve those memories we have chosen the park as a place we support and have donated to help fund the activities of the volunteers.

If you love wild places, if they are special to you, please consider supporting them.  Volunteer, donate, share your favorite places with others and share them here on The Front Porch.

Thank You, Barb, Lorene and Bob

 Posted by at 12:44 pm