For the past year I have studied the ancient medium of Silverpoint. Slender wires most often made from sterling silver, 24k gold or other available metals are my drawing implement. It's old and ancient, the stuff of da Vinci and Dürer and medieval scribes. Challenging and unforgiving without the ability to erase or smudge like graphite, my marks must be laid down with solid intention. And yet within the hardness of metal is a sensual softness, a subtlety that gently coaxes the 800 year old technique into view with an alchemic presence like no other. I enjoy bringing my hand from every past image to the current one I create.
The Past informs the Present. The intriguing medium of metalpoint is enjoying a new surge in the 21st century.
Venus after Antonio Canova
Caught from the Cornfield
Selected Kintsugi Work 2014-2015
It is the Divine in the human spirit that makes us more beautiful after we're broken. Our bodies are called out for suffering, surgeries, with broken parts, diseased parts, lost parts. We lose our memories, have our hearts broken, our spirits become embattled. We mirror the cycle of nature, springing forth in birth, the innocence of youth, the strength and glories of summer. We begin to stoop and stiffen as we approach the call of our autumnal years and finally we become as fragile as the withered winter leaf. These are our challenges, yet we continue to rise to meet them. We rise stronger and with dignity. We rise with grace and integrity. The human spirit will emerge enlightened from its brokenness; rising mended, more complete in its facets, and more beautiful for its journey.
"In the end my work isn't about beauty, it's about brokeness, and the beauty that comes from it."
-Patrice Herbst on Kintsugi Artwork - 2015
Selected Kintsugi Leaf Work 2011-2013
Kintsugi: The Process
There is a story said to have originated in the 15th century when a Japanese shogun broke a favorite tea bowl and sent it back to China to be fixed. But the repair job, which was done with metal staples (being the standard for repair at that time), detracted from the beauty of the bowl, so the shogun enlisted Japanese craftsmen to come up with a more aesthetically pleasing solution. Kintsugi, which means "golden joinery," was born. Kintsugi tea bowls are highly valuable, with a large collection in the Freer and Sackler Gallery at The Smithsonian Museum of Asian Art.
Having repaired my own broken teaware in this manner I began to think about how I could incorporate Kintsugi in my work. There was only one way really, the finished artwork had to be broken to be repaired. So as not to try to influence the outcome of the breaks, the pieces are broken by someone other than myself in an almost spiritualistic ritual. I am only "Observer," then, and it becomes the ultimate letting go.
The pieces are then reassembled and adhered to prepared panels, often enhanced with their own natural elements. The final step is the application of the detailed process of Kintsugi, a new piece is completed and brought forth into the world.
In the end, my work isn't about beauty, it's about brokenness, and the beauty that comes from it.
Photography - The Beauty of Color
Imagine our typical view of the world only visible in shades of gray. Then, suddenly one fresh Spring morning, one awakens to see everything in resplendent color! How differently would we see and appreciate things from that moment on?
That thought often propels me to click the shutter button, or not. I approach color photography more with a painters’ perspective, capturing that which captures my heart. Henri Cartier-Bresson once said:
“It's an illusion that photos are made with the camera....they are made with the eye, heart and head.”
From the ‘stop the car now’ moments that would never draw the attention of most people, to suddenly laying down on the ground when hiking to get just the right viewpoint, it is often said photographers and artists see the world differently. We study emotions and the faces they live within. We might notice patterns and lines, both literally and abstractly, or see the negative of a space before we see the positive. We see in color and black and white, and shades of gray in every color.
While my heart beats lovingly in the world of black, white, gray and sepia, I could never begin to take the beautiful world of color for granted, and the gifts it continues to bestow.
Half Dome - Yosemite
Autumn in the Tetons
Pedernal from a Distance
Virgin Gorda Sunset
Floating in Layers
Full Moon in June
Last Covered Bridge
Cream City Brick with Color
The Golden Era
In Red Glass
Fuzzy Red Head
Pureness of White
Dancer with Rose
Tea with Checkers
Brass & Flow Blue
Roof Tile Hues
Red Head with Flower
Photography - My Sepia Heart
Classical black and white, sepia tone, cyanotype, selenium and all that ranges in-between. Where the medium of photography itself was history in the making, it continues to secure history every day since. How can we think of any photo and not recognize it as historical, for it captures that one moment at that one place in time that will not be repeated.
While I enjoy color photography, I especially love the minimalistic bones of toned photos. Just as there are some color photos that would be a loss in black and white, in my eyes there are certain photos that require the simplicity of classical sepia tones or black and white. I hope you enjoy this selection as much as I do.
I think they would have embraced it, and their gifted eyes would have continued to bring exciting creativity to the world of photography.
Lighting the Way
Ode to Ansel
Wyeth On My Mind
Ring of Leaves
The Light Beyond
Queen Anns' Lace
The Black of Hills
White Barn Silhouette
All Is Well
Art Deco Style
350 Steps to Heaven
Photography - Roads I've Traveled
Not as graceful as I’d like to be, I guess I’ve always been a little unsure of my step and, having tripped on uneven sidewalks once too often I spent a lot of time looking down for sure footing. And that’s when I realized the amazing paths we traverse and began to photograph them!
My travels have taken me down some incredble roads, some major thoroughfares and some tiny barely-there towns, from coast-to-coast USA to the time-worn cobblestones of Spain and forest floors of Canada.
I see patterns and shapes that astonish me: mountain ranges, animals, and beautiful abstract art within these frames. History is often embedded among the cracks, textures and pebbles that we tread daily with barely a glance, until we really stop and notice what lies beneath. That's what I hope for the viewer.
This gallery is ongoing. It continues to evolve just as I do.
This gallery is also my very favorite.
This gallery is personal.
Selected Oil Paintings 2003-2010
art: the study and creation of beauty.
I have great love for art, nearly all art, a seemingly restless spirit that from time to time nurtures itself by learning every facet available about a given medium. Thus, over the 40-plus years I have been formally creating, I have explored, in depth, many beautiful mediums: watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, colored pencil, charcoal, graphite, conte, mixed media, silverpoint to name a few. I have studied the elegance of form and the magic luminescence of light, receding, advancing, reflecting, slivers of light.... the mystery of shadows, the drama of chiaroscuro and the tragic beauty of Kintsugi. The good fortune has been mine to work successfully in many genres including landscapes, florals, portraiture, still life and abstraction. It’s a fantastically creative life.
One Majestic Onion
Lantern with Peaches
Copper Pot with Tomatoes
Copper Vase with Silk
Black & White
Selected Pastels 1997-2003
“Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
Flowers became my preferred subject for pastels, they seemed to compliment each other, I saw them as having similar characteristics. Both were velvet soft and could be as vibrant or subtle as a changing sunset. Both responded to a gentle hand, arranging flowers in a quiet bouquet, smearing and blending the silky dust to seamlessly drift from hue to hue. These are large pieces, because like Ms. O’Keeffe, it seemed in this internet-news-social media-work busy world, they needed to be larger than life. I felt then people might take time to stop and smell the roses.