Artist Statement
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Art Studio

Boxes of Driftwood

Pescadero State Beach


My studio sits under a granddaddy maple in my back yard with views of the surrounding hills. Ken Smith, my husband and a professional photographer who contributes most of the photos to this site, built the studio. The San Rafael weather is mild during most of the year so I can expand my studio space by moving outside to work. This easy access to nature is an important influence in my work.

The studio gets wildly messy since I work with so many different tools and materials on one project. Organizing is an integral part of the art-making process as it clears my head and readies me for the next step. I continually rearrange the shelves and boxes filled with small car parts, beer cans, feathers, buttons, toys, hardware, and more. The driftwood is sorted according to size and shape. Unusual specimens are set aside. Fragile pieces are coated with an epoxy solution in one efficient process in the outdoors. The dark shiny surfaces add unexpected elegance to these ordinary fragments. (Photos below.)


The stretch of driftwood-littered sand at Pescadero invites the spontaneous building of temporary dwellings by exuberant beachcombers. Removing natural beach features is not allowed here so I enjoy the creativity of others and reserve my scavenging for beaches where the gathering of driftwood is encouraged.


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