What IZ Work:  The Art of Every Day 

I find that this is not the easiest experience to share, but it's probably one of the things I am most consistently passionate about sharing.  My art, whether it's painting, music, performance, furniture or re-shaping houses is really about allowing myself to express a kind of mythical appreciation for everyday experience.  For "non-artists" I often get feedback that they "don't have a creative bone" in their body, or that they "can't even draw a stick figure."  I know neither of these things can be true (also, who really wants to draw a stick figure anyway?).  The reason I know it's not true is that I see very clearly how these people are bountiful in their creations, making families, communities, building sheds, making gardens, cooking, trucking across the country and seeing the giant that is the earth.... and so on. Perhaps what they are saying, is that don't feel "alive" to what is gong on in their creations.  Perhaps that's a matter of paying attention.  And then being playful with what is noticed.  And being generous with ourselves, finding ourselves fascinating and even (gasp) beautiful.

My "every day work" often is in the capacity of a restoration carpenter.  Much of the materials for my sculptural wall pieces come out of the refuse piles at jobsites (we're quite proud of being able to do without a dumpster usually, recycling, re-using, collecting, and passing on what we can), or from the side of the road on my way there.  Throughout my day the art light will come on in unexpected ways.  I feel poetry and enjoyments and visions creep into my experiences.  (Well, not every day, but a LOT of days!)  Some days, it's falling through a floor and landing on my back and then making a song out of that months later. I'll have to share that song some time with you.

photos by Andy Gustine


Sometimes, while I am reconstructing a 200 year old window, amidst the sawdust, plaster, and strange bent nails I find myself connected to the imagined history of a place, to the people and forces that went there. 

The materials themselves have voices.  They feel.

 And nature is everywhere.  

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I feel the slow power of water that has leaked away the substance of a wall.

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Or I will sudenly feel that silky warmth of realizing what a magical place I once again find myself in.

Or I find myself really seeing a piece of hardware for the first tme.


Or see the light coming through the rafters of a dilapidated tractor shed casting abstract shadows.

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Or feeling the erosion of our grinders and sandpaper, wearing wood into becoming like river stone.

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This week I am doing a show with my long time friend and restoration partner, Andy Gustine.  I am showing my wall pieces, made of found materials, he is showing his photographs of found objects and atmospheres as we work.  There's an invitation for the show at the bottom.  Come participate in the art of gathering.

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photos by Andy Gustine

see native-woods.com 

for more examples of making beauty in every day places

Her's the show this weekend.

Michael Biddison     woodsunarts@mac.com       610-247-8718