Thursday, July 5, 2012


STILL POINT represents a state of homeostasis that is often referred to in the healing arts such as Yoga, Reiki, and Cranial Sacral Therapy. In essence, it describes a condition of spaciousness and timelessness that pulses between mortality and immortality. I see it as a place of surrender and acceptance of the things that are greater than one’s self. It is an elusive state of peace and knowingness that rests in the pause between our inhale and our exhale. 

In this series, I return to the vessel form as humankind’s signifier. Each piece is created using the potter’s wheel 
so as to contain the essence of earth’s rotation, plus the energy of balance At the leather hard stage they are carved and shaped.  Terra sigillata is used for the monochromatic, burnished surface. After firing precious handmade objects are added selectively—sometimes carved from porcelain, polymer clay, or fabricated metal. 

Each piece hopes to connect to a still point, while offering a healing meditation on quiet Intelligent simplicity. —MO

Still Point #1 "Angels Fly"

Still Point #2

Still Point #3

Still Point #4: "I built this house for you."
Still Point #5
Still Point #6

Still Point #7

Still Point #8

Still Point #9

Still Point #10: "Kiss me on the eye."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Jerry McMillan photo-etching, photo source: CSUN Web Site

I started making art seriously—with intention, around my mid to late 20’s when I stumbled into an Intermediate Photography class being taught by Jerry McMillan at Cal State, Northridge. This was pre-Photoshop era. Jerry began his classes with his famous, impassioned spiel about how a true artist must understand Art History and then attempt to move past it—he was all about “breaking the bounds of the medium.” I was working as a production jeweler at the time and saw this as an invitation to combine solid plate, pierced silver with oil painted photograph montages. This was the start of my experimentation with material, process and concept. (A few years later, when I encountered the work of Michael C. McMillen and John Frame, my work began evolving 3-dimensionally.)

Today, as we are enmeshed in the tools of technology, a budding artist/student might consider it tedious to spend long solitary hours tucked away in a cramped, smelly darkroom located in the dungeon basement area of the University. But seeking out some elusive, magical reaction with toxic chemicals and silver—that stained the fingers and burned the skin became my obsession for several years. There was something about that time that set the precedence for my work, and brought me closer to understanding the potential of alchemy and expression inherent in all material and hands-on process. The time I spent studying with Jerry became my springboard into becoming an artist.

In hindsight, I realize it’s not so much innate talent that identifies the fate of an artist—but the inclination and determination to process thoughts and feelings into material and form. At some point we have to acknowledge and honor this inescapable need. Once we begin to learn the skills of how to make art, we have a vocabulary that becomes a gateway to expression. From that point it takes a lot of courage to remain true to our vision and our sense of honesty—sometimes to the detriment of career choices, gallery relationships and security. I recognize these traits in a few of my students and am excited for them as they embark on their own personal journey as budding artists. I have come to know it as an existential discovery, that thrusts beyond the mundane side of responsibility. I cannot imagine a day without making Art. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to spend time learning from Jerry McMillan.

This is the last week to see Jerry McMillan’s retrospective at CSUN Main Gallery curated by Steven Peckman. It is a rare opportunity to see the breadth of his work. The exhibit is beautifully organized and reveals the eloquence of an artist who stayed true to his vision and commitment to breaking the bounds of Photography.

Visit: a video of Jerry McMillian's Retrospective

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
but merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
smaller and dryer than the will

Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still. —T.S. Eliot

Monday, January 23, 2012


Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You're covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side. Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running from silence.

The speachless full moon
comes out now. —Rumi

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


"I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.

The knowing comes: I can open
to another life that's wide and timeless.

So I am sometimes like a tree
rustling over a gravesite
and making real the dream
of the one its living roots

a dream once lost
among sorrows and songs.

—Rilke's Book of Hours I,5