The Art Fly


Posted on by Norine

Labyrinths are ancient patterns that are found throughout the world. They are sometimes described as symbolic pilgrimages, or walking meditations. Try searching: labyrinths near me, and see what comes up. Chances are there is a walkable garden labyrinth not too far away.

These are some of the many labyrinths that I’ve created over the years, ranging from the smallest at 3.5 x 3.5″ (center, bottom row) to the largest Journey at 41 x 41 inches (left, bottom row). I usually attach a “walking stick” that I handcraft from mahogany, cedar, or another wood. I think of these as calming spiritual journeys, to be traveled slowly and with an open heart.

Inside the Labyrinth is the painting at top left, with clear sphere (this is a recurring element in much of my work). Those that appear to be drawn in pencil are actually silverpoint drawings that are made with a rod of silver; all of these will tarnish to a silvery-brown over time. The two circular silverpoint drawings in the middle are Veiled Labyrinth (8.5  inches) and Scribbled Labyrinth (10 inches). The Bamboo Path (16 x 16″) is at top right, and Infinite Labyrinth (20.5 x 20.5 inches) is at bottom right.

That’s it for now ~


Posted on by Norine

Adrift is a wood and bamboo relief mosaic measuring 32 x 18 x 3 inches. The “mast” is bamboo, as are the triangular “sails” scattered throughout the stacked, painted tesserae. The paint-splashed tiles are made of wood; they are stacked onto a layer of textured wooden shapes that are sliding around – and off – the edges of the panel. All pieces in this composition are hand-painted and finished. Here’s a detail photo of Adrift…

“Confetti Wrap”

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Confetti Wrap is the newest of my “gift-wrapped” mosaics.  It is a complex composition using variations of stacked wood tiles: green-stained wood, paint-flecked wood over metal leaf, and tiny accent pieces scattered throughout. The edges of each piece are hand-shaped and painted with gold mica, as is the “ribbon” that wraps across the panel.

This panel measures 17.5 x 17.5 x 2.5 inches. Here are some detail photos of Confetti Wrap…

I welcome any comments or questions about my work or my process.

“Forest Wrap”

Posted on by Norine

Forest Wrap is a recent labor of love. I used the twisted branches found on my nature walks as the “wrap” that embraces the “forest” of walnut, cherry, mahogany, and cedar tesserae. I work intuitively, so the patterns are not pre-planned, I simply allow space for things to unfold naturally.

Each of the pieces in the composition is initially rough-cut on the band saw. This is followed by fine-tuning: beveling the edges of all pieces, fitting, layering, then many hours of sanding and re-sanding between finish coats – as each tile is hand-painted with various layers of paint glazes. Detail photo of Forest Wrap…



Mosaic “Wraps”

Posted on by Norine

I had the idea to create these mosaic “wraps” a few years ago, and had even begun to experiment with cutting “ribbons” from poplar; the ribbons were meant to overlap at a point, and wrap around a deep wood panel.

Well, I finally revisited this idea! I spent much of the Summer working on them and have completed three to date. These are the first two…

Gold Wrap

Gold Wrap – I first applied metal leaf to a black-painted wood panel, and then scratched a pattern into that. From the panel, I created individual wood tiles. Each tile is cut and hand-shaped, then given a finished, painted edge. Because of the free-form ribbon, I decided against the look of a neat flush edge on the overall composition, and instead let each tile overhang. The “ribbon” is cut and hand-shaped, with gold-mica paint on poplar. This measures 17 x 17.5 x 2 inches.

Ruby Wrap – I applied a decorative pattern of dyes and paint to a wood panel, and from this cut many individual tiles to compose this wrap. Each tile has a hand-finished, painted edge. The ribbon is cut and hand-shaped, then gold mica paint is applied in many coats. It measures 17 x 17 x 2 inches.

Next post will be about a larger and more complex Forest Wrap relief mosaic.

“Vespers” receives award for Wall Sculpture at New Hope Arts

Posted on by Norine

Update: I’m so happy to tell you that Vespers was selected for the Wall Sculpture Award in the 2018 Works in Wood exhibition at New Hope Arts. Many thanks to the jurors, Sarah Cutler, Modern Design Specialist at RAGO Arts (Lambertville, NJ), and Adam Capone, master of wood assemblage sculpture.

Vespers measures 46 x 16 inches; materials are painted poplar, bamboo, 23k gold leaf.

“Vespers” – bamboo and wood relief

Posted on by Norine

Vespers is one of my recent bamboo & wood relief works, measuring 46 x 16 inches.

The word vespers calls to my mind whispers. Whispered evening prayers. That is the pure and simple inspiration behind this very vertical work.

The central decorative column of bamboo is leading our eye upward while the blue petals gently slow our hurried pace. The curved pieces of bamboo, covered in 23kt gold leaf, flicker like candle flames in the evening.

Vespers is one of three works that will be included in the Works in Wood 2018 show at New Hope Arts in New Hope, PA beginning November 17 and running until January 6, 2019.

“The Visitor” and “Safe” – silverpoint drawings

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The Visitor silverpoint drawing on prepared panel, 6 x 6 inches.

The Visitor is one of several silverpoint drawings that I’ve done in the last few months.
It is based on a photo I took while meandering through Longwood Gardens and admiring the waterlilies. The quiet presence of the dragonfly going about its day was a special thrill to witness.


Safe – silverpoint drawing on prepared fine paper, 6.5 x 11 inches.

Safe seemed like an appropriate title, as it looked as though the fingers of this seedpod were cradling or protecting something. After spending a sometimes noisy, hectic day of working with wood and bamboo, I turn to the contemplative medium of silverpoint to relax and unwind. 

There’s simply no end to the exquisite designs and sculptures of Mother Nature. Being seduced by her beauty, we artists continually strive to express this profound bond. At least, that’s what it feels like to me.

~ Your questions or comments are always welcome ~

“Mid-Atlantic Invitational Silverpoint Exhibition”

Posted on by Norine

This was such a pleasant surprise! It is uncommon to hear of an art exhibition that is focused on the Renaissance Era fine-line drawing medium of Silverpoint, let alone be asked to participate. The gallery card shown here lists the 12 contemporary artists whose works are currently featured at The Arts Barn in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The show is running until closing hours on Sunday, January 7, 2018.

Silverpoint requires patience of an artist, as tones are created by the gradual build-up and layering of lines with a wire of silver. Over time, the lines will acquire the warm sepia patina that is characteristic of tarnished silver. I’ve enjoyed being a silverpoint artist since the mid-1980s. It’s a meditative medium for quiet explorations. Below are three drawings that I have in this show: Intertwined, Harmony, and Wanderlust

Wanderlust – silverpoint drawing on prepared fine art paper.