The Art Fly

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

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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”

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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.

“Space” and “Light” relief mosaics received awards in 2017

Posted on by Norine

LIGHT – 25″ x 25″ / bamboo and poplar, cedar, mahogany blocks

Earth’s sunrises and sunsets were the inspiration behind Light. Bamboo, with its pale color, is the light source at the center of this work; sliced into thin strips with a knife and assembled into a pattern. Like a sunrise, the light gradually travels across the forms, as do the eyes of the viewer, in search of light. I made good use of the bandsaw for this work, to cut asymmetrical facets into each of those blocks of poplar, mahogany, and cedar. They are painted and then sanded to catch the light.

LIGHT won the BEST IN SHOW award at “Works in Wood 2017” at New Hope Arts, in New Hope, PA. It is a real honor coming from the juror / woodworkers: Mark Sfirri and John McDevitt.

There are so many artists who work long and hard on their creative path. It is filled with uncertainty, sometimes luck, and a great amount of trust in one’s self. 2017 has turned out to be a wonderful year of recognition for my artistic efforts. The following work was awarded during the SCULPTURE show…

SPACE – 23″ diameter / bamboo and paint

I was thrilled to discover that SPACE received a Jurors’ Recognition Award for Wall Relief in the show SCULPTURE 2017 at New Hope Arts. This work was created from a pole or two of bamboo that I honed into rings, strands, and thin flat curves. The inspiration for this work came during my nighttime walks. I’m a daydreamer, night dreamer and sky-gazer, who enjoys the challenge of turning my abstract thoughts into visual things.

Silverpoint Drawings of Landscapes

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Wanderlust, Walk with Me, and Of Field and Sky are some of my most recent landscape drawings in silverpoint, all are approximately 6 x 8 inches.

I’m honored that two of these images are currently being used as the banner for two Facebook groups: The Society of Metalpoint Artists, and Silverpoint / Metalpoint.

     Wanderlust – silverpoint drawing on prepared fine art paper…


     Walk with Me – silverpoint drawing on prepared fine art paper…


     Of Field and Sky – silverpoint drawing on prepared fine art paper…

My interest in this centuries-old art technique began a few decades ago when I was an assistant in the shop of an artist-woodworker. We experimented with traditional grounds and with many modern ones, and then designed and built the frames for our drawings.

Silverpoint is a drawing that is made with a silver wire on a specially prepared surface. The surface must be slightly abrasive to provide a way for the silver to deposit its shimmering trace. A silverpoint drawing initially appears gray, like pencil, but over time it will acquire the characteristic luster of tarnished silver. (The term Metalpoint encompasses any metal, including silver, that can be used to draw on a coated surface.)

Songs of Nature

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The months since I last posted here have passed quickly by. Time is gathering speed, or so it seems! At some point in life you get to the heart of things. This year was a turning point for me as I said a last goodbye to my beloved mother. I learned to live in the moment with her, as that was truly all that mattered.

We took many walks together over the years, through the parks in Bucks County, PA, picnicking by the water, and gathering seedpods, twisted vines, and other natural objects that I would later include in paintings or silverpoint drawings.

Life seamlessly blends into art in my world. During this time, I created a trio of bamboo relief sculptures that were inspired by the bird feeder activity outside my front window. At the swaying, cockeyed feeder, there is always a lot of movement with finches coming and going, jostling for position at the feeding ports, or waiting in the nearby bushes.

Tree of Life – bamboo relief (39.5 x 11.5 inches)


Songs of Nature – bamboo relief (23.5 x 11.5 inches)


The Meeting Place – bamboo relief (23.5 x 11.5 inches)

Many thanks for your interest in my work. As always, I’m open to your comments and suggestions. I’ll meet you here again in a few weeks.    ~ Norine





2016 American Bamboo Society Arts & Crafts Award!

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I’m so happy to report that I’ve received the 2016 Craft award from the American Bamboo Society!

The American Bamboo Society Arts & Crafts Competition (ABS) is held online every two years to celebrate bamboo in craft, design, fine art, literature, and the performing arts. This year I submitted 14 sculptural bamboo mosaics to the competition, work that I’ve created over the past few years.  In late September, I was thrilled to discover an email informing me that I won the Craft award!

An article about my work, with accompanying photos, was published in the current issue (October) of BAMBOO magazine.  Many thanks to the people at ABS for the opportunity to see and share the excitement of bamboo in all its forms!

Here are a few of the pieces that I submitted to the jury: Vigil, Of Sea and Sky, Pipe Dreams, Offerings. 


Of Sea and Sky,blog



“Twisted” silverpoint drawings

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Here’s a compilation of my Twisted series of silverpoint drawings on a variety of toned grounds. The drawings are heightened with white pastel or white ink. I love how these vines and branches have grown together into beautiful natural sculptures. Next time you’re walking in the woods, look for them. Guaranteed, you’ll start noticing them everywhere!

Silverpoint is a drawing made with a silver stylus on a specially coated ground that is slightly abrasive. Tones are created by much cross-hatching and overlaying of lines. A metal stylus gives a uniform line thickness – unlike graphite pencil, that will give a varying thickness of line when pressure is applied. The lines of a silverpoint drawing will transform over time, to the characteristic sepia luster of tarnished silver.

Silverpoint is a centuries-old drawing medium, which was at its height during the Renaissance era. Please visit for a thorough history and gallery of images, from the past and present.