Blog: a quick proposal

As an environmental artist, I have to create a lot of proposals, trying to explain to people what I have in mind to do on the site we want to work on. I’ve posted before about building models for this, but last week I found an even easier way to “envision” a sculpture.

Recently our local performing arts center invited artists and crafters to re-purpose wood from two trees near the center badly damaged by one of our winter wind storms. I thought it was right up my alley: tree branches are a major part of my artistic vocabulary. For the proposal we were requested to send in, we were invited on a field trip to the city’s tree dump. While other artists sort of stood around, nudged tree trunks with their feet, hummed and tugged at thick bark, I took photos. The branch and log pile looked like this:

I printed out some of the photos as black and white photocopies and looked at promising branches. I cut them out of the photocopies, and then started to play with them:

heavy branches easily converted to photo scraps to play with

In amazingly short time, they arranged themselves into a “Garden Guardian”, which I re-photographed and photo shopped, adding a text for the proposal. Finished, with just a few scissor slashes,  so all I had to do was fill out the application form. Does anyone know why people send you PDF forms to “fill out” when you can’t get into them? Or does anyone know how to fill out a PDF digitally? Please email any instructions or suggestions to me at


paper "branches" assemble themselves into "Garden Guardian" sculpture

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