I draw constantly; sitting at breakfast, always at night, sometimes in front of the TV or just killing time. When the drawings are not pleasing to me, I don’t worry about it. Sometimes things don’t happen the easy way but I just keep drawing and after all these years eventually something occurs.
I take from my sketchbooks what calls to me and say’s “make me”. The more I visualize the mood or the feeling of a particular piece as well as the process of constructing a new piece the easier it is to build. Sometimes it feels like the pieces build themselves.
My sculpture building process is like planning a trip, first I’m going here then I’m going there. If I get a bit lost I look at the drawing /map and I get back on track. You will find notes to myself in my sketchbooks detailing the process and steps I imagine that will work to make a successful new piece. Sometimes you have to be brave and trust that the effort will be worth it. Building sculptures has now become more and more entertaining for me with each and every piece, and I enjoy it when one piece generates many spin offs. The time and the place I grew up is reflected in my work. Each piece has called to me and jumped off the page of the sketchbook page as if it was real and wanted to be in the world. All my sculpture heroes call out to me and say build this one, or build that one, or this piece needs more work and thought before you can make it. Or maybe draw this one again and see that it has soul. Build it and give it a soul so that it will survive and live beyond me.
2010-2017 Steel, cardboard, fiberglas, paint 39" x 21" x 11" unique
2011 Galvanized steel & cement 35" x 17" x 15" unique
2011 Galvanized steel & cement 26" x 27" x 6" unique
Brother & Sister
2011 Galvanized steel and cement 37" x 27" x 12" unique
Galvanized steel & cement 28" x 21 1/2" x 8" unique
Galvanized steel & concrete 37" x 27" x 10" unique
“A bird’s nest, built to a blue print of inherited instinct, is not only an architectural marvel, but an important part of a species best effort to survive. It is my hope that these images will invite others to share not only my admiration of their artful craftsmanship, but also my passion for, curiosity about, and concern for their builders.”
Sharon Beals, 04/26/2017
Land and Water
When I am wading rivers or off in a remnant of wild with my camera, the rest of the world recedes and time expands. In what I can only call a hard-won state of grace, I work to frame momentary collisions of light and matter into a visual paragraph of reverence. I may know what’s growing there, what is brought down into a stream, what season is told, but more than anything, I want to say look, this is what matters now.
Sharon Beals is the author and photographer of Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them. The Nest Series documents specimens dating from the 1800's to present, from The California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, and the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian. She is currently photographing the nests of extinct and endangered birds.
Tachycineta bicolor Collected from Tatoosh Island, Clallam County, Washington, 1995 The Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates
Catharus dryas harrisoni Collected from Cerro Baul, State of Oaxaca, Mexico, 1968 The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology
Dendroica chrysoparia Kerr, Texas, collected in 1896 American Museum of Natural History
Orthotomus sutorius Collected from various locations in Sri Lanka, dates unverified The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
Acanthis hornemanni Collected from St. Michael, Nome County, Alaska, 1896 The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
Pima County, 1887
Sunol Winter Wild
Jefferson Mack combines traditional blacksmith techniques, perfected over hundreds of years of experimentation and development, with modern forms and methods to produce beautifully distinct pieces of functional art. Each piece is forged at temperatures in excess of 2000˚ and hammered by hand. Pliable when glowing hot, the iron is shaped into graceful, flowing forms. In our world of high technology, there is a distinct place for organic forms and hand-wrought metal design elements.