Hospitality natural materials project in New York

Here is the first stick art panel of a 10 panel series for a Catskills restaurant called Nest. Each project has a creative feeling and direction of it’s own. Even if I have ideas going in they will all be unique and spontaneous. Grateful to have this amazing space to create my art. Hospitality projects give me a bigger canvas for my art and lighting. Look forward to more!

Stick art studio

Here is my fortuitous chicken coop studio. It is out in the rolling hills above the Yuba River in Grass Valley. Cows are my only neighbors. Plenty of space to store sticks and whatever else to do with my work with natural materials. I took my mother in law and wife there yesterday and realized that it is so big I had only walked half way down the length of it. When I did I said this place is huge!! I love the ability to go there and focus on what I have to do with no distractions. Creativity is free to wander around and find an avenue to dig into. I am spreading outside to cure my sticks and get them ready for a big hospitality project in the Catskills, for a restaurant wall. Also finishing a few lighting projects like at Solage which are hanging in there. For a Martis Camp project for Zirbel architecture and Natalie Zirbel. Super fun! Maybe I will branch out and incorporate metal from the old rustic metal left in there by the previous renter/architect. Who knows!

Natural materials art, hospitality stick art project

Top Interior Designer Jamie Bush

Had a chance recently do do a natural materials wall sculpture for well known interior designer Jamie Bush for a Tahoe project in Martis Camp. Many sketches and ideas were passed back and forth. And as I live 1 hour from Tahoe I thought this is perfect! Turns out the client was very exacting and nervous about the organic nature of using natural materials and decided not to go ahead.

I was feeling like I was cracking the big time! Tried not to get too excited but… too late for that. Disappointment ensued! There may be another chance in the future for this kind of collaboration with a well known designer. I do know one thing. I have no control of the outcome on weather a project goes forward or who finds me. This could maybe be serendipity or happenstance or even luck?

I will be ready the next time!

Stick art art based on an inspiration from another artist

I received an e mail yesterday from a large art advisory firm Kalisher Art. They are asking me to do a big installation of spheres based on an inspiration of a Polish artist who did a floating bubble grouping. This picture is so inspiring! He really captured a soft, sexy sensual feeling to the shapes he suspended. This would be in a  ceiling of a residential project in Florida.

I create these stick art sphere lights  so I can do them without the light fixture portion. I can make the spheres slightly out of round and irregular.  I am figuring 30 spheres suspended in a 28 foot space. What an opportunity!


Service as a transcendental act and what is Sacred Art

Service as a transcendental act and what is Sacred Art

Another example of moving beyond a rock pile to create a garden!

We do a lot of service. I live on a spiritual Sanctuary which is 88 acres and there is a lot to do. I have been developing and expanding our landscaping as well as enlarging a holy site we have here. It is the site where we celebrate Guru Purnima which is a celebration of Gurus all over the world including our own.

The consideration of what is Service and also what is Sacred Art is fresh on my mind. Many times I am doing service as work. I am starting to sniff a difference of what is and what isn’t. In my experience service is doing a project or task as something that benefits multiple people. It is done with happiness and self transcendence. Meaning you have to go beyond your small self and limitations to accomplish it. It may be physical or mental ideas or places where we tend to stop short. Because of fear of failing the ideas and inspiration get blocked and nothing moves.  I now want to add sculptures that inspire people and help them feels something of Spirit or God which might be called real art. I am still figuring this out and will report back on what I come up with as I feel into it.

This so much more fun than doing something where I want or need praise. Its like the self has to get out of the way to let something greater come to the fore. To be continued!

Here is a place where we had to move lots of dirt and stones to create this bed on the right. Still in process!



How David got his start as a natural materials / stick artist

How David got his start as a natural materials/ stick artist

David Ward’s original career was as a landscape contractor. While trimming fruit trees he would end up with a truck load of fresh, perfectly straight suckers or shoots to find a use for. He loved to try to use the long whips especially Plum shoots to make wall art. He would stay up late at night experimenting in making interesting shapes of stick art in his living room. After he had failed for many nights he was finally able to put 4 or 5 separate stick art pieces together over a months time.

Plum branch stick artwork by David Ward

Natural materials stick artwork in a Lake Tahoe Home by David Ward

Asking for money for them was another thing

David had seen some of the work of artist Charles Arnoldi and knowing he had worked with Michael Taylor on his interiors gave David a place that might be interested in what he had made. He was inspired by Charles stick artwork and Michael Taylor is a design legend. This gave David a way into how he would sell them and a place that he felt he was familiar with.


David happened to live fairly close to the San Francisco Michael Taylor Design headquarters in Mill Valley. He decided to cold call them and see what happened. Luckily enough he was able to talk to the president of the company Paul Weaver directly. Paul told him to bring his stick art pieces to San Francisco and he would look at them.

David set his completed art pieces up in the MT warehouse and Paul came in and decided to buy them all. Over a short time he made one of them the Michael Taylor Design signature natural materials art piece for their nation wide showrooms. Now David had some legitimacy and a start!

Finally and over time

With over 200 pieces behind him and 20 years later he is still making that piece and many others and has incorporated lighting in his offerings.

Beautiful interior by Fisher Weisman Interior Design. Signature piece by David Ward stick art

New Magazine Cover Aspire Design and Home

New Magazine Cover Aspire Design and Home

Here is an article and magazine cover of a lighting collaboration with Cheng Designs and architect Fu Tung Cheng. As sometimes happens the magazine forgets to credit the artist, me in this case. C’est la vie! This particular picture has been immensely popular. People are drawn to the color of the light and the concrete wall in the background. The red berries are pepper corns and they add to the scene. Many people have added this picture to their ideabooks on

It has been a little while since I have done a collaboration with Fu Tung. Maybe something will pop up soon. His style and persona are on the rise. He is humble and is one of a kind in the ideas he comes up with. We will see what the next project presents. I look forward to it!




Failure as a way to feel myself

Failure as a way to feel myself

Here is what I have been feeling in regards to my art and life in general. I want to succeed. Failure doesn’t feel good although I am involved with it daily. To let in and feel failure and success helps me feel myself more fully. Avoiding anything makes it tend to recur, Spirit so relaxing into all aspects of success and failure allows full feeling and cellular opening to all possibilities.

Here is my stick art exhibit at the Truckee airport near Martis Camp that I am proud of. Two of the pieces were made with a series of D shapes attached in various ways. This exhibit was at the Truckee airport. A friend who works at Spirit Gallery in Truckee is in charge of the exhibits there.

New shapes and a loose, minimal style.

I Like It!


Staying in the Game

Staying in the Game

Doing stick art is challenging if you haven’t already picked up on that from previous posts. Opportunities often come up for exhibiting my art on consignment. This was one such time. A friend and fellow artist Carole that I met at Spirit gallery in Truckee is the art exhibits coordinator at the Truckee airport. She asked me if I would like to show my stick art there.

Martis Camp, a high end 2nd home community for high rollers and stars  is very close by where I live in Nevada City so this was good exposure for future work and maybe to sell something.

I don’t like the feeling of doing art for money so that is something for me to fall through when feeling the reach for the cash or the pay off for me from this show directly. Do what you love and the money will follow right?

Reluctantly I thought wow another time where I put my art someplace with a chance, maybe in the future to sell something. As I opened more to the art and that I let go of this exhibit having to make money , it became more fun. Do it for love!

I created new pieces using a bush that we have on our Spiritual  sanctuary land where I live. The plant is called California Lilac. It starts off lime green and over time, especially if it is in the sun turns more and more red. When it is freshly cut it is fun to bend the branches and make shapes that are usually not possible. This time I made a D shape, or a bow,and one at a time joined them together into a finished piece. I like the result very much!

The pieces have a primitive subtle feel. Like independent, falling down shapes connected.  Next came choosing where to hang the pieces with the available walls. Two other artists were showing their work in the airport so Carole and I chose the walls that seemed like would be most appropriate and artful.

airport 1

This kind of collaboration is especially fun. The pieces seemed to choose the spaces where they would look best with Carole’s guidance.

airport 2 They seemed to blend in and display themselves with no effort or pushing. Towards the end when we had hung them all up we had to make names for them for the labels that would be displayed with each piece. I came up with the most literal names and Carole was like, “come on names are important!” She then took a shot at naming them. Flying Dolphins, Cornucopia was another and Olympian was the last. It felt so much better to complete the process by naming them in the best way.It brought them more to life.

airport 3

The end product was a mysterious process with no desired result by two people putting their enjoyment together into one exhibition.

Now I am thinking what happens now? Will someone buy one? Maybe a big job?

Just breathe and enjoy the process!

My advice to myself.

Holding the Line in doing Stick Art

Holding the Line in doing Stick Art

170 Smiley Ct Olympic Valley-print-003-17-Living Room-4200x2800-300dpi

Being a stick artist is challenging although I don’t think I would do anything else given the chance. Holding the Line pretty much sums up the artist life. Great ones are able to stay with it and keep expanding even though life’s response might be saying otherwise.

At these times being able to keep focused, breathe and go in new and different directions with my art can take everything I have.

Here is a new Light_install light I did very experimentally in a very small format. I showed it to a designer and very quickly it expanded into a project. This was Green Couch Design and talented designer Jeff Schlarb of Green Couch. I am now in the process of morphing on it to make it much taller and more abstract and DNA like.

Many times I feel myself reaching to get a project or get desperate about making money. Then I practice falling back into myself and trust that things will work out without me pushing and trying to make things happen. Love the process and haven’t quit my day job yet!