My Story. . .

The inspiration to make art like this (large pieces, unusual & repurposed materials, iconic images) comes primarily from my time with the thriving creative community in the Joshua Tree area of the Mojave desert.  The idea to work with nails came after I rescued a cache of discarded hardware headed for the landfill.  Then a lot of head scratching to come up with dot art (or stippling) with nails.


The first piece I tried was the peace hand which took six months to figure out and create.  The technique continues to evolve with successive pieces.


Only later did it occur to me that this act of creating art from hammered nails is my way of processing the loss of my brother Jerry who, as a roof installer, probably pounded more nails than I ever will.  My thoughts are often with him when I work.


For the mixed media work, I like the term Bricolage, means something created from a diverse range of available things at hand.  The inspiration for each piece begins with a contemplation of material around me that has lived out its first life.


With no formal art training, I rely on imagination to find new life for things that no longer have use for others - and a lot of patience.  In 2017 I retired from a 35 year career as a Los Angeles concert presenter, lucky now to have the time I've craved to enjoy the desert and more seriously focus on art.



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To answer the most common questions about the nail art:

  • Each piece consists of 3,000 to 33,000 nails.
  • Each piece takes 40 to 80 hours to complete, spread over a period of one to six months.
  • Each nail is hand driven with a ball-peen hammer, struck five to seven times into a painted wood panel.
  • Each piece has one uniquely colored nail.
  • Assuming 99.9% accuracy swinging the hammer, that would mean I bent a nail or hit my thumb around 1,000 times - which sounds about right!