Angel Fire Sculptures….Why???

Indeed Paula Jean….Why?  When you were perfectly happy painting and relearning abstracts?  Why sculptures?  And why now?

It seems since I have started painting at age 45 – every five years I try something different – but, creative.  At 50 – it was writing.  At 55, I published a book.  Now, it seems that I am totally obsessed with creating Angels in Metal….And, guess what?  I turn 60 in a matter of days!!!

I absolutely LOVE this medium!!!

I continually ask for signs that this is the direction that I am supposed to go.  I KNOW my guides are getting tired of the constant asking – but they continue to answer!!!

Everything has fallen into place so easily…so much so…that there is this old part of me that keeps saying “It’s too good to be true.” And, yet, there is this new part of me that keeps saying thank you to GUS! (God, Universe, Spirit)

I’ve learned that I am a true creative – that I need to be challenged to learn how to be creative in MANY ways, not just in one.  This is requiring me to think differently…to rediscover parts of my brain that were on auto pilot.  I’ve had to work through feeling guilty (just a tiny bit) about being perceived as a “flaky” sort of artist – but, all I know is that this feels more right than anything else I have ever done in my life….and it makes me over the top happy….so, I’m going to follow this path.

I’m finding that all I want to do is create these Angel Fire Sculptures – in spite of the horrid heat and humidity that we have here right now.  I go into this meditative trance almost every time I work on them.  Time flies.  I forget to eat.  I forget to drink (really bad thing in this heat!).  Before I know it, it’s noon (I have been starting at 5 or 6 to try and beat the hot weather!)

Every part of the process, I love.  Creating the patina.  Drawing the angels.  Cutting them out.  Welding the wings and halos on.  Putting them on bases….or not.  Each one created with love.

Right now, I have no desire to paint – but, if I have to be honest with myself and you, I haven’t had much desire for the past six months….Abstracts revved my engine up….a lot….but….then, I met Barry in Alabama.  He taught me how to cut.  How to weld.  And, most importantly, how to be happy with whatever I choose to do.

GUS certainly has played a role in all of this…from staying across the road from Barry, to him teaching me, to being accepted to the Vintage Home Temp Market (almost a whole month after the deadline), to finding someone to build a wall for me, help moving, yada, yada, yada…..And, of course, the biggest sign of all – I’ve sold over 30 of these angels since I started less than a month ago!!!

I’m in production mode now – and I’m finding that I enjoy this sort of a task…which surprises the crap outta me!!!   Normally, I want to stay footloose and fancy free.  Schedules and being with people has made me cringe.  Maybe it’s age.  Maybe it’s finally grounding my grand fire trine.  Or, maybe it’s just time.

Whatever it is – I really can honestly say that I’ve never, ever, ever, ever, EVER been this happy in my life!!!!!

Blessing to you all, and I’m so honored that you are in my life.

May We Walk Together As One.




Why do sculptures of torn, tattered and imperfect Angels?

Life is interesting.  Isn’t it?!  Just when you think you know what’s going on, GUS throws a monkey wrench in to see if you are listening or not.

As you may know, I recently went to Smith Lake north of Birmingham and stayed for a month.  I’ve always said that I felt like I needed hermit time, and everything just seemed to fall into place – from my contractor being available to do a quick remodel on Agnes, to my gallery owner and his wife offering their lake home, and finally, there was Barry…across the road.

Barry Sunshine, I nicknamed him after two weeks of every morning philosophical discussions over coffee and fresh fruit.

He and his wife have the most magical place (a compound, actually) on the lake….all lovingly built by hand.  Nothing is “stock”.  It is all created.  From the dead tree, that he made into a mirror mosaic with a snake wrapped around it, to the waterfall, the wood arch lined with bubble makers, the plethora of amazing, unique sculptures made from rocks and driftwood that he brings up from the lake, the stained glass lanterns that hang from the trees, the dancing ladies by the waterfall, that he repaints and adds different jewelry when the mood strikes him, and finally….the metal sculptures. Everything is CREATED!  ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING! 

I was in awe.  So blown away by my luck of being able to spend hours a day with this free thinking man, that, after a while, felt like home to me.

I loved his feather sculptures especially….I asked if he might make me one….he looked me in the eye, and said, “No.  But, I will teach you how to make your own.”

He knew, even before I did….that this would be a “thing” for me.

It seemed only natural that I would do angels.  I really didn’t even think about it….I just knew that this was what I was supposed to be creating.

Every time I asked for signs – they came.  So many, in fact, that I have been overwhelmed….and, yes, even second guessed occasionally.

This is different from what I have been doing.  And yet, not so much.

The upfront costs are a bit hefty, which has made me stop and reconsider….but, all of the signs are there….I’ve already sold 20 plus….and it’s only when my monkey mind starts chattering that I go into fear.

Today, was one of those days.

My air compressor, that I received as a gift from my son-in-law (it used to be my Grandad’s on our farm), sprung a leak from the release valve.  I was discouraged.  I have had to do a lot of quick learning about how to fix a lot of machinery that I know little about.

But, Barry Sunshine, is always there for me.

He knows that I know how to do it, and knows just what to say, and just when to say it.

He’s is definitely an angel in my life….and all he is doing is being who he is.

I learned so much about life and people while I was there.

And this brings me to why I am creating these Beings the way that I am.

These Angel Fire Sculptures are imperfect, for a reason….

Some are missing wings….Some are small….Others have a full set. And yet, they are all perfect in their own imperfection.

Just like us…

Just like life…

We all have imperfections. Some physical. Some emotional. Some spiritual….

But, we are perfect. Just the way we are.

There is beauty in all of us. WE may not see it, but others do.

I always wanted to fit in…but, how can I stand out, if I fit? How can I make a difference in my own unique way, if I am just like the others?

I think we forget that it is our uniqueness that makes a difference rather than our sameness.  If Barry hadn’t been “different” than most – I would not have had the experience that I had.  He’s the happiest person I have ever had the honor of meeting.  He rolls with the punches and sees the good in everything and everyone.

A dear friend summed it up perfectly:  “Real life and emotion comes with splatters, boogers, blood, struggles, joy and laughter. Otherwise,life is as straight and rigid as a pipe fence. Well built, clean smooth welds,but about as engaging and as inviting as a sharp poke in the eye. Weld away and let the life and laughter be your guide. Goddess is giggling with joy at your new medium.”

Barry, thank you for believing in me.  Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for showing me that it is ok to be me.  And above all, thank you for being you.  You are the meaning of the word creative.

May We Walk Together As One


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