As is the case with many artists

my life and work are not easily separable.

My eye has been trained to observe

to gather information wherever and whenever I find it.

The material practicalities of survival can become secondary

to what is stimulating or has an unknown outcome.

When I saw this house near the waterfront

tiny, old, falling down

but archetypical in its shape

I wanted it.

I knew immediately

that I wanted to use my contemporary sensibility

to rejuvenate its simple historic form.

Just about everyone thought I was crazy.

The place was a dump.

I wasn't good with a hammer

was terrified of power tools

had no funds beyond the minuscule asking price.  

To a degree, I took it on a dare.

Somehow it happened.

Over a period of two years the house

actually a gold rush shack

probably thrown together in the 1860's

(out of old growth redwood boards)

and remodeled in the 1880's

(decorated with Victorian gingerbread)

and again in the 1940's

for the uses of war-time ship builders on Mare Island

(a bit of electricity and a toilet)

was restored on the outside and remodeled on the inside.

I followed my instinct and opened it up

pulled out its walls and ceiling to reveal its basic shape

reusing as much of the old wood as I could.

As a perfectionist

I had to learn when to let go

to yield to the realities of physics and building codes  

historic codes, and budget limitations.

This, in the end, became part of the fun:

to attempt to maintain

integrity and composure within the project and myself

to solve the puzzle of making it work  within the given parameters

to discover for myself

that deconstruction and reconstruction

are organic and sequential processes

requiring great patience.

                                                                                     Text and images created for Artist's homes tour in Vallejo CA, 2008.


A design and remodeling project begun in 2000.