“Portrait of a Driftwood Horse”

Oil on canvas – 26” x 32 1/8”

Portrait of a Driftwood Horse by Smilia Marvosh

Click on thumbnails below for more detail.

Portrait of a Driftwood Horse-body detailPortrait of a Driftwood Horse-head detailPortrait of a Driftwood Horse - detail

Several years ago a friend of mine gave me a little piece of driftwood that he thought I would like, which I surely did. I felt like I was looking at the bones of a very old story, one in which this most marvelous animal lived, ruled, fought, and won. There were no compromises here, but a power that was awesome to behold and silenced those who witnessed it. Over the last few years I tried to find a place in my home for this “horse skeleton” but it wasn’t comfortable anywhere; it just kept moving around. One day my best friend, another artist, came to visit and was looking at some sketches I had drawn up for my next canvas, another kind of horse being, when she looked at my driftwood gift and said – “Why don’t you paint this?” I have yet to name this mythological god, but I will – or maybe I’ll just discover its name…

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 6:36 pm.

Add a comment


Oil on canvas with flotsam and jetsam – 42 ¼” x 36”


Click on thumbnails below for more detail.

Alienbucks - serpent with babies detailAlienbucks - close-up of aliens detailAlienbucks - approaching birds detail

This canvas began with a skeleton I retrieved on Cape Cod while walking through the marshes with a friend. As I started to construct the canvas with other found items from New England beaches, the story began to unfold itself. In this other world “peopled” with intelligent life, what would they be discussing over “coffee?” What current events would monopolize their days? Politics? What would their culture demand they pay attention to? Immigration – who should be allowed to call their planet home? Are these two creatures venting clashing beliefs about a higher being – or are they the higher beings? Could they be the earthly version of, say, Muslims and Jews discussing the thorny issues of the day regarding what each sees as the truth? What is being held below them, and why? If they have interstellar space travel, what would be the purpose of their explorations?

Posted 8 years, 5 months ago at 7:25 pm.

Add a comment

“Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Myths”

Oil on canvas with flotsam, jetsam, and game board pieces – 39″ x 34 ½”
(artist’s private collection)
Rivers, Roads, Rails, & Myths

Click on thumbnails below for more detail.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, & Myths - resting lady detail RIvers, Roads, Rails, & Myths - dragon detail Rivers, Roads, Rails, & Myths - robed figure detail Rivers, Roads, Rails, & Myths - mirror tree detail Rivers, Roads, Rails, & Myths - river and ship detail

Long ago I owned a board game called “Rivers, Rails, and Roads” that mesmerized me with the wonderful illustrations. I always wondered whom the artist was who created the visuals for such a lovely game. I wanted to work with the images on the game pieces so I adhered them to my canvas and allowed my own ideas to flow from the images like additional game pieces. The work included a lot of different ideas, thoughts, and pieces that seemed to trace the pattern of previous work but to also be inspired by the game board artist because that artist captured the spirit of a lot of my own imaginings.

Posted 8 years, 6 months ago at 8:52 pm.

Add a comment

“Garden Sprites”

Garden Stakes/Winter Sculpture

Hand-bent 1/4″ stainless steel rods and balls

Click images to enlarge

Yardbones are just that. When your garden dies back for the resting season, Yardbones will always be there, defining the loving space you have created that will be reborn again in the Spring. These Yardbones are actually plant stakes that can be separated for the growing season to support your tall flowers, and then grouped together for a winter sculpture. They are hand bent ¼” stainless steel rods with stainless steel balls that are threaded onto the ends. Set in the ground they range in height from 30” up to 48”.


Posted 8 years, 6 months ago at 12:53 am.

Add a comment


Rebar anchored in concrete base – approx. 8′ tall
Yard Bones

I am endlessly fascinated by playing with the juxtapositions of bent “stems.” After I bend a certain number of stems that seem adequate for a piece comes the real fun of discovering the most exciting way to assemble them. It always amazes me that I bend each separate stem with only a general idea of how they might fit together in the final product but always comes the knowing and excitement when I get them “just right”, as if there is a more detailed knowing beyond my own that I have just the right number of pieces with just the right bends. It’s almost as if they make themselves and I am just the surprised tool. Which then begs the question – why do artists make things, anyway…






Posted 8 years, 6 months ago at 12:46 am.

Add a comment

“Trinity Islands”

Stainless steel gazing balls, stainless rod, stainless de-constructible base bolted to concrete footing.

Trinity IslandsTrinity Islands2
Click images to enlarge

This piece is an endless treasure for me to look at. It sits on the edge of my pink cobblestone driveway and reflects my little Victorian house 3 times over, and the surprising part of it is that because of the physics of the circular reflections, it looks like my house is an island completely encircled in pink cobblestone. It looks like a fairytale and I live there. There are some really neat surprises when working with reflective metals like stainless steel, which are unpredictable and welcome.


Posted 8 years, 6 months ago at 12:37 am.

Add a comment

“Dingwell Ditty”

Electrical conduit pipe anchored in concrete
approx. 7′ tall

Dingwell Ditty

I began bending metal with electrical conduit tubing because it was inexpensive and I was experimenting; if I ruined a bend, I could dispose of the piece without much cost. Unfortunately, a couple of them turned out really nice, and I wish they were in stainless! A solid stainless rod can forgive a misguided bend, but an over-bend on a hollow tube can result in a kink that is non-rectifiable! This was the first piece I sold, to some friends who love contemporary designs, both in and out of their home.









Posted 8 years, 6 months ago at 12:32 am.

Add a comment

“Snaky Lupus”

Rebar anchored in concrete base – approx. 9′ tall

Snaky LupusSnaky Lupus2
Click image to enlarge

Snaky Lupus is one of my favorite pieces. I think of it as a dance much like the exotic story we all know where the flute player in the market uses his notes to lift the cobra from the basket and encourages her to spread her hood – we are mesmerized by the sight just as the snake is mesmerized by the tune. It reminds me of something very alive, twisting and turning and snapping into various forms in response to the environment. In this case, the music of the Earth encourages the stems of the sculpture to lift from where they lay curled in the ground, life always waiting to blossom again. Snaky is very friendly and would be happy to allow a vine to trail up its tendrils.


Posted 8 years, 6 months ago at 12:27 am.

Add a comment

“Spectre Spector”

Stainless steel gazing balls, stainless rod, set in stainless sleeves in a concrete base. approx 7 1/2′ tall

Spectre SpectorSpectre SpectorSpecter Spectre
Click images to enlarge

This was a commissioned piece for a wonderfully large garden at a home surrounded by wetlands and woods at the end of a dead-end street. In other parts of the garden are a swimming pool filled in with trees, shrubs, and flowers, classical female and male statuary, multiple pathways and planted areas, complete with a small cliff. All of it works well together as there are natural divisions between areas. “Spectre Spector” becomes visible as you bend around the driveway toward the house.


Posted 8 years, 6 months ago at 12:20 am.

Add a comment

“Here’s to you, Doug “

Stainless steel rods with adjustable stainless steel “arrows”, anchored in a concrete base – approx. 7′ tall.

Gull's WavesGull's Waves 2Reflection
Click images to enlarge

This sculpture was inspired by an artist I knew for way too short a time, before his heart took him on a different path then the one he intended (or did he?) one day while walking on the beach near his home. Doug’s life was a life that, when it touched those of his family and friends, forced them to expand in ways they never could have imagined, melting prejudices, clarifying love, breaking through human barriers and breaking hearts in ways that caused new hearts to grow. I am amazed that only having met him one or two times I carry his missing with me so much.


Posted 8 years, 6 months ago at 12:05 am.

Add a comment