figurative sculpture

  • The Legend of La Befana

    Like children everywhere, Italian kids look forward to the arrival of the red-suited Babbo Natale on Christmas Eve. However, this relatively modern tradition pales in comparison to the anticipation generated by the arrival of an old witch in early January. On the eve of the Epiphany, the old, tattered and soot-covered Befana flies around the world on a broomstick and comes down chimneys to deliver candy and presents to children who have been good during the year. For those who have fallen a bit short of model behavior, la Befana will leave lumps of coal.

    psza619La Befana has been an Italian tradition since the thirteenth century and comes from Christian legend rather than popular culture. Although there are several versions of her story, my favorite is that la Befana was one of the inn keepers who turned Mary and Joseph away on their way to Bethlehem. Later she was approached by the Three Wise Men who asked her to lead them to the stable where the baby Jesus lay in a manger. La Befana was too busy cleaning her house at the time (that’s why she carries the broom), so she declined the offer to go with them. Very soon she realized that she had made a huge mistake, so she gathered up a bag full of gifts and sweet treats and set off alone in search of the baby Jesus. Though she followed the same star as the Magi, she was unable to find the stable. Undaunted, la Befana continues to travel the world over to this day searching every house for the Christ child, leaving gifts for kids along the way. On January 6, the first day of Epiphany, Italian children hold their breaths as they search their stockings for a sign that they have been good that year.

    Instead of milk and cookies, Italian families often leave her a glass of wine and a plate of sausage and broccoli.  The arrival of la Befana is celebrated with traditionnight_befanaal Italian foods such as panettone (a Christmas cake) and marks the end of the long and festive holiday season in Italy. In Italy there is a saying ” L’Epifania che ogni festa si porta via” which roughly translated means “The Epiphany takes away all festivity”.

    A beautifully illustrated new children’s book by Maria and Isabella Centofanti has recently been released that tells La Befana’s story. It’s available at

    babushka_2And she’s not just Italian; in a similar Russian folk tale, an old woman who declines traveling with the Magi and then follows them afterward is dubbed Babushka. Although they look similar, the word babushka refers to an elderly woman. Babushkas in Russia seem to represent a totally independent part of society – they know everything and are good at giving a piece of advice whether you’ve asked for it or not. Here’s a beautiful portrait called “Babushka”, by Russian Artist Irina Gaiduk

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  • New Gallery Representation

    92 Gore St E., Perth, Ontario, Canada  I'm very proud to announce representation by "Gallery   on Gore". This beautiful little gallery is located on    Gore Street in the heart of the heritage strip in Perth,    Ontario.                                                                      Next year marks the 200th Anniversary of the Perth  Military Settlement. In addition to the historical events  and landmarks, there is never a lack of activity in  Perth!  Celebrate with locals and visitors alike at one of  the many annual festivals and events, some of which  include: the Festival of the Maples, Kidfish in the Basin,  the Rotary Strawberry Social, Canada Day Festivities at Conlon Farm, the amazing Stewart Park Festival, the Lions Garlic Festival, the annual Perth Fair, the Autumn Studio Tour or the pre-Christmas Festival of Good Cheer, to name only a few!


    A big thank you to Kevin Gray and Johanne Lacroix from Gallery on Gore and I look forward to participating in some of the great events in Perth.                             You can check out their website and their artists at                                          

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  • 'Life's Simple Pleasures' Exhibit

    I'm thrilled to announce an exclusive exhibit at the Orange Art Gallery in Ottawa, Ontario called "Life's Simple Pleasures". From February 4 to the 22nd, the gallery will be showcasing over 30 of my sculptures that celebrate the simplicity and rewards of everyday life. With Valentine's Day falling right in the middle of the exhibit, there will be a collection of works that fall in the "Romance" sub category - after all, romance is one of life's sweetest simple pleasures.

    Also included in the exhibit is a series of 20 relief sculptures called "Study of Expression". I had a lot of fun doing this series and even threw in a portrait of my son. Here's a picture of the series, but it's even better in person. If you have the opportunity to visit the gallery you'll probably recognize some personalities or characters you know in the group.

    study in expression

    chris expressionsThe idea for this series came from a conversation where I referred to people I know as my "artsy friends" or my "Rotary friends". Thinking about it, I realized I wasn't the only one who characterizes my friends. Someone I know made mention of her "yoga friends" or "work friends". This series is a celebration of the different people in our lives - how we're all different but all connected by a common element.

    In addition to the exhibit I will also be doing a demonstration and offering some hands-on mini-workshops on the first Saturday of the exhibit. I hope you can make it to the exhibit, but for those of you who live to far,  keep checking my facebook page at, or this blog for photos of the new pieces.lp-3


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