Several weeks back I went to an art trade show. You know, the kind where IBM, CBS, and other giant three letter companies show up to buy art for their 200,000 square foot lobbies. I was impressed at the quality of work I saw there. Not just your typical "artist in a gallery" stuff, I mean "I've seen that artist on 60 Minutes" kind of stuff. As my friends and I walked around the last corner, I was blown away with a body of sculptural works made from clay. They looked so real that you thought they were going to speak to you. Now coming from an artist who was raised on Bernini and Michelangelo, this is saying a lot. I took pictures, with the artist's permission of course and came home completely inspired. My mentor always said, "a good artist doesn't borrow, he steals." So with that in mind, I decided to do my own interpretation based on this artist's work. Much in the way that Vallejo simulates Frazetta. The sculptures are based on tribes of the Omo valley in Ethiopia. I researched the ornamental style of the jewelry as well as ceremonial headdresses, tribal face paint, and piercing rituals. I have made the jewelry from purchased and found items, woven mussel shells into hair which I obtained from a local restaurant discards, (the shells, not the hair) and had a great time experimenting with different methods of executing facial paint. I have not only grown as an artist but gained a wealth of knowledge I wouldn't have been exposed to all because of another artist. Who knows? I may actually seek gallery representation for this stuff. And ya'll know that story, right? I will post new pieces on the Artistic Expressions as I finish them. Please return to see inspiration happen.