07 August 2012

The Art of Sculpting with Stone

The Art of Sculpting With Stone by Donald Boothby August 17, 2008
It is a very simple thing. Pick a stone and place it atop another stone. Keep doing this until you are finished. This is the entire basis for this living landscape sculpture art. Stones may be obtained anywhere, but I have found the best sources to be along the rivers, streams and ocean shores in my travels. Each stone, though, has meaning. It has its own sense of being, its own purpose. In sculpting with stones, I try to achieve a natural balance that can only be found, not forced. Force always causes collapse, whereas a well balanced sculpture can often withstand gale force winds. Included in this package is a starter kit for your garden. In it, you will find the following:
A base stone. This stone is actually a tile, found on the beach in the Golfo de Taranto on the Italian coast.
A second base stone. This stone was found on the Tireannean Sea, also in Calabria.
Six smaller roundish sort of flat stones. These are the fun pieces that can give a bit of humor to a sculpture. They can also be used to guide the garden visitor’s eye away from the sculpture and to another feature you wish them to observe.
Photographs. These are mere samples of one way in which these stones were used as a sculpture in my personal landscape. These special stones have been used in over 20 permutations and in combination of various sculptures in my own garden in a variety of other arrangements.
Stone sculptures are not considered a permanent fixture in the garden. I choose a living landscape of stone works which has a life of its own. It is like a dance with ever changing steps. It changes from day to day, with visitors to our home encouraged to participate in the dance. I am never offended when one of my “favorite” sculptures is altered. This is the whole focus of having a living landscape. So often, we have gardens where all of the materials are fixed. Every day, we look at the garden and we see the same plants in the same place, with the only change being that of the seasons. In sculpting with stone, we have a garden that changes on a regular basis and one never knows what they will see the next visit. Will it be the same? Not likely. In this way of gardening, we impact very little. We need neither poisons nor vast amounts of precious natural resources in order to maintain a beautiful landscape and our sculptures can be used to augment many other garden features. Maintenance is relatively simple. Chemicals and pesticides are totally unnecessary and we need only water to enhance the beauty of the sculpture, yet today’s sculpture is but a temporary and fleeting thing. It is my sincere desire that you find joy and peace in your garden, and that these small tokens of my affection give you as much pleasure and inspiration as they have me in the years they have graced my own landscape. Donald

(this was given with a gift of stones for his brother)

04 August 2012

Donald was very talented - Poetry


Like moonbeams in the fog
          there is no moon
          there is no fog

A radiant explosion without sound
the late autumn air crisp; clean; fragrant; pure.

First a mystic glow like the full moon 
behind thin clouds;
Transforming to a starburst of pale green
becoming shimmering white rays turning pink as 
their tendrils approach the horizon;
and between them,
fields of faint dark red appear
as if to warm the glaciers over which they play.

A star-studded white tornado dances amongst the
mountain ridges
as a night bird screeches its applause 
somewhere across the still water.
Massive bands of green waves reflect their emeraldlike beauty
in Auke Lake
with a slight mist rising
as if to respond with their own aurora.

In the distance, snowcapped peaks with
brilliant blazes of ice-blue light above.

Midnight approaches like a false dawn.
No sun; no moon; only stars and nightsky.
frozen and silent;
earthplanet as spectator to the cosmos.

Ears chilled,
    hands numbed,
       eyes overwhelmed,
           soul calmed,
I rest with a peace and realization of yet another
of life’s dreams fulfilled.

Goodnight, Juneau.

      Donald Boothby
      October 30, 2003

Ode to Rhubarb

Sometimes had it hot
sometimes had it cold
always sweet
always bold
sometimes over icecream
sometimes in jam
spread thick on my toast
no matter how we got it
we loved our rhubarb most



mac and cheese 
if you please.
It'll do in a squeeze.
It don't make me wheeze
It won't give me fleas.
Its made in a breeze
just please don't freeze
my mac and cheese.

Donald Boothby
February 9, 2009


I button my shirt from the bottom
I always do bottom to top
my mommy says it should be perfect
much different, she says, than ol' Pop.

Now Pop, he does it all backwards
he always goes top straight on down.
Then walks around dressed up in flannel
buttoned crooked all day around town.

Then home he comes for his supper
and what does mom do, one wonders.
She cooks up a nice soup with barley
quite careful to ignore his blunders.

But me, does she give such leeway?
Oh NO! Here lies the trap.
If I get just one button crooked
there's sure to come a head slap.

Donald Boothby
February 9, 2009


I the great noble Marine
Standing alone against the world.
I the scared little boy
In a grown man’s body.
Don’t worry about me, I can handle it;
Strength and endurance will carry me through.

 I the great survivor.

Don’t look at my insides, they’re too real;
No peeks behind the masks allowed.
Weakness and shame cannot show;
This is the fear worse than death itself.
When all else fails read the directions?
No! When all else fails mask it with

 drugs:  The ultimate foxhole; the bunker which keeps even the 
   feelings away.

Slowly, slowly the walls begin to crumble.
Fear turns to panic turns to rage.
Find a new bunker – a new drug.

 Mask the pain stuff the fear show the rage.

Anger is allowed
 it's manly
  it's deserved.

From nowhere a question begins to haunt the soul:


In self there is no answer
In self there is no hope.
The disease has eaten away from the inside leaving a mere shell.
In one brief moment the question is answered.

Someone says, “we can”
Someone says, “we care”;
a new child is born
a child with no uniform – no masks.
Then, taking that first step, reaching out to take a hand
 Lest I should fall….

Mistakes are allowed;
 They are human
  They are expected.
From deep within the answer is given:
 “I surrender”

      Donald Boothby
      January, 1998
      Seattle, WA