Baer – Good company

I’m sharing my time here with three very different artists and we are enjoying finding resonances and differences in each other’s work and working methods.

We are beginning to talk about collaborations, but are starting carefully with borrowing each others equipment, collecting and sharing materials together, looking at each other’s work in progress and, of course, long conversations.

My colleagues here are –

Mark Hartman a young photographer from New York with a keen and individual eye who shares my love of the crepuscular life. He’s rarely in his studio but out walking the coastline with his large format camera and Hasselblad in tow – his website

Tove Sudt-Hansen from Norway who’s primarily known for her paintings, but also works with drawing, clay and textiles. Like all of us, she can’t be easily pigeonholed and is using her time here to expand her practice. Tove has fallen in love with fish leather and is exploring its potential – her website

and two fellow Californians,

Diana Hobson, originally hailing from the UK but now living in the Santa Cruz mountains. Diana started her art career as a glass artist (a fellow craftsperson!) and has gone on to expand her art practice into photography, drawing, installation, sound, and anything else that serves her conceptual needs – Diana’s Baer blog

Linda Simmel from Sonoma town who works primarily on paper (huge luscious sheets of gampi) painstakingly recreating the flow of water in pencil – her website

There are many examples and traces of previous residents’ works on the land and in the main house. I’m amazed how quickly a shared language of experience and interpretation builds between generations of artist’s who have worked in the same residency. Its as if the culture of art-making itself begins to imprint on the landscape leaving clues as to directions both taken and abandoned.

A large flightless bird or Andy Goldsworthy sneak attack?


I’m not sure if other pieces are intentional or accidental?


Some I can definitely identify. Such as this work by the architect and academic John Miller who was one of the first residents here and who connected me to Baer.

John Miller’s meditation on alignments

John’s piece connects two local landmarks. The basalt pile called Kerling south of the island Drangey – which according to folk legend is a troll wife frozen to stone by the rising sun. Her husband Karl was a turned to another pile north of the island but he collapsed in 1755. John saw the now unused, land locked, water tower nearby as the modern replacement fro Karl and set up this observatory so that the new couple could catch sight of each other.

Sight line to Kerling

Looking to the new Karl – he looks a bit like James Bond in this incarnation.

Here’s another architectural-ish intervention that I think was also made by John.

A hide for listening to the canal?

Or perhaps a shelter from the perpetually dive bombing Arctic terns!

Friendly locals, not!


  1. Wow Donald, great!!! What inspiring artists you are working with!!
    Greetings from Amsterdam, Michele


  2. Oh Donald, careful of those Terns, I came across a nest along the Hudson Bay and was immediately dive bombed for disturbing it. A very beautiful and brave little bird!


    1. Peter. They are crazy here!!! It’s like a scene from Hitchcock. Whole flocks of them protecting their young. They even dive bomb cars and horses in the fields!


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