Island Shrine

part of the Irish landscape

A roadside shrine on Cottage Road, Inishmore. The faith brought by the saints has deep roots here.

A large crucifix set with wet stone walls with cut flowers. The walls are the native limestone.

It is a spring (early June) afternoon and there are fern and wildflowers. The white flowers are Greater Burnet saxifrage (Scientific Name: Pimpinella major).

Click Me for Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

The existing dry stone wall was interrupted by the shrine. In the distance are dry stone walls around fields, a stone shed, feeding horses and the sea, being Galway Bay, storm clouds with distant rain.

Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search google “Wet Stone”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

“Los Mariachis” and two metal owls

A selection of photographs from our January 2019 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

My final Seward Johnson sculpture posting opens with a piece of uncertain authorship, I just know it was not installed for our second 2020 visit just before COVID-19 hit.

Here we have a dynamic group, I can almost hear the music.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, Amargasaurus, a “small” sauropod.,

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

“Nice to See You”, “Stormy Weather” and “Cat Nap”

A selection of photographs from our January 2019 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

This set starts off with a nice guy at work. He was positioned on the large cafe windows. We met the grandchildren around lunch time, so we caught up around the food.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, “Herrerosaurus, one of the first

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Group Participation

A selection of photographs from our January 2019 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

The visual narrative and accessibility draw the viewer in…..the exhibit included prop to be used for posing with the art work.

Request to readers: how will you participate? Include responses in the comments. Thank You

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, “Neovenator, teeth like steak knives

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

“A Memorable Date” and “Coming Home”

A selection of photographs from our January 2019 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Snooty art critics look down their noses at Johnson’s work, calling it “kitsch,” sentimental and not worthy of display in art museums. It say, “this will be cherished when you are dust.”

A tug at the heart strings.

It’s all in the details.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, “Mimi, only one found.”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

“Holding Out,” “A Day Off” and “Nice to See You”

A selection of photographs from our January 2019 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

These three are story telling at it best a la Norman Rockwell.

Request to readers: make up your own stories and post as comments.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, “Baellynasaura, Big Eyes (?)”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

“Inner World, Outer World” and “Wine, Food and Thou”

A selection of photographs from our January 2019 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Life scale Seward Johnson sculpture invites viewers to step into the moment.

Here, sunlight through trees adds to the effect.

The effect here is to grab the other side of the picnic basket…..

….as Taj did here.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, “Oviraptor, an egg protector.”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

“Far Out” and “Unconditional Surrender”

A selection of photographs from our January 2019 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

When grandson Taj first encountered a life scale Seward Johnson sculpture, he wondered out loud how, “They kept the cloths clean?” That is the effect trompe-l’œil technique strives for.

In the next sculpture, the response might be, “Ewhew, what dirty sneakers.”

There was one larger than life work on display, set most appropriately among the Royal Palms.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, “Iquanodon, hooves like a horse.”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Tower of Glass reprise

A selection of photographs from our January 2019 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

I found three more photographs of “Tower…”

Tower is on permanent load from Frabel Art Foundation. In the late 1970s, glass sculptor Hans Godo Frabel created a small series of abstract sculptures of spheres connected to rods, forming unique clear shapes that render a beautiful play with light. This piece, entitled Tower, is a larger version of Frabel’s 1979 Tower of Babel.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, “Triceratops, one of the last.

References: text is from the park placard with minor edits.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

“Grabbing Some Peace” and “Gotcha”

A selection of photographs from our January 2019 visit to McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida

Sunday, January 13th, 2019 Pam and I met grandchildren Soraya and Taj at McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach for the day. Pam had found the gardens as a suitable “half-way point” meeting place between Cocoa Beach, our winter haven, and Jupiter were the grandchildren lived. The meeting turned out as an inflection point in for us and the featured Artist.

As you can infer from his “dates”, John Seward Johnson II (April 16, 1930 – March 10, 2020) passed away the next year. Best known as “Seward Johnson”, he was a grandson of Robert Wood Johnson I, the co-founder of Johnson & Johnson, and of Colonel Thomas Melville Dill of Bermuda, Mr Johnson was an American artist who created trompe-l’œil painted bronze statues. He designed life-size bronze statues that were castings of living people, depicting them engaged in day-to-day activities.

A large staff of technicians did the fabrication of the works he designed. Computers and digital technology often were used in the manufacturing process.

Sometimes the manufacture was contracted in China. He was the founder of “Grounds For Sculpture”, a 42-acre sculpture park and museum located in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey.

After this both Soraya and Taj’s moved on in their lives, branching out from their Jupiter, Florida roots. Both stay in touch.

Click me for a dinosaur at McKee Gardens, Protoceratops, a caring parent (?)

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved