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Find Me at The Edges

(On the edges of the old Ann and Hope Plaza in Pawtucket)

Yesterday, while sitting at the stop light at the end of Columbus Ave. in Pawtucket, I found myself going through a mental inventory of local parking lots. I knew the burning bush leaves were beginning to turn fiery red and I knew where to find them. So, I turned left toward the now closed Bank of America parking lot.

Living on the second floor of a converted mill building, I don't have a garden. Sadly, I have no dirt under my feet or under my nails. But I have figured out where to find nature here in an urban setting.

During my practice of creating and photographing a nature mandala for 1,000 consecutive days, I learned the art of paying attention and finding beauty exactly where it is. People often ask me where I get objects for my work. The answer is many places. Truth be told, I love finding them in unexpected, humble, places on the edge.

As I sat there waiting for the light to change, I started going a mental inventory of the different urban lots I visit and realized that I have amassed a lot of seasonal information about these often overlooked edges of real estate. In several towns, I can tell you where and when to find . . .

*Juniper shrub berries in one Stop and Shop and wild onions in another

*Broom flowers that peek through the white fence at CVS

*Pigeon feathers were the homeless sleep in the park

*Violas, Japanese maple, and many unidentified flowers in the now closed Ann & Hope Plaza

*Kousa dogwood fruit by the Thai resturarant

*Huge, at least three feet tall, lovely grasses that go to seed at a Target lot

*Curly yellow leaves in the fall at Walgreens

*Little flat yellow leaves at LA Fitness

*Striking red maple stems at another bank lot

*Red sorrel on that street without sidewalks

* Maple helicopters on just about any sidewalk at some point of the year

* Birch leaves and catkins where I take my recycling

*Salisify, thistle, white clover, rabbit foot clover, linden leaves, etc! in my parking lot

*Ginkgo leaves on a side street

*Poison ivy berries at the park (used accidentally with no ill effects)

*Yellow toadflax and blue toadflax beside the railroad tracks

*And a young maple tree, temporarily taken out of the sidewalk at one of my apartments, photographed, and then returned just outside the crack where it had been. (the result is probably my most popular and iconic image shown below)

And thanks to my daughter Anna Gallo for being the person who often had to jump out of the car with the snippers to collect things while I "circled round."

So while I can't wait to move to a rural area right now, I will try to be content with beauty where I find myself. And so can you!


Upcoming Eco-Art Wellness Workshops

My new workshop, "Water is a Verb" is less than one week away! October 26, 6-8 PM at Blithewold Mansion and Arboretum, Bristol, Rhode Island. Space is limited, so sign up here. Consider brining a friend with you.

In this workshop, participants contemplate the water element to discover which most closely relates to their own lives at this moment. We consider calmness, energy, depth, patience, focus, joy, strength, etc. as we look at water both on the earth and within. Participants create individual nature circles to dive deeper into understanding and celebrating how we live our best lives like water. (Mandalas are not taken home. Photographs are encouraged. An "add on" is available for me to photograph, edit, print, and mail a 12x12 inch print of your completed circle. See registration information for details.)

Other upcoming workshops at Blithewold include "Family Stores", "Re-centering", and "Rock Stories". All of my workshops are subject driven, so take a look at the descriptions and see if one speaks to you. Read and register here!

Interested in hosting your own workshop? I can bring the workshop to your group in Massachusetts or Rhode Island. Just shoot me an email and we can discuss! Email:


Where to find me when I am not in a parking lot?

The schedule is full and getting fuller! See a list of places you can find me for your holiday shopping here.

I will be at the Providence Artisans Market at Lippett Park, 1015 Hope Street this Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. Depending on the weather and a few other pending circumstances, it will most likely be my last Lippett Market of the year. So come by and say hello!

Not local? No problem! You can purchase prints, cards, books, calendars, puzzles, etc. in my online store. Shop here!


Enjoyed reading this? Consider forwarding to a friend. Or consider supporting my work in Eco-Art Wellness here. Thanks so much!


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