Creative Recovery - page 2

* UPDATED -  11/22/05 *



I just celebrated my 21st year of recovery and am no longer active in formal 12 step recovery with some minor exceptions. My current volunteer work is as a Certified Methadone Advocate and a member of ARM, Advocates for Recovery through Medicine ( I have been an advocate since before the Federal Regs were changed.

I have been doing art since the late 70's having worked along side Don Jacobson for several years. He was a former professor of art at RISDI and holds a MA from RISDI. I worked with him and sailed with Don for several years until he left for NY City and then parts unknown.

I have been involved with the Hygienic Art Show for 26 years and later, Hygienic Art ( and proudly serve as a volunteer for clean up before each art show with my friend Bernard.

Varuna Van has been an ongoing project for may years. It will be featured in the Bizarre Bizare this summer in New london. I essentially live in Varuna Van during the warm months. Varuna has been signed by many people and has been painted over many times. The paint used is a mix of acrylics mixed with Gesso which gives it a soft glowing surface. I will use nail polish for polkadots from time to time. The paint weathers well and fades so there is always room for more paint on the paint.

I do not always tell this to people, but I think of all the names as names of God. Varuna can sometimes be found outside of clinics where I may be passing out information to patients. The last time I did this was a week or so ago in Willimantic. I usually pass out Methadone Today Newsletters ( and I have passed out the old printed NAMA newsletter too. The costs of trying to do this got large and so now I am not printing newsletters and trying to travel to all the clinics in CT.

I use a lot of paper cones in my work and I like to go outside the frame a lot. Right now, most of my work is on the van.

This weekend may to be heading into RI and up to Newport. I will be camping out downtown on the waterfront at Jamestown Island tonight. I may take the time to be outside the clinic on Friday morning. From there... who knows.



See more Varuna Van!




Check out "River Edge Record"!


I use colored sand to fill in the deep texture on manhole covers. No paint or permanance is involved. I also interact with others and ask and take their directions. I also will be supplying sand for others to do their own work. This soul be happening this week. Three people have expresed a wish to work on manhole mandala's

Click here for Sand Mandela

The first temporary mandala I did was in 1982 or 83 and consisted of many things laid out in a circular design and placed on city pier in New London, This was an effort to anchor world peace here in a place where we build huge weapons of mass destruction - The mighty OHIO was built here.

This is an extension of that work using the wonderful designs in manhole covers. I also have been doing cracks, potholes and other interesting wear patterns in sidewalks and in streets.

To me mandalas are a focal point or locus from which everything is touched and appreciated.

The tip of my paint brush on varuna van, or on anything I am working on is a place of peace for me. The point where the sand starts to fill another part of the cast pattern is a place of peace fore me.


Featured in:, New London, CT

Manhole Magic
Sewer Covers Double As Temporary Art In Downtown NL
New Manhole Mandela 9/2/05 Detailing

Storm drain after wind Before wind... After wind...
This one was taken after foot traffic and probably some children's finger traffic as well...





On To Page THREE

Copyright 2005 BARBSHOL