the story of Stan & Otis

00 Stan & Ogis

This is the story of Stan & Otis.  Stan is a metal man … not a tin man, but he’s in the same family.  And Otis is a blue dog.



01 Otis scrap yard


Otis used to be a junk yard dog.  Well actually, he was a scrap yard dog.  He lived at the scrap yard for quite some time.  He was not unhappy, but it just didn’t feel like his home.



02 Stan & Otis in pieces 2


Stan & Otis found each other in Vancouver, Washington.  Neither of them was whole at the time…they were in pieces.

But even as they began to take shape, they knew they still were not quite whole.

03 Otis in process







04 Stan becoming 1

05 Stan becoming 2

06 Stan in process 307 stan head

























08 stan play








Then, they found each other.  It was love at first sight.  It didn’t matter what state each or the other was in.  They were there for each other, as they each grew and took shape. It was as if Stan was made for Otis and Otis was made for Stan.

But even as each one felt more whole, Stan still felt like something was missing.  He finally figured out what is was.  Stan was missing a heart.  So Stan talked to the wizard who was helping him take shape.

“Angela, please make me complete and able to truly be able to love Otis.  Please give me a heart,” Stan said.  “Woof woof” Otis said.  “What’s that Otis?” the wizard Angela asked? In Otis’ barking, the wizard understood that Otis truly was the wise one. As Otis barked, the wizard understood exactly what Otis was trying to say.

“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”*

And Otis loved Stan dearly.  But even so, Stan still felt like he needed a heart.  And then, Otis offered part of his heart, which the wizard skillfully added to Stan.

09 stan gets heart

10 Otis Angela Stan studio


And with that heart, Stan felt complete, like he could truly love Otis.

But the three of them knew that the wizard’s shop was no place to call home for Stan & Otis.  So the wizard, with the help of some friends, got Stan & Otis ready for a journey.

11 travel






They left the fir trees and rain in the Pacific Northwest, went over the mountain passes in Oregon, and through the poppy filled lands of Northern California, until they found a perfect spot mid-town Sacramento.

12 Otis & Stan midtown b


They found a home where Stan could be protected from the sun and rain … for he was steel, and would rust if left out in the elements.  And Otis could be outside, which is where a dog needs to be.



13 Otis Angela Julie


And they could become part of the families who lived in the building and meet new people every day at the restaurant.

But most importantly, Otis could watch over Stan, and Stan could watch over Otis.  And Otis didn’t really care whether he was in  Sacramento, or the wizard’s shop, or the scrap yard, so long as Stan was with him.*


Excerpts from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, published 1900.





the story of Stan & Otis

“Bringing light to dark places”

2017_5011 BVT ARidgway RGB stroke

I was touched by the wonderful response to my latest feature show when darkness comes.  I never imagined that my art and prose would connect with so many people.  At the reception in May, several people spoke with me about their own struggles with depression, and how my work resonated with their own experiences.  Some spoke to me about loved ones who struggle, and how they could see aspects of them in my art.  And at least one gallery visitors told me the show opened her eyes to issues she really didn’t know much about.

I was also honored to have an article about my show and my own experiences featured in The Beaverton Valley Times.  Writer Blair Stenwick captured my story in a way that I hope others can relate to also.  And my art was beautifully featured in the printed version, shown here.  (Thank you Kevin McConnell for photos of my art, and Rene’ Carroll for the photo in the studio.)  Click here read the online version.

when darkness comes continues at Art On Broadway Gallery in Beaverton, Oregon through July 1st.  If you can’t make it to the gallery, click here to view the pieces and prose on my website.  If you see something you like, the gallery will ship!

03 facing the abyss detail 150 stroke

facing the abyss
I feel the abyss
enormous and consuming.
I look into it
and I feel small.
if I fall in
there is no me … anymore.

(photo by Kevin McConnell)

when darkness comes continues through Friday, June 30, 2017

at Art On Broadway Gallery in Beaverton, Oregon.

Please join me …

Artist Talk
Saturday, June 10th 5:00pmseating is limited…
please reserve your spot by emailing

12570 Broadway
Beaverton, OR

“Bringing light to dark places”

when darkness comes

Art for Mental Health

01 just be here 96 crop
just be here (©2017 Angela Ridgway, 23″x 20″x 7″, repurposed steel)


Depression comes like a moonless night. You don’t notice that it’s arriving at first, but as the light begins to fade, you notice the darkness. Not all at once, but you can feel it coming, from dusk to full darkness. And then it consumes you…


when darkness comes is very personal for me.  It is inpired by my own experiences with depression. When my ‘darkness’ comes, I can usually see it approaching. Sometimes I can take actions to move away from it, but other times, I can’t circumvent it. For many people, depression can be there while they go through the routine of day to day life; or it can be completely debilitating. For me, either way, it consumes my thoughts and actions.

01 in the abyss crop 150
in the abyss (©2017 Angela Ridgway, 14″x 10″, repurposed steel)


My hope is that by opening up about my own depression, others can learn more about the illness and become aware of it – maybe in themselves, maybe in others. Through education and conversation, hopefully we can lift the stigma of mental illness, making it easier for people suffering to get help.


I have dealt with depression most of my adult life, but I didn’t understand what it was I was diagnosed in my early 30’s.  During that time, many people have helped me through the spells, including friends, family, doctors, and therapists. And modern medicine has helped to keep these episodes at bay most of the time. But I am always on the lookout for the signs in my own life, and others.  And I try to take action when I see them.


May is Mental Health Month…in support of this, and mental health services, I will be donating 15% of my show sales in May to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Oregon.

when darkness comes is a two month exhibit, opening Wednesday, May 3, and closing Saturday, July 1, 2017 at Art On Broadway Gallery in Beaverton, Oregon.  See more art from the show here, and on my website.

Please join me …

Artist Reception
Saturday, May 13th 5:00pm – 8:00pm
complimentary refreshments & wine

Artist Talk
Saturday, June 10th 5:00pm
seating is limited, please reserve your spot
both at
12570 Broadway
Beaverton, OR


vista print postcard


when darkness comes

I’m a perpetual postponer …

early morning crop circles caption 1.jpg

I’m a procrastinator…I admit it.  A perpetual postponer, a putter offer, a prolonger.  It’s my nature.  Sometimes, I break free from this norm and get things done early.  When I do, I celebrate.  I think to myself “I can do this all the time!”  This might last a few days, maybe a week.  But then, I am right back to putting things off again.

So, what have I been prolonging in the first three months of 2017?  Well, quite a few things that might be associated with a new year…


TAXES – I’m sure you can relate…most people can.   Last year, I was actually done with all my tax preparation by Jan 15th.  Yep, you heard right…Jan 15th!  I even posted it on Facebook…I was the envy of all my Facebook friends.   But then again, last year at this time, I was just getting to know the art community here in the Pacific Northwest.  Translation … I didn’t have much going on.  This year (in my defense), I’m in 2 galleries, I have 3 art commissions I’m working on, a show in May, and 2 community boards I am part of.  So, I have put off working on my taxes.  (Please don’t tell my husband.)  But I am going to finish them this week … really, I am.

facebook 2 crop.png

ENEWS – It’s March, and I am finally sending you an email.  I have been perpetually thinking about it, and I even tried to write it a couple of times … but to no avail.  I had lots of excuses … I was busy … I was sick … I felt like I really didn’t have anything interesting to say … I didn’t have enough  completed new art to show … I didn’t know how to start. Well, I finally put all those excuses behind me, I have some completed new art now, and you be the judge on whether this is interesting!

EXERCISE – No explanation grocery list. cropjpg.jpg

GROCERY SHOPPING – Between this and unloading the dishwasher, I don’t know which one I put off more.  You’d think that by the time you are my age, you’d realize that you need to eat food (preferably meals) every day.  But if you looked at our cupboards, you would never know.  To show you how bad it has gotten, here is the fridge grocery list that my husband filled in.  I think this says it all!


I don’t want to bore you with the rest of my really long list of things I am procrastinating … cleaning my office, setting up garage storage … just to name a couple.  I think you get the picture.  And I don’t want to leave you thinking I don’t do anything.  I do actually get things done.  I’ve been working on some really really big art that’s really really outside my comfort zone.  It’s nearly done, and when it is, I’ll show you the finish project.  But you can see it coming to life on Facebook now.

Meanwhile, I can show some art that I have I have been working on that I mentioned above…


mountain streams.jpg

early morning crop circles caption 2.jpg









Commissions are some of my favorite projects to work on.  I feel lucky when I get to know collectors and work with them on art that many times they have wanted for years. I just completed and delivered  the two commissions above.  Both are triptychs with a topographic earthy feel — warm copper, red, and rust hues.  mountain streams will go above the fire place in the central gathering space of the home in Camas, Washington, while early morning crop circles will grace the outside entrance of the art filled home in Battle Ground, Washington.  I’ll post pictures of the installed art in a future blog.

just be here captio 96n.jpg


I’ve also been preparing for my upcoming show! It’s a little bit of a different approach, and a very personal topic for me.






03AngelaRidgway 96 frame.jpg


So, while I have put off making progress on many things this year, I’ve definitely been working hard on others.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my my musings on procrastination…and maybe it’s made you feel better about your own postponing!  And I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing some of the things I have been spending my time on.

Thank you again for following and supporting my art journey.  It’s great to have you along!


find my art at these galleries…
Art on Broadway Gallery
12570 SW Broadway St, Beaverton, OR

Attic Gallery
421 NE Cedar St, Camas, WA

contact me directly . . .

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on my website at
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I’m a perpetual postponer …

A Cornucopia Of ..

tr-e-e-s_li-3Last weekend, one of my friends confessed that cornucopia is her favorite word.  I have to agree that it’s a great word … in both sound and meaning.  As Carol says … it just feels good rolling off your tongue.  Go ahead … say it 3 times in a row … out loud! cornucopiacornucopiacornucopia!  Feels g00d doesn’t it?  (Carol’s gonna love this blog!)

Typically, cornucopia is referred to as “a symbol of plenty” and associated with a goat’s horn full of autumn bounty.  But I prefer the definition “an abundant supply of good things.”  As in … “the museum had a cornucopia of Picasso works!” or “the jeweler offered a cornucopia of extravagant beads to choose from.”  What’s not to like about cornucopia?   And it’s a word that is perfect for this time of year.

In the spirit of cornucopia, and Thanksgiving, I’d like to give my own thanks of cornucopia (an abundance of good things). Or is it a cornucopia of thanks? Both I’d say!  First, thanks to, and for, the cornucopia of people who contribute such positive energy to me and my art endeavor.  Believe me, that’s a whole lotta people … including you.  And I recognize it and appreciate it every day. Thank you!

Next, I want to give thanks for the cornucopia of nifty and necessary studio items that I use to create art!  Here are a few of them (in no particular order)…



my little Lincoln welder – this little machine has pumped out pounds and feet (who knows, maybe miles!!) of welding wire since I started using it in 2008. I have made over 500 pieces of art, big and small, and it just keeps on turning. Thank you welder!






my auto-darkening helmet – this may seem like a given in the welding world today, wow! I wouldn’t be able to do the type of metal art and welding I do without this.  I would literally be in the dark!  My dad was an apprenticed ship welder and welding instructor, and he never used one of these.  I love my helmet!  Thank you helmet!



a cornucopia of grinders – a metal artist’s best friend! Even though I sometimes complain about using the variety of grinders and attachments, these tools clean up the metal and welds to make them smooth to the touch, with no finger cuts! Thank you grinders!



my gloves – mostly, I wear my welding gloves, but I have several pairs of gloves in the studio to protect my hands from cuts, grinds, burns, and chemicals.  It is also what makes it possible for me to go to the studio with my finger nails brightly polished!  Thank you gloves!






white vinegar – white vinegar you ask?  yep…white vinegar! This is a recent addition to my cornucopia of studio items.  I asked my landlord Dave (who is also a master fabricator) what would remove mill scale from metal (this is the gray coating on some steel that is almost impossible to grind off).  “white vinegar” was his response … “shut the front door!” was mine!  And it works like a charm … on rust too! This is what the white vinegar looks like after lots of use.  Not so white anymore!  Thank you white vinegar!music-small


music – creating art can be a solitary job, and music keeps my mind and body energized while I’m working.  Thank you music!




scrap metal rings’s – I love these scrap metal rings & circles.  I use smaller ones and the ‘gears’ in my ‘crop circle’ series.  But they have a cornucopia of uses in lots of my art!  Thank you rings!








small shear & small bender – these nifty pieces of equipment cut and curve the triangles for Stan’s skin.  Thank you shear & bender!






my boots – these red boots keep my feet protected from welding sparks, flying objects, and the concrete floor!  Thank you!







art – most of the time, I have multiple art pieces in the studio at various levels of progression.  The art is the end result of working with all of the cornucopia of nifty things in my studio.  ‘Stan’ pretty much takes center stage right now.  Making the art makes my world go around.  Thank you art!!




The cornucopia of nifty studio items goes on…  Thank you studio!!



It doesn’t matter what you do, I’m sure you have a cornucopia of nifty tools or other things that you love and are thankful for…what are they?  Leave a comment! Or post on my Facebook page.  I look forward to hearing about your cornucopia too!

And Happy Thanksgiving!!



A Cornucopia Of ..

Embracing Public Art

aridgway-embrace-your-inner-light-96embrace your inner light
©2016 Angela Ridgway, welded re-purposed steel, 55″ x 29″ x 15″
photo by Kevin McConnell


I’m excited to finally announce that my sculpture embrace your inner light will be installed as public art in Beaverton, Oregon later this week!  The City of Beaverton and the Beaverton Downtown Association chose this piece after seeing it at Art On Broadway Gallery in Beaverton.  If you are in the area, I’d like to invite you to the sculpture dedication on Wednesday, November 9th at 4pm.


A little bit about the piece…this sculpture is made from re-purposed curved metal panels.  But the focus of the sculpture is the welded imagery.  The sculpture depicts a curved tree branch on one side and a rising sun on the other. I welded about 15 pounds of welding wire to create the depth and detail texture the tree branch.  I didn’t plan this, but it wasn’t complete until that point.  The images and shape of the piece give it special meaning to me, and I hope for everyone who sees it:
inside each of us is a light that shines
it isn’t always visible to others, but it’s always there.
embrace yours and the brilliance it gives you.

Please Join Me in Celebrating and Embracing Public Art!

Sculpture Dedication
Wednesday November 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm
Broadway Plaza, SW Broadway
(Next to Art On Broadway Gallery, 12570 SW Broadway St)
Beaverton, OR

Embracing Public Art

welcome to my world


my really big project


For the last few months, I’ve been working on a really big project, so I haven’t had many completed pieces of art to show you.

Instead, I thought I’d take you into my working world … my studio … so you can see where I work and what I’m working on.

I usually create my artwork in 2 phases:  the metal work phase and the finish painting phase.  The metal work phase is done in my metal shop studio in Uptown Village in Vancouver, Washington. Then, I usually do the painting phase at my home studio in Washougal, Washington.  My home studio is nothing fancy … a place to paint, a place for storage, a place for my computer and office supplies.

So, welcome to my metal studio…



A big part of my work revolves around safety and protective clothing.  Here I am with my leather sleeves, respirator, and welding mask.  I probably have ear plugs in too.  So please, don’t walk up on me while I am welding!


As a special treat, I have created a guided tour of my studio … click here to watch my video tour.


At any point in time, I usually have 4-6 projects in some state of progress.  Usually, these are in my studio and I break up my time working on them…


I also have lots of raw material in my studio.  Some of it is there because I want it close at hand for what I’m doing.  Some of it I put in front of me so I see it over and over until I come up with an idea for that piece of art…


And then there is equipment, storage, and work surfaces…


All in all, it is a great little studio. I stuff a lot in a small space … but thank goodness I have some overflow storage in a container out back.  I am happy here and am loving creating in my space.

I’d love for you to visit sometime.  Let me know if you are in the Vancouver area and would like to come by.  I’d be delighted to show you around!  Email me:

Click here to view more of my art at

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welcome to my world