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”