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.

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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

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 ..