Excrementism is a word from my fornicabulary. It fits a recent situation involving a commission.

I got a call from an exec of the annual Orchid Society Show at the Arboretum, in Asheville, NC. She asked if I would make some paper orchid sculptures for exhibition at their show.

I thought, sure, why not, beautiful flowers are right up my garden alley. I was busy with other work, so I had a couple of weeks to think about it.

Paper sculpture orchids, for orchid experts? I didn’t think so. They would pick them apart, gleefully pointing out dozens of my mistakes in every pretty paper petal, pistil, and palette.

It had all the makings of an artistic disaster. I wasn’t about to make my sorry ass, realistic paper images of Mother Nature’s floral glory.

Excrementism. Not knowing sh*t about the subject.

So I decided to make my own paper blossoms, based on Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, giving the “experts” nothing to criticize. First was Orchideco. Silver and gold, minimal color on sharp angles, and geometric pattern decoration.


Orchideco $2250.

Orchideco went reasonably well, though I struggled with the concept, but I knew Orchidnouveau could probably be a lot more fun. Organic shapes, a butterfly with hands, flowers and other goofy looking stuff. Painting color combinations is when a lotta fun took place in the process. No chromatic holds barred, I used all 64 crayons in my toy box, including black and white.


Orchidnouveau $2250.

I am an excrementist in other parts of my makeup, I don’t know sh*t aboutalotta things. Think about it, excrementism seems to be a movement that has gone viral, especially in politics, and excrementism could be a huge third party. Great bumper stickers and novelty toilet tissue.

Thanks for visiting me…


The Weaverville Art Safari, Art From the Heart of the Blue Ridge, studio tours is on Saturday & Sunday, May 2 & 3, 10am-5pm. The preview party is on Friday night, the 1st, at the Weaverville Town Hall, 30 S. Main Street from 7:00 – 9:00pm. It’s $10 per person, with $5 raffle tickets for door prizes, and a cash bar (beer and wine).

My email address has changed to: LeoTheColorman@gmail.com

8 thoughts on “Excrementism

  1. Beautiful work, but I’m not sure you should refer to this as a “movement.”

  2. I’m glad I read both of these blog posts, both candid and apropos to my resent frustrations in the studio. Since I only went full time with my art career two years ago I had this unrealistic notion things would get easier, and in some ways they have, then I have weeks like I had last week, which make me want to punch a hole in the source of my frustrations! Arrgh!

    Well, its nice to know it doesn’t get any easier! Thanks for the depressing news. I’m kidding. Seriously though, in knowing other artists, longtime talented professional artists such as yourself, still have moments like this in the studio it makes it more bearable, or maybe it just makes me realize sometimes its just part of the process, a process we need to learn from. And to me that’s what is attractive about this career path, I am constantly learning something through my frustrations and failures. I suppose it’s time to revisit the book Art and Fear.

    Thanks Leo. You might have just inspired me to write another blog post of my own.

    Cheers to Excrementism… and learning shit as we go.


    • Erik…It never gets easier but it seems to get more interesting as time goes on…If you look at my website, you will find that, for 50 years, I was a very successful illustrator in the paper sculpture technique… Working on deadlines was important as it forced me to make decisions and live with them…after the first 500 illustrations, I got pretty good at it…Don’t work things to death, abandon them at some point and move on…Perfection is the enemy of good…Good luck…leo

  3. leo the colorman wow! this is worth waiting for & we arer going to try to get to your studio soon

    • Matt…I’m usually at home in the studio and if you call me, and I’m here, you are welcome anytime…hope to see you soon…leo

  4. I admire your work at a distance (from Greensboro, NC) and wished I could visit to take your classes- as they must be the ULTIMATE in FUN, including your wicked sense of humor. Your skill is that of a surgeon, and I know a surgeon who is an accomplished artist- in fact- the twain have often mixed because creative, curious & smart go together! As a former fashion designer from NYC, who patented a process to make painted backdrops and now photographing my own reflective icy sculptures to create unique 3d images, I appreciate the skill and imagination that goes into your amazing paper sculptures. I am grateful for our mutual friend Barbara R.D. that told me about you. I hope to get into a gallery one day myself, but I do not travel in the right crowds nor know any of the right people! (boo-hoo)
    All my best- Dianne pls see http://www.artforms.com go to “Images” Iceforms gallery

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