Welcome to James Mellick’s  Heartwood Studios and Farm, Art Gallery, Art Studio, Art School, Writing and Music Site.  Welcome Made with MAGIX The Art of James Mellick Stacking Dogs, 1985; 12’ x 6’ x 4’ cedar and copper, (c) James Mellick private collection, Boulder, CO (available for resale) Stacking Dogs, 1985; cedar and copper; (c) James Mellick Dear Friends, I am living in “overtime” after heart surgery in September of 2009 during which I had four bypasses and a valve repair.  I don’t think I’ve been more vulnerable that being split open like a lab frog on a cold slab.  I doubt that I will ever make art about the experience but who knows? Such experiences, like marriage, the birth of a child or the death of a family member, are pivotal and life changing experiences.  Before you go under the knife, you take a quick inventory of your life and what you belief.  When you are standing on the banks of the river you have to have some commitment about what awaits on the other side.  Not everyone has this luxury of introspection in what could be ones final moment.  I thank God for the skilled surgeons and specialists and the superior American health care system that is in danger of being screwed up.  In some ways I see myself lucky having surgery now rather than ten years from now.  Who knows how long I would have to wait or if I would even qualify at 74 years old. If the surgery had gone differently I would not be here to write this, to mow my lawn, plant a garden, make art, write music and enjoy my wife and grandchildren.  Such experiences reminds one of what is important.  At the same time I would miss my friends--not the superficial facebook kind--but genuine friends, the ones that would show up at your funeral and celebrate your life.