About The Author

“Man Made Militia” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Sculpture of Stone – I guess you could consider this an installation… Placed on the bank of Nine Mile Run… This spot just felt right… So I sat and played… They are roughly 4′ tall…

A lot has changed since this was written… I got married In the Summer of 2016… My wife and I bought a house way out in the country… I now work on a farm as a field manager… I am in the process of rewriting this bio… So consider the site under construction…

My name is Chris Condello, and this is my corner of the Internet. I am an artist living in Wilkinsburg, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. Wilkinsburg is considered by many to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Allegheny County, but I feel it is important to remember communities that experience great decline, will often experience an even greater renewal… I am just a tiny sampling of the people responsible for the renaissance Wilkinsburg is currently experiencing, in my eyes this community is about to come alive!

I am an urban gardener/farmer, guerrilla gardener, Penn State Master Gardener, photographer, environmentalist, naturalist, activist, writer, but most importantly… I am an artist… I have no education beyond high school… I’m just trying to figure this shit out as I go… As far as the information contained within my blog is concerned… The only thing that I can legally claim is that I am not an idiot… I will let you be the judge…

I have only been writing for a couple of years now… Prior to being a writer… I was a full-time heroin addict that could only be considered a lost cause… That has changed… I am now clean and experiencing life with the curiosity of a newborn… As I experience things… I tend to write about it… I guess that is why I consider myself a writer… Dare I say an author…

My blog is primarily geared towards gardening… But ultimately it is a collection of my personal work… Gardens… Poetry… Artwork… Sculpture… Photography… And prose… Although I am a gardener… I actually consider myself an artist that uses plants as one of my mediums…

SelfPortraitDye

“Self Portrait” – © chriscondello 2013 – Conceptual Composition – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – Alley puddle… Mud… Food Coloring… And my reflection…

When I am not working in my gardens… I am often in the woods creating sculptures of sticks and stones… I like to let the land guide me… I often have no idea what I will be working on when I leave my house… It is not until I find my location… And locate my medium… That I realize what I will be creating… Many of my natural creations have a limited lifespan due to their locations… My photographs will typically be the only evidence of my creations…

BlueDandy

“Spring” – © chriscondello 2013 – Wilkinsburg, PA – Conceptual Composition – The water in the puddle I dyed with food coloring… The dandelion I found in my yard… And the reflection is from a twisted branch I positioned above for the photo…

I used to consider myself a “food farmer” exclusively, when I built my last little urban farm all I was interested in was food. I was only interested in the physical yields that my plants could produce, it wasn’t until recent years that I began to feel the real power that a tree or plant can yield. I would like to see all gardeners recognize the true yield potential of a plant or tree, to look beyond the physical and begin looking at the meta-physical yields. We have a unique opportunity as gardeners to sculpt and shape the landscapes of our future, we are after all, installation artists.

BleedingPuddle©

“Swimmers” – © chriscondello 2013 – Wilkinsburg, PA – Conceptual Composition – Dyed puddle, bleeding hearts and reflection – I have shot bleeding hearts from every angle imaginable… This has been my favorite angle so far…

Although I am a gardener, I am also an artist… I love to paint… I apparently love to write… And I love to create… But gardening is my favorite… The land is my canvas and plants and trees are my medium. I don’t just create my artwork for the physical yield I receive, I do it for the mental and spiritual yield I receive from it… and that is one of the things that will set me apart from the rest… one day at least… I hope… being a starving artist is not easy… well I guess I can’t say “starving” artist!

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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84 thoughts on “About The Author

  1. greg hill says:

    Thank you for sharing, you are making something special. There is something I haven’t found that I think would be very beneficial if you put together the research and publish it. The idea is this. Some plants move water with their roots, pumping it into the ground during rainy season and pulling it back up during drought. It is called hydraulic redistribution. I see studies indicating sage brush does this in the desert and sugar maples do in hardwood forests, and I see mention that 60 species are known to do this, but I can’t find a list. This hydraulic redistribution is said to benefit the plants in the understorey. I am certain you recognize the importance of this function. If you have the time and interest to compile this information, please do. I suspect this is a vital component to the microclimate terraforming we must be doing to mend the mistakes of those before us for the benefit of those after us.
    Peace, brother.

    Like

  2. Been a long time ? ? ?
    July to December, hope this finds you clean and sober.
    Love, hugs and we need a happy poem … ME

    Like

  3. Dia says:

    Love your medium. Reminds me of Andy Goldsworthy, a fav. Congrats on your recovery, too, and being willing to share. Stories about turn arounds with that particular journey are critical these days. I look forward to more of your garden/art/writing/life explorations.

    Like

  4. Kennedy Watt says:

    Hey man! Just saw you on and your Urban Garden work on Transition 2.0. Really impressed. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Like

  5. Cece says:

    Wow, you are just freaking interesting, and intelligent! Being a rabid gardener feeding my family and my own artistic soul, this is the perfect blog and source for more of the information and inspiration that I seem to crave. I love your style of writing, your art and your soulful connection to plants. Thank you for doing this. So, so well done!

    Like

  6. Courtney says:

    I just got a turn on..

    Like

  7. den169 says:

    You have inspired me. Thank you.

    Like

  8. I’ve probably said this before, as have been following for a couple of years now, but I do really love your blog and look at your photos often – a source of delight. Namaste.

    Like

  9. Maria Fokas says:

    Chris, what can I say….beautiful words… beautiful pictures!Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Like

  10. susanlhamo says:

    Art and gardening…a beautiful combination

    Like

  11. Thanks for finding my blog! You have beautiful work on your blog and a survivor’s story. It sounds like you have a sensitive soul and can tap into that in your creativity. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  12. Great writing and beautiful photos Chris! Love your “Man Made Militia”. Best 🙂

    Like

  13. Congratulations! You’ve been nominated by writewireless for the Sunshine Award! Please see http://writewireless.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/thanks-for-the-sunshine-award-nomination/ for instructions. Keep up the good work!

    Like

  14. Award, award, claim your Shine On Award! 🙂 Right here, right now:
    http://thehopefulherbalist.wordpress.com/

    Like

  15. Courtney says:

    Nice man. I love your work. Thumbs up here, small town.. Like OMG… Like OMG, gardening is so awesome! I was just thinking the same thing, then I was wondering if there was someone out there, who would be like me, gardening, like it, and like the farmer type, as I am on your page right.. Then I go down, and look over and see like this photo of a stretched out guy.. and I’m like, hello OMG. I drew, these two flowers on your page. I wrote the address on my paper. I am always studying flowers.. I’m all about conservation. I was so interested in a photo I saw when I typed in for a search, got an image of this flower.. cinnamin on something flower. I fell in love, clicked, saw this page, and BEFORE that was a very good flower to attract maybe butterflies. There is something online about butterflies having a hard time surviving. So of course that caught my eye. I have done wildlife conservation and made good with lots of butterflies. I was thinking,oh, maybe I should take this info as a note, and then I’m thinking no.. and then I did. lol. Great! I do all types of stuff too!! I used to take tons of photos.. lol Yea. Hope you’re having a great winter!

    Like

  16. Beautiful and interesting medium. I love your work and feel I can learn a some gardening tips from your blog.

    LaTrice

    Like

  17. Thanks for sharing your story and your creativity! I will enjoy following you. Thanks for taking a look at my photo blog!

    Like

  18. Jennifer... says:

    There you are – the one person in the world that loves using “…” in his writing even more than me! Greetings from Germany and thank you for your inspiring work…
    Jennifer

    Like

  19. Kate C says:

    Chris! Beautiful. The ‘man made militia’ you encountered resonates with me having just been through a field of stack stones in Zion national park to discover the true meaning of this art – http://www.inukshukgallery.com/inukshuk.html

    stay well,stay aligned and keep inspiring. your directing your passion in the right way is appreciated and both the dark and light are understood are too well. comforting to know souls who have touched both extremes. comforting, and energizing. with respect, love and appreciation, kc

    Like

  20. Penn State Master Gardener? I just graduated from PSU main campus a couple weeks ago with my engineering degree! Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my photography blog a while back. Best wishes and Happy New Year!

    Like

  21. susanlhamo says:

    Hey Chris, thanks for liking my blog….glad to hear of your personal journey to authenticity…its sometimes a hard one, but ultimately it’
    s the only one!

    Like

  22. narf77 says:

    Just came here from a link in another post. Excellent stuff. I live in Tasmania where I inherited 4 acres of steep sloping, rock infested overgrown garden on the river when my dad died. My ideas about “gardening” have changed radically and as a penniless student hippy I am now all about feeding the land and watching it to see what it needs me to do in order for it to heal and grow. Gotta say its been a blast. Pity everything seems to want to take over. The vegetation, wildlife and chooks all have Napoléon complexes but I live in hope that equilibrium will be reached one day (hopefully in my lifetime so I get a little bit of enjoyment out of it 😉 ). Love your blog. Stuffing it into my overstuffed RSS Feed Reader and look forwards to seeing where life takes you and tasting life “Condello” style from afar. I love that social media allows we penniless student hippies to take some incredibly amazing journey’s. Only one thing makes me twitch…I HATE petunias! Hope you don’t mind that I substituted “Jerusalem Artichokes” for petunias. I know that they are incredibly invasive but unlike everything else on our block, I can eat them! Cheers for this great blog 🙂

    Like

  23. Carol Donaldson says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my post. I really enjoyed reading about the change you made in your life and seeing some of your beautiful photographs, particularly the bleeding hearts.

    Like

  24. wing puah says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. You have such a interesting blog. I’m sure I could learn a lot about gardening/permaculture from your blog 😀

    Like

  25. gailkav says:

    I love your art, creating those moments and capturing them on camera seems to me to be the essence of art. Your story is inspiring and I look forward to seeing more.

    Like

  26. Chris, Thanks for the glimpse into you. I’m sensing an authentic being who seems at peace with himself and his chosen path. The above images are equal parts creative and beautiful, especially in their simplicity. Appreciate your opening the door and inviting us in!

    Like

  27. laflor5233 says:

    Thanks for liking my blog. I’m new at this and it’s hard to get likes. I do have to tell you that your blog is great and very inspirational!

    Like

  28. Brenda says:

    I like your blog, I love art and gardening and the intersection of the two. Thanks for visiting friendlyfairytales. Regards, Brenda

    Like

  29. randomrose says:

    I have nominated you for the Liebster Award as I find your blog so interesting. I have learnt quite a lot about gardening. I will be posting the nominees about 9.30pm Australia time. http://www.randomrose.wordpress.com

    Like

  30. hakesplace says:

    Lovely blog! Found you through Steve from Gardening in Greenwood! 🙂

    Like

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