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Up, Up and Away!

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

As I indicated earlier this year, we at WaterShapes have dedicated ourselves to making our newsletter and Web site bigger, better and more helpful than ever.

We’ve increased the volume and frequency of original newsletter articles and features, gotten involved in raising the level of education in our industry and organized everything we do to make solid information accessible in ways that

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Bold Steps

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I’m still smiling.

As I’ve declared in a few recent blogs, my hope has been that the apparent conflict between Genesis 3 and Artistic Resources & Training (ART) would result in two high-caliber education providers emerging in place of one that was drifting.

If the first classes conducted by ART are any indication

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Recent comments

  • Guest - Michael J. Logsdon

    My turn to weigh in! I was absolutely thrilled how the first two classes went with ART’s new program and completely agree with David Penton, so I won’t reiterate the same things. Anyone that knows me, knows that I give David Tisherman credit for my knowledge of design and taking my education in lan...
  • Guest - David Penton

    Having attended both the recent Genesis 3 summit in Palm Springs as well as the ART class in Phoenix, I have to say that I am very impressed with the direction that both groups are going! Unlike some of the other educational opportunities that exist within the industry, both of these organizations a...
  • Guest - Mark Holden

    WOW. Jim, thanks for declaring an “apparent conflict” exists in your first sentence when I have gone to great lengths to encourage everyone at Genesis 3 to continue with their program and the ART program to complement this. I just got done defending you with Shawn Burch’s statements about this topi...
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What's Wrong with This Picture?

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I was wandering around the web the other day when I came across this headline:  “City Breaks Ground On First New City Pool In 50+ Years.”

Ironically, the town getting the new pool isn’t some backwater where there’s been no growth or progress in the last half-century:  It’s Fort Worth, Texas

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Recent comments

  • Guest - Aunt Ida

    I live in snow country where few private residences have pools. But we have several athletic clubs and YMCA branches with indoor, heated, year-round pools. One pool is heated by geothermal and it's the favorite!
  • I think that the convergence of the 'Me Generation' (I want my OWN pool, thank you very much) and budget crises in every level of government, including municipalities, have created the environment of convenient excuses for the decline in public pools...The excuses go something like "Public pools ar...
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Positive Potentials

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I don’t think I could be more pleased.

After I wrote about the emergence of Artistic Resources & Training (ART) a few weeks back, I reported on a number of conversations I’d had with people who said I’d been unfair to Genesis 3 and had

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Recent comments

  • Guest - Peter Langevin

    Dave Peterson is an outstanding choice to head up the Genesis 3 educational reins. Good luck to him. One great thing to remember here is the fact that a large host of talented builders were born from the programs that Skip, Brian and David started. Peterson has a deep bench of instructors to choose ...
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Broadcasting a Vision


By Jim  McCloskey                             
Early in 2001, we at WaterShapes were looking for a way to break out of the pack and make a distinctive name for our then-new publication. And of course, we wanted to do it in a way that would attract maximum attention for boldness, brashness and sheer chutzpah.   
It didn’t take long for us to settle on 

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Threatened Foundations

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I spend a good bit of time almost every day wandering around the Internet, exploring and evaluating information and selecting the choicest morsels to share on the homepage of the WaterShapes Web site.

In the past several weeks, I’ve spotted a whole range of stories about problems related to public-sector watershapes. On the one hand are tales of drought conditions causing various municipalities to

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Tackling the New Year

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for more than 50 years, was once a decent athlete and have always been a sports fan.  I’m avid about local traditions and culture and have peeked in on at least parts of broadcasts of Tournament of Roses Parades on New Year’s Day since the late 1950s.

On January 1, 2013, however, I did something I never thought I’d do:  At the invitation of

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Recent comments

  • Guest - Stan Zielinski

    Jim After high school one of my first endeavors was to build Rose Parade floats, I did this for nearly 15 years. I can relate whole heartedly your reluctance to attend anything in Pasadena on or around the New Year! The stories I could tell you are beyond comprehension. I also share your apprehensio...
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Rearranging the Furniture II

By Jim McCloskey

Blog art croppedMy recent blog on the formation of Artistic Resources & Training brought an unusual response: Not a single person wanted to comment on my words in print, and the many who called me directly all requested that our conversation be off the record.

While that hasn’t advanced the dialogue I was hoping to build, it amply demonstrates that feelings are running high – which is, I suppose, understandable given the

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Recent comments

  • Guest - Peter Langevin

    Gentlemen, I was surprised to hear Jim’s response about keeping his conversations with many insiders off the record. Support on both sides is needed. Have we forgotten what rose up from the ashes of the NSPI? A brilliant new program called Genesis 3! What are the core values of the Genesis that many...
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Gearing Up

By Jim McCloskey

Blog art croppedAs 2012 comes to a close, I’ve slooked back on the year just past and I’m amazed by everything that’s happened with the WaterShapes franchise. The newsletter has gotten better with each succeeding edition, and the watershapes.com web site has grown literally every day since

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Coming Attractions

By Jim McCloskey

Blog art croppedThrough the past several weeks, I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of conversations about ART – Artistic Resources & Training.

It’s the new educational forum being built by Mark Holden and a collection of like-minded professionals (including David Tisherman, Kevin Fleming, Judith Corona and Larry Drasin, among many others) who want to kick the level of instruction and information now available to watershapers and environmental artists up to

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Recent comments

  • Guest - Mark Holden

    Shawn, You suggest that there is only way to go with education, and that’s through Genesis 3. For my part, I see room for ART as an extension and elaboration of the Genesis 3 approach and think all builders who want to improve their skills should be exposed to Genesis courses. I believe that firmly ...
  • Guest - Shawn Burch

    Jim, I have followed you, Watershapes and Genesis for over 12 years now. You were one of the biggest cheerleaders for Genesis and now it appears you might be completely discounting all the good that the Genesis Group did to try and advance watershape education. Are you suggesting that we abandon Gen...
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On the Flat and Shallow

By Jim McCloskey

Blog art croppedI don’t remember exactly when or where I saw my first tanning shelf, but I recall being puzzled and even a bit put off by the concept.

I have never been one to loll around my own backyard pool, basically because my fair skin takes a UV beating. (Actually, I’m just tired of having my dermatologist remind me that I’m paying the piper for

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Recent comments

  • Guest - C.J. Miller

    I insisted my husband put one in our beautiful pool. I put loungers in, low chairs, low tables and of course – an umbrella in the sleeve. But for me, the single most important role it needed to play was that of easy entry and exit for our 2 dogs. And so, I call it Doggie Beach. When he shows it to p...
  • Guest - Cathy Ingham

    I’ve used the term sun shelf or even ‘kiddie pool’ for families with little ones. I think a more elegant label would be ‘aqua lounge’ – then it’s not necessarily thought of as only for tanning. I love the imagery of the night time shot of the table & chairs and romantic setting!
  • Guest - Jeff Robinson

    Great story on the “shelves” aka “wet decks” here in Utah. My only concern is the thousands of pools out there that we built over the years (before the feature was thought of) that don’t have them. The good news is virtually every remodel we do now gets a “wet deck”, as does 100% of all new construc...
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Feeling Grateful

By Jim McCloskey

Blog art croppedBack in the day when WaterShapes was primarily a magazine and only marginally an Internet entity, I had a group of fine people around me. In fact, at the time we shifted from mostly print to all-digital after releasing our July 2011 edition, the same team had put together every edition of the magazine for more than a dozen years.

It was a merry crew, and one of my most pleasant tasks each year was

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Aesthetics First!

By Jim McCloskey

Blog art croppedI ran into an interesting reaction to my last blog — the one about diving boards and slides — that forced me to meditate on my approach to this series of articles about elements of aquatic environments that I like and/or dislike.

“Must everything,” I was asked, “be about aesthetics? You yourself say that diving boards and slides are a blast, but then you

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