Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Learning a Lesson

I don't think  this blog is going to have a picture. I was thinking about my conversation with a very smart friend this evening. We were talking about when things happen to you, you hopefully can learn from them. Then again, if the same thing happens over and over, why do we make the same decisions? I said my fault was loyalty. If I am your friend, I am for life. But things do not always turn out the way we wish they would, so I guess it has to be a choice about what path to take. Usually, we pull out of something when the pain becomes much greater than the pleasure. Can I learn to not wait until the end is so apparent? I think it is something to work towards for my higher good. 
I guess this happens in art, also. We keep making the same choices in color, or technique, or creative style. And it does not bring us the ending we want. Or it does not sell no matter. Then it is time to reevaluate and also figure out why we want to keep doing it. If it is pure pleasure in the creative process, then I think we get a pass. If it doesn't bring joy, then why  bother?
 Just some thoughts on a rainy evening . 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Lake that Disappears

I cannot seem to get these Canadian Rockies out of my mind. I guess that means  I have to write about them some more . This is the Lake that Disappears. During summer it is  filled up with water. But in time it will be completely dry. Turns out there are cracks in  bottom of the lake so it drains out and voila ,it will become no lake at all.The First Nations used to fear this disappearing body of water . It must have been powerful magic to make something so large just go away, and yet reappear the following year.
 I guess that happens a lot in life and art. We humans often fear what we do not understand. There is often a strong  need for logical answers and when they are not available, we make up the reasons. Sometimes it is  simply given the broad stroke of disapproval. This is different and intimidating, therefore it is bad.  This art is too weird and doesn't seem to fit what I am used to , therefore it not "true art". Even, or especially in the creative process, where there is often Not a logical reason that something we do, some stroke to the pen or brush works, and the others  do not.  As we get experience, we hope that we can reproduce those same applications. but there are always those special moments , when it all just seems to go right.That's okay, I believe in magic. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Canola Oil

I seem to still be in Canada in my consciousness,  so I invite you along with me. This is a field of Canola plants, in full yellow blossom, close to harvest.  As I traveled along the open highway, I saw these flowers  stretching  for miles, or kilometers as the Canadians say.  
 Every day many of us  go to our kitchen and  use canola oil to prepare our  food. This is where it all starts, in  these beautiful fields of yellow blossoms. The ordinary becomes a totally different entity. That which we look at one way, suddenly becomes transformed.
Art contains all those elements of changing forms into other forms. Clay starts out as a piece  of wet earth. I take my hands and I shape it into what I hope it will agree to. Yes, it is really a living thing to me and so, will sometimes  follow, yet sometimes resist. As with all transformation, there is perhaps the element of luck, or my prayers to the kiln gods which may influence the outcome. Looking inside the mind of a ceramicist.
 I guess it is really about change. Just going far away and seeing those fields of brilliant color will change my views.About the Canola oil in my kitchen; how vast Alberta fields stretches as far as my eye can see; what I am going to create  out of the images swirling in my brain.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lake Lousie

Well I have returned from my journey to the Rocky mountains of Canada. Yes, they are different than those in our country, with  lots of glacial  lakes that took my breath away when I viewed them. I was however, almost never alone at the water's edge, until I walked quite a way from this vista, at the the famous Lake Louise. There I was inspired to write a narrative poem that I will share with you . 
Vast aquamarine oasis in the hunter green folds of 
Evergreens and spruce and lodge pole pines.
Ancient blue white glacier, receding in the distant V of
Two mountains meeting.Victoria is the name of the mountain on the right, memories of a distant Queen, 
Thoughts turning inward to this one who shares her name.
People teeming like colorful flags, waving to and fro.
Images and sounds from every country present, 
Japanese, a constant intonation, with  German, French, English and more, superseding sounds of nature, 
Until I walk towards the outer edges of this ancient Lake.
Canada, vast wilderness that takes me on a caravan of modern day inquiry. 
" Lake Louise",written on July 14, 2012, Alberta, Canada

Friday, July 13, 2012

On the Road Again

 Again,  this artist is travelling to remote place without internet. However, you know me, and it will all be inspiration for the blogs to follow... 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


This is a ceramic wall piece that I have currently hanging  in a show  at the Sedona Arts Center. The show theme is "Freedom", and my abstract rendering of the red, white and blue,  interpretation seemed to fit that theme nicely. 
 It is a large platter,@ 14" across, hand built rather than wheel thrown.While it hangs nicely on the wall, it has a foot, so it could sit on a surface as well. I like creating  those options.  When it gets that big across, there can be a possibility of cracking, so it is a victory not only in style, but survival.The freedom to push the clay to its outer limits and see how far I can take it. 
We just finished celebrating the 4th of July.I watched great fireworks! I thought of the  immigrants coming into the United States. In all those accents , arriving at Ellis Island,a new life in a new land of freedom, which they might call "A-mer-i-ka."
 I travel a lot. I like to see first hand what I read or hear  or have a fantasy about.What is that place is really like, compared to where I live?  Reality turns out to  be more interesting to me than all  my speculations. I am grateful that I can do this. I know there are countries where woman cannot. I have visited there. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Where Do our Designs Come From?

Where do our designs come from? Well there is one school of thought that says nothing is really totally new. We are merely recycling things we have already seen and tucked away in some corner of our minds . There may be some truth to that . Above is a picture I took at Ghost Ranch of the mountains  off in the distance. When it came time to work on the cover to my book, I really did not have a defined picture to draw from , and so I just started to paint.  I think I just went into that part of my mind I will call my design center. I do not even know why I put in that turquoise door. A focal point of color perhaps. It is such a southwest color, and one I use a lot in my work.
 Later, as I was walking back to my room, I saw a door just that color.Was I copying what I had seen unconsciously ? Did all the images I had seen there, or elsewhere, just go deep into that design corner of my brain, waiting until I needed them to create my artwork ?  Well, that's the nice thing about a blog, it is food for thought for all of us. Please, tell your experiences.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pages in My Book

I titled this picture " Pages in my Book" when I was down loading my  photographs. These are two of  the pages I painted using paste paint, which is acrylic paint added to a paste medium. These I painted using small cut sponges as my paintbrushes.
Our canvas was a  long sheet of Arches text wove paper,that were sewn together in the middle.What a sweet paper to use and abuse and it doesn't seem to fall apart. I am a fan. I learned these techniques at Ghost Ranch , New Mexico, while studying with Nancy Culmone.
 It is interesting because the paintings are each twice as long as you see, @ 10" by 16." When folded in the middle, they end up facing the  image of another half page. So, one page becomes two images.  Two totally different , and yet one hopes, harmonious images that play together.
 New beginnings; sunrises; sunsets; pale glimpses of color; bold explosions  of different hues .Pages in the  book of what? Art; life perhaps? Isn't that the way it is? Starting out on one path, then I find myself on an entirely  new page. I proceed forward, but often I find myself on a continuation of a page from before. Yet facing a new page it has a new look. Amazing.
 Ramblings of a tired artist.