Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Birdhouse for Springtime

 It is springtime.The  earth is waking up.The birds are singing.  It is a time of rebirth, of looking to nest and create. Tomorrow is Easter.
This is a picture of my ceramic birdhouse which I actually created for a show with just that theme. It is rather large, standing eleven inches high and about eight inches wide and deep. I made it from clay slabs joined together. Always a risk of bending or cracking with this size. I added a nice stick to use as a focal point and an entrance. I chose  a  metallic glaze for the roof and a celadon, or light green,for the  walls. It is actually a low fired piece. I achieved the crackle from my second and final outdoor primitive firing. I wanted a certain earthiness.  I wished to bring the outdoors inside.  
The fence outside is my western touch, and also to amuse. I like to have a piece of whimsy in my folk art. I even created a ceramic bird that likes to hang out nearby. This house has never been outside a showroom. I can't tell if it is a functional item for some creature, or simply  a creative birdhouse. I guess that would be the choice of the buyer, and their possible feathered friends !  

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Beauty of Tango

Well I do not seem to be able to quite leave the beautiful world of tango just yet. Here is a shot taken by Greg while I was on the dance floor.You can see that I am in what is called the "close embrace" with my partner.This is always used in the milonga  style of dance, but also in other melodies. The man will choose his style of  holding you as the music starts. Sometimes the hold is too much, not very comfortable, and we try to sort of back off. My observation is that while your body is in dance posture, the nicest leaders give you room to move and be creative also. 
I guess the real beauty of this dance is when two people are moving in total harmony, as if they are one.Since you are often with a complete stranger, you must be centered in your own self, while at the same time following the steps and moves of your leader This appears to be  true in any form of partnership, whether on the dance floor, in our romance, or just going through life. I think we like to be around people who make it easy for us, and bring out the best in us. I know I do.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The International Art of Tango

Tango. Argentine tango is one of the most international dances around right now. What was once a forbidden dance in its own country has becomes a world wide art form that is enjoyed in many places world wide.
Here I am practicing in a class at the Tucson Tango Festival, from which I just returned. There were teachers from countries  such as  Russia, Colombia, Argentina, and the United States. People came from many states to this festival. I  had  fun dancing with a Russian who now lives in Las Vegas.Only in America! 
Dances are divided into blocks of three or four tunes, called a tanda. You dance with one partner for these songs. Then comes a break and it is off to a new partner. Proper etiquette requires the gentleman to ask the lady to dance. It is a dance that is Latin based, so that is their culture.Is that difficult?  It  can feel so if you aren't dancing.  Regardless, it truly looks and feels like art when it is well done. That is a feeling shared by those  of us who dance, no matter where we come from, or where are feet are moving!  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The creative Process

I have been glazing this week. Taking the plain white porcelain clay I have bisquie fired, and adding the glazes that will make it look like this, I hope.What I do has so many stages to it. I love best creating from  raw clay, and then doing  the final high fire in the kiln that creates the finished piece.This is a small "Porcelain Pueblo" piece, that has a lot of steps before I get to what you see.
 I guess that exists in every creative process, actually in so many things we do in life. First we get the idea,and that in itself can be a long, even painful process. Then we start to implement it. There can be  many steps in between. For me it involves a lot of clean up. I make the clay item and then I have to let it dry to what is called " leather hard". It still has moisture, but is firm enough to clean up with a sponge. Somehow, there are always small lumps or flaws I want to smooth out.
 Maybe a corollary to  interactions among  people? Often things aren't  as smooth or clear as desired. We want  to make sure our point of view is clearly heard by  that person.Often I find it helps me to  go back and check in with them to see what they actually heard me say. That can be a surprise.At least it gives me a chance to smooth out those little bits of misunderstanding that cling, like the unwanted bits of clay. It is all a creative process.   

Friday, March 8, 2013

The International Arts

I guess I am not quite ready to leave the world of film I was so engrossed in. Here I am with the dancers from China. Can you imagine? These woman came from half way around the world to perform in our small town for their movie. The world of film, or any art, is quite international. When I go to my dictionary to define that word,it reads " of or pertaining to the relations between nations". The old expression " art transcends all boundaries" seems to be a true one.  
People come to Sedona from all over the world. This week it was to attend the magical world of films.Others want to visit a gallery and take home with them a bit of the magic  of the southwest. It feels  so nice to me when it is something that  I have created. I like to think about a ceramic piece sitting on a shelf, or hanging on the wall,in a country far away.
 Will people pick it up and say to themselves, I wonder who this artist is and what other creations they make? How did they do it? Or perhaps they just look up and smile because it gives them  pleasure, and reminds them where they bought it.
Anyone out there want to share their feeling about this?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Art of Film

I have been away from my blog for over a week, a long hiatus for me. But there is a reason. Here I am at my hometown Sedona film festival, going to movies all day long, from dawn until late night. All right , so  my eyes eventually start glazing over. My derriere is spreading, both from constant sitting and indulging in those delicious chocolate bars which are an integral part of being at  the cinema. However, I really like the immersion philosophy. The definition of immerse is "to deeply involve or to as to cover completely."  I would say I was awash in the magic of film this week.
There were some really thought provoking topics and social issues brought up in these flics. How can a  documentary about global warming, social protest,or discrimination not seem to be a bit serious by its very nature? But as I absorb the content, I am looking at how it was presented, how well constructed, and simply how enchanted I became with the finished product. 
 That seems true in all  creative processes, be it clay or  calligraphy,which are my tools of expression, to any other medium. During the creative process, an artist  cannot help but be totally awash in the  creative function. Our  payback comes in the appreciation that it brings to the viewer, and ourselves. It seems to me that all the arts are inter related,  just using different formats.This was my week of fun, enjoying  the art of film.