Sunday, November 20, 2022

Calligraphy for the Holidays

Here I am, demonstrating my calligraphy, with watercolor, at the Sedona Arts Center  yesterday. 
Nearing all the holidays, that was my theme for my demo in their front lobby yesterday. I sell my calligraphy cards and prints there, so it is relevant to what our visitors are seeing me creating . Thanks to Taylor also.                                                   Each card I make is decorated by hand, with watercolor or gouache, a non transparent color. This is what I usually write with,  although a new stash of colored inks are working well on envelopes Those inks  are almost permanent , lately leaving a nice red  stain on my fingers. I was told by staff member Debra Shinn, that  I should consider this my badge of honor.  Cate , the high school artist working there, made a lovely video of my hand actually painting, which is on Facebook  also. It was kind of exciting to see the actual sequence of brush strokes. Check it out.                                                           My technique here, is to write out  my original, then print on card stock, so it will not bleed when I add wet paint. I can do many alphabets, but people seem to like the Italic style . I like using  Uncial also, which is on my sign . Each card  is a one of a kind. Watercolor is tricky. Once you make your "mark" it stays. Corrections usually make it worse, so there is always an element of surprise, even for me!                                                                                           I don't know if people are aware, but I taught Calligraphy at SAC for fourteen years, and then went on to teach at NAU for five years as adjunct faculty. I see my demos as a way to educate the public  about the beautiful art I love . 


 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Art of the Cat


Opened the kiln today and what did I see? Cat bowls. One where it is only the cat, and then a little whimsey, when I added the mouse. I could probably name it "El Gato mira al Raton"= the Cat looks at the Mouse". But that's a lot of words when you are writing very small with a paintbrush at a weird angle. Yes, everything is drawn freehand . I like creating animal pieces. I have made ceramic boxes with a horse on the top. It helps to have a creature that can be somewhat stylized, so it is easily representative.                                                                                 I make each bowl shown here by hand, using a white porcelain clay.. Then I take my tiny paintbrush, dip it into cobalt blue oxide, and draw all the lines and letters you see here. Over that I pour a thin coat of a clear glaze, which  lets the design show through. I  high fire this in my kiln, enough to put in the microwave and dishwasher. Yes, those are the main questions that buyers ask.  Here in The USA they are very clear that all glazes must be  lead free, so that is why its's not bad to buy American. Sounds like a sales pitch? It's not . Simple truth.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Follow the Mask


 Here I am , following my passion and creating masks again this summer of 2022. This one is what I call  a miniature mask. All is relative, n'est-ce-pas? It can  can fit in your hand, or hang on a very narrow wall.  There are  guidelines for a "true miniature", something about an inch equaling a foot. Not my thing, although I do like to make tiny pots also. This creation, titled " Yellow  Secret" is part of my on going series, called " Small Spirits".                                  There are so many influences on my work. I used to travel with a very small sketch pad, about the size of this mask. I would go  to a museum in Mexico, for example, and stay for for three hours and make little drawings. Or I would be  in some archeological place and draw what I saw. When I was invited to Hopi dances in their Plaza,  the sketching would have to be in my head, but it was there. So I am not certain what left the largest influence to my style in this field . Anyway, most often the masks tell Me what to create.                I am currently showing these works  at the Wyatt Gallery at  Hillside, on 179 in Sedona, AZ. I invite you stop by and take a look.


Sunday, May 22, 2022

The Sedona Visual Artists' Show

Here I am with my entries for the Sedona Visual Artists'  Show, at the Sedona Arts Center located 
here in town. Actually this  is the first Live show for the group in the last two years due to Covid. It was fun to be among  a group of talented artists with the freedom to show what work they've been doing for the past two years.                                                                          For myself, the first year and a half  of the outbreak really stopped me creating anything. The galleries were closed. Everyone was stuck at home; living in sweats; watching netflix ; eating inappropriate food. What was the point in going to the studio to spend time on something no one would ever see? I think you could call it artistic depression. Others have  experienced this . Did You?
  But jewelry is  small, and since I have other stones, that was a way to see some beauty in a more doable  time frame . Clay can take months to create; fire; clean up; then clean some more. A call from a client got me back to making the big bowl. Ah hah, work awaits. So here I am with my lovely earth brown, porcelain beaded  necklace, with the nice, chunky turquoise stones and the  bracelet and earrings to complete the set.  I hold the biggest bowl I can fit in my kiln. So this started out as a blog about a show and talked about the changes in all our lives up to this moment. Comments?

 
 

Friday, March 18, 2022

The Magic of Museums

The magic of museums. Here I am in front of the display of old books at the Clemenceau Heritage Museum in Cottonwood, AZ, not too far from Sedona, AZ, where I  live and create my art.  For years I have passed this building, but never went in. Finally I opened a door to the history of  the Verde Valley. The hours are different and admission is by donation.                         This building was the original school for the town of Clemenceau and surrounding areas.  I never even realized there was a a town by that name!  Apparently there were too many towns containing  the name Verde, so Mr.  Douglas, Jerome mine magnate, named it after his  WWI  friend, French premier Georges Clemenceau. In 1960, the newly incorporated Cottonwood took over this area.                          Inside the museum is an original classroom with all the desks and books. There are displays of useful items from the turn of the century onward: farm implements; medical and dental tools; kitchen objects; old washing machines; toys; eyeglasses; ladies outfits and jewelry, just to name a few included items. There is a room on  Jerome mining, and  an entire room with a miniature railroad.           What fun to see  the pictures of graduating classes during the 1940's and 1950's.  These names are now on  streets in this area. There was Ms. Anne Jordan of Sedona, wearing the snazziest white shoes  with her cap and gown.  Scrapbooks  of historical events in all the surrounding towns intrigued me, especially Sedona.        What magic there is in this local jewel of history.        
                                      


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Art of Musical Instruments.

 Standing in front of a delectable selection of instruments from some far away country, here I am visiting the Musical Instrument Museum,  located  in our  own  city of Phoenix, Arizona. I  haven't been writing much lately. It was the holiday season, with Christmas, New Years, and then my very own birthday month of January.                Being a maker of ceramic drums, and  a dancer, music has always been a love  of mine. This seemed a fitting way to spend my birthday. My sister flew in to celebrate with me , so I figured this would also enchant her. We spent the day there and even had a  delish lunch  in their dining room.  Be sure to give yourself  plenty of time.  We got there early and stayed all day  There are 2 floors packed with every style of instrument,  from antique to present.                                              Opened in 2010, it was the private collection of a  wealthy man who decided to share with the world  his special love. There are over 15,000 examples of different items that have sounds that are unique in their own way. They give you a headset so as you stand in front of a display, the sounds come on.  What is so touching to me is how universal  the art of music is, and  will continue to be interpreted by those who follow us, in their own creative style. Comments?

Monday, November 29, 2021

Our Gifts from land and Sea

 
  Here is my latest creation a coral, turquoise and crystal necklace. I like to work with organic pieces because they are individual in size, shape and color. The turquoise and crystal are stones that can be found in Arizona.I have seen bits of crystal embedded in the red rocks of Sedona while out hiking.
  But coral, that is a different story. Coral  started out as a live animal, not a plant as it would appear. They are marine invertebrates, like the sea anemone and jellyfish.  Often they are form reef barriers made up of individual polyps  that wave in the water. They can be  found in tropical waters with the symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae that absorb sunlight and provide food. They also extend their tentacles to catch plankton and other edibles. Why the color? These pieces are somewhat an orangy red. I have seen darker reds and pinker. Corals adapt to the light and water temperature and  also come from colored proteins made by the coral animals.                                                                            Native Americans  use this material to make their jewelry  As I read my words,  I realize what a gift from nature is this set. I think the day of unlimited coral may be changing.  Hopefully these natural products are harvested responsibly. The supplier said they would carry it no more. I will enjoy what I create. This creation is a precious jewel from the sea and the earth