Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Springtime in Sedona

It is springtime again. The Iris are blooming. Here in Sedona, we wait all year for these few weeks where the display of purples, and  other exotic hues, finally wake up. This is appropriate, for in Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, attendant to Zeus and Hera. It is a time when my desire to create something new and different emerges.
I planted these bulbs many years ago. Like old friends, they go away in the heat, but wake up when the last breath of wintertime is emerging  into a new season.
 A few days ago was the equinox, on March 21st. This is the time when the sun's center crosses the equator and day and night are equal. From now on the days will start to be longer. There is a restlessness in nature, and in the human nature, I think.
 I am going  back to my studio now. Just wanted to share my pleasure in nature's mysteries. How does springtime affect your creative mood? Would you share with me in your comments?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tango is Like Art

 Tucson tango festival is where I just spent a glorious few days taking lessons and dancing with perfect strangers.This photo was taken there.  
 I am always struck by what an art form this particular dance is. All the subtle nuances; movement techniques; the refinement of  one's existing style. I have been a dancer my whole life, but this one is humbling. Something resembling " the more you learn, the more there is to learn" syndrome.
 That is a lot like the creative process in art, I believe. I remember how much I thought I knew when I was first starting out. Perhaps our confidence is needed to get over the obstacles and keep on creating, especially  at first if we are not selling too much. "Ignorance is bliss " may have some real advantages.
Now, years later, I realize all there still is ahead of me: to learn; to grow, and to refine  what I am currently making . I think art is essentially  a solitary path. The person we want to please first is ourselves, and hope to find the appreciators of our creations. Tango is done with a partner, but ultimately we are the masters of our own style. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Abstraction in Clay

This ceramic piece, entitled "Half Moon Abstraction" hangs on the wall like a canvas, some fourteen inches long . It does have a foot to stand on as well.
Taking the basic round shape of many clay creations, my decision was to consider another dimension, or perspective I could construct from this  basic shape. Carving away part of the round form  would add yet another facet of abstraction.  
Looking up the word  abstraction in the dictionary, I read this definition: ..." a concrete object or organic figure which is transformed by the artist  into a nonrepresentational design, with recognizable elements, irregular curved lines, graded tones etc.." Boldly, I set forth to add the elements of design to this surface. 
I like angles; sharp lines; non representational forms.It is harder to sell here in the southwest, so I do it to feed my creative soul, and hope some kindred spirit identifies. 
I have to carve out each shape. I want to play off the straight lines and the curves; the triangles and the circles. Then comes the hard work , as I go  back and fill in the colors. I must paint within the lines!
I use low fire  glazes to get the red,the metallic bronze, and the celadon green of the plate. It takes many coats to get the depth of color I desire. First firing to make it strong. Second, primitive firing, to add the crackle and patina I desired. Always the element of risk in ceramics; art; life...
Behold, it came out just the way I  envisioned. That is the real success for me. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Spirit of the Artist

I just sold this porcelain bowl, which is  decorated with real bits of Arizona turquoise. I like the color of the glaze next to the stones, creating a bit of interest and dimension.Grateful for a sale, non the less, I have to say good bye to my little friend.
 I believe there is a bit of the artists' spirit in each  individual creation that comes forth from our hands; our minds; the invisible influence of "who knows where?"  I think of clay as a living entity. Mostly it is playful and cooperative.Sometimes it is not going to follow my intention. Clay will crack, or the glaze will misbehave, even if I am doing things as always.
 Is it my spirit or these elements which are not cooperating that day? Who can say? I do feel that if you own a piece that I have created, my spirit is within.