Sunday, July 27, 2014

Peace for Everyone

I love making letters. I often use pen and ink, or watercolor on paper. Recently I have expanded  into writing on clay. It is not only the joy of lettering that inspires me, I choose a word, or phrase that means something to me.
   With this  ceramic plaque,  I  carved out the letters in a clay slab,  to which I added a decorative border. I like a feeling of dimension. Painting  on four coats of  low fire white glaze, the piece then goes  into the kiln. Next comes a primitive firing to give that smokey look. Finally I use yarn , decorate with my ceramic bead, and it is  ready to hang. 
Why this particular message today? When I checked on my blog site, there was an audience from the Ukraine and Russia. How incredible that the internet goes so far. We are all connected on this earth.  Thank you for reading my blog written in far away Sedona, AZ.
 My wish is for peace for everyone.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Animals as our Artistic Inspiration

 I often tell people how similar the Verde Valley is to the savannas of east Africa, without the baobab trees.This photo was taken in the  theme park named
" Out of Africa", not far from my home here in Sedona, Arizona.
 I spent six months  travelling by bus and by thumb around east Africa back when.It was always my dream to see the animals that were usually in zoos, in their real habitat.
I did take two " official"  safaris, one in  Kenya and the other in Tanzania. There I was able to  photograph the animals in close proximity. For me, it felt like coming home. While that was years ago, I don't think the wild animals have changed their life style too much, except to accommodate we humans. 
Here I am with a 17 foot python, which is actually from South America. Still, it is a wild animal. The audience  gets to touch the snake. I think that fear of  animals may be  an acquired trait. It is not that we do not have to protect ourselves, but we are all part of the planet.Besides, they are so beautiful.
I have been drawing snakes in the abstract on my ceramic platters,and I always put at least one of those creatures on each porcelain pueblo. I also like "critters", as I call them, such as cats, birds, and horses on my clay work.
 I like our connection with animals. I believe they inspire us to be creative as we include them, not only as symbols, but as our fellow creatures on this precious planet we all call home. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nature as My Inspiration

Here I am hiking with Charlie, a friend of mine, in the San Francisco peaks of Flagstaff, AZ. Her owner was taking the picture. Thanks, Laura.
I had forgotten how high it gets up there in the San Francisco Peaks. I am at 
8,000 feet here, and I was feeling it as I climbed ever upward on this lovely Saturday morning. 
In my artist bio, I always say that nature is the inspiration for my artwork. I choose to live in the lower altitude of Sedona, AZ.  I love the red rocks, the dry heat, and not having to drive  in snow. But this part of Arizona is seductive in summer. I am entranced by  the smells; the soft breezes which make the branches of the evergreens talk to me; the vastness. It is so humbling when we get out into nature. 
All I can do it to let it come out in a feeling or an image in my clay or calligraphy. At the very least, I take these sensations back to my studio. Somehow, nature will inspire me when I am creating. And you? 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The 5th of July

Happy 5th of July. Here is a shot of the fireworks I saw in our neighboring town of Cottonwood, AZ. last night.  They always have a great show, and I love fireworks.
It reminds me of who I am and where I come from.
 A bit of history here. On July 2nd, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a Resolution of Independence, declaring the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain. Two days later,on July 4th, Congress approved this measure. So this is the day we celebrate. But I have fond memories of another 5th of July celebration.
Many years ago, while travelling in Morocco in my Volkswagon van, we were camped outside of the small beach town of Essaouira. We met up with some fellow travelers from America. " Hey, it's the 4th of July ,we should celebrate", I remember someone saying. And so we did. It gave me a good feeling to remember where I came from. We all enjoyed ourselves and told stories of that place thousands of miles away from where we were.
 Then we each continued on our own path. Calendars and cellphones were not as ubiquitous back then. Later I found out we had our dates wrong. What a grand celebration of the 5th of July. I guess that just shows that spirit is where and when you find it!