Friday, August 29, 2014

Art in Another Country.

Here I am in Tijuana, across the border in Mexico. Staying  in San Diego, it seemed enticing to enter  the country where I've spent many happy visits. 
 Using my Spanish  is important to me. As I tell people, study in your favorite classroom. For me it is shopping; discussing everything in their language; trying to get a good price.  I had a desire to buy some leather goods. That made it a quest. Even better! 
  My partner and I had to take a taxi to get  the main street with the stores. It was morning. Not every place was open. I saw this  metal door, with stairs leading down. Intrigued,and  following the way down, I came into this cavernous room filled with metal creations. I have done some welding. I like the ability to work in a grand size , and the freedom you get to always add on to the preceding piece. 
The owner took us out to the back, where several men were welding gates and other items. Anything you can think of made from metal was in that building. All made in the alley outside. Lots of it shipped to our country. 
What an adventure to see  artists in another country creating. We are all different. We are all similar. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Different can be good.

What can I say. I am vacationing in north San Diego. Even artists living in gorgeous Sedona need a change of scenery sometimes. 
Since my studio is at my home, sometimes it feels like I never leave work. There is always a project to work on; a show coming up; the studio needing cleaning. That is the dilemma  of the working artist. 
I used to live at the beach, Venice to be specific. To get away I would go to the desert. Now that I live in high desert, I crave the cool ocean breeze and cold water adventure. That's life. Different can be good.
I will fill you in with an update when I get back.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Creating a Star Book

Here I am with my recently handmade star books.Created in an open format, you can see how nicely these books fold into a star pattern, hence their name.
I am a calligrapher. I have years of training on writing many of the old alphabets out by hand. Since all older books were made by hand, before the printing press, it seemed a natural step for me to get into making books by hand also.Now it a separate art form known as book arts. 
I chose maps as the covers for the front book. There are actually 3 pages in each fold. This gives it strength, and adds to the design element.Yet it folds up and becomes an ordinary looking book. 
The book behind is called a star tunnel book. Like the other, it starts out as a basic concertina book. That term refers to the specific manner of folding one  page so as to create many. Once again there are three pages, but on the inside layer, I have added pictures that fold out. Kind of a pop out style.I took small prints of tarot cards for my designs. Then comes the blue middle layer. I had to make a window for the tarot pictures to pop out of each fold, or page. The final, white page has an even bigger cut out, which creates a type of shadow effect.
All this looks easy, but I assure you, it is not. An exercise for the mind, as well as the hands. But what fun in the finished creations!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Creating With Mixed Media

Here is a mixed media piece  entitled Why Not. It is  currently  in the       Born to Be Wild show at the Sedona Arts Center. 
I love to work with letters.They can be painted on or cut out. I also like working with clay, and metal. This piece started with that  circle of found metal. I wanted a rustic, outdoor feeling to represent the theme. What better canvas than wood? This is old barn wood, cut down, and fastened carefully on the other side.Strong wire using four eye hooks  insures it will hang well.
People ask where I get my materials. I can't always remember. As an artist, collecting can be a valuable asset. Who wants to go to a store when the creative urge is working? Sometimes the materials themselves inspire a direction in art. All I know is that these beautiful pieces of copper I got at the junk yard, seemed to envision themselves as letters. Ah, the beauty of tin snips.
The clay letters had to be created, fired, and attached. I used a bronze, low fire glaze for the color,adding some copper acrylic paint to emphasize the metallic hue. There is also a small ceramic face in the upper right, resting on metal, surveying all below. 
I am often asked what is the significance of the wording.  Perhaps it is the universal who, what, when , and for me, why, we are told to include in any writing.
Usually, when the inspiration comes, I just follow.