Saturday, September 27, 2014

Poet Laureate

Here I am with Arizona's first Poet Laureate, Alberto Rios. He came to Sedona to give a poetry reading, and I made sure to be there.He was kind enough to pose with me. A nice man, as well as a talented writer.  
 Poetry has been a passion of mine, seems like forever. I started writing it as a kid. I especially like to hear it read  aloud. One can visualize along with the voice. 
With all the talented poets in our state history, it was not until 2012 that the governor signed Senate bill 1348 into law, establishing this Poet Laureate  position. 
Rios was raised in the border town of Nogales, next to Mexico. His poetry reflects the influences and events of his Hispanic family, and their lifestyle. He is a college professorr, and talked about words.The same word from a different culture, has a different cadence. Speaking Spanish, I like the sensual quality of that language. I was transported. Taking your listener on a voyage. That is good writing.
 I'm glad Arizona chose this poet as our first Poet Laureate. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bluegrass Music in the Tall Pines

I recently attended the outdoor Bluegrass music festival up in the tall pines of Flagstaff. It is a town devoted to traditional music. This concert is three days of music, workshops, and dancing. My kind of fun.
Here I am in front of the banjo booth. Banjo is one of the main instruments in this music.The others are fiddle, guitar, mandolin and upright bass. I started appreciating this style when I began to contra dance, but I enjoy listening to it on its own. The mandolin really speaks to me.
Its roots are deep in America. The English, Irish, Scotch and Welsh brought their ballads and dancing reels when they settled in Appalachia in the 18th century. Contra dance, the partnered folk dance, came also.
Many musicians at the festival made mention of Bill Monroe. His group, the Blue Grass Boys Band, is credited with giving the music its name. He used to just call it hillbilly music. The more recent, progressive style will use electric instruments. This festival sponsors the  traditional  acoustic style. Music in the tall pines. What could be better.          

Monday, September 8, 2014

Creating a Ceramic Mask

 Here is one of my newest masks. Entitled " Spirit Messenger ", it is currently in a show at the Sedona Arts Center for this month of September, 2014. 
People always ask me where I get  inspiration for my creations. As I say in my biography, in every country and culture where I have traveled, there  are masks, in some form and material. 
I know all these images are somewhere i n my mind as I enter my studio.Then there is something called imagination, which start to play when I do!
I do have some thoughts of form and shape by the time I am starting to work with the clay.This round shape is an entirely new one for me. I have technical difficulties to overcome. Cracks are always a possibility. It takes a long time to dry. Will it survive two firings, I worry. Yes it did. Victory! 
There is also the choices of color and decoration.I found these wonderful coconut beads in my art stash. I knew this was the organic look I wanted. Adding one yellow feather connects the whole piece. Here is the final result of my creative process.