Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Abstract Celebration

Here is my latest ceramic creation entitled " Abstract Celebration", a wall triptych that is currently hanging in Jerome, Arizona. Rather a large piece,it covers over four feet in length and about 13 inches across.  Adorned with seed beads, there is  some  sparkle to my black, gray, purple and red palette. 
 It is a celebration, for a show by that name at the Jerome Artists' Cooperative, where I am a member. This gallery is a true coop, owned and manned by the artists.This exhibition offered  a chance  to do something  quite different for us all.
I like to work big, but kiln shelves have their limits. I knew I wanted a rather defined, abstract feel to this piece, since this has been a recurring theme in my ceramics  over the past few years.  
 Using low fire glazes gave me this ability , and I mixed the black and the white for this gray tone. It was a pleasant surprise, even for  me. Making it took weeks. Thin, large creations need to dry slowly; uncovering  a bit more every few days. They must be handled carefully.  Even finding the work space was a challenge in my studio. I wanted a feeling of motion, so the raised ribbons of color add the kinetic feeling I was after.
The true celebration comes when the kiln is opened and the creation is close to what  I envisioned. With ceramics, there is often the element of surprise, even for the artist!

Monday, May 9, 2016

San Francisco Is the Art

Here I am at the Embarcadero in San Francisco, city of bridges. This was the last stop on my California voyage.There is also a wonderful Claus Oldenburg sculpture of a bow and arrow, quite large of course,  down from where I am sitting.  From the ferry building to Fisherman's Wharf is this promenade along the bay. You may walk , or take a trolley. You soon learn  it is always necessary to have exact change for all public transportation.
I found  this to be a city which contains so many elements of art and design right  in the public view. There are the buildings themselves: new and hard edged; full of curlicues and ornament, which their colors accentuate; influences of the Chinese culture, everywhere evident. Then there are the old warehouses,with their dirty glass windows and massive size against the sky.
We visited an artist friend in the Mission district, who has his studio in the old Hellman factory. He was one of a  group of artists who bought this building years ago, and pay a reasonable maintenance rent. It is an entire building filled with such creative efforts. This was a real joy and inspiration for me.
 I have been visiting this city since the 1960's. I miss the element of low rent and slight decay that used to reside in certain areas.  I can't imagine it is possible to find reasonable  space to live and work there today. The technology boom has made this an even more desirable place to live, and it felt like New York  prices for everything we ate or did. There is a price to pay to live in a city which is the art.