Monday, September 26, 2016

The Artful Stingray

Here I am smiling before I went into the Pacific Ocean in Solana Beach, CA. There I got stung by the fish you do not want to encounter.Then I didn't smile so much.
It was  the  stingray, which is a cartilaginous fish that uses sensors to get signals from its prey. Then it strikes! I was in his turf, therefore its perceived enemy. Related to the shark, it hides in the sand, below the surf.150 million years on this earth, this creature has a good " art of survival". It is almost impossible to see, until the barb enters your body, in my case, the foot. 
Clever bit of artful camouflage, this ancient creature. It has some more hidden attributes for survival. The barb is covered in spines, and venom secreting cells that release upon contact.We have heard about the famous adventurer that died  when his heart was pierced. 
The problem is to get all the venom out. The pain is excructiating . When I went to the lifeguard station they had me put my foot is very hot water for two hours. Felt better for a while.Still after a week, it is in pain again, and I am trying natural methods to pull out the toxins along with  20th century antibiotics.
 So I guess this is one piece of art I hope to never see again, and that all of you catch them at the aquarium only!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chief Joseph's Words in Calligraphy

Here is a recent calligraphy piece I created with the words of  Chief Joseph,the Nez Perce leader who died in September of 1903. In his time, he was as well known as  current political leaders of today. Politics and art, nothing new, only our interpretation.
 I chose to write out these words in the Italic alphabet, using sepia brown ink, to convey a sense of timeliness.  I carved a grass design stamp, and applied green watercolor to  bottom edge to bring in the outdoors, and embellish the border.  As I often do with my Native quotes, I used feathers to decorate and lend a certain feeling and attention to the history of these words.
 I chose this quote because it still seems so relevant to us all, over 100 years later. " All men are brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it..." . In 1873, Chief Joseph  negotiated with the government to stay on his historic and beloved Wallowa reservation northeastern Oregon. In 1877 the US reversed its policy and gave the tribe 30 days to relocate. Chief Joseph led his people on  a 1,170 mile fighting retreat,  trying to reach political asylum in Canada. Pursued by General Howard, the coverage by the newspapers led to wide recognition. He was caught; surrendered, and sent to the Colville Reservation, away from the rest of the tribe. There he  continued to speak  out eloquently against the injustices he saw.
 In 1903 he visited Seattle. Meeting  Edward Curtis, the photographer, led to the images of him that we have today. He also visited President Theodore Roosevelt. Always, he asked for the return of his lands.
I am drawn to the words of this man: their poetry; the relevance to the world today. I want my calligraphy to have meaning, as well as beauty.