I am amazed at how little this piece has been changed by Mother Nature! Soon after it was put outside it was completely covered with snow and then followed a couple of days of ferocious wind! And yet, Marilyn remains resilient. I wonder now how long she will last in her paper life? For comparison, this is day one:
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Well, technically yes, but the raku and sawdust firings scheduled for today have been postponed until this Thursday. Why? Because of the very strong New Mexico winds and the high fire danger this time of year. Really, any time of the year now that I think about it. I do have photographs for you though! These are the boxes of works from class that will be transported to the firing site. I particularly like the masks. These are photographs of my cake stand. I have glazed it with royal blue, purple and sunset red. Although right now it just looks all pink. The script actually has black glaze in the lettering that is supposed to come through during the firing. We shall see. The magic of the kiln! I made more shard-like pieces today. Here you can see some glazed and some new ones. I would hate to run out of them for my painted bags. This table shows just a few of our finished pieces. That roundish pot with the blue glazed rim on the right is the piece I burnished with the stone before it was fired. I think we did some super work!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Roy is poised to totally revamp my web site to include my painted accessories. Since I have every last piece of inventory in the Firenza Gallery it means I need to get busy making more! Indeed, I am doing just that. Behold some of yesterday's painted fabric. Each piece is approximately 9 square feet. After the paint dries, I cut the large pieces into the right sizes to make the wallets and totes. Here you can see the next six tote bag fronts. So, tell me what you think of this idea please? If I offered painted fabric on my web site, in various sizes (like 8 X 10 for example), what could a person do with that? It would stick to almost any surface, from wood to concrete to paper to rubber. A larger piece could be framed. Smaller pieces could be used to cover journals. Can you suggest some other ideas? Put your creative thinking caps on and come up with some unique ideas. I think this might be fun as the fabric painting is really the part I enjoy the most. I would love your input! Thanks all!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
On our drive from Mountainair to Taos we noticed how quickly the terrain changed from flat desert- like vistas of sage and short scrubby trees, to mountains and "real" trees. It looks like all those photographs we see of Colorado and for good reason. We are close to being IN Colorado! The roads became serpentine and I appreciated the sturdy guardrails. In this photograph you can see the Rio Grande to the left. By the time the Rio Grande reaches our part of the state it is a lazy, slow-moving brown river. I was surprised at the blue, the white water, and the intensity of its flow here! We climbed steadily until we reached Taos. The temperature was colder than when we left home and the air had the same crisp, cleanness that we sometimes take for granted in Mountainair.
We continued on through Taos to the tiny hamlet of Arroyo Seco ("dry creek"). This is a photograph of the quintessential coffeehouse which is located in about the middle of Arroyo Seco. As I stood in the street in front of the coffeehouse I took these photographs looking down the street and then up the street. These show you just about all of Arroyo Seco! You do have to drive quite slowly through "town" as there is a very big and very old tree in the middle of the road. The town is busy all year long with tourists from all over the world, but in the winter is filled with mostly young people, all of whom ski and snowboard. It looked a lot like a college town.
Then ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::drum roll::::::::::::::::::::::::: the most wonderful thing happened. We walked into a new gallery and folk art place called Firenza Gallery that has been open about a week. As we walked through the door I almost stopped breathing. It was like walking into a box of crayons! The colors! They are incredible! The hand painted pillows were the first visual that literally held me back with their explosion of colors! I Was Speechless.
The gallery owners, Tom and Jill Shank, are working hard to bring the exterior of the gallery up to the standard of the wonderful artworks inside. This photograph shows a talented artisan named Armando who is repairing and painting and building displays. Tom and Jill loved my hand painted bags and here you can see all of them on "my" shelf . I had taken along two issues of Altered Couture showing the feature articles of my clothing and they now would like to carry my altered vests! I had taken my painted vest along to wear but left it for them to sell! As soon as they have a hanging rack in place I will get more vests to them. Hummmm..maybe another trip North? It was a grand adventure! And now, today, I can start painting more large pieces of fabric...my favorite part!
Friday, February 20, 2009
It was wonderful! I have much to tell you and show you, just not sure where to start! We stayed at the Cottonwood Inns Bed and Breakfast in the Territorial Room. This is a quote about our room from the Inn website. "Territorial Room: The Cottonwood B and B's largest room is over 800 square feet and takes up most of the upstairs portion of the main house. The Territorial room was once the studio of western painter Wolfgang Pogzeba. Both Pogzeba and countless others have painted the impressive view over the Taos Pueblo and Sangre de Cristo Mountains - don't be surprised if you recognize these images over and over again in the galleries of Taos, as well as around the world. Relax in your private indoor hot tub after enjoying the sunset on your private balcony which overlooks our spectacular courtyard gardens. True to its name, the room is decorated in territorial-style furniture and has a king bed, one twin bed, traditional viga and latilla ceiling, plus a large kiva fireplace, a wet-bar, and bathroom with large skylight, talavera tile and sunken tub/shower." Here are several photographs of the room.
And yes, this is the hot tub in our room . . . complete with two yellow rubber duckies. votive candles and real plants, along with two white spa robes and matching white slippers. The separate bathroom included an array of toiletries made by one of the innkeepers. The "green tea and ginger" shampoo and conditioner were just great. The bars of soap smelled wonderful! And, in the middle of winter, still a single white rose in the bathroom. This is the sitting area of the room showing the large kiva fireplace. It was a big and very comfortable room and we totally enjoyed it. A sumptuous breakfast was served in the dining room down stairs every morning and the innkeepers will feed you as long as you want to eat. No one leaves hungry. Shantal is a fabulous cook! Of course, there are fresh eggs every morning. I mean, they are really fresh. Here is a photo of some of "the girls" who hang out just to the side of the parking area. This is the staircase leading from our room (which was almost the entire top floor of the inn) down to the dining room and sitting room. And, this is the very large cross on the wall in the entry. In my next post I will tell you all about the charming little village of Arroyo Seco, just north of Taos, and show you photographs of the Rio Grande River, snowcapped mountains and the vastness that is northern New Mexico. Stay tuned!
Friday, February 13, 2009
I am putting the finishing touches on the accessory items I plan to take to Taos. I am hoping to find an edgy (and pricey) boutique that will fall in love with my art! Here is a group photograph which is just a mass of color. There are two large tote bags at the back, three clutches and two tri-fold wallets. The tote bags and clutches are lined and all the pieces have a clay shard embellishment. The tote bags also have adjustable straps. The clutches are one large "pocket" with a fold over flap. All pieces are closed with Velcro. If it doesn't work out, Roy and I will still have loads of fun. However, if you are so inclined, do cross your fingers for a positive outcome!
Monday, February 9, 2009
I stumbled upon a web site at www.thealteredpage.blogspot.com belonging to a most creative being named Seth Apter. He has begun his winter art project in collaboration with Mother Nature. Along with this he has invited other artists to create their own nature collaboration. The basic premise is to assemble paper, fibers and other objects and place them out in nature and then record the disintegration/creation. I have rolled up pages from an old book of writings by George Elliot, stapled pieces of fabric scraps from the trash can, attached cardboard tubing and wrapped it all up with some warp thread from the loom. As I was collecting pieces to attach I saw this photograph of Marilyn Monroe. It seem right that she should be a part of this. Her life disintegrated too soon.
It sounds like a fun challenge! I wonder if anything I put outside here in New Mexico can actually withstand the wind long enough to change in composition!
Here is the piece I have assembled for nature to throw her fury at. I have wired it to the back of a metal chair. This is the Day One Photograph. I will periodically post other photographs as the piece begins to change (that would assume it will not blow away).
Why don't YOU create a disintegration art piece? If you don't like what happens to it, you can blame Mother Nature!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
This shows the back of the jeans. And this shows the jeans with the painted vest. So, go paint some jeans! If you have any technical questions, just ask and I will tell you all the secrets! (Hint: those white dots and wavy lines are made with a Clorox Bleach Pen).
Brave women wear paint! That's my theory anyway.
I have just finished painting a pair of denim jeans. Remember that denim vest I painted and blogged here some time back? These resemble that a lot! We are planning a fun trip to Taos, NM later this month. I think that might be the absolute perfect place to wear paint! These photographs show a close up of some of the details.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I accomplished two things today that make me very happy. I put the final coil on that bowl I showed you earlier, smoothed it out and let it dry to leather hard. Now I am burnishing the surface with a polished stone. I have started the process but need to spend more time on it. You can see the stone in this photograph. It makes it very smooth to the touch and very shiny. After the burnishing, I think I might add a small bit of glaze at the rim and then have it fired. The rest of the class time was spent making a mask. What fun THAT is! We used raku clay which is a much lighter color. I put holes in the top and bottom to add embellishments, such as wire strung with turquoise pieces and some bones I have been saving for something special. I think this is the place to use them!