Sunday, November 16, 2008

Keeping Cozy

The sun is shining and the wood stove is radiating warmth. All is cozy here even if not much is getting done. Well, John got his garlic in the ground and I did a painting. But things are moving slowly up our way. Fall moves at it's own pace and these golden days deserve to be savored slowly.

I turn into a real homebody in the winter. Not that I fill the house with apple pies and home made bread (well, on occasion I do) but that I just love to stay home and do whatever I choose as the mood strikes. Sort of like I do in the summer too now that I think of it.

I'm nearly up to speed again following my wanderings. Still sorting through a few memories and getting my lists organized. Oh yeah, baby, I'm going to get a lot done this winter. (maniacal laughter)

Shhhh, don't tell Carolyn that I've posted pictures of her new painting here. It's going to be a surprise. I've been looking at it a few days in the studio and it has a very calming effect on me.

Lounging lady surrounded by cats. That's my idea of heaven. Add a little fruit, a little sunshine, some nice scenery. Make life sweet.

The painting is 24"x30" on stretched canvas and the cats are from photographs of her cats. I love to make paintings personal. I added some of my favorite clippings around the border.

Returning to Mexico for a moment; here is a beautiful statue that was in the cemetery at Coatepec. Graveyards have a bittersweet attraction. One cannot really comprehend the mystery of death.

This triptych on wood (large; maybe 5 feet tall) hung on the wall of the restaurant La Sopa in Xalapa. The hands reaching in. Powerful and mysterious.

As one of my readers pointed out, Mexico has a long tradition of printmaking. This is the building, converted from a 400 year old hacienda, that houses the La Ceiba Grafica, a school for printmaking and other arts. We visited there and I took a few pictures and met the Maestro. It's an eye opener to see the support for all the arts in Mexico. In particular we found a large yoga and tai chi community with lots of health food stores, gyms and so on. It certainly goes against the grain of what we hear about Mexico in our media; i. e. crime, poverty, misery. Certainly there are beggars in southern Mexico but in most areas of Veracruz we found a thriving middle and upper class, well fed and well dressed.

There were several litho presses and etch presses as well. Areas to build frames and galleries of art to enjoy. You can come and stay awhile and enroll in classes. There's a website to visit.

Yummy oil based inks. Everything about a printmaking studio is beautiful.

And rolls of leather hides used to recover the rollers when they wear out. These students grind their own rosin, make a lot of their equipment and learn old world craftsmanship.

I'll close with another wood crucifix from the La Sopa Restaurant. This was not a fancy place by any means; just a university hang out for students needing a quick bite. But the level of art! Well, Mexico is the place to visit if you love to look at beautiful paintings, prints, sculpture, architecture and so on. It is a place to which most artists I know are powerfully drawn.


Ro Bruhn said...

Great post Judy from the tip of your toes to the top of the crucifix. love it all, but what really jumps out at me is your lovely painting, lucky Carolyn. Thanks for showing the stages.

Meri said...

That triptych is fabulous. I just love your online photo tours, because they provide inspiration and travel dreams all at once. I just posted photos from a little jaunt to the Pike Place Market in Seattle. . . not as exotic but still a fun place to head with a camera.

Lynn Cohen said...

love those cozy looking slippers and the beautiful painting for your friend. It looks so easy when you do it. (But I know it's not)

The photos from Mexico are lovely too and your journal exciting as always.

femminismo said...

The cornstalks rattling and broken pumpkins - ah, the painting of the tree - it all comes together and says "Winter's coming" to me. Your work is so enticing; just draws me in. I see you need battery recharging. I would like some quiet time to myself too. Well, I guess we should be careful what we ask for. Best to you, Judy. Your work makes me want to play hooky from work!
p.s. I love these "word verification" thingies. I think I'll make up a new language with the ones I've been collecting on the pad beside my keyboard. : )

Candace said...

That is such a beautiful painting of/for/about Carolyn. And it says a lot about you, too! Say, whoever has an old orange cat is okay by me.

I just must plan on Mexico! Too many folks have said that it is a true feast for artists. Seeing your photos, yes!

Chow down and enjoy the "hibernation".

Jeane Myers said...

umm, yum, cozy - I so enjoyed your post and all your images, but my favorite image was the last one -
loved it!

John Gascot said...

I love the new painting.

CarolCot said...

What a wonderful surprize Judy to see the painting and in stages also! Love, love it! I can't wait to see it in person. Sent you an email, perhaps you didn't receive it? Talk to you soon.

Bridget said...

Oh, wow! That crucifix triptych with the hands reaching in is amazing . . . wow! Ok, so obviously catching up on some blogs today, and feeling very drawn to hands . . .

Becky Vigor said...

Oh, so now I'm not sure. Because I saw your picture and thought, yes, heaven is sitting there surrounded by cats, dreaming in the sun. Then I saw the Mexican printmaking studios and thought, but surely that is heaven! Which one is the true heaven? :)