Thursday, August 13, 2009

Art Unraveled Part 1

While taking my usual airplane shot I saw this unusual phenomenon bouncing off the cloud below. It is the shadow of the plane itself surrounded entirely by a double rainbow. The 2nd rainbow (located outside the first one) is fainter and just under the tip of the arrow I drew but I had to share it. Now the question. Does the rainbow exist apart from the observer? I know the shadow would still fall on the cloud but would there be a rainbow without my cones and rods to make the colors?

I want you to know I was a Mesa High School Jackrabbit. Forget the Tigers, Lions and Hornets. I'm a jackrabbit. This guy took a 15 minute grooming break while I shot many photos on my iPhone.

Coming into Phoenix, Arizona. My humble beginnings. Each time I return I am a new version of myself; older, wiser, more in love with life.

I finally shot some of the motel signs along Main Street in Mesa. Shot them in Toy Camera, that is.

These signs were here when I was a 12 year old baton twirler with the East Mesa Jr. High marching band. We marched in a parade behind people in Western regalia riding horses.

While we were in Arizona this time the heat was between 101 degrees and 107. It was wonderful; thank goodness for air conditioning.

We visited the Heard Museum and as I walked into a Navajo hogan tears splashed down my face. I love this Valley of the Sun, despite painful memories growing up here and a fierce desire to escape.

I was always wrong for this place. Wrong religion, wrong political persuasion. The only way I fit in was with the diversity of cultures. I always loved the mixing of peoples: tribal, hispanic, anglo. A rich soup of color and flavor. The passion stirred well into the stoicism.

How many times have I eaten here and with how many companions? This restaurant has been here since 1960 or so. Their cheese and onion red enchiladas are perfection.

Of course we visited the house I grew up in and that my family owned for 42 years. It is in the heart of the barrio now sheltering a new generation of desert dwellers.

Okay, enough memory lane. A huge part of the experience for me. And remember how I said this would be my last year to teach in Arizona? Pah! I take it back. I'll submit again next year. It was so much beyond my expectations in terms of rich reward. The people at Art Unraveled filled my cup to overflowing.

So the first class I taught was "Stencil Self Portraits" and the classroom lighting and my haste led to some dodgy photos so please look past that and appreciate the work that came out of the students.

We worked from photographs of ourselves or our family. But mostly of ourselves.

This one has buttons and hand stitching.

The last thing we did was a coat of wax medium to glow and help integrate the elements.

We transferred onto the wax.

Embedded tissue into the wax.

Some people (hi Maija!) did more than one piece.

This is the prep before the stencil went on.

Leading to this!!

Mother and sisters.

Children and collage.

Blurry I know but I want to show you how well they turned out.

I also said I wouldn't teach stenciling again because of the chance of a windy day but when I see results like these I can't help but want to endure the concern.

We made proofs on pretty paper to be used in other projects.

Aren't they all delicious?

Home again for less than a week and then off on another adventure. I have 2 more classes to report on and lots of laundry waiting. Oh, and the e-mails? sheesh! I'm off at a run. Be well and thanks for stopping by.


Chris said...

Okay, I'm not going to say you make me happy, because I always say that so it's just boring. But I WILL say that I was in Phoenix last month and I'm going back next month for a couple of days, and this is a record for me, because I don't like hot heat. But we have friends. Anyway, my point, and I do have one, is that now, I will have in my mind this poignant memory lane of yours to reference as I try to inhale.

And this class! Stop it! You have done it again!!

You make me happy.


Chris said...

bun buns, like all rodentia fabulosa, must keep themselves tidy, doncha know.


be*mused jan said...

What wonderful results from your workshop! I love the idea of personal stencils. Have you ever published basic directions for your method in a book or magazine article for those of us not lucky enough to attend a workshop?

Janine said...

OMG! Are you ever coming to the Seattle area? What a wonderful class! All the artwork is stunning!

Mona said...

I am jealous! Especially since I was in Phoenix last year (I took your class "Selling your art"), but I could not make it this year. Any chance you'll ever come to Montreal???? Quebec is beautiful :)

Kelly Kilmer said...

I am so happy you will return to AU. I missed seeing you this year. EVERYONE was talking about you and gushing about you...I gushed right back. And Chris is right, YOU DO make us VERY Happy. VERY. You radiate, woman.

You've also got me wondering if I can get that damn phone to get that damn toy camera thingee! LOL

Sharyn said...

I am so happy to hear you will be back at AU next year!

Thank you-there just aren't any other words.


Diane said...

I love all your memory sharing and art work. Those stencils are gorgeous.
The rain bow question is a real trick!!! It's like the tree falling in the forest question.
I'm glad that you took a photo of it - it is AMAZING!

judy coates perez said...

Toy camera gives those hotel signs the perfect aesthetic, fantastic! And the class projects are so fun. A whole post of vintage flavored goodness!

Lynn said...

looks like another good time had by all. Thomas Wolfe said you can't go home again, but looks like YOU can!

femminismo said...

The toy camera shots are great. I love the "baked" feeling in some of them. Time travel pics. Great stencils by everyone. I'll bet they were some happy students taking home this new technique. - Jeanne

Candace said...

Oh Judy, I do love Phoenix. It's so different from where I grew up, and I grew up the outsider as well. Haven't all artists and such?

I visited Phoenix a few years ago, just up and went to an art show at a museum, and I have never gotten over it. The photos of the place and the "memory lane" is sacred to me and like a flower in aspic... frozen, perfectly preserved, for good or not.
The shots of the class are fantabulosa, Senora! And I want that jackrabbit! LOL.
Thanks so much for sharing this.
Candace in Athens.

Ocean Lotus said...

someday i will take one of your classes, i think your consideration and teachiness comes through to your students...really the artwork is just lovely!! and while i thought i had no interest in encaustic (hot things scare me) these pictures make want to try it. come to florida someday to teach...

Altered Artists said...

I didn't know you grew up in Mesa! Well then... welcome back to Phx, and I really enjoyed your stencil class. Thanks for coming to visit and share your talents. I loved all your pictures.

Seth said...

The class looks like it was a lot of fun. And those photos with the toy camera are so wonderful - like pics from another era.

Peggy said...

Love the photo of the rainbow. Truly a miraculous shot.

Jan said...

Judy, what type of wax medium do you use? I took my first basic encaustic painting class yesterday. I'm not going to be able to pursue it in the purest sense (wax and pigments and all) because of my work schedule. But I googled wax medium and see there are products you can buy in a jar. That sounds like something I could use :=).

Maija said...

Oh Judy! The stencil class you taught was so amazing!!! I LOVED it, and I think I'll be doing many more stencils! Next year I want to hear from you what it was like growing up in Arizona. It must have felt like the middle of no where for you!

Lisa said...

Great class Judy : ) Thanks so much.

hm said...

I just discovered your blog and I love your work. This stencil class is amazing. The results are gorgeous.

Now I'm here in upstate NY trying to figure out how it was done.

Off to read some more of your blog. ~~~Holly