Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Santa Fe Love Affair

One week ago today John and I boarded a plane that eventually delivered us to the home of his sister and her husband in Colorado. For the third time we all gathered for a road trip to Santa Fe in time for the Indian Market.

So first allow me to introduce our cast of characters. John of course you know. His sister Judy E. is in the photo above. She (among other things) actually cooks out of the Julia Child cookbook. (yum!)

Her husband Jack you may have met on his blog, The Galloping Goose. He has also written about our trip there. He is a wonderful oil painter and does drawings that actually look like the things he means to draw.

Christine is John's niece and she lives near her mother in Denver with her husband Rick. She is a fiber artist.

Rick is about the smartest guy on the planet. He's got me schooled up on Woot (has an iPhone app), Edward Tufte, Snaptel and Evermore (both iPhone apps). My projects for the next few months.

So the three units of two manned three vehicles and tooled south through the high mountains until we reached Santa Fe.

There was a lot to see on the seven hour drive.

Most of the time we were at elevations of over a mile high. Santa Fe is around 7000 ft. elevation. The thin air has an extraordinary effect on one's body; you feel sort of stoned all the time.

You see things in a different light. For one thing the sky is so blue you can hardly believe it.

And for another the clouds are blindingly bright, white and near you. So opposite of Oregon.

The first night we tucked into our favorite haunt, Marias. Here you can choose between hundreds of kinds of tequilas and agave liquors. The food is classic New Mexican style Mexican. We love it.

The next day we hit Canyon Road with great vigor. Oh, the profusion of good art is nearly overwhelming. This is where you come to learn, to see, to enjoy.

I'm standing in front of my favorite find of this year; a painting by Don Quade. I love love love his work. You can enjoy the work at the link and see if it appeals to you.

Me me me. Well, it's my blog. ;-)

This work is by Michelle Y. Williams and it is an abstract on metal framed cleverly between two sheets of acrylic held by copper bolts.

I purchased one of her pieces although not one of the two pictured here. Yum yum.

I'm forgetting to mention here that a number of these shots were taken by either Jack or Rick. Jack caught me in this one running away from the monkey.

Pomegranate Margaritas were the drink of the trip. At that altitude it only takes one.

Rick shot this beauty.

About 5 minutes after John took this shot the clouds burst forth with a fragrant, cooling rain. We were at the Folk Art Museum.

On the drive back John and I stopped at this small hotel in Taos where we once spent a week in the early 90's. We were glad to see that the giant cottonwoods still shaded the patio and that all was as we remembered.

Driving back to Colorado.

A reader asked what my traveling art kit contained so I shot a photo for you. I love being able to see into the pouch so I know if what I need is there. I carry pens, a date stamp, a set of hand carved numbers in a tiny mint tin, 2 small rubber stamp pads, a glue stick and scissors.

On our last morning I journaled and we ate at Judy E.'s house; flautas, sweet melon and salad. The pot in the photo is a Hopi treasure that Judy bought at the market. She has a collection of Hopi pots; she is the one among us who collects while in Santa Fe.

Last night we returned to Portland, full of memories and glad to be home.

Here is my portrait for Self Portrait Wednesday. For once I unpacked my bag immediately; now to catch up with friends and family. Vaya con Dios.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Peach Season

This is the time of year I'm hunkered over the sink eating juicy peaches. Our tree had so many this year that we lost more than one limb; oh, I love peaches. We have blackberries too. So sweet and dark. It floods the senses.

To our surprise the corn was still standing on our return from Arizona. One of the stalks put out silks of the most beautiful wine color. I'll get on a ladder this afternoon and get a shot for you. This is blue corn, the kind you grind into blue corn flour for tortillas. But our friend from Oaxaca says even he has never seen it grow so tall.

Inspired by Maija and Katie and Misty, I pulled out the sewing box and made myself a fabric cuff to wear for dress up. These are so much more comfortable to wear for me than metal bracelets because I can write and paint, etc. with one on my wrist. Soft and cozy.

Cindy gave me most of these fabrics when I was at her house in Los Gatos. She has a fine eye for exotic fabrics and I'm learning what to look for too. I scored some great ones at SAS Fabrics on 19th Avenue in Phoenix.

A few buttons from the stash I got from Teesha and voila!! A cuff that I love to wear. Sorry about all the name dropping but I do think it's interesting that all these influences converged on me. I never would have come up with the idea on my own. I swore off sewing at one point to make time for more painting but the sewing muse was not to be put aside. The needle and thread felt so good in my hands.

After I made my cuff I found this one for sale on the internet. All I can say is wow and wow again. That's some inspiration!!

I also made a couple of fabric flowers while I was at it. I don't have the ultimate pattern yet but I'm working on it. These two came from web tutorials that I've since lost.

This one was made with wire ribbon. They were both pretty easy but took me a couple of hours.

Finally I have a few more journal pages to post from my time traveling and home again.

Mom and the Superstition Mountains where we children scattered her ashes. Father's ashes were scattered here 10 years before that; I like to think of them together now on the desert they loved so much. We used to drive the dusty two lane roads around Mesa singing "You're Too Old to Cut the Mustard" and other songs from that era. How quaint that seems now.

More nonsense. Mi favorito occupacion.

By tomorrow at this time I'll be on my way to the Indian Market this weekend in Santa Fe. Canyon Road, the Folk Art Museum, Indian Fry Bread and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A place to me that is holy, that calls me back time and again. I'm taking the laptop and have good intentions of posting from there. Sometimes the girl reporter would rather drink margaritas than post; bad girl reporter!! xo

Monday, August 17, 2009

Art Unraveled Wrap-Up

On my third day of teaching in Arizona we combined mixed media, paint and encaustic medium plus all the wax techniques to produce this series of student work. The piece above even has grains of plant life encased in the wax.

This work has a couple of carbon transfers onto the surface of the wax.

Sometimes the students arrive with blank expressions but these women lept right to the task.

Family photographs; certainly the most meaningful of all subject matter.

This one has lace incorporated into the wax and a beautifully restrained color palette.

Kris cracked me up with her transformation of John Wayne into a gatherer of girly-girls.

And Sharon portrayed the summer goddess with her triangle of stars: Deneb, Vega and Altair.

The color palette here was soft and lovely; these pieces are so much more textural and satiny in person.

In the spirit of keeping it real I'll say that yesterday as I walked outdoors it became apparent to me that summer is waning and with that came a heavy feeling. Winter is hard for me.

This is what I'll miss during the off season. The beauty of these faces, this travel, the friendships. I feel most alive when I am sharing what I know with others.

Isn't this wonderful, with fishes and wishes and fairytale girls?

Sue kept saying, "I want to incise!" I hope she'll go home and draw into the wax. She draws eloquently.

The artist herself portrayed as the largest figure in this piece.

And a juxtaposition of images in the best collage vein; east and west, then and now.

Tissue inclusion, lace, paint and transfer.

This one was amazingly textural; layers and layers of paper and paint and then wax over all. Sumptuous and rich.

Thank you to all of the advanced and fabulous women who came to Arizona to play with me; it was a time out of time, extraordinary and enriching.