Thursday, October 15, 2009
I have been working for many months on a new sculptural series called "The Greeters". They are a bunch of funny characters made out of scrap metal and found objects. My trips to the dump and through my desert walks have been very fulfilling. I have started a friendship with a sweet family that tends the entrance to the dump. Gonzalo, Flora and their children have helped me sort through the rubble and find workable pieces for my artwork. It has made them proud to think that what everyone calls "garbage", can actually be turned again and given life.
"The Bride" is the first of the series that I will be showing for the first time on Friday, November 27th, right out of my own studio in Todos Santos. The sculptures measure on average 7 - 8 feet in height and anywhere between 15"- 25" wide.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I just finished reading a wonderful book called "El Ultimo Encuentro" (The Last Reunion) by author Sandor Marai. This book deeply touched me in many different levels.
I loved his description of Sadness (La Tristeza). I found it so accurate.
Extraña opresión en el pecho. La acompaña cierta melancolía... nostalgia. Pero si se convierte en un dolor mudo. Lo visualizo como un pozo profundo y obscuro. Lo siento... ahora.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Have you ever tried to work with metal outdoors at 95 degree weather + have flies, "bobos" (very small black tiny flying bugs) and mosquitoes trying to attack every part of your body. Believe me it takes a lot of concentration to get anything done. And, a very good electric fan directed totally on you, so that might deviate the flight pattern of those divine creatures with which we share this earth.
Today was a very trying day!
Last night I had to throw myself out of bed and go outside to watch the show of lights. It was like a giant screen at a distance flicking almost without stop. Incredible bursts of light were illuminating the skies, with tones of black, purple and navy blue. The shapes were bizarre, the lightning rod moving fast. My shots don't do justice to the beauty of light I was perceiving. It was incredible. Once again I have to agree that nature is king.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Lately I have been pondering about the color "blue". Although it has never been my favorite color, it is one of my favorite "movies". But I digress... Living in Baja has made me fall in love with the color blue. But not just any blue, the color of the sky. It is the most beautiful and rich color blue that I have ever seen. Specially after years of living in Mexico City and in New England where blue skies were very far and in-between.
I look up at the sky and my eyes drink, eat & consume the color blue. It is grand! It often dances with the most gorgeous white puffy clouds which accentuate the intensity of the blue even more. Those beautiful clouds... the type that my old painting teacher Mr. Lynwood would have painted with joy. Maybe if I could've painting these clouds, my paintings would've been prettier too.
Is blowing in the wind...
A few weeks ago in one of my trips to the dump looking for found objects for my sculptures I came upon this bicycle wheel. I brought it home and immediately found a spot for it. I used a post that was left behind from a gate we used to have and the placement was perfect to capture the sunset every night between the spokes. The color of the sky changes every day. Its become kind of a project to take picture every other day. The coloration captured inside this wheel changes every single day. Like our lives in constant change.
I also thought it would be must fun if the wheel could move with the wind, so we installed a "balero" to allow it to turn on either direction. However it didn't quite work, so I guess maybe I need to install some little wind mill wings. When I accomplish this I will have found at least one answer blowing in the wind.
With great anticipation and fear we waited for "Jimena" what could've been a hurricane category 5. We spent hours putting all the outside furniture and anything that could turn into a flying object into the house or the bodega. Made sure we had flashlight, batteries, water, candles, food, and all the other "must have" items in preparation for a hurricane. Once we were as prepared as we could possibly be, the operative word was
"wait". That was an interesting time, what shall one do. My nerves did not let me focus in too much critical stuff... but when it came right to it my thoughts moved into the "there is nothing we can do, nature will take its course in its own time. We were not in control.
We had to remain calm, prepare a safe area in our house and pray.
Jimena passed us by at 2AM bringing lots and lots of wind but spared us of any damage.
We were very lucky and we are very thankful.
This photograph were taken by our friend Kaia Thompson.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
After a busy number of months and a little travel I found a need to center and look at the beautiful ocean for replenishment before starting a period of art production again. A long walk down the beach did the trick. The ocean was calm but moving with such splendor. The color of the water translucent blue green. A swim after the walk, helped me feel fluid. It opened the door to that side, the one that as artists we need to constantly tap into. In my case if I feel energized and fluid I can open that channel to creativity. I guess its time to work.
There is a sign down the street in town announcing the “lucha libre” entertainment taking place tonight at a local venue. It doesn’t seize to amaze me how popular this sport is. There are even masks everywhere for sale, specially for kids. This one is announcing a Cantina in Sayulita, Nayarit.
In San Miguel de Allende where the streets are cobblestone there are many corner stone fountains, which back in the day might have been used as water sources for people in the neighborhood, however today they are purely decorative. Although …you could climb over and get a drink of water if you wish. Loved the variety and the 3d nature of them.
It is fascinating to me to see such a display of color on wheels down the street. Every time I see this truck filled to the rim with any and every plastic item you might need to tend your home I chuckle. It really reminds me that here in Mexico no one is afraid of color. They have even decided to paint all the Post Offices in hot pink and bright green. That is our new MPS identity.
I also recently saw a shoe salesman walking down by the huerta with a cardboard box on a dolly filled with sandals for sale for all the pretty ladies in town. Thess were colorful too!
I have always enjoyed playing with paper maché. Although piñatas were made out of clay when I was a child. As the years passed they became a liability because as they broke, shards of clay were scattered alongside the candy kids were picking up. So they soon moved into making them out of paper maché (safer YES, but it never had the awesome sound of the big crack when you hit the piñata with the stick). Anyway I learned how to make them out of paper maché, and made a few for our daughter’s birthday parties.
I felt nostalgia as I looked at these piñatas displayed in the central market in Guanajuato.
The paper maché dolls have always made an impression on me. They were a little scary when I was a kid. They are very popular dolls, but they always gave me the impression of looking like a mature woman, not a child. Aren’t dolls supposed to look like children? But there is also something kind of genius about them with their gladiator kind of heavy look, their bright colors and big eyes. They are a real magnet for me.
Through our trip in "The Bajio" region of Mexico we found many iconic items. Sometimes easier to find in the smaller towns than in the big cities. For instance small towns, and in particular Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende are filled with churches. Every church has incredible crosses of many different styles. Some are primitive, classical or baroque. They are also used outside of houses, stores or restaurants. They are used as items of decoration on fountains, frames, and furniture. Its use seems to go beyond
Specially in small towns the doors are wonderful. There seems to be a license for color and style. The array of materials, shapes, colors, type of hardware used make them unique. Some are wood, some are metal, some have big pad-locks. Some are elegant,some are simple. But they all mark an entry point, a wall of privacy dividing those from the outside and the inside.
This lies in the ability to see things in an abstract mode. Remembering when you were a child and your parents would ask you to look at the sky and read the shape of a cloud as an elephant or an angel or a bird. Well, old walls and pavement “in my mind” make wonderful pieces of art. An old piece of cobblestone street with its rocks placed somewhat organized and somewhat at random is beautiful. As well as the cracks on an old wall with paint chipping out of it. The colors are faded, they mark the transition of time, they are worn, but they are beautiful.
I found the definition of “Artista” painted on a wall while walking the streets of Guanajuato. An important city in the history of Mexico, a city built over aqueducts, with very narrow streets called “callejones” most of which have no car access and instead have stairs to take you to the next landing or street. The "callejones" wonder and the romance of the city with them. Groups of college kids dressed in renaissance clothing play their guitars and other instruments serenading their loved ones. These streets make you question what might you find around the corner?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
When someone lives in such a beautiful place as we do, it's easy to get distracted. But I really tried to carve out some time to get back to my "Greeter sculptures". They are outrageously funny. I am having a great time scavenging for parts to give them life. Many a walks, and trips to the "basurero", where I have become fast friends of Flor and her husband. It's getting very hot so the time has come to get up real early and get some stuff done before the sun starts steaming.
The broad strokes have been done, but the detail work needs to happen now.
There is an island off the Sea of Cortez called Espíritu Santo. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been at. The ocean is translucent, clearly blue green. Ultra polarized gorgeous. The island is protected by an environmental arm from the Mexican Government and only some camping is allowed via a permit. This rock formation forming the cave where I am sitting is from one side of the island, the color of the clay is very red. It's truly an amazing environment.
Monday, June 8, 2009
They call June gloom to the days where the fog rolls in and we can't even see a few feet ahead. But it only lasts a few hours, before long the sun burns the fog and it is bright as ever.
A hike to the Old Port is one of my favorite ones. It offers vistas from the ocean and from town, a peak at the pescadores in Punta Lobos, and if you tune your ears you can hear the sea lions.
It is a relaxed walk, which gives me time to think and observe.
And...once in a while I can return with a gift of a found object.
Todos Santos means "All Saints". Some years ago a few artists decided to paint a couple of saints on a wall that unites the old and new town. It is the most traversed road in our town. The only way to get downtown is through Topete by the Huerta.
This Spring as a member of the ARTS (Artistas de Todos Santos) group I suggested we organize all the artists in town to come together with the children in the community and complete the "Wall of Saints". On March 16th, 2009, 39 artists, 39 children and community volunteers came together to paint the wall. Local businesses in town sponsored the event and our local police controlled traffic in the street.
It was a day of complete artistic bliss and food for the heart! If you would like to see more pictures from this day or find out more about the event and the ARTS group please visit: http://http://todossantosartists.blogspot.com
In the heart of the South Norwalk lives the 22 Haviland Street Gallery run by Dennis Bradbury. It is an art destination, a place of gathering, artists, poets, garment designers alike get together in this gallery because of its great aura.
I have been honored to have several exhibitions at this location. The Feminine Series traveled to find its home again within these walls.
Friends, colleagues, and art collectors came to the opening on May 1st. The work remained on exhibit until May 30th.
First photo courtesy of Dennis Bradbury.
The Feminine Series had it's successful debut first in Todos Santos in the month of March at Galeria Once, then traveled to Connecticut to 22 Haviland Street Gallery in Norwalk, CT.
This series explored human nature, spirit, gender, intellect, soul and identity. Visually it portrayed female drawings within symbols of alchemy and mysticism. It dealt with Goddesses, and my own Codex.
Photos courtesy of Howard Ekman.
April 16th we headed north to New York City. The minute we arrived we were bombarded with visual stimulation: Billboards, fields of lights, buildings, cars, the Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, eons of people... a vast change from our tiny town in Baja. But it only took a few blinks and the adjustment in our pace fell into place.
The following weeks we immersed ourselves in a sea of art related events, exhibitions, museums, gatherings, many of them around our daughter's MFA achievements. An exciting event marking the completion of another chapter of her life successfully.
Every so often we put on several hats to make it through all the activities on our path. At this time as January rolled in, I put on my baker's hat. Peace and Loaf opened it's doors the first of the month and the sweet scent of fresh made bread flooded Las Brisas neighborhood. Happy faces of old, new and even newer friends gathered around the picnic tables over a cup or two of coffee. The weeks and months went by in a blur. Before we knew it it was April and time to get ready to go up north for our daughter's graduation from her MFA. You can check in detail the comings and goings of Peace and Loaf @ http://www. peaceandloaf.blogspot.com This photograph is with our friend Neil Farrow who came to visit and unbeknowns to him he ended up working at the bakery for a day or two.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The end of November was looming and my work was getting close to finish. One morning while I listened to NPR I decided to start one of the scrolls with drawings of swimmers moving through water. A couple of days later as I hung it on the wall to see what else it needed I found myself thinking that it was the only scroll with the subject of water in it. I realized it was time for me to get back to the ocean. The work was finished.
A dear friend of mine, also an artist, said to me once "That every artist's stroke was a revelation" and I believe she was right.
It was time to pack up the studio, say my good-byes to my great colleagues "The other Wurleybird fellows", as well as Board members and wonderful Director of the fellowship, then just wait for my husband to come pick me up, and start our trek down Baja in order to get home before the holidays.
Through this time, I was able to become closer to the earth, learn to appreciate the mountains, overcome fears and get to know my inner self better. A real gift.
The work continued to evolve in the subsequent weeks. There were many other mediums calling me: weaving, pottery, everything related to the earth. Taos is definitively a place with magnetism and the sense of being rooted is very strong. But I kept my focus and drawing, writing, and printing became my medium as I developed "The Femenine Series".