Saturday, January 29, 2011

Artists and Blogs You Might Enjoy

One of the most original artists I've come across lately is Vitche, a Brazilian street/graffiti artist whose art was described as  "urban interventions about environmental themes and general conscience."   He now makes art in a great variety of media, including wood, puppets, iron, mud, canvas and photography.  I can only describe the style of his work as eclectic, and truly his own. 

carved wood sculpture, untitled, by Vitche

carved wood sculpture by Vitche

untitled painting by Vitche

untitled sculpture by Vitche

You can find Vitche's blog here.

I have fallen in love with the blog- called BICOCACOLORS- of Spanish photographer Elena Nuez.  I don't know much about her, because her blog contains very few words- just photo after fantastic photo.  Each engaging post is a mini-portfolio of related images, sometimes of the same object from different viewpoints, and sometimes of objects tied together by shape, color, or theme.  Here, take a look; you'll see what I mean:

These images

are just a few

from the amazing post

called "Colors."

These are a small sampling

from the post "Riotinto"

by Elena Nuez.

Aren't they gorgeous?

Last, but in no way least, I'm happy to announce that my dear friend Ken Lobitz has started a blog called Kinniconick.  He eloquently tells the story of Kinniconick Creek, including memories and stories of the many years he and his family camped and fished at Shabo Mekaw.

For those who aren't familiar, Ken is the man who, back in the 1960's, built the original cabin on the beautiful 60 acre property my husband and I now own in Lewis County, Kentucky.

I mention Shabo-Mekaw  here fairly often; it is my sanctuary from the rat race, and I find much inspiration and spiritual renewal there. We only recently came to know Ken, in a somewhat strange manner- you can read about it here.

Ken is a gifted writer- I only wish I could write half as well.  Here's a little sample from his blog, Kinniconick:

"Kinniconick has survived into the twenty-first century.  We can only pray that it will always flow.  My memories go back more than seventy-five years and I remember the tales of my father and grandfather before me, so I have stories to tell."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Start of Something?

This came to me one day...out of the clear blue sky, as they say...

Before there was anything, Raven and Crane were there...

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Slice of My Life

First, I want to welcome and thank my new followers.  I'm grateful, and a bit surprised, that people actually want to see what I create and read the words I write.  Thanks for joining me.

On Saturday morning, I got up as the sun was just beginning to peak over the horizon,

painting the darkness with a streak of deep, glowing crimson...

I sat in the chair by the window in my studio, and sipped my coffee, drinking in the peace and quiet...

 ...watching as, bit by bit, the sky grew brighter...

...and the pink stripes faded into winter gray.

I saw smoke, and looked out to see a tree stump burning in the back yard; my husband was already outside, working.

Uh-oh... the dogs spotted me at the window, and ran to the door hoping to be let in.  But first, I had something I needed to do without being trompled on by three boisterous and overly- affectionate dogs.

In my attempt to become more organized, thus saving myself the frustration and lost time spent searching for things, I bought two Alvin spin-o-trays.  I can't tell you how excited I am about this- kind of pathetic, I know- but besides having three tiers of different sized holes with larger compartments on the bottom, it also spins around like a lazy susan.  What could be cooler than that, right?

This means that not only can I see all my Derwent watercolor pencils, Inktense pencils, Graphitint pencils, scissors, knives, brushes and whatnot- I can reach them.  And just look how nice and neat my drafting table looks now.  I don't know if you're impressed, but I am.

To me, that's a good Saturday morning.  Thanks for joining me.  How did yours go?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Real Meaning

As a general rule, I'm not a big fan of Christmas.  Not that I'm a Scrooge- I just think the commercialism has gotten out of hand.  I don't believe the true meaning or original intention of the holiday is that everyone should run around madly trying to buy gifts for everyone they know, spending money they don't have, and feeling stressed out because they can't get it all done in time.  It all seems so forced, doesn't it?

The most satisfying and enjoyable part of the holidays, besides getting to spend time with my kids, was making something for a dear friend.  My friend Linda is one of the best people I know, and I felt she deserved something special.  After all, she has to put up with me every day at work; she listens to my whining and my dumb jokes, and is still willing to help me in any way she can.  She makes me laugh every day, a talent which, as a special education teacher, I value immensely.  She is endlessly generous and thoughtful; for example, two of her Christmas gifts to me were a vintage brooch and a vintage book of maps!  I could say a lot more, but I don't want to get too sappy, so I'll stop there.  Anyway, here's the collage I made for her.

"Linda", 6 3/8" x 7"
Ingredients: vintage music book page, vintage map fragments, acetate, hosta bloom, stamps, 
thread spool label, watercolor pencil, stamped letters, glass beads, buttons, on multimedia art board.

I tried to include in the collage items and images that are important parts of her life, that make her who she is.  She is a seamstress and quilter, and a piano teacher. (How serendipitous is it that I found, in a music book she gave me, a song titled with her name?)  She is a gardener, and likes to make beaded jewelry.  I also included, (hopefully), all the states in which she has lived.

Making this was a lot fun, and so much more personal than going out and buying some generic gift.  I also made my son's girlfriend a necklace, which she seems to like.  I've made up my mind to make even more gifts next year- so I guess I'll need to start earlier!  Uh-oh.... maybe I should start now...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Study in Brown and Gray

 If winter in Kentucky were a painting,

we'd title it "Study in Brown and Gray"
(or gray and brown, if you prefer).

Etched with a graphite web of lines,

shaded in soft tones of charcoal and raw umber,

cinnamon and sienna,

we'd know not to dream of colors;

Spring is still too far away.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

All that you hope for...

Hey; long time, no blog!  I have been very busy the last few weeks, working on my submission for Seth's book, with which most of you are probably familiar (correct grammar just for Rice!).  That, along with holiday stuff, has taken up all of my time, including some of the time I would normally spend eating, sleeping, or going to the bathroom.  The deadline for submissions was yesterday, the last day of  2010, which seems fitting.  It feels like the completion of something important, which it was.  So now I'm ready for the new year, and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you.

The designation of January first as the beginning of the year is, of course, arbitrary; in fact, in many cultures and traditions throughout the world, it has, and in some cases still does begin at completely different times.  But to us, and to all the places in the world that have adopted our system, (whether they wanted to or not), this is the day.  We humans are inclined to measure things- to divide the passage of time, for instance, into hours, days, months, years, and centuries- for the sake of organization, and to the provide the order and commonality so necessary for the existence of society.  And it does, after all, take 365.25 days for our planet to orbit the sun, so we had to mark it somewhere.

Consequently, to most of our brains, this is the first day of the new year.  Mentally, we can wipe the slate clean of last year, and potentially, make the next chapter whatever we wish.  (I know, I'm mixing my metaphors here, but whatever- you know what I mean, right?)  The future is like a clean, white sheet of paper, waiting for us to make our marks.  I'll organize my studio, making space for new ideas, attempt to adopt a new attitude about my job, and consider where I want to go next, looking forward to the new year.  I'm hoping that all of you are doing the same; my wish for you is that this year will bring to you all that you hope for.


Astral Journey
Where do we go from here?

p.s.  On a different subject entirely, I just wanted to add a note about the whole "answering-comments-on-your-comments-page-versus-with-personal-emails" thing.  I've asked for opinions before, and have thought about it off and on since then, and have come to sort of a conclusion.  I've noticed that a lot of you have switched to the "no-reply-at blogger..." instead of your email address.  Personally, I prefer to respond to comments through individual emails, and here's why:  I don't think you can really connect with someone by posting a short response on your comments page.  You don't have the opportunity for that back.and-forth exchange that can lead to real friendship.  I like those conversations that give us the chance to get to know someone better.  Also, it's so much easier to answer when all you have to do is click "reply".  So, I will try to go back and respond on my post's comments, but I'll almost always answer if you have an email address I can reply- er, to which I can reply.  Occasionally I forget, but I'm only human.

Responses, anyone?