Monday, January 30, 2012

She Thinks In Color

 In my world of art I do a lot of things.  I paint, carve and sculpt, assemble collages from scraps of my paintings, work with mixed media, and time permitting, I like to build memory books for my family. So I am never really surprised when people come into my studio, look around and say, "Is this all you? You do so many things," with a somewhat quizzical look.

Does it all look like me, I ask?  They look again.  Well...yes. But, but there are paintings and the gourds and pots and....

And all that is true.  So what is the unifying principle?  What is it that drives my work?  By what am I compelled?

Color.  All surfaces, all materials, all combinations of media are there for just one purpose - to be brought to life in living, breathing, passionate, subtle, intense, complex color. I dream in color, and am aware of color as I breath, move, talk, eat, think.  Pulsating sunsets come on the heels of days full of colors as simple as creamy white milk on silver dusted blueberries, the many hues of ochre and grey walking across the parking lot, the shades of lemon and grapefruit yellows in the glass cylinder on the desk at the show.  Then I am mesmerized by the complexity of transparent hues that create the moving sea or air that I find in Adolfo's work.  And on it goes all day long, until I head for home while the sun turns the desert air into streams and rivers of striated cadmiums, laced in violets, tinges of lime and all there to burn into my memory for resurrection in my dreams.

So, the next time you look into an artist's studio and see a variety of medium or technique or color, ask yourself what is the thing that unifies the work?  Is it the palette, as with my work, or is it something else? Is it subject matter - landscape interpreted in many styles, perhaps, or animals in paintings and sculptures, or abstracts in many colors and materials held together by the shapes used, or is it line that is the common denominator?  So many possibilities.  Just like with color.

So much experimentation to do.  So little time.  Back to work....See you soon!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Collaboration of the Celebration Kind

Here's a little tale of a happy combination at the Celebration of Fine Art - I started working on a little gourd with a new technique of layering 10-15 glazes for a dimensional effect in a floral design with a little yellow bird included.  As I worked I was thinking of how to finish the raw gourd top...the design seemed so elegant that the raw edge clearly wasn't right.  I had found an interesting old Victorian brass back plate for a door knocker while I was in San Diego over Christmas.  Just the right size and fit!  But, what to do about the that seemed unfinished.  You know, these "simple little projects" sometimes get away from you!  So, I wandered down to see what my friends Donna Armstrong and Donna Bernstein thought.  We all mulled it over.  Came up with some great ideas, but the best was to ask Kevin Powers if he would blow a small stopper for it...and so, back to the other end of the tent, where Kevin was working away on his glass.  Gracious guy that he is, he said, sure, let's do it...and after the show closed last night, he blew the sweetest little stopper with a delicate yellow flower in the center, just the exact colors of the work I had done.  And here is the  glass blowing process and the finished piece!  Sweet! Sweet! Sweet!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Slideshow of Setting Up the CoFA 2012 show

Syed working on the light structure for our studios

Slideshow of setting up the 2012 CoFA show! Click on this link to see the process of setting up the Celebration of Fine Art studios for this 10 week long event and experience what the artists do to bring an amazing selection of work for you to peruse, wonder at, be dazzled by and to share with your friends.  It is a daunting task and takes almost 5 full days to complete - often on opening day we wouldn't want you to open any closets for fear of what might tumble out!  But by mid week we're all at work in our studios and ready to share what we do, how we do it, and what inspires us.  This is an exciting venue, really unique in the country, and at our new location at the intersection of the Loop 101 and Hayden Rd Exit, stunningly beautiful as the sun goes down casting those AZ  colors on the McDowell Mts.

This show is a big part of our lives, spending 3 full months with almost 100 other artists, and it is inspirational and energizing, so watch for regular posts about what Syed and I are doing, what our artist friends are working on, and occasional philosophical musings.

And now, it's back to work!

Ken Newman Sculpting on the Road: The Celebration of Fine Art - A Writer's Words

I had to repost this beautifully written article about my friend and neighbor at the Celebration of Fine Art - the article is poetically simpatico with Ken's work.  Hope you can come and see it in person.

Ken Newman Sculpting on the Road: The Celebration of Fine Art - A Writer's Words

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gorgeous Day At the Gourd Farm

Belying the stress prior to beginning the 2012 Celebration of Fine Art, I took December 31, a beautiful sunny day in San Diego County, and went to the Welburn Gourd Farm in Fallbrook, CA for an end of the year sale.  Sun shown through the live oaks, gourds were abundant (but none of the zucca that I went for), and it was blissfully quiet with only the singing of the birds.  And now, back to work!  Set up begins this coming Monday!