Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spreading the Word

Here's an online class that's going to be amazing. I'm not teaching in this one but my amiga Katie Kendrick is and I want you to go here to her site to sign up for it.

It starts on January 9th, just in time to get busy indoors and goes for 9 weeks!! There is all the information spelled out at the link and the insructors include Stephanie Lee, Katie Kendrick (of course), Kate Thompson, Christy Tomlinson, Junelle Jacobsen, Danielle Donaldson, Teresa Sheeley, Jenny Wentworth and Jeanne Oliver. See what I mean? Over 60 discussion and technique videos and weekly live chats on the site. 

Earlybird registration is open and the cost is $48 if you sign up now.

 It's going to a lot of fun. And would make a great Christmas gift for yourself or a friend. Just sign up at Katie's site. And I'll see you there. xo

Friday, November 22, 2013

Little Pieces

As much as anything, I'm posting today in a fit of procrastination. 

A friend contacted me last night to ask if my feet were on the ground here yet. I can say that yes, I do feel at home now. I'm back in the studio and also reading a lot. Looking out the window at the frozen landscape which is so beautiful. Daydreamy. Thinking about the face painting online class that a group of you have requested. I've never considered doing it before because others have done it but it is true that we each bring something unique to the table.

I'm not fully in on the idea yet. So that's just a recurring thought.

Eating too much. That's a symptom.


Counting the days until Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to that.

Being grateful for a warm house, hot coffee, my excellent mate and the ways he is kind to me and that I am kind to him. It makes us both content.

These are the two books I've just read; the first one leading me into the second which is related. 

Discovered I'm a yankee through and through. Well, kind of a Buddhist-leaning Yankee. 

November. *sigh* Don't you think they invented these winter holidays here in the northern hemisphere to distract us from cabin fever and the like? 

Maybe I'll go clean the house now. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rocky Re-entry

I wish I could come home from travel and stick the landing like I was able to do a couple of decades ago. This re entry was particularly brutal; I'm still trying to convince myself that I'm here and not there. I'm not getting much done.

My great consolation as I've said before is painting. Good, bad, indifferent, putting paint to paper always comforts and lifts me. I crave the color and the form.

These daily meditation paintings are particularly so. Done in my journal, they are intimate and friendly. 

As Henry Miller said, "Paint what you like and die happy".

This is my therapy. Different paintings for different moods. Some are just to play. Some are more ambitious. Some get painted over when I get finished with looking at them for a few days.

And then I move on.

Einstein said that creativity is intelligence having fun.

That's what's going on here. Just hanging by a thread of paint. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

San Miguel Group Two

Photo credit Paula Fava
After a few days' rest for Katie and me, the second group of creatives arrived in San Miguel. 

What follows will be a taste of this and a taste of that.

 More triptychs were created. More tours of San Miguel taken.

We visited Casa Las Ranas, which Cynthia Fawcett has captured so beautifully in this post.

From recycled wine bottles to catfood cans, this edifice and home is a source of pleasure and wonder.

We marvelled at the colorful chandelier.

The bathtub Virgin of Guadalupe.

The paving stones of mosaic tiles.

The wall studded with used cat food cans. Delightful.

Also delightful was our cooking class with Kirstin West, a knowledgable expert on indigenous foods and Mexican food history. She served us a wonderful meal that was prepared for the most part while we watched and gave us all recipes to bring home. 

Of course we had calacas in our midst!

Group explorations of the safe and beautiful streets.

Living art and endless time to create.

Again, plaster, wax, paint, repeat.

All in a tranquil courtyard where meals could be smelled being prepared for us and where we were steps away from our quiet rooms for naps or alone time.

On one of our tours we visited this chapel in the courtyard of the first church in old San Miguel which is out in the country now. I loved the boulders incorporated into the walls and door sills of this church. Surely a difficult job for the artisans who built it.

On the road to Tierra Blanca. Some of the beautiful country that surrounds San Miguel.

These are some of the pouches we fashioned to hold our creations. Each one a reflection of it's maker.

One day Kathy Vezzani (check out her link! Wonderful photos of the trip!) took Katie and I to the home of her friend where I shot these two tin retablos. 

The man who we visited is an avid foodie and I thought these retablos were perfect. Some day I want to paint my own.

This was the rooftop seating area of the same house. Exquisite.

And a typical street in the town of Tierra Blanca. I fell in love with this town, smallish and nestled right in the mountains. 

More creations by the pilgrims.

Mexico's bounty. Surrounding us everywhere.

And like all moments in time, we at last had to part and return to our separate lives. 

It was one week ago today (Thursday the 14th) that I bid Mexico good-bye once again and headed home. 

Last night John noticed the fog creeping toward the pasture on its way to engulf us here. It has been mild and foggy; no killing frost so far.

This is our poor persimmon tree, victim of her own success. 

Spectacular fall and a rising moon to welcome us home. 

Sending good wishes to all. Time to start planning Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Pilgrimage in Paint Week 1

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with the first group of pilgrims (minus 2 shy ones). We spent 8 nights together eating, painting, plastering, waxing, sketching and enjoying the city. It was a dream realized.

We stayed only 1 1/2 blocks from the central jardin in lovely Casa Carmen where we shared breakfasts and lunches each day. 

Here are the pilgrims sitting in the hot sun sketching the parroquia (main church) in the jardin. 

The meals were exactly to my taste. Lots of salads, fruits, traditional Mexican food. Desserts at every meal!

There were rooftop meals at nearby restaurants. With margaritas!

Visits to churches and altars.

Time together to visit and appreciate each other. Precious time.

And 6 hours of art classes each of 5 days with Katie Kendrick and myself.

The parroquia lit up at night.

Happy pilgrims.

One night in the jardin with a magical full moon rising over the clock tower.

That story captured in paint on a bas relief plaster surface.

We made triptychs.

Painted on canvas.

Fashioned those paintings into a large pouch.

Made plaster and wax tiles.

Samples of work created during the week by the attendees. We made triptychs, canvas pouches to hold all our creations, plaster and wax tiles, plaster painted portfolios and sketches of the parroquia. Lots of memories to take home with us. 

Whipping up chocolate in the kitchen, churros at the ready.

Another shot of the spacious dining room.

A trip to the Aurora Fabrica revealed this huge Frida collage in addition to many other sculptures and paintings. Regretfully, I don't have the name of the artist but will credit them if someone can inform me.

Here's the torn paper work up close.

Katie and I had the pleasure of visiting with Merry Calderoni (on the right) and Verity J. Roberts at Merry's studio. Always inspiring to visit with other artists.

In my next post I'll have photos of the 2nd week including shots of Anado's Casa Las Ranas.

My head is swimming with love for my new friends and memories of all we shared. To be continued.