Monday, April 26, 2010

ECG - More Than Skin Deep

An exhibit on Racism has been organized, and I've finished my piece, and am posting it. I titled it "More Than Skin Deep". I wanted to express the kernel of the idea of racism - that our skin color defines our intelligence, capabilities, and humanity. Instead, the fact that under our skin, we all have the same blood, organs, needs and dreams, is represented by an ECG line. To define someone by their skin color or culture is to see such only a part of the whole person.

The ECG represents the line of a normal heart. When we look beyond skin deep we see the person inside - and although we are all shaped by our families, cultures, ethnicity, environment and country, we are more than any one of those things - we are all human and we must learn to see that first when we see each other.

If we could all look within for the good in each other, imagine how it would change the world. We can start by doing it with our children, siblings, parents, partners and friends - and then expand it to everyone we meet.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Quilting designs by Leah Day

I subscribe to the Textile Arts Resource Guide blog, which always has great postings and links to lots of informative and educational articles. This link came today, and I'm so happy to be able to pass on the resource. The blog is one that is well worth subscribing to - always informative and thought provoking! Thanks to Gwen Magee for her excellent work.

Leah Day is posting quilt design fillers - and has a video for each design. It is a real gift to all quilters for her to do this work, and make it available for free. The site is 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Design Project, and should be bookmarked by all.

I have a terrible time deciding how I will quilt a piece. There are just too many options! But this site will help me get more focused on what it is I want my stitches to "say", and will be a wonderful resource.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Inspiration from New Mexico

I love making spontaneous compositions with the camera. There were plenty of opportunities using the shadows and architecture in Northern New Mexico. The adobe changes color as the daylight changes, and the texture always shows that a human hand has made this material. The wood beams, doorways, and trees create interesting shadows and lines.

Just for fun!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The next day, we visited Ghost Ranch, where O'Keefe had a summer home. It's surrounded by dramatic cliffs, and you can see the Pedernal that she painted numerous times. She said that God told her if she painted it enough, he would give it to her.
The open sky, dramatic and ancient cliffs, with mountain ranges in each direction made me have a much better understanding of the Native American sense of Mother Earth. My feet were on the ground, my eyes were on the sky, and the earth all around was stunning. There is a real sense of the way the landscape has been made by glaciers, and that it is continually changing - whether daily or over time, and that my lifetime is less than a blink of the eye in the totality of things. I kept thinking that in this beauty, I could die and truly become part of the universe again.

Ghost Ranch is now owned by the Presbyterian Church, and holds retreats for groups and individuals. It would be a fantastic place for a retreat, or for hiking and meditation.
I'm going to post some photo's, because I think they say it better than words.

We did a tour with a docent at the O'Keefe Museum , and were able to see many paintings that were new to us. The exhibit included quotes from O'Keefe, and I really enjoyed reading her words. She was a fiercely independent, kind, generous and spiritual person, who was so dedicated to her work that she had little patience for anything outside of it.

We toured her house in Abiquiu, about an hour north of Santa Fe, and saw her kitchen, living area, studio, bedroom, and the black door on the adobe wall, that she had painted many times. No photo's - visitors are not allowed to bring any kind of camera, or even a phone on the tour. The tour guide showed copies of her work, while showing the scene she had painted. It was obvious that she was able to isolate the elements of the scene she most wanted to illustrate, and use heightened colors to represent the feeling she had about the landscape. I loved being able to look at her brushstrokes - which are barely visible, and the way she was able to make shapes that have such round, sensuous shapes out of very rugged country.

It was raining on and off, so I wasn't able to get too many photo's - this one of the red rock cliff is from a bit further up the road. The sun kept going in and out of the cloud's and changing the light. It was a truly awe inspiring scene. (You may get sick of me using that phrase!)

O'Keefe's New Mexico

I was able to spend a week in Northern New Mexico, with my husband, my favorite traveling companion. We flew into Albuquerque, and drove to Santa Fe, and Taos. Georgia O'Keefe's work had been shown at the Clark Art Institute last summer, and I fell in love with her work. So our goal was to go to the O'Keefe Museum, and tour the houses where she lived.

We stayed at a little B & B in Albuquerque and acclimated to the altitude. At first, the local scenery didn't appeal to me - the main impression was of very dry, yellow/gray everywhere. Then, the colors of the desert started to make themselves known. I appreciated the subtly of the sage, straw, pinion and juniper. And the sky was so HUGE!