Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I went to the market the other day, a different one than I usually go to these days, and again the wine bottles caught my eye. It's odd because I'm not much of a wine drinker. Although, if I do have alcohol at all, it will probably be wine. Or a margarita. Usually though I'm the only parent around, and I don't weigh much, (hey! Stop laughing! I mean, compared to, say, my six foot tall plus husband and sons) so I don't usually drink at all in case I have to get behind the wheel.

In fact, I'm much more of a tea or coffee connoisseur then I am a wine one. But art is art is art, wherever one finds it.

Don't you just love this wild woman, leaping into the universe.

I've seen this label before and always admired the combined pagany symbolism of oak trees and the triple aspect of the Goddess. I'm not a big red wine fan though.

This one, on the right, is from Australia and I have a feeling something in the picture and/or name loses something in cultural translation because, although I thought it was very sweet, I wasn't quite sure what sort of mood or theme it was meant to create. Of course the Da Vinci on the left is nice too.

The "modern art" in purples, pinks, and black caught my eye. My first thought was "hmmm, wonder what that would look like done in fabrics" and my second thought was "I bet they're trying to appeal to folks who have no idea what kind of art or wine they like, but think that they should act like they do." On the right, I like the triskelian of Ravens.

How can you not smile at the little red guitar man. The Forest Ville label isn't memorable, but do they mean Forest Ville up near Sebastopol? I've been there. I've been to Snoqualmie, the bottle on the far right, up in Washington, too. I guess if you traveled and you drank a lot of wine, you could collect it from all the places you'd been. All the places that had wineries that is.

I almost took a photo of a bottle that said Lassen Something-Something on it because I was so surprised. I mean, I've never seen a vineyard on a single acre of Lassen County soil. Tumbleweed, yes. Sage, lots of it. Stands of Douglas Fir. Scrubby cedar and juniper. We've even got some wheat fields and strawberry farms. But it's not wine country. Then I realized that it was a wineyard in the Northern Central Valley and they were just referencing that they could see Mt. Lassen poking up above the foothills. Oh-h.

We don't have wineries, but we do have our very own Meadery. I know, I don't think it's really called a Meadery. I mentioned it before but this time I took a close up of some of the bottles for you. I did have a bit of their cherry mead the other day, but it was purely for medicinal purposes. No, really. It WAS. I needed to rinse my mouth with something antiseptic.

This one made me laugh out loud. It reminded me of Godzilla Turkey. Some of you who have followed my family's adventures for some years will remember Godzilla Turkey. In any case, you have to wonder how they came to name this wine after an apparently biblical mutant poultry critter.

Now, if you're more of a teatotaler, be sure to visit Beach Treasure today. I've in the middle of a Bloggers Tea Party.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I have a space on the bedroom wall that is magic. Some people, those with no vision, would look and see nothing but a window. But I see a magical, ever-changing work of art created for my sole pleasure and reflection.

It changes through the seasons of course, but it also changes depending on the hour of the day. One of my favorite times of the day to catch something exceptional is in late afternoon or early evening when the sun sinks low on the horizon and creates layers of images.

It often makes me think of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. What is reality and what is fantasy? What is physical and what is shadow? Sometimes it makes me think of how it's all about perspective - what is truth and what is just opinion? What is concrete and what is simply reflection? Other times I am reminded of correlations or the interconnectedness of everything. The shadow depends on the branch outside, the branch outside depends on the sun. Occasionally other lofty philosophical gems rattle around in my brain. And sometimes I just let the soft swaying of the images in the breeze allows my thoughts to float just as peacefully and I think of nothing much at all.

Where is the unexpected art in your world?

Friday, March 16, 2007

It frustrates me a lot that I don't post more regularly on this studio blog. But alas, to post about art generally requires one to be making it a lot more regularly than I seem to manage. I have been doing a lot of photography lately. It's the one art process that I don't have to push myself to do. I love it. But then, other than sharing it here, what do I do with all these photos? I have some ideas for using it in collage work, but I haven't managed to get all the supplies gathered up yet. If I did nothing but frame it, I could request a show at the local art's council studio. I really need to get my ass in gear. Alas, I'm afraid it's gonna take drugs, whips, and threats to get me going.

Mostly I'm sort of running in circles trying to decide whether to write, do visual art, or go back to major reorganizing of my house. Mostly I end up just feeding the bottomless pit of a teenager and running household shopping errands and then "Oh, look at the time! I'll sit and watch television shows." One reason, or excuse if you want, is that the time of day, evening, when I'm most inspired to get up and do something, is also the time when my family is home and so I feel guilty if I go off and hide from them in the studio. I did manage to get some fabric combinations lined up for more blue/green Ohio Stars the other night (which sounds easy but definitely was not!). I didn't have to choose between family and art because the only television that had sound for American Idol (we were having cable troubles) was in the studio, so they all followed me in there.

I think Georgia O'Keeffe was right when she said she had to choose between having a family and being an artist. Right in the sense that she knew she personally had to choose one or the other, that for her it wasn't possible to do both. Of course then there's someone like Tasha Tudor that seemed to combine the two lives effortlessly. I'm sure it wasn't effortless, but she made it seem like it.

Jeff and I took a day trip to Reno on Wednesday and one of the highlights was a visit to the Nevada Museum of Art. I already mentioned it a bit over on Beach Treasure, and put up some photos we took along the road as well. It's always a toss up whether to upload them here or there. So go check them out.

I saved a couple photos for here. You couldn't take photos inside the museum. This was outside in a small plaza they have in front of the building. I liked the red on red. Which photo do you like best? Jeff and I were split on which was our favorite.

The close up or...

...this one that includes more of the setting?

This sun sculpture was on the roof. I liked how the shadow made a crescent moon inside of the sun.

The big exhibit was Andy Warhol. They had some fun interactive stuff set up to go along with it - mostly for kids. The best were oversized cans of Campbell Soup to stack and make patterns with. I would have played with them but a little boy beat me to it. But that didn't stop a couple of us adults from spending time at a stamp and color markers station set up so you could make repetitive "Warhol" inspired postcards. This is what I made, it is a hodge podge of things we saw on the road that day.

Hmmm, it needs some background color, doesn't it.

One of the paintings I liked best on this visit was called Moth Prayer. (Look at what is on her skirt. And I loved the snails around the border.) It was in an exhibit called Voces Latinas displaying work on paper in the comtemporary Latino culture. I really should have made a list of the other artist's names on pieces I found intriguing so I could have looked them up later online. Oh well.

I ordered a book from our inter-library loan program called Celebrate your Creative Self. I thought it was going to be an inspirational jumpstart sort of book. Instead it's more of an art class on painting techniques. Some of it I already know, although it's never a bad idea to play with the basics. Some of it is new to me. I could spend years just working with new medium ideas from their how-to exercises but alas, I only have the book for a few more days before it needs to be returned.

Do any of you have any suggestions for inspirational books? I'd still like to find something like that.

And speaking of books, I saw this one at both bookstores we visited during our one day vacation. It's called Artist Trading Card Worshop by Bernie Berlin. Hmmm, the Amazon link is waaaaaay to long to share.... but wait! She has a blog! Visit her there and you can click on her book in the sidebar. I really have to get my own blog sidebars updated, they are practically useless now. I've found a bunch of great new art and photo blogs recently but here I am hiding them in my private bookmarks instead of sharing them with you. Sigh. My to-do list gets longer instead of shorter every day.