Thursday, January 20, 2011
Snow day in my old pajamas...the snowflakes have arrived.
I knew in my heart I could make it down the driveway in my little car but there would be no guarantee that I could get back up safely....so I listened to my intuition and stayed home to work from my studio upstairs. I needed to put together the couple's small commission as they begin their life together. I have the photos transferred and will be working toward a monochromatic arrangement in a softer antique flow of colors. I have selected my fabrics and laces and now will just dive into the actual play of composition. As I worked upstairs the snow fell gently on my hillside and the calm gray skies reminded me of my word inspiration for next Monday....maudlin. I had to check this word and found it to be overly sentimental, weakly intoxicated tearfully expressive. The sky today was maudlin here in color and before I knew it I had created my tiny project. A spiral came into my composition and tiny Delica beads in a matte gold made by Miyuki Shoji. I could totally get addicted to these tiny projects...they are so rewarding.
I also had a whole day watching my Ovation Channel documentary about Shelby Lee Adams . He is a photographer born and raised in Harlan KY and has documented the lives of coal miners in their harsh surroundings scratching out a life for survival. He has spent thirty years living, learning, sharing family rituals and witnessing this intense familial culture which is often very difficult for outsiders to understand. Shelby has been accepted and earned the respect from this Appalachian culture and does not pass judgment even with the charismatic poisonous snake handlers. Shelby captures true meaning through his pictures taken on and in intimate passages of these people in their mountain lives. This is a very thought provoking film and I would love to have some feedback on your impressions...mine may be skewed by the fact that I grew up close to this culture.
The second documentary was about Julian Beaver an artist who creates 3D sidewalk amorphic chalk landscapes in Paris and in San Fransico. You may have seen his work without really knowing his name and honestly I am amazed whenever I see his works...he is an illusionist who works with the cultural environment of each project plus shares the spotlight to show contemporary muralists who make their lives visible on the walls of the city. Julian documents each temporary installation with his camera and has a book published...sorry I can not remember the name of his collection. My friend Curtis Goldstein in Columbus has been featured on CBS morning show with his chalk drawings and loves Julian's creations.
The last program "retreat" was the Betrayal of an artist Rudolf Bauer. He was born in Germany and a contemporary of Kandinsky and Picasso who moved from his academic training to abstraction. He became the favorite artist of the famous Solomon Guggenhiem collector. His life was somewhat tormented and in the end he died with a sense of loss due to a family squabble and political differences. I love the flow of his paintings and geometric compositions which I realize is something inspiring me to lossen up in a playful manner in my journal...cut...play...color... and scatter on the papers.
I need to return to my sewing machine and work on my small wall hanging for Jodie. I shoveled a bit of the driveway and I am surprised by how tired I am at this moment. It took me some time to get warmed when I came it but hopefully I was able to help Ken make the driveway safe for both of us. Have a safe evening and Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart