As I have said many times before, it's been awhile. You know how it goes. Minuetes turn into hours; hours turn into days, and before you know it, it's been months. Sigh.
While on the trip to and from Taos, I had been taking photos of windows. The above is from Mabel Dodge Luhan's house. When I got to the classes at Taos, I told the instructors about my "love" of windows and they told me to explore the idea. I tried every way I thought would make a "good" painting about all those windows. The instructors, each with a different idea, would ask me questions to push me on. I fought with those paintings, and was ready to give up and let the windows go. I could not make the idea(s) work. I could not do the things that they suggested, or what I thought would work.
After classes, back in the hotel, I would pour over artists on-line that I had grown to love.
I have continued to work on different paintings with the idea of windows for the past three months. Only one really spoke to me.
After three months, I used the window idea and created something I like. It came out of my head and heart. Not what someone else was telling me to try and create. But, all those months of frustration was a path to here.
Back to the paintings that I created in Taos. I had pulled out two of the paintings and was going to "change" just a few things. Just "fix" a spot here and there to make it more me and to make it fit into what I thought would be a good mix of the window ideas. I started at six pm the other night, and painted and re-painted and "lifted" paint and re-painted again, until one am. I was tired and cranky and was in a panic. I felt that to let this go would be a failure. What was worse, I thought I had lost "it," the ability to create. If I stopped painting, went to bed and got some needed rest, I was giving up.
The last time I looked at the clock, it showed two-thirty am. When the alarm went off at six-thirty am, I got up to face the paintings that haunted me and made sleep restless. By ten am, I was working on them again. But even thought I had very little sleep and my defenses were down I began to collage over the paintings that were now all neutral, drab colors. Boxes of paint on the paper were gone. As I covered the paint with bright papers I thought back to one of the instructors at Taos, Alex Powers. He is a very political artist, and had encouraged me to tell the world--with my art--the theme I would like to convey of how we treat one another. How bullying is not okay, and that if we did just love each other as we love ourselves, this world would be a better place.
I pulled out a magazine that had some of Alex's work and read what he had written about his art and what he wanted to tell the world about our prejudices. I was hit with a shock, like hitting my crazy bone in my elbow. A jolt that ran through my body of what I wanted to tell the viewer of my paintings. "Don't" was created. It comes from the phrase that my dad always used. "Don't hate. Hate hurts the hater."
This is only part of the painting. The text is from an old dictionary that has the definition of hate.
I have moved to another subject that is near and dear to my heart: teaching and teachers. My daughter, daughter-in-law, and soon to be other daughter-in-law are all teachers. I have many family and friends that are teachers, and I feel that they don't get what they need and are treated badly. They are in-charge of our children's education and are up against the worst odds. We do not pay them what they are worth, and when things go wrong, we blame them, never thinking that the problem lies somewhere else.
After "Teach Me" I will go on to my next painting. I don't know the theme of what I will create but I will keep creating the message that I would like to inspire.
At ISS Taos, NM 5/12
Thank you Alex.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
We were told to bring every little thing you might need for 8 days of creating. There are no art stores in Taos anymore. We filled a midsize SUV with our supplies, snacks, and cameras.
Views in AZ
We arrived in Santa Fe, NM on Monday and spent the day walking the city and taking in all the art and food we could hold. I became taken with windows. Not sure why but I just kept taking photos of them.
Window in art colony in Santa Fe
Window at Mabel Dodge Luhan House
Town Square in Santa Fe, NM with artists
I think I took about 300 photos in all. Not all of windows but there are quite a few.
The workshop ran every day from 9am - 5pm. We painted and attended lectures with slide shows on different aspects of art and artists.
Every night I went back the the hotel room very tired but so happy to have been painting every day. In the afternoons and early evenings we were able to do some sight seeing. Like our trip to Mabel Dodge Luhan House. If you don't know about Mabel, look her up. What an amazing person.
It was so relaxing to be able to not worry about anything but showing up to paint. Letting the creative juices flow and watching the wonderful sunsets at the end of the day.
Posted by Aleta at 10:59 PM
Sunday, April 1, 2012
For the past two years I have traveled to Santa Barbara for an art workshop. I am taking the workshop again this year. I enjoy the presenter so much. He is Skip Lawrence. A great watercolorest plus he makes learning fun. Every morning before we start to paint he gives a lecture and slide show. He shows us paintings of the Masters and more contemporary paintings. Skip is never without a joke or two to loosen up the nerves. We take notes and talk about the paintings that we are drawn to. The past two years the lecture and slides are different. There are a few the same but he manages to keep it fresh and interesting. The workshop starts tomorrow at nine o'clock A. M. But I drove up here today. I wanted to get a feel for the new hotel and go find the new venue for the workshop. After a quick drive around I grabbed some dinner (more on that later) ,went back to the hotel and decided to see how long a walk it would be to the venue. It was getting dark by the time I left but the walk was only twenty minutes. I felt much better finding my way around and knowing where I would be going. Can you take the Girl Scout out of the girl? Guess not. Not this Girl Scout anyway. About dinner... I had been to a certain Chineese restaurant last year but had a hard time remembering what it was called and where it was. After some Google and Yelp searches There it was. I think. My daughter is on this adventure with me and she was pretty sure this was the one we ate at before. As we drove up to the restaurant we both sang, "yes this is it!" great food and nice people. China Pavilion on Chapala St. For anyone wanting good Chineese food in Santa Barbara. I have promised to blog about the workshop so will be here every night. There might not be any pictures though. My laptop is sick and I don't know how to do pictures with my iPad. So if things get better with the laptop I'll add photos. Stay tuned in for an interesting week.
Posted by Aleta at 11:15 PM
Monday, March 19, 2012
Time seems to go so fast. It's the middle of March but it was just December, right? I find that I can get myself into too many things so fast that I am drowning in papers, photos of my work, and business. I have to work very hard to keep on a schedule. It's a habit that I have but sometimes forget.
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I use to use this blog for prompts for my Inland Empire CA Writers Club members. I would write a bit about something that had been on my mind and then post a prompt.
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Don't know what to write? Where does this road lead? Is it morning or evening? What state is the road in? What's around the bend?
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Create something everyday!
Posted by Aleta at 12:01 AM
Friday, March 9, 2012
The class was to start at 9:30am and be over at 2:00pm. We were throwing papers, inks and paint around until 3:30pm! They didn't want to stop. Some of the CirtaSolv papers were beautiful!
Posted by Aleta at 9:57 AM
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Four people have signed up for the class and I am so excited to share all the ways to make papers for collage.
We will be altering brown paper bags, newsprint, newspapers, card stock, tissue paper, Mulberry papers and National Graphic Magazine pages. Watercolors, acrylics, fluid acrylics, Glimmer Mist, coffee, Distressing inks, gesso and CitraSolv cleaner will be splashed around all day.
I will have coffee and snacks for the students so they can keep their energy up throughout the day.
Posted by Aleta at 5:10 PM
Friday, February 17, 2012
With great success one person have never done any kind of collage or design. See her work above.
I am so proud of these students. And they where very pleased. The class moved a a good pace and we were able to finish with a bit of time to spare. I am inspired to teach another class. A request was made for a class on paper. Not just paper but how to tint tissue paper to use in collage and some other great papers to make for their stash. Collage artists are hoarders of papers and such.
After the class I was tired but felt really good. Everything I had semi planned worked. It worked for the students and it worked for me. I was satisfied. But, when it came time to go to sleep with a big smile on my face....I asked, "So, where did all this come from? Silly rabbit, you didn't even have an actual lesson plan!"
As I lay awake asking these questions...it hit me. Two great teachers that I have been taking classes from for about three years. This is where I received my education on Design and Color. They are Skip Lawrence and Topher Shinks. I could not wait to get up this morning to send them an e mail of thanks and gratitude. I hope I made them feel as good as my students made me feel.
"Create Something Everyday!"
Posted by Aleta at 10:37 AM