Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day Trip to Tombstone: a video

This is a little different today. I have been working on making my first video for about three weeks now. It is a lot like composing a painting, but not as tactile. I wanted to use music to tell the story, setting the mood, and to show how popular music can be used for expressionistic statements juxtaposed against images. I'm such an amateur at this (am receiving helpful criticism from family, too), but I offer it to those of you who have never been to the Southwest and would like to see what it looks like around here today.

Plus, learning the terms of film editing is challenging. The terms don't have any concatenation* to the process of moving, splicing or manipulating images. I suppose that non-artist types (N.A.T.s for short) would probably say the same about such painting terms as: vanishing point, scumbling, golden mean and alizarin. Some movie editing terms I learned, but have no real understanding of: "ripple delete", "cross dissolve" and "default still".

Now, I must get back to making that mail art piece I promised Ell this week. Oh, yes, and sidle up to that new way of painting that gestures feelings more than an academic rendering.

Please forgive this change in medium. I'll behave again soon.

*Another word I've never heard of...Who will use a synonym of this in a sentence first?!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sister Sky, Turquoise to Place

Like spontaneously finding the best parking space at the market, like finding the sweetest blueberries on a day in which everything else falls into place, followed by a spectacular sunset, good food and a great night's sleep, the paintings I last worked on surprised me so, and stopped me in my tracks--like a race track smooth and level--harnessed to hold the sky, just for pondering and quiet consideration. I excogitate further and offer a realistic study as a short interlude....



Made me think about this horse competing in the last run of the season here at the Rillito Race Track in Tucson last Saturday. We went to see these glorious creatures and I took a bunch of photos of them, of course. I hope to do more studies of them during those times I'm afraid of abstracting landscapes!

This study, 6" x 4" on paper is a study using the 'three sisters' and caran d'ache with water. I'm hoping to post more of these in the future, but here is the photo I used as I drew from the monitor today.


Extra credit for those of you who know the word "excogitate". I stumbled upon it while correcting my spelling and thought...why not?!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

...Und Vahlet....Und Vahtch




Put on a sweater, wear long pants. Oh right, don't forget to change from the summer flip flops (white) to the winter flip flops (black). Grab camera, forget dogs, race for Sabino Canyon once again. This time with the pre-paid, displayed, park tag.

Alright. Maybe race isn't quite my style anymore. But, hey. A scientist recently wrote, "The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Snow on the Santa Catalinas, cool air, crisp blue skies and the sights and sounds of the desert are so exciting that it inspired a completely different approach this week.


Here are the three paintings (9" x 12")...my goodness, one painted each day.
I chose to simplify and ask how the landscape makes me feel rather than try to capture the stunning sights before me (often I feel too inept for realism).



I took many photos and I've linked a slideshow of them at the bottom of this post.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

DeGrazia's Refuge in the Foothills



The weather was so beautiful this morning that we thought we'd hop into the car, take some photos, and come home and paint. Little did we know that nearly everywhere we would go, there would be some reason to keep moving.

We headed for Sabino Canyon. We knew that we couldn't take our dogs on any trails, but figured that we could park nearby and walk along the road or just outside the park. Not so. There were 'no parking' signs everywhere, 'no outlet' signs when we turned to the west and a fee station to park--except dogs not allowed out in the desert. I remembered a comedian from years ago remarking that everything you might want to do in California cost. In fact, he said that at the state line, he thought there would soon be signs stating, "Do not back up, tire damage." Yes, I was feeling like Arizona had become a place where only the wealthy could afford to live and walk in the most spectacular wilderness. We considered driving up to Mt. Lemmon, but we were told the road had closed because (you snow people will love this) snow had begun to fall, i. e., a few snowflakes were observed near the top of the mountain.

We drove west to DeGrazia's Studio. I took some photos while Mr. Artyfice sat in the car with the dogs.

I don't know how many of you have heard of Ted DeGrazia, but he had a pretty bad reputation among serious artists in this town because of his kitschy Native American children with the gigantic eyes. Yet, I remember reading an article about his early days here in Tucson and saw some photos of his work. He was a good artist. He found a way to make a living from his art, but it was never easy.

He built an adobe home, studio and chapel that became a gathering place for his artist friends. He was a generous person.

While it is disturbing to see the two story apartment building a few feet from his few acres, we found it to be a welcoming place today. No charge for parking. The views--stunning. If he and his family hadn't fought so hard to preserve the acreage that they owned, there would be a multi-million dollar home or three on the site and I would be persona non gratis today.

Here's a quick study of the chapel he built with his own hands. It is 5 1/2" x 8" on watercolor paper. We left feeling a bit better and, so I offer the beautiful rendition of One Love, Playing for Change.