Where There’s Smoke

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Samantha Fields talks about her process at the Museum of Art & History in Lancaster, CA on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Dana and I went to see the new MOAH exhibit “Made in the Mojave” with our friends Teresa and Mary last Saturday afternoon.  (Great new tradition, I hope!) I fell in love with Samantha Field’s work, especially these wildfire paintings, so I went back on Tuesday for her artist’s walk through.

She described how she does field research on storms and fires, how she preps each canvas with layer upon layer of superfine acrylic paint to create a smooth base. Some of the many photographs and sketchbooks she works from, including ones bordered by paint color samples, were on display.  She talked about the many layers of superfine paint with which she builds each image.

It was interesting, in spite of all the evidence, to hear some of the questions and comments from the assembled group that strove to confirm that making art is a matter of divine inspiration, inaccessible to most people.  I’m just an observer, but it seems that there is movement toward demystifying the creation of art these days. The curator, in her introduction to the exhibit, talked about the “makers” represented rather than the “artists.” I’ve heard this terminology before. We can all imagine ourselves making something.

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You think you know what you’re looking at in Fields’ work, and then a pair of headlights catches your eye. The world shifts. This, to me, is the secret of desert landscapes in life. You have to spend some time with them to understand them.

A few of us hung out after most of the crowd left to explore the rest of the museum. One young artist challenged Fields’ use of canvas rather than more modern, already smooth surfaces.

She explained that she hasn’t found anything more archival or flexible than canvas, even though she has to do so much to prepare it for her purposes. She once sold a large piece to a corporate client; it had to be taken off the frame and rebuilt in the space because of a narrow stairway. That couldn’t have happened with a rigid base.

Fields also told how a friend sold work done on a rigid surface. It went to a home in Malibu where the humidity caused the paint to bubble and slough off.  Heart-breaking!

“These,” she grinned, gesturing at her work, “Will be here in a thousand years!”

 

 

 

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I Give Up!

I downloaded three apps and spent an hour of my creative time this morning trying to blur out the writing on the page next to my journal drawing of my new uke. Finally,  in frustration, I cut up a nearby junk mail envelope and used it to mask the writing.  Score one for analog? I doubt it.

Here is a photo of the actual ukulele. Also, an “I Give Up” to the temptation of a nice instrument. (I am surrounded by enabling influences!) I sold my Fluke months ago, so the money from that went into this. I love the slightly funky sound.

This is not to be misconstrued as any claim to proficiency on said instrument. I’m working on it, okay?

Anyway, I think the drawing conveys more of my feelings about the new uke than the photograph.

Random Heart

Some images from the couple of days after the Run for the Color, when we returned to the park for our regularly scheduled morning walk/jog.

Does anyone else see a heart in that tire track in the middle of the color leftover from the starting line of the 5K?

After the Dance

After the dance

Louise and I saw a wonderful performance of Bollywood and regional Indian dance given by Karmagraphy at the L.A. Central Library last Sunday.


This is a snippet of one of the dances. So energetic and fun! Made me want to go back  to Zumba.

The whole audience was up and dancing at the end when they showed us a few moves.

Before and After Hat

 

This morning in my writing,  I remembered the old hat I found in Mom’s closet. It was one of her mother’s old church hats.

She let me play with it,  but it didn’t take long for me to see that it wasn’t really my style. I think I was nine or ten. With permission,  I deconstructed the hat and wore it for years,  till I lost it somewhere in the field between the woods and our house.

It fit perfectly with my idea of myself as an explorer, with my radioactive Army watch on my wrist and my eyes on the horizon.  Dad found that watch in one of the used cars he sold and I begged for it; it was my first timepiece.

Random memories from a feral childhood. Maybe one day I’ll be good enough to draw the faces under those hats.

Blue Cream

In which she realizes she can use a colored pencil to shade a ehite object.

I love pitchers. I have more than makes sense.  I use the larger ones as vases. I have several shapes of white porcelain creamers, including this souvenir of my walk through Rome. It was €1.95. How could I leave it in Italy?