When I first met Monika Astara at a FASA Runway Show several years ago, I was almost tongue-tied by the beauty and originality of her designer clothing. She was swamped with customers, but I managed to ask her rather tentatively if she ever did trunk shows – she said that she did! Six months later, she brought her wearable art to my Studio, and it was a huge success. We became fast friends and she’s had several more fantastic shows with me – her clothes are comfortable, casually elegant, yet very distinctive. If you are a Monika fan, you know what I mean.
Hoverer, I had never been to HER studio until this weekend, and what a treat it was to see where all of the Monika Magic originates. I got to see her long cutting table where she paints and constructs her garments, the stacks of patterns, and most of all, the fabrics! Her signature fabrics are chosen for their unusual textures and colors and for their practicality – not an easy task.
I took some photos during my visit to share with you, and I hope you will be at her next show and sale at Lyn Belisle Studio in October, date coming soon!
Hooray! There were many more Ups that Downs yesterday. The only little downs were the really strong winds that spontaneously rearranged the artwork every fifteen minutes, and the high temperatures. But hundreds of people turned out for the eighty or ninety artists who showed on the streets and in the courtyards of Beacon Hill.
Among the highlights – I saw an old friend from Chicago, Sharon Bostick. She lived on Beacon Hill for many years and happened to be in town for the show, looked me up, and voila! Sharon and her husband purchased several pieces. Thanks, Sharon! An unexpected highlight came from the Art Walk committee who visited my spot and awarded me with yellow ribbon for third place in show – wow! Not bad for this first-time non-Boston newbie. Thanks, Committee!
I could not have done the show without friends Pat Semmes and Danny Sanchez who helped haul the stuff (including tables) up and down the brick sidewalks. I think after all was said and done I sold ten pieces, got a very nice award, met some super artists (who said that it was more of a looking day than buying day, but still . . .) and will definitely apply for next year. I’ll be back, jurors willing and the creek don’t rise. Here are some more photos:
Sorry, I’m probably “over-blogging” from Boston, but rarely do I have such a stretch of time to experiment with art and write about the weirdness of the process. For example, my Taos teacher Gwen Fox always says, “Start with a thumbnail from an existing picture.” So I found this hamburger in a magazine (fig. 1) – it looked interesting through the paper window (or maybe I was hungry). I turned it sideways and sketched in the shapes which started morphing into abstract figures. (fig.2). I tried to make the two figures balance and relate, but it became obvious that the figure on the left was dominant, so . . .whack! Off went the second figure to be used elsewhere. (fig. 3) I put a very few finishing tweaks on the left figure and, when matted, it is intriguing and colorful. (fig. 4). I think I will name it “McDonald.” Or maybe “Hunger and Evolution.” Isn’t art fun??
It’s astonishing how much happened in two short days. Here’s the complete video of our weekend workshop at the Studio. Michelle Belto’s spiritual and physical energy took us on an unforgettable journey of artistic discovery!
It’s one of those “I need to” mornings right before the Hildegard: Art and Soul Workshop which begins at 10:00 this morning at the Studio – incredibly good timing, because it is much needed. “I need to post a Friday Freebie – oops, too late – I need to fold up the laundry – oops, forgot to put it in the dryer, it’s probably all stinky – oh, no.” Have you ever been swamped by so much stuff that you can’t talk yourself out of panic mode? I’m not quite there yet, but am on the outskirts. However, after visiting with Michelle Belto yesterday about the workshop plans, there’s hope, because she could calm and refocus anybody. Check out her blog post on Viewpoint and Perspective. It makes me wonder why we don’t give our own selves permission to chill out once in a while, like Michelle did at the Spurs game. I’ll report back from the workshop as a new, improved serene ME.
Your Saturday order-of-the-day is to do something relaxing for yourself. Get a pedicure – guys, too! Eat some gelato, that yummy salty caramel kind! In the meantime,convincing myself that things are getting done, I did finish the five Guardian pieces – they will go to the Cathedral House exhibit on the 19th of this month along with some other small paintings. Here’s a phone shot as I was leaving the Studio last night – whew! Happy Saturday 🙂
It’s happened again – another artist has taken my little shard faces to new heights! Hooray!! Look at these Bohemian-inspired wrist-wrap bracelets made with sari silk by Janet at Anvil Artifacts – you can see more of her fabulous work at her Etsy Site and on her Blog! Janet, these are amazing – thanks so much for sharing your beautiful work.
So the big Fiesta Show and Sale is day after tomorrow – I’m sorta ready, but this morning I really wanted to work on something new for the show. I started with some square black frames that I had ordered just because they were on sale. Then I printed some digital photos of gravestone angels (but of course!) and started working on two small collages that remind me of the Guardian series. I call the new series El Ala y la Oración(the Wing and the Prayer) because they feature bird feathers and monument faces. They are turning out so well – it’s great to feel them come together. Here are the first two – with any luck I’ll finish four more by Sunday. These are behind glass so there is a bit of reflection in the photo, but it adds to the overall effect, perhaps. The hardest part was figuring out how to create the shadow box. I did it with thin strips of black foamcore mounted against the inside edges of the frames – come by the Studio on Sunday and I’ll show you the trick!
The “tell” part: I keep remembering great tips from artist Sherrill Kahn when I saw her presentation at FASA on Monday. One that I’m going to try today is mixing cheap hair gel, the kind you can get at dollar stores in a pump bottle, with acrylic paint to make a glaze for fabric, collage, whatever. Another technique that she uses is Styrofoam plate printing. It’s fun to watch her do this.Breaking news: there’s a pretty good possibility that Sherrill will be at my Studio in August for several workshops (or you can go to Italy to see her in September <wistful sigh>)
The “show” part: Lesta Frank, Jan Longfellow, Alison Schockner and I are reuniting for a Fiesta Show at the Studio this Sunday – whoopee! Here’s a sneak preview of the cool stuff – there will be food and freebies and Fiesta fun, so come by and celebrate from 11-5!
I’m honored to feature my long-time friend, Gloria Hill, whose expressive abstract paintings have blossomed in 2013. She started working with me at the Studio in February (I hesitate to say “taking lessons” because I learn as much from her as she does from me). Gloria grasps an idea and makes it her own. She is dedicated and amazingly prolific considering that she has a demanding full-time career as North East ISD’s Director of Visual Art where her art teachers and students win state and national awards. Gloria is, thankfully, finding time for her own art, and boy, is she good! Her paintings (below) speak for themselves, but this is what she has to say about her personal creative journey:
“We all have to start somewhere and I feel that I am at the gathering stage in my work. I am motivated by the strong urge to create. I hope that through the process of discovering, gathering, creating, experimenting, searching, failing, and learning I will develop the tools, techniques, and processes to better express myself. I know who I am and am happy with me. I never want to stop growing and learning and I am finding that my art is taking me down the path I want to travel. It is giving me joy, inner peace, confidence, and a feeling of personal accomplishment.”
Thank you, Glo, for sharing your talent and inspiring work!
In Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way day book yesterday was this quote, which somewhat describes that feeling of the force behind the creative calling – apart from making something “to sell”:
I wonder who the “they” is, though – people who look at art and get a message? Buyers? Do “they” have to come to make art worthwhile, or can you just express yourself FOR yourself. Personally, I love it when other people find a resonance for themselves in my work, but if I were alone on the proverbial desert island, I’d still be arranging palm fronds and shells into nifty designs and drawing lines in the sand just for my own enrichment and artistic fulfillment. You probably would, too!