Another sample for a workshop application, another part of the family remixed for posterity. The center of the circle is an old photo of my grandfather's home in S. Indiana. He expansively referred to this part of the country as "God's country". Around that is woven bits and pieces of fabric, string and written references to my memories about my mother's side of the family. Sort of circular journal or family nest, if you will.
I was lucky enough to see this place one summer in 1993, just after my grandmother (Ralph's wife) died at the age of 101. Its gone now. So I was happy to give it a place at the center of this nest.
With the holiday coming up I'm posting one of my woven works of my Dad's side of the family, his mom is in both of the woven photos but you have to look closely to find her. I did this piece as a sample for a workshop application.
Now that was different! I didn't quite know what doing a free demo for the Kaleidoscope show would be like. It was so very odd, talking for almost 2 hours about what I make. Normally, in a conversation, that kind of thing would put the listener into a coma but these folks asked questions and took notes! I'm really more accustomed to "lecturing' high schoolers and if I dared to go over 10 minutes there was hell to pay. Please don't get me wrong, they were wonderful people but a teacher must respect the teen-age attention span!
It was a lovely morning, the people who dropped by were lovely and I just hope they took something away they can use!
Be sure to see Kaleidoscope if you're anywhere near the Akron, Ohio area because its a good exhibit and you won't be disappointed. I've included one of the samples I took over to show at the demo below.
Saturday the 22nd I've got a collage demo to put on at Summit Artspace for whoever shows up and it'll be the first time since teaching that I've put time into any kind of demonstration. My banker's box is filled with a collection of this and that and I'm certain I'll be in the middle of a crucial moment and won't have what I need. So I've just been tossing in random art materials and keeping my fingers crossed. I needed to complete some samples so this is one!
Three more shots, journal and photos all together. The first is an ofrenda of sorts set up in a restaurant in Morelia that also boasted a shrine to St. Anthony with statues of the saints turned upside down. The shrine also consisted of notes from "spinsters" (how long has it been since you heard that word?) seeking a husband. It was a quirky place. And I never did figure out all of St. Anthony's responsibilities, from husbands to missing visas and luggage, he seemed to handle it all.
The next, a shot of 2 women in the market place finishing off the fringe on a rebozo or shawl and the last is a final journal page. I found the repro of Frida in a store that was hosting an exhibition of photography and many of those were portraits of Frida Kahlo. They were large, maybe 8x14 and in beautiful sepia tones.
So I'm going to pack it in with this trip and get back to making some collage, some art and finding an old
object to write about (this a notion from Michele Ward).
This is what I was sketching in the photo that follows. I rarely had time to put the color in when I was in Mexico and this one was finished at home. I was inspired by a younger woman who happened to sit down at one of our breakfast tables who had a sketchbook with a couple of 2-page spreads.
Sitting in Ignacio Angel's studio I could hear the young chicks peeping under the squash plants. Since his working space is open this was the view looking out. Eventually the chicks got brave and became part of the composition but I didn't put them in.
First and only, a shot of what I spent most of my time doing during the visits to artist's studios; one ear open and rapidly sketching. The blouse was a purchase from the market set up especially for the holiday about a block away from the hotel. There were 3 generations working the booth and embroidering madly but the mother stopped long enough to make a sale assuring me that, yes, they had done all the stitching on the blouse. When I gave her the money, she crossed herself and kissed it before putting it away.
The second shot is an embroidery form made only in Tzintzuntzan and shows the preparations in the grave yard for Nov.2. I bought mostly textiles since they're easier to get home and couldn't resist this one.
Sunday, November the 2nd we all piled on a bus to go to Santa Clara del Cobre to visit a copper artist, Ignacio Angel,
and see his studio as well as his store. These are from that visit and from our farewell dinner. Ranch la Mesa was a restaurant that sat above Lago Patzcuaro with a phenomenal view of Janitzio and surrounding cities. I was still a bit dazed by it all and it was time to go home. Tomorrow I'll post some random photos and a 2-page journal spread and after that I have some textiles I bought in the market to share.
The process of doing a travel journal attaches me in a more physical way to what I see on my trip because the physical process of drawing involves more than simply looking. Its why I do a journal, it enhances my perception of what I might just pass by. That said, some of this journal was done on the jet, mostly the crosshatching, but some drawing as well. The Catrina here on the left I made up based on a variety of tourist papers. Many artists in Mexico make 3-d clay versions of these ladies
and I'd love to take one home but they are extremely fragile and I didn't want to chance it. Catrinas are ladies of the night based on Jose Posada's prints, apparently they have to come back to do penance for their sins, but they certainly do that with panache!
The painting of the ofrenda was done from a photo, it's really not as authentic as the other paintings but I dearly wanted an ofrenda painting for these pages.