Category Archives: Art

More of the same

It’s sometimes hard to say when the subject of a post is done.   And I find myself looking at new things and thinking that they could be a part of a previous post.   So here are some additions,

This lovely candidate for the trees post, serves as a shady bower to protect those persons waiting for the bus.   From the hot New Mexico sun in Santa Fe.

This tree however is a lonely bit of art, positioned on a sidewalk where few travel by foot.   It has metal birds perched on the branches, while a real hawk circles above.

I had promised the previous piece of art that I made to a friend.   But since it did win a ribbon, I found that I could not let it go.   So instead I decided that there was nothing for it but to make another one.   This time I sort of knew what I was doing, and I think that this one has better contrast between the mane and the face.  I whipped out the finished piece the day before my friend’s auction to raise money to help tigers in Thailand.  It wasn’t going to sell for very much, so I bought it back, and now I have two lion quilts.   (And I made a donation to help the tigers too.)

These are some rather unusual birds about town, from right in my neighborhood.   I have no idea what these wild turkeys were thinking as they strolled about, blabbering away in turkey talk.  But they were the first of their kind I had ever seen nearby, looking for place to hide before Thanksgiving no doubt.

Birds about Town 2

The day had started out with me on a mission.  And I had set out with only one mission, to track down the local telephone company office and get a modem from this century for M’s cousin.   Google had led me along a winding path through the city, and there I was.   Only there was no phone company office at the rumored address, only a real estate office that had been there for years.   So as I waited on the phone to talk to someone from the phone company, I noticed these fine feathered fiends friends across the street at an art gallery.   (Santa Fe has so many galleries that they are almost hard to avoid).

I love crows, and apparently so do normal people.

They are somewhat mysterious and sentient.  What exactly are they thinking as they observe us?

Possible harbingers of some dread fate, they are also quite popular subjects of poetry and rhymes.

I’m not quite sure I would like to have this crow looking down on me in my garden (assuming I had a garden).

But this one, which I saw the next day was clearly the best of the lot (but sadly, it is not for sale).   This bird lives in an interactive art experience (a former bowling alley filled with rooms of mysterious stuff that one can wander around in).  And at three feet tall clearly not a bird to be messed with.

Horse Art

Horses have wonderfully expressive faces and artists have been trying to capture this since the time people first started painting in caves.   So the best part of my trip to the Cowboy Hall of Fame was the art with horses.

Horses often look like they are just about to say something to you (like the famous Mr. Ed), if only one would stop to listen.

They have their opinions about what the humans are up to, and they mostly are too polite to say.

This statue celebrates the life and career of Khadafy Skoal (named after some dictator or other).   He was originally slated for a career in horse racing when his humans noticed that he did not care for jockeys.   He started his career at age 7 and was named Horse of the Year in 1990, 95 and 96.  (He was very well liked by his fellow horses).  He retired in 2004 and died late in 2013 at age 31.

Much as I liked these other horses I must admit that my favorite horse of all time is Pegasus.   Those wings just give him an unfair advantage over mortal horses.

Touristing in the rain

I have vowed to take a peek at the sorts of things tourists see when they visit here when I get the opportunity.   I had been busy wasting time when I saw that it was free museum day, so off I went into the rain to check out a nearby museum.   The museum is dedicated to professional rodeo cowboys.   It’s not my thing, but I decided to go anyway to see what they are all about.

There is their iconic statue guarding the front, a cowboy riding a kicking horse.   I always thought that the  strap on the back went around the animal’s tender parts, but it is actually around the waist.  The horse is trying to kick it off and if the cowboy goes with it, so much the better to the horse’s way of thinking.  (Horses are not deep thinkers).

The profession (getting paid to do this) of rodeo cowboy only started in the 1920’s, although men did this for fun before that. This magazine cover from 1951 shows one of the first well-known rodeo stars.

Being named rodeo queen is an occasion to get dressed up in a sparkling outfit.  Women compete in barrel racing (riding your horse around an obstacle course of oil drums as fast as your horse can go) and goat roping.

Besides having lots of display cases of saddles, belt buckles and other flotsam and ephemera, there are lots of western themed sculptures, mostly of horses and bulls except for this one.

There is also an outdoor sculpture area, and a catering facility, and a tiny arena for the bulls and horses to perform in when ever.   This is a Hall of Fame, so to have one’s name enshrined here, one has to be voted in from a yearly ballot.  And that applies equally to horses, bulls, and people, although I am not sure how they count the votes of the horses and bulls.



Back in grade school, whenever we had to do a section on poetry, the teacher always picked “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer.  It made no difference what grade we were in, the poem for the poetry unit was always “Trees”.  (And I have no idea why, it was just the way of things).   So here it is, the first line of “Trees”:  ” I think that I shall never see.  A poem as lovely as a tree.”   Obviously Mr. Kilmer was a bit confused by the subject, and he would have been even more confused after a short walk through our downtown.    We do have the usual sorts of trees, but then there are a few special ones.

I love this tree.   It has been downtown for several years and was purchased from the artist after being part of the art in the streets program.   It is made of steel and river rocks.

This tree is more recent, and has these lovely spinning leaves which give it a rather festive air.   I took this snap during a recent street event.

But this is the best tree downtown (or anywhere in the city).   This is part of the newest batch of art on the streets.   This handsome creature is formed from steel wire and looks to have a few river rocks inside.   I do love the local deer, and I hope this one stays and gets to be part of herd.

“Poems are made by fools like me.  But only God can make a tree.”

Shadows in Art

I got the notice rather late in the day after running errands and such.  It was free day at the local museum and I had not been there in a while, so off I went for the last days of the latest show.  As usual I got completely sidetracked by the lovely shadows of museum lighting and other irrelevancies.

There was a current display of art from Brazil.  I loved the enigmatic nature of this canvas, with both the figure we see and the unseen figures of the shadows.

This unfinished etching by Rembrandt has a shadowy quality, perhaps it really is finished.   (The green in the picture is a reflection from the exit sign).   (The exit sign is in case you don’t notice the huge gap in the wall).

Chihuly managed to flog a number of pieces to the museum’s permanent collection.   They are pretty enough, but the shadows make them extra fabulous.

The author as a pair of legs.  I love how this makes me look extra tall and slim.

And what was I up to?   Just snapping away at  random things which caught my eye.

This particular shadow was cast right in front of a painting by Andy Warhol.   I don’t think that he could have done a better portrait of me, that captures my essence. 😉

Making Art

For many years I have been an exhibitor in Fine Arts at the State Fair.  In fact their acceptance of a piece that was rejected at a quilt show was how I decided to continue making art.  Over the years I have had a lot of good hang spaces and have even sold a couple of pieces (also have won ribbons and prize money too).  The show has a lot of entries and a huge rejection rate, so it is a good thing to even get accepted.  I had an idea for this piece, but after going to Santa Fe and house sitting a bunch of geriatric dogs and a naughty cat (she bit me quite deeply on the hand) I did not have a lot of time to work on my entry.

So this is where I started, with a drawing of a lion.    I usually spend a great deal of time dithering about fabrics, etc.   but I really didn’t have time to do this, so I just banged it out.  I will admit that I bought some of the fabric in Santa Fe.   Some of it worked and some did not make it into the final piece.

It doesn’t look much like the vision in my head, and it would have been better with more fabrics, but it was more or less together, and I found a piece of background fabric that I thought worked with the face.

I crammed it in my domestic sewing machine (not the giant industrial) to quilt it.  As I did this I was glad it was not a more complicated design.

I finished sewing the last bit at 10 pm the night before it was due.   And later I realized that I forgot to put the whiskers on it, but

it was accepted into the show!   So I was pleased, and can’t wait to see it hanging in place.


Yesterday was First Friday Art Crawl, so in spite of the rain and traffic, off I went in search of Art, free wine and nibbles.

First up was the fanciest gallery in town.   I have been near it before, I knew it was there, but I had never actually walked in through the door.   As it was gloomy and raining I was the only one there, so I had a chat with the young woman who works there about selling art (she had just sold a painting and was looking for another one to display).   Their prices were mostly in the 2K  range for a small work, and 5-6K for a large painting.  In the sister gallery on the other side of the hotel, some Texans were trying to decide between the picture of the Longhorn or the buffalo, so another sale racked up for the gallery.

They also sold lawn ornaments.   But I saw nothing that said “buy me” to me, so I was off to the next stop, hip galleries in the alley downtown.

What could be hipper than a wailing saxophone? (at the hotel I heard distant bagpipes, definitely un-hip).  There is a secret sort of hipster bar hidden across the alley, I knew I was not among my people.  😉

This gallery was next door.  This artist’s work was much more interesting that the stuff I had seen earlier, and was much more affordable at about 1.2K for a large skillfully painted portrait.

I did not get a picture of the artists who were flogging their work at the comic book store.   But their pictures of aliens and outer space were quite reasonably priced at $30, and I am somewhat sorry that I did not buy one.   It was an interesting evening of art appreciation, perhaps next time I will find something I can’t live without (but no more books, really).

Airport Art

I once again found myself sitting in the airport, waiting to get back home.   But this airport at least had some interesting art that celebrated the region.

The airport had some contemporary art right at the top of the escalators on this terminal.   And as this was contemporary art, it needed the label “airport art”, otherwise one might wonder what it was and why it was in the glass case.

As I mentioned, they had a bit of art that celebrated local deities celebrities or somehow notable persons.   This is Robert Johnson, the renowned delta blues guitarist from Mississippi.

More Southern icons from left to right (not a comment on their politics):  Hank Williams, a country singer/songwriter from Alabama, Elvis Presley, a singer from Mississippi, Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer from New Orleans, and Olivier Hardy, film comedian from near Augusta, Georgia.   The dude whose picture hangs below is former president Woodrow Wilson who also lived in Augusta, Georgia for a spell.

This bit of art had some identifiable faces as well as a couple of mystery folks (I suppose I could have looked for a sign).    Patsy Cline, country singer from Virginia, and ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford, country singer from of all places, Tennessee.  The people in the middle were the mystery, I don’t recognize the woman and the man is possibly Ike Turner, a musician from Mississippi.   Dr. Martin Luther King was a minister from Georgia, and Ty Cobb, a baseball player also from Georgia.  Hanging below the rest is Jackie Robinson, a baseball player from Cairo, Georgia.

The circular portraits are set inside a notched automobile inner tube, which is a popular way to make a planter in the yard for one’s posies.   So I suppose that the artist wanted us to know these persons were all grown in the South.  Maybe.



Gallery people

I hadn’t been out much because of the weather.   I saw a listing in the newspaper (yes I still read a physical newspaper, digital is just not the same) for a gallery opening, and most importantly, it said “free”.   So off I went and miraculously found a place to park as well.

The most interesting part to me was that it was full of hipsters.  One doesn’t see  these walking around very much, at least not at the sort of place I frequent.

This is the tarot card reader telling the fortune of this young man (you will graduate from college someday, and get a job)  She was wearing this stylish black jumpsuit and some wicked looking high heels, not the sort of thing you see everyday.

The reason that there was a tarot card reader was because that was what the exhibit was about.   Someone got the idea to make  “black power” tarot cards.  I’m not sure how this is different from any other tarot, but the artists did get to show their work and probably got paid as well.

There was an experimental (plot-less) film showing on one wall and I heard the term “white privilege” bandied about.  I could tell who the filmmaker was, he was the man wearing a scarf  casually wound around his neck (not pictured unfortunately).

One of the artists.

There was the usual sort of swill to drink, by which I mean delicious Bulgarian wine.   They had a sign to indicate that one needed to show proof of age to be able to imbibe, but they forgot to ask me for some reason. 😉  And of course there must be some sort of nibbles to go along with event.   There were roasted beet appetizers and this lovely cake, the shadow is me, just drifting through this event.