Category Archives: Art

Trees

There are a lot of the usual sorts of trees about town; there are avenues of elms leading to downtown, cottonwoods and mountain ash by the streams and river, aspens here and there, and lots and lots of pines, Scotch, Ponderosa, Mungo, etc. and of course Colorado Blue Spruce. Then again, if one looks closely, there are a few other species to be found.

For example, here are some “palm” trees located just outside of a cowboy bar. Easy to care for, these trees require no water and are quite sturdy.

I’m not sure what sort of tree this might be, perhaps it is something tropical.

Although this looks rather like an ordinary pine at first glance, it is actually a cell phone tower, which is quite a different species of tree. And it is very useful to have around.

With the leaves turning yellow on the top of this tree, it almost seems like it might be Fall. However this a a special grove of aluminum aspens, it’s not commonly found in nature, so they are perpetually the same.

So far no birds have been fooled by these trees, by a few people were horrified by the way these aspens had been trimmed. I guess that shows how much people love trees, whatever the kind.

Art on the street

One doesn’t have to go to the museum to see art (which is good as the local museum is currently closed), it can be found on the streets, which also saves the cost of admission. 😉

If one needs to see a giant pumpkin, why here it is. And it is conveniently located about half a block from the creator’s house. (It would be a b$#@+h to move).

Even the telephone box sports some art, like this picture of a parked car, which is right next to a parking place for one’s car. (Not shown is the parking meter for said car, which allows 6 minutes for a dime).

And then there is this bit of art, which represents, uh, yes, one of those.

These steel cut-outs of birds are part of the signage for the alternative free newspaper offices. The tilework is by the same artist who created the pumpkin.

And all of this art is located right there next to each other on one street corner, available for free viewing (except for the 10 cent parking charge, daily, from 9am to 10pm).

Landscapes

There are always those calls to post something on Facebook, like four things one has done, states or places one has visited, personal faults and confessions, etc. And like the chain letters of old, one is encouraged to keep it going. So far I have resisted the siren call of these things, but, for some reason (I am bored) I decided to follow the landscape challenge. I did not copy and paste the directions (I am not that much of a sheep, plus I am not sure how to do this ;-). But I did follow the directive to put the picture up, and to not say anything about where or what it was (that bit was easy). So here for your enjoyment are days 1-5.

This was from the very first batch of pictures taken with my latest phone. It is from a rather spectacular local city park.

This is my favorite village in northern New Mexico. I snapped this picture as we (me and M’s cousin) were barreling down the freeway. We weren’t going to stop and visit, so I am amazed that the picture came out at all, as we were going so fast.

I took this in August, 2018 of the old steel mill south of here, and I took the picture to prove that any picture is made better when one adds a pterodactyl.

And it was a perfect post for April Fools Day.

This picture is from last summer. I was at the last rest stop before the New Mexico border. One has to go up and over the pass to reach this next state.

This is an old picture that I think I took with my first digital camera. I was born in this city, just south of the downtown area. I do pre-date the Arch by some years. I was driving around taking pictures and was at the stoplight at 14th and Jefferson by the Federal courthouse.

So now you know, dear reader, the what and where of my landscapes.

Reflections

You know how much I love shadows and reflections. Shadows are mysterious, what on earth is casting a shadow in that shape. Then there are reflections (unless one is a vampire), with multiple layers, the item in front of one, and simultaneously, what is behind one. It’s just a wonderful juxtaposition.

Sometimes I am not sure why I bother to go out in public. This was a gallery show of contemporary art, which is not usually a favorite. But it was after the holidays, I was bored, and there was booze and a gallery talk, so it was just the thing. This is a picture of doors, the reflections are of the opposite wall and outside.

Here’s the other “not exit”, and this one shows something that was actually in the room. (Later they were playing “not music”, so I left).

This reflection has outside, the entryway, and the gallery talk. As usual the gallery talk was more complicated than the art.

A reflection and a secondary reflection of the main thing, this knotted string piece.

Here’s a bit of art that I found more to my taste, paintings of things, with the artist. All of the lights are outside on the street, which was rather empty as it was a cold night. Oddly enough (to me), this area has begun to attract tourists, and one frequently finds them wandering about, following their phones. I suppose that progress, like art, is in the eye of the beholder

Making crafts

Besides making the occasional piece of art, I make a lot of crafts. What is the difference between art and craft? That depends on who one asks, but in general if a piece is decorative, useful or made by a woman, then it’s craft. And here is what I have been up to.

I did not make this quilt top, but I did all the stitching that holds it together. I have a giant industrial sewing machine and I move it around (by hand) to sew the patterns. I used to do this for customers, but I rather lost interest when computers became common for quilting. I only quilt for myself and two others now. The owner of this top said that my name was in the “Navajo Times” for some quilting I did for her, so I guess I am famous for quilting. 😉

I always say “If you can wrestle an octopus, you can knit a sock,” because I use five needles for this sort of knitting. Some of my friends like to knit the sort of things that are art, but I stick to the practical and mundane.

So this is my most recent project, indigo dyeing bits of fabric. I have done lots of dyeing with chemical dyes, but this type of resist dyeing was a first. These bits are not exemplary, but I love them and can’t wait to make more and sew them into some sort of project.

And then there is this sort of craft, done using a machine (laser cutter). I’m not really sure if it counts as a craft, because I had to learn a computer program, and it was somewhat automatic from there. But this is unique, and I caused it into being, so I suppose I can include it.

This really had minimal input from me, it’s someone else’s program and I made no changes to it. What is it? Why it’s a 3-D printed DNA cookie cutter, but I did sit there and watch the machine do all the work. Perhaps that will be the way of the future, but I hope not. It is interesting to see a machine make something, but I have much more appreciation for items that show the maker’s hand.

Making art

I do end up taking the occasional art class; sometimes it’s to learn a new skill, sometimes it’s to improve a skill, sometimes it’s just to be sociable, and sometimes it’s to meet the instructor (after all, that’s how I got started in blogging). So I had signed up for this class with an artist whose work I admire, it was called “Making Armor”. What exactly this meant, I had no idea, but I forked over my money and showed up on the appointed day.

What we were doing that day was making masks and possibly helmets. The instructor was quite shy, the instructions were to use the basic patterns and make whatever we wanted with them. We were using foam sheets and had a heat gun to shape the masks. He said, you can shape them over your leg after they’re heated up, of course I was the only person wearing shorts. And as usual in a class, I thought of all the stuff I had at home that I needed or wanted. So I worked along as best I could, without any idea of how it might turn out.

I didn’t want to just make a random thing, I wanted it to be part of the series that I had previously done, so here’s the start of it.

The crows have featured in a number of pieces that I have made. And the background reflects images from southwestern chief’s blankets.

This was a piece that I made inspired by Custer’s guidon. He lost, so I made this piece for the winner, incorporating the personal symbols of the winner, lightning bolts, hailstones and a hawk. I put the stars in because the enemy did not stay defeated for long.

So here’s my finished piece and I must say that I’m rather pleased with it.

And the second piece, which has hailstones, lightning and feathers in the back to represent the bird spirit.

This piece is by the artist, and reflects a bit of his personal obsessions. I would say that everyone in the workshop made interesting pieces, but I’m glad that I pushed through doubt and uncertainty to make the sort of art that means something to me.

Art day

I finally decided to become a member of the local art museum, so I don’t have to only go on free days. But, I could get a free cupcake on this day, so off I went. They were celebrating having an art school for 100 years, and thus were having a special exhibit of some of the former students of this art academy. And the pictures were of varying interest to me.

This was this large landscape of a local area, it’s a fairly realistic depiction done up in the bright colors of a sunny day. What was most interesting to me was how the artist used large gobs of paint on this canvas. I could never be so bold (or so extravagant, but I might try).

Styles come and go, and if one wishes to sell one’s work, one must follow the fashion. From the 1930’s or 40’s, here are dated views of the local landscape, and it seems a rather bleak place.

A clearly stylised view of a mining town, it’s not really what they look like, and I can’t imagine wanting to hang it in my living room (which is how I determine the worth of art 😉 , rather than the dollar value).

Then I came across this bit of art. A famous (sort of, he at least made a living at it) artist from the village. Why they were only on the 5th annual celebration the year he was born, he could have attended until the 84th, but I don’t know that he did. It’s clearly done in a grim and dated style, and does not fill my soul with envy, but I was amazed to find that the artist was from a familiar place. I suppose that this is one of the pleasures of art, finding a bit that somehow speaks to one, even if it is a limited language.

Art Day

Every so often I simply must take an art day to get some creative inspiration or just to take time to bunk off from doing nothing. And as there was an artist talk at the local museum, I decided that this was just the thing.

So there she was, going on to her fans about how she uses her inspiration to make work. I had been listening, but the chairs were uncomfortable after a while, so I decided that I was as inspired as I was going to get from this.

This artwork is by another Native American (Red Indian to you Brits) artist. I like it both as a piece of art, and as something that casts a lovely shadow. You know how obsessed I am with shadows and the play of light.

Today I was captivated by this shadow, from a well-known piece of Pop Art. I have previously featured another part of the shadow, the horse he rode in on.

But it wasn’t this horse! This horse is part of a fashion exhibit and definitely an inspiration. After all who doesn’t want to go about looking like a horse? So with all this new inspiration floating about in my brain, I galloped off (actually, I got in my car and went home. Perhaps I shall create some art another day).

Art or?

I’m not sure why having Art on the street has become so popular and necessary. It supposedly draws in tourists with their all important tourist dollars. Maybe it is for the locals to admire, or just something to spruce the place up. Well for whatever the real reason might be, there is a lot of art on the streets in my town, at least in certain parts of town.

Wow, is this the latest from a pop artist, like J. Koons? It’s certainly looks to be done in his style. No, it’s merely a prop for a tourist shop and one doesn’t have to make a special trip to a museum to see this. It’s on display every day. (Note the lovely reflections in the window behind this fowl).

How about this interesting hand? Is it part of a gallery display costing big bucks in Santa Fe? No, it’s another bit of street art for a shop.

Surely this is a bit of art? I mean it is reminiscent of the works of both Pop and Surrealist artists. Sorry to disappoint art lovers, it is yet another example of tourist art, designed to draw one into a shop for souvenirs. (You don’t want to forget seeing a Sasquatch on the street and the stop sign surely compels one).

But not to despair, there is actual Art for the intrepid tourist to discover. This artwork has a tiny solar panel at the top so it actually lights up at night (in a sort of Pop meets Surrealist way). And as one can see there were tourists strolling along, so I guess all of this art drew them in.

Making Art

I like to draw and I like deer (but I don’t really know how to draw them). But there was a ‘photo of the day’ in the newspaper (yes, I read a physical newspaper) recently of a rather nice looking stag, so I decided to try to draw him.

So I made this drawing in my sketchbook with a watercolor pencil and I liked it so well that I decided to do another version of it.

This one was done with watercolor pencil and ink on a postcard. I was going to send it to a friend, but I thought it turned out rather well, and I was afraid that I could never do another one quite as good (probably true).

So I decided to try and draw this image in different ways. Here he is in watercolor and ink with a red stripe outline against a dark background.

And here’s the opposite, a dark deer against a light background. (I don’t really like the way this one turned out, I think I should have used a different color for the light and made the darker bits darker. Oh well, that’s another drawing.)

This was a different sort of image, abstract blobs of color against a pale gray background, outlined in black pen. The antlers are a helpful clue, one can guess that it’s a deer.

I found it interesting to try different ways of doing the same image, and I hope that I learned enough to make another ‘good’ drawing. Perhaps I will send the postcard to someone, someday (but not today). 😉