Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Few Art Techniques I'd Like to Try (If Only I Were an Artist)

We spent some of today looking at art, both in the New Mexico State Capitol—which, an information desk volunteer proudly told us, has some $6 million worth of original art in the halls surrounding the Senate and House of Representatives chambers—and up the hill in Tesuque Village, at a gallery and sculpture garden called Shidoni. I was taken by so much of the original art, and wished once again that I had artistic talent. And thought, once again, about maybe trying?

I took photos of two pieces that I would love to try to recreate—pieces that look somewhat possible to make, if not exactly the same way (why would I want to do that?)—or at least use as inspiration.

One was a "silent wind chime" made of silk:

The other was a photo collage:

There was also an encaustic collage that I loved (but that wouldn't photograph because of glare). It reminded me that I've always liked the look of encaustic, and I've always wondered how difficult it is to do. That has spurred me on to investigating the technique online—for future reference. Here are a few links to technical instruction:

Encaustic Basics Part I: FAQs
Encaustic Basics Part II: Preparing Substrates, Fusing, Adding Color
Encaustic Basics Part III: Adding Collage and Embedding Objects
All Things Encaustic: A Blog for Artists Painting with Beeswax—A Beginner's Guide
Photo Encaustic Part I: The Basics and Beauty of Beeswax and Photography
Photo Encaustic: Part II

Here are a few encaustic pieces I've plucked off Google images, that I like. (There are plenty, believe me, that I don't like.)

Sarah E. Rehmer
BG Mills
Giselle Gautreau
Jill Skupin Burkholder
Jill Skupin Burkholder
Jeff League
Joyce Gehl
Andrea Bird
Nancy Crawford
Raven Voss

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Photographer André Kertesz

I was reminded this evening of the Hungarian-French photographer André Kertesz (1894–1985) by a live video of snow falling on Chicago today, Christmas Eve. Here's a shot from the video:

In particular, it made me think of this photo by Kertesz:

And that made me go to Google to look at his work again. He made some marvelous images. Here are a few:

Christmas-time Trip through the Southwest: Days 1 & 2

We decided pretty much last minute to take a Christmas road trip. Whee! Off to New Mexico for a whirlwind tour! 

Day 1, Saturday, we set off bright and early (for me, anyway: 8:30) and . . . drove. That's pretty much all we did, besides stop for gas and (yeah) a couple of geocaches. Here are a few photos I took:

Site of a geocache in Tehachapi, CA
Somewhere near Boron, CA: a long line of creeping traffic,
such that I had ample opportunity to memorize
every detail of this XTRA truck
Another geocache brought us here, and gave Milo a chance
to anoint a palm tree
After a long day in the car, all he wanted was water . . .
A nice late-hours sushi spot in Flagstaff, AZ: Karma
A Christmas roll, complete with red and green tobiko,
and a few nigiri including blue fin tuna, a special treat

Today, Sunday, we decided to head down to Sedona—only 30 miles away, but through the very slow, if spectacularly beautiful, Oak Creek Canyon—for a hike. The trail we chose was the Brin Mesa Trail, which took us through juniper-pine forests speckled with beavertail cactus and agave, opening at the top onto amazing views of distant redrock canyons. We were delighted to spot a couple of pinyon jays and one deer, but otherwise not much else in the way of wildlife. Milo soaked up a lot of love along the way, and got to run run run, a fine antidote to yesterday's entrapment in the car. After the hike, we had a beer on the main drag, enjoying the warmth and the tourist bustle. Sedona is a busy little town! (Oh, and we found a couple of geocaches as well.) Here are some photos from the day:

First stop was in town for a geocache.
It was in this palm tree.
What's that you say, enough with the geocaches,
show us some scenery? Okay
Milo, soooooo happy to be running about!
At the wilderness boundary, looking into the Red Rock–
Secret Mountain Wilderness. (The bicycle tracks should not
be there: no bikes allowed. But do they care?)

This one and the preceding one could be a pano, with this
one to the left. There's a lotta rock in Sedona. A lot of it red.
My two guys on top of Brin Lookout

But it's not all big beautiful vistas. Here are some closer-up views.

The beavertail is all senescent, but senescence brings beauty
as well: so many colors

Sandstone: texture, line, color


One of the 2006–7 "Javelinas on Parade" sculptures,
a few of which are still in place in Uptown Sedona
I would love to have seen this giant Christmas ornament
lit up, but alas: we had to get back to Flagstaff
More parading javelinas
The last couple: I love their punk hairstyle and purple noses
Finished the afternoon with a beer
And a little abstractifying