Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Creative Play: Creative Play: SpiritHillArtStudio now on Etsy

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Creative Play: SpiritHillArtStudio now on Etsy

Creative Play: SpiritHillArtStudio now on Etsy

Inspiration


Photo: Shirley Keller at the home of Nora Valencia, teacher of cooking class, 12/2014.

Many of the items in my new Esty Store named SpiritHillArtStudio, were inspired by Oaxacan artists. Long ago I saw wood carved critters painted in dots and I never forgot them. So when I began to paint old rusty items like horse shoes, or saw blades, or shovels, I had those animals in mind. Then a daughter of the heart sent me a piece of linen with Aborigini art, and I realized that in many ways what I was doing is old as the hills of Australia. Someone reminded me that Pointilism was also used as an art form. The painting "Breakfast in the Park" is an example. All of these folks came before me and I now actively search the wonders of the Internet to learn more about them and look at their work by the hours.

I do not compare what I do to any of the above. Most of my work is done upcycling objects that might be thrown on a junk pile, and repurposing them into art. Also, I came to art late in life, so I do not have certain skills that I have learned from childhood. I am now learning how to draw as I go along. Much of my work is inspired by children who hail from Omo Valley in Niger. They paint their faces and bodies with clay stained with colors of flowers, such talents at very young ages.

My art is like my family. Over a 50 year period, we pulled in people into our family circle that hailed from around the globe. Colors, religions, cultures, marriages, birth, adoptions, and just because the heart insisted, have integrated themselves into our clan. "There is always room for one more," insisted our elders, and so we have made it so. Thus, it makes sense to me that even in my ignorance of the influences, the art process I have been on managed to install itself from around the world. Now that I realize it, it makes me smile.

In December, 2016, I return to Oaxaca, to hopefully learn from Silvia Fuentes, painter and carver. I look forward to the experience. Everyone I met in Oaxaca did art in some form or another, what ever their day job was. It was inspiring to be in such an environment. I so look forward to more.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SpiritHillArtStudio now on Etsy

Just opened a store on Etsy. I call it Spirit Hill Art Studio. You can find it at the following link: www.etsy.com/shop/SpiritHillArtStudio

Delia helped me begin the process of uploading items to sell. That was a five hour process just to upload 7 items. I spent another 4 hours the next day uploading the next 5 items. Today I made a banner, and added a photo of my studio. I fixed the policies of my studio, and set up links to this blog and facebook. It's a lot of work, but I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Lessons I have learned: Taking photographs of your art teaches you about quality of workmanship. Being persistent is the only way to get through the details. The first time rarely works. The third try is the charm! If it can go wrong it does, but not quiting is how you get around that. I love Delia's brain. Wish I had it. Must pack up stuff on Etsy and not try to sell elsewhere. As soon as I do someone will buy the item packed at the bottom of the box. The good thing about that is you sold it! HA!


The Banner I made for the Etsy Store


Picture of Spirit Hill Art Studio

Now on to painting another glorious hubcap!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Thoughts years in the making....

An experience stands out and will always be for me why I was at the Arenas Gallery. Delores Witt, octogenarian artist, a person I greatly admire, admired my photo of the Great Blue Heron. She didn't just compliment me. She returned to the 16x20 image four different times. Three times we engaged in conversation that added up to the following:
1) "You have an eye."
2) "This looks like a painting."
3) "You should concentrate on photography and take it seriously."
4) "Many of us might have been in the same spot and not see what you saw and missed the light."
The fourth contact I found her close up, looking at the photo, her fingers following the lines that light made around the bird and in the reflection of the water. She studied it hard, and did not know I was there.

Why does it matter what Delores Witt thinks? She is an artist. An elder in our community who I have noticed when her painting is in a show. It almost always has a red dot on it (sold), or wins the prize if there is one. Her work stands out, the brightest of colors, not always the conventional ones picked, skillfully painted, and framed. I find myself crossing the room to her art the minute I walk into a gallery. I listen when elders will take the time to teach. She took the time, not once, but four times to engage in my art. That means something. It took away the grief I'd felt all night for loosing my sister. Delores brought me into the present moment. I needed that. I appreciate it. Maybe art had little to do with it. I don't really know. But she made the show for me, and I thank her for it.

Not long ago Delores came to my studio. She looked around at the dot art on found objects, and said, "Try this on canvas. See what happens." I took her advice and am beginning to find dot painting, on whatever the canvas is: repurposed thrown away objects; or on clay mono prints; or canvas; it is at the core of my being. Fun. :)


Tulare Impressions 2016 - Tulare Historical Museum & Gallery



The Artist's Reception will be held on Thursday January 14th, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
at Tulare Historical Museum, 444 West Tulare Avenue, Tulare CA 93274.
Email me at sblairkeller@sbcglobal.net for information if you wish.

This piece has gone through quite a process. Since I spent time with Efrain Fuentes in his studio in Oaxaca, Mexico last December, I see all my artwork in a new way. Dots fill my imagination. 

"Swallows" began as a clay mono print. I framed in a plain wooden frame. Then painted the frame and did a small amount of dot work on it. It has been hanging in my studio for months now, always plaguing me because it just wasn't finished. But how, I did not know. 

An invite to the "Tulare Impressions Show" appeared. Swallows are big in Three Rivers. They build mud nests along our bridges. They used to fill the catfish ponds until dried out from end of Spring to end of Summer, either using Three Rivers as a resting place on northern migrations or staying until the southern migrations were necessary, having generations of babes here. The most vibrant of the swallows are the Violet-Green Swallows. An ah-ha moment brought inspiration and for a week I added acrylic dots to this piece, both on the clay mono print and the frame. Now it has the depth and richness it was missing and today I deliver it to Chris Harrell, Curator, to enter it in the show. 

I must mention this as another piece in memory of Mr. Richard Burns, Park Ranger, and birding/nature mentor, to any of us who met him on our walks along Kaweah River Drive. He is remembered every time I identify a bird. I only have the skill because of his patience and inspiring lectures on birds and all that encompass our National Parks, here and around the country, on hours of walks, sharing his vast experience in his humble, but enthusiastic way, along the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. He is missed.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

That Extra Dimension 2015

Meet "MY PICASSO"! He is a ceramic mask made of black mountain clay. He is glazed with beads for eyes and he hangs on the wall. He will be entered in That Extra Dimension 2015 show at Arts Visalia throughout the months of July. The reception will be held July3rd, 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.

Marn Reich came up with the idea of a 3 dimension show. She approached Arts Visalia, and Kevin Bowman their curator okay'd the idea. Marn did the work to invite artists to participate, did the advertising, and Kevin hung the show. Normally we did show over the past several years in September but change is good. This year July.

When this show comes up I think of Nancy Jonnum with her quirky birds and animals, always a hit in this show. She is missed.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

DOT ART

It is hard to remember exactly when I discovered I loved dot painting. Access to old things and trying to figure out what to do with them pushed me to realize I could make them into art instead of passing them off to some else to dispose of. Rusty tools, horseshoes, hubcaps, old wooden boxes, wall plates for switches and plugs, have provided me with hours of pleasure decorating them with dots. To my amazement people love them, and I am having  a hard time keeping up. What a great problem to have, too many people want the dot repurposed art than I can make. Fun!!!

Below are some pieces that hang on the walls outside my home, waiting for new owners. Hope you enjoy them.

Garden Tool $20.00

Horseshoes welded triple $25.00

1932 Chevy Hubcap $50.00
Switch plates $20 a piece
Any colors you desire: electric sockets, phone wire plates, dimmer switch plates, and more. Will do commissions.

Peacock of metal and rocks: $65

Turtle NOT FOR SALE
This turtle represents my Oaxaca experience. Efrain Fuentes let me paint in his workshop in the village of San Martin Telecate, an hour ride from Oaxaca. I sat with his cousin, Raquel and we painted all afternoon. Efrain worked on wood carvings and on painting multiple finished carvings, switching off pieces to let them dry, and stopping occasionally to see what I was doing and to make suggestions here and there. Wonderful experience. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

1st SATURDAY IN THREE RIVERS

There is so much happening in Three Rivers May 2nd and 3rd. 

1st Saturday in Three Rivers will host open studios, artists with popup tents along 198, The Redbud Festival and the Redbud Garden Club. Pick up maps at Anne Lang's Emporium and the Historical Museum to find your way throughout Three Rivers.

At The Redbud Festival find arts and craft booths inside and outside, quilt show, music, food, children's art show, children art activities, and a Drawing. All of it at the Memorial Building. The Drawing prize packages will be on display. For only $2 a ticket  you will be supporting the Jonnum-Young Scholarship Fund to aid aspiring artists going to college.

The Redbud Garden Club hosts their annual native plant sale to support the wonderful work they do to provide public gardens for our community and maintain them through out the year. For examples look at the Fire Station and Post Office near the Village Market.

1st Saturday presents two open studios on Saturday: Jackie Gerstel's just past the Memorial Building with her crochet jewelry. Jackie specializes in color and style. The Gerstel's love to share their river view from the deck

The second studio is my studio: Spirit Hill Meditation Garden and Art Studio. Dot art and ceramic masks are some of what I will share. Jeri Burzin will bring her photography and multi-media artwork and will be set up on our deck. I really look forward to spending the day with Jeri, talking art and hosting all who come to our place. Children very much welcome. I offer them a choice of kiln goddess as a free gift.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

There is so much going on this coming 1st Saturday, December 7, 2013, 11-5 p.m.
Pick up guide maps at Anne Lang's Emporium, or the Historical Museum and find your way around Three Rivers.
45 artists will be available to share their creative process.

At my studio I will ask children to pick out their very own kiln goddess (free). I tell them about the process of firing ceramics and the role kiln goddesses play.




Sunday, October 27, 2013

Getting ready for 1st Saturday in Three Rivers. November 2nd from 11:00 to 5:00 Spirit Hill Meditation Garden and Studio will be open to visitors. We are hosting artist Lisa Finley who will show her mosaics, acrylic paintings, and more. We look forward to a wonderful autumn day and hope many from the Valley will come to Three Rivers to see autumn leaves that brighten our hillsides. And enjoy how the leaves find their way into our artwork.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Creative Play: Bird Watching Series - Ceramic Masks

https://www.facebook.com/shirley.keller1

Bird Watching Series - Ceramic Masks

This series of masks are inspired by the years of bird watching I have been doing since moving here to Spirit Hill. I still love the mask form, but the birds seem to be taking center stage, in place of noses, branches of a tree taking the place of the mouth, and so on. What struck me this week as I finished another mask, looking over the ones waiting for firing, that what is really happening here is that I am capturing the birds, but also the watchers. 

Cornell University provides a way for people like me to be "citizen scientists," counting birds at our feeders, or wherever, to help them keep track of migrations, and problems in the environment, for birds, and therefore, humans. Every November through April I count the birds at my feeders and record in the data base Cornell provides. It seems this year for the first time in many, I found it hard to make time to do the counts. Art has taken over my life. An open studio every month, coordinating 1st Saturday in Three Rivers, prepping for artshows, and more, interfered more than I'd really like. 

But then I looked at the art: birds, birds and more birds. I doubt Cornell would think these masks a substitute, but these birds have all come to and/or flew over my yard, and I only know them because of Cornell's Project Feeder Watch so I have to give them full credit for the inspiration. It all ties together when I sit on Monday night and make the next mask. I do promise Cornell, I will do better when Project Feeder Watch returns next November.


 Acorn Woodpecker
 Canadian Goose
 Cooper's Hawk
 Hawk
 Borrowing Owl
 California Quail (artistic license with colors!)
 California Quail
 Raven
 Raven Again...
And Raven Again.

Western Bluebird, Great Blue Heron, Great Horned Owl, and Oak Titmouse are waiting in the wings to be fired. Let's hope the Kiln Goddess: A dotted dragon with teeth, protect them and they come out whole and as colorful as I hope. For now, as Marn Reich says, "They are dust held together with the artists imagination." :)

You can email at sblairkeller@sbcglobal.net or call me at 559-561-3463 if you feel one of these masks must be yours. 

1st Saturday in Three Rivers July 6, 2013

Summer is here and it is hot more days than not. Soon July's 1st Saturday in Three Rivers will be upon us. I look forward to hosting people here on Spirit Hill. Below is the poster spread about town, and around Visalia and beyond thanks to our friends at the Art Consortium who willingly take posters from us each month to be displayed where ever they can find a space.
The deadline is June 15th to inform me of your intent to join us. I find spaces for artists from other towns to display their art. Last month a plein air painting, Joy Collier was set up at the Pumpkin Hollow Bridge. Two artists had tents in front of the Kaweah Commonwealth: Jami Beck, jewelry, and Darren Thomas, wooden portraits. There were two younger artists in front of Colors: Steven Higgenbathem, age 13, photographer of the wilds of Wyoming and the critters that live there. Another child of 9 was selling beaded bookmarks to raise money for her horse event. Jamie Otega transformed her tent into a magical spot. Not to be missed. A writer, Sophie Britten, was signing autographs for her latest book at Anne Lang's. And so much more all over Three Rivers to entertain our guests.

So what is in store for July 6th? Check out our blog at www.1stsaturdayTR.com, after the 15th to see who is joining us this month. I never really know. Lately, last minute calls to join us appear. So check us out and be surprised as I am each month.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

1st Saturday in Three Rivers - February 2013


1st Saturday in Three Rivers is this coming Saturday, February 2nd, 11-5 P.M. Spirit Hill Studio will be open and we so look forward to hosting people. It is fun trying to anticipate guests. Last month there were mostly folks from Visalia with an Exeter person, too. More and more local Three Rivers residents have visited us here on Spirit Hill. What a joyful way to meet neighbors. Some Saturday's folks come from Fresno to Bakersfield and many places in between. Out of town guests as far as the Bay Area, to San Diego appear, too, not to mention out of State folks visiting local families. So Bruce and I await to see what surprises lay in store for us this coming 1st Saturday in Three Rivers.

Music will flow at Anne Lang's, at Colors Art Gallery artists will hang out and talk about how they produce their wonders, and Art Co-op will open with new management and enthusiastic artists. Individual studios will open their doors, like Nikki Crain's Weaving Studio. Grab a map at Anne Lang's or the Historical Museum and make your way around Three Rivers. And we welcome two new businesses as participants and sponsors: We Three Bakery and Rivers Edge Boutique. 

The blog: www.1stsaturdayTR.com will give you peak preview of what to expect. Enjoy Nadi Spencer's wonderful way of presenting us each month.

To celebrate our theme of HEARTS AND FLOWERS the fiddlenecks are already popping out on my property so keep your eyes out. The flowers seem eager to appear this year! 



Saturday, November 17, 2012

1st Saturday December 1, 2012

The Stocking Stuffer will be here on Spirit Hill this year. I am so excited to host these fabulous, talented, and energetic women. I invite all who are interested in art, or love hanging out on our deck, enjoying Bruce's meditation garden (weather permitting), listening to the bubbling pond, tonal chimes, and leaves fluttering (if the oaks still have any). Come on by. Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Newest Masks

Finished ceramic masks from the latest kiln firing.
                                             "Black and White"   by Shirley Keller @2012

                                                     "Hawk"   by Shirley Keller @2012

I am 70! My birthday lasted a week. It began in Vallejo with Delia, Luke, The Lizards, Bruce and me having lunch. A surprise birthday cake and cards, earrings and a heart pin, appeared with the birthday song! Chocolate on chocolate. YUM!!! I was surprised and pleased.

Next we moved on the Visalia to celebrate the Gaston Twins 55th. Since my birthday and Steve Diamants was close by they included us to our surprise. This time it was edible fruit covered in chocolate or vanilla, your choice. Strawberry with chocolate was mine!!! YUM again!

The next day we went to Exeter to the Jones' Family. I walked into what looked like an empty house, but flowing from the hallway, singing happy birthday were my grandchildren, son and daughter-in-law,    close girl friends Marn and Jane, and Grandpa Buddy and Grandma Lori. Lovely dinner was followed by a from scratch red velvet cake decorated with white, pink and red icing, looked like a painting, made by a young friend of the family. YUM YUM!

So now I am riding the spinner bike, going to senior exercise, and walking when I can get there before the heat hits, to erase cake memory from this body!! But the love that flowed cannot be erased, including all those who touched base through Facebook, and the cards from loved ones who live afar.

My grandson toasted me a wish for 30 more.....that's a lot of cake! YUM!