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

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!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

NEW KNEES

Monday I went to Sherley Tucker's clay workshop for the first time since total knee replacement surgery. I found the masks I had worked on before surgery had been bisque'd, glazed and final fired, and waiting for me to pack up and bring home. A new ceramic artist, Louise, had generously glazed my pieces, even though we'd never met. She did a great job! When she was working on the masks that I had made braids on, she said they were too much work, and I should stop making braids! HA! In spite of the work, she did them all, individually and perfectly. I am in her debt.

Knees slow me down, but physical therapy through Josh Vance, is teaching the legs to walk correctly, pushing me to exercise as a daily routine, and I see in the future the capability to walking through our hills, camera in hand, back to capturing the beauty of where we live. I cannot wait!!!

LATEST CERAMIC MASKS

 "All Eyes" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Ceramic Buttons $50
 "Woven in Blue" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Buttons $50
 "Brother Dot" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Beads $50
 "Sister Dot" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Beads $50
"Wise One" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Beads $50

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Three Rivers Studio Tour Ten

What an adventure Spring is in Three Rivers. Here were are feverishly getting ready for the Studio Tour Ten that begins next Friday, March 23rd, and we awaken to a snow covered land!

Facing North from our home.
Notice the green circle under the Oaks protected from the snow. There are fiddlenecks growing under those trees, as there has been for a month all over my property. Spring was here, and flowers all over Three Rivers were popping up, blanketing the hillsides more each day. We were hoping for the beautiful colors to attract more people to the Tour. Well, I'd rather have this stormy, snowing, raining time happen this weekend, than next!
Facing East from my back Porch.
Facing South from my back Porch.
For a while now I have been bragging to everyone that the flowers are filling in the hillsides, carpeting the land with yellows, purple, orange, white, pink, and more, the weather as perfect as it gets around here, sunny, clear and in the 70's. The art below are samples of what I have been working on, inspired by the unfolding of Spring. It all makes me laugh. Today it is cold and wet and white. Nice to have the art to remind me that the warm days are just ahead! I cannot wait to host people here on Spirit Hill.

CLAY MONO PRINTS
 Spring Flowers 8X10 $50
 Mating Time 13x16 $50

RECYCLED ART
 Lizard: Metal artist unknown, painted by S. Keller $65
 Ant: Recycled metal signs by unknown artist in Mexico, painted by S. Keller $65