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 someone 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.