Tuesday, June 7, 2016
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.