Chadd and Donna walk in beauty.
All of my technology crashed over the summer. My 2011 iMac crashed at the beginning of July; then my iPad, then my iPhone... Will write more about that experience later.
For now, I feel the need to share my photography process. I've been taking digital photography courses at SUNY Dutchess. Right now, I'm taking a photojournalism course with Professor Lowell Handler. I'm learning so much, as I am delving deeper into incorporating digital storytelling into my artworks. Life-long-learning is where it's at...
The process of wrapping my offering has me meditating on the beauty, meaning and myth of dragonflies. I've come by bucket full of thousands of brass dragonflies in the junk. This offering is becoming a swarming nest of dragonflies.
My Offering series centers on aspects of death, grief, mourning, rebirth, transformation and regeneration. The day Richard called to tell me that a bucket of brass dragonflies had been dropped at the junkyard, I knew I wanted to use them in my artwork. Still, I sat with them for a while, as they spoke to me.
The blog's been dark while, Richard and I are working hard on getting our new arts and collectables space open in Beacon, NY. In the meantime, check out Organic Art Farm on Etsy.com. I'm stocking the shop with recycled art, collectables and beautiful junk.
More updates coming soon!
Creating and installing a planter mosaic could be considered a mosaic artist right-of-passage. This job had its unique challenges that included weather conditions and source materials. Still, I am grateful for the opportunity to create a legacy mosaic for Stamford, CT. The recycled tile mosaicked planter will be place permanently inside a park along with a painted mural and sculptures. I will post more photos once the planter in moved to its permanent location. Gratitude. Onward!
One of 200 handmade ceramic tiles from the April Tony Moore Wood Firing in Coldspring, NY. I am ecstatic about the results. This is the beginning of a long creative process that will culminate in thousands of handmade sculptural tiles for a large scale installation I am working on. So, there are many, many more wood firings, gas reduction and alternative firings to go. The beauty rests within the process...Patience....Gratitude...
After both the anagama and noborigama were completely unloaded. Tony engaged everyone in a discussion of the kiln results. Tony described the particulars of the firing process, as well as the unique challenges that contributed to what was most unique about the April firing. Tony encouraged everyone to share special glazing and surface results.
It was my first time participating in an unloading from beginning to end. I found it to be incredibly educational. I was excited to see so much amazing work with breathtaking results. I am already looking forward to the July firing.
The anagama and noborigama were unloaded systematically; the pots were laid out on pallets according to where they were originally placed inside the kiln. Therefore, one could see the atmospheric effects on the works.
One of my fellow crew members at the Tony Moore April Wood Firing Kiln Unloading. That's me in the background!
Unloading the anagram and noborigama involves cleaning of the kiln shelves and bricks...That makes for lots of dust and flying particles. Therefore, gloves and masks are essential gear.
Seth pictured here working on cleaning off the kiln bricks. Seth is a ceramic teacher from Brooklyn. His sculptures were amazing.
Shelita Birchett Benash with Tony Moore, sculptor and kiln master. I've learned so much in the year that I've been firing with Tony. I've met so many amazingly gifted potters and sculptors. I've been able to experience a sense of community, creativity and sharing with potters and sculptors from near and far. Catherine Thomas drives down regularly from Canada!
A day I will never forget. My dear friend Sue Kreitzman and I were having lunch at Street Bird in Harlem when I started getting text messages that Prince had passed away...Suddenly, Prince's music was playing in the restaurant and a woman at an adjacent table began talking to Sue and me. She recounted stories of her meeting Prince over the years. The woman was in shock. We all were. At first, we thought it was a hoax. Sue and I spent the rest of the afternoon having deep reflective talks about life, love, laughter and relishing each moment....Sue Kreitzman is a force of a woman with an aura as bright as the sun. I am so happy to have found her! A year ago, when I reached out to Sue to be a participating artist in an exhibition I was curating, I had no idea at the time that I had not only found a prolific and amazingly talented artist; I had also found a life-long friend. I cherish you Sue! RIP Prince. God Bless You!
Nature feeds the process. This is a marking technique that I have mused on for years now. I look forward to placing the several hundred small tiles throughout both chambers inside Tony Moore's anagama/noriborigama Japanese style wood burning kiln in April.
Recycled materials have a way of telling me what they what want to be in their next life; my job is easier when I listen.
I'm grinding toward a deadline right now....Still, I'm focused on what's important.
While I rehab my running injury and heal; I will walk...
On my way to work it out in the gym before sequestering myself inside my studio....
I'm in the midst of a run streak. I was already running 6 days a week. However, I saw the Runners World Run Streak 2015 challenge posted on Instagram that challenged runners to run every day from Thanksgiving until New Year Day 2016. So, runners are tagging #rwrunstreak on Instagram photos from their daily runs. This is my first experience with participating in a social media virtual run streak. I find it quite amazing. I appreciate seeing other runners journeys and stories. There's so much beauty out there!
I already use nature photography as part of my creative practice. However, my photography is taking on a whole new significance, as I am determined to run through winter 2016. I am so grateful for this practice. And I am so excited for this #rwrunstreak!
Here are some of the photos from my Instagram gallery. All photos from my runs are taken with my iPhone 6 Plus.
I've begun studying aspects of sculpture at the National Academy Museum and School in New York City. One artist has travelled from Sweden to study. This is her third studio art sculpture class at NAMS. It is thrilling to work next to dedicated artists who are pushing themselves.
I am a self-educator; an unstoppable learner who revels in the beginners mind. Working on my craft is a never ending and constantly evolving process. Gratitude.
I was running late this morning, still I pulled over to take a photo of the beautiful fall foliage along the river. And when I looked up, I saw an eagle!!! On November 7, 2015, I saw an eagle for the first time. I had my iPhone 6 Plus...However, I walked back to the car to grab my Nikon P7100...This is the best shot I could get. I cropped the shot in iPhoto. A bird watcher with a massive telephoto lens stopped to take photos while I was standing there, by the river, awe struck. He remarked that there were two eagles up in the same tree yesterday. My heart is bursting. Mother Nature rewards us for stopping long enough to witness her glory...The creative practice of seeing feeds my making process. My work day was crazy with so many challenges and things going wrong. Nonetheless, my heart is full and my spirit is uplifted, as I am reminded of the abundant beauty and grace that surrounds me. No matter what, beauty and grace is always there.
Mosaic Work in Progress. I am in the midst of creating a recycled tile and mixed media mosaic. Working with recycled materials creates design challenges. The materials dictate how the artist will manifest a design vision. Working with recycled materials successfully, requires the ability to sacrifice all knowing. Recycling is the process of reclaiming that which has been thrown away. Still, the various materials challenge one's sense of letting go of the past, while embracing the unknowns of the future. Recycling is a regenerative process. Subsequently, the artwork takes on the values of rebirth, renewal and reinvention. I am thrilled by the challenge and honored by the opportunity to create a mosaic that will bring light, beauty and sustainability to the Stamford, CT community.