Monday, August 30, 2010

Birds of a Feather...get painted by Rosa

Spanish Village is indeed a village, studios nestled beside each other, neighbor next to neighbor, continuation of our daily lives shared with smiles and sometimes described, it is an extended family away from home, and sometimes, when you're lucky you get to bring your whole family to the village.....
''Here Bella!'' ''Here Bella!''
Did someone just call me? I scanned the patio searching for who was calling me.
Off towards the entrance of the village I could see 4 people becoming larger and more distinct as they walked towards was Kathi, daughters Rosa and Lily, and son Jose. I trotted down to say hi to my friends. I just love to smell the shoes of this family...running a sheep farm makes shoes very very interesting for me.
''Come on in Bella''.
I entered Studio 8 with eagerness. Kathi was putting away the day's lunch (tuna salad, sniff sniff, cheese wedge, and what is that smell? Oh, yes, roast beef!) Guess I know where I'll spend the day....Jose grabbed his computer to go discuss the social media program with Alane. Lily took off with her mandolin slung across her back to Sylvia's creative writing class, and Kathi went to Frank's to discuss the cleaning of Gallery 21 and set up her yarn display in front of the studio.

So, that left me with Rosa who was busily dusting her framed painted feathers. She raises rare breeds of chickens and parrots on the family sheep farm. When the feathers molt, she uses the feathers as canvas for her miniature acrylic paintings. Each one is carefully and delicately painted. An iris is adorned on a small white cockatoo feather, mushrooms on a silver laced wyandotte feather, lovebirds on black australorp feathers with macaw accent feathers, and so much more.... all paintings are matted, some with mulberry paper. Key chains and note cards embellished by delicate, little, feathers create a very different medium, all unique, all interesting, all from Rosa's collection of rare breed birds.
Rosa smiled, went to her bag and pulled out a tennis ball. ''Want to play ball?''
''BALL??!!##!!'' Why don't mind if I do....I ran up to the ball, sniffed it, and gave a big bark!

A family that plays together, stays together.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bella and her Buddy Lai

The morning was sunny, and the heat was already creeping into the day. Winchester, the cat was licking himself with interest, the squirrels were chirping at eachother jockeying for a special tree limb, and I was wondering where I would find my next treat. Lying down underneath the shade of the carob tree, I heard keys jangling, someone was coming into the charming little was Lai my buddy.
''Hi Bella! How you doing girl?' '' Do you want a treat?'' .....say no more to me. I immediately got up, did my Bella shake, yes, all my fur is perfectly in place. I really am beautiful, you know, and trotted off to follow Lai into her cool studio.
''Just a second while I put this stuff away, okay, girl?''

I lied down on the cool concrete floor as I watched Lai put away her day's needs. Everytime, I come into her studio, I enjoy the paintings of her dogs, or 'doggies' as she would say. Colorful, whimsical, full of expression dogs of all ilks, all from her imagination, hung from the grids attached to the wall. Painted on canvas with oil pastels, each one of her colorful paintings jump out and say 'look at me' and invariably bring a smile or chuckle on the viewer's face.

And along the display shelves, I can see Lai's organic baskets made from materials she mostly gleans from the park's grounds. They are made from dracaena draco, inflorescence (king palm), flax, philodendron, and more. Some are coiled with the inflorescence, and some are weaved with the dracaena draco...they, too, are whimsical and organic.
''Okay girl, let me put the doggy bones in this cracked bowl for my doggy guests, and okay! Ready for a cookie???''
And I looked her in the eyes and gave her a big Bella smile...''don't have to ask me twice!''
Note: in Studio 26, where Lai's doggy paintings and baskets are, is also a drop off point for doggys to have a milk bone, fresh water, a hose to spray your heated dog down, a cool place to lie down, and tummy rubs (for the dogs). In Lai's studio dogs rock!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mary and Sand Art

Sometimes, art takes the form of a painting, so perfect in its strokes and determination that is appears to be a photograph, a technician's creation at painting, and then, there's the colorful strokes and suggestions of an expression performed on canvas, without the technical, but busting out the seams with creativity....however the artist's presents, one hopes for reaction, emotion from the viewer, without it, the artist has failed....
I enjoy going from studio to studio in Spanish Village Art Center, investigating the new artwork, paintings, baskets, sculptures, woodwork, blown glass, pottery, Ramon's guitar playing, and the sound of refrigerators opening and was all art to me....I was trotting down the main patio, noticing the day was overcast. The art village was sleepy, not quite awake, with few visitors.
I scoped the main patio and noted Ramon and Barbara with their jewelery, Scott and his paintings, Debra with her fused glass barrettes, and a few more patio artists. On such a sleep day, I paused, arched my body from my head to my tip of my tail and shook every hair into place...Oh to be so beautiful!
I spotted Mary, studio 16A, carrying a grocery bag into her studio. ''Hi Bella. Come on over here girl. I have something for you''. She didn't have to say much for me to trot into her studio...
Mary's forte is sand art. Throughout her studio, she has formations of leafs, animal reliefs, 3-d cups & saucers, ornate containers, Egyptian and Asian designs, and so much more.

Mary sits quietly, almost in a meditative form, and sprinkles lightly, thin layers of colored sand over glue, building layer upon layer, on a flat or 3-d surface, to form her picture or 3-D object. It is time consuming, takes fine motor skills and tremendous is a seldom practiced art. Her work leaves the admirer in awe over how each grain helps create such beauty. Along her walls are small containers of different colored sands, some finer than salt, and some more coarse. She says she collects sands from all over the world. Bella enjoys the stillness of Mary's studio. ''Ready for some left over meat loaf?'' She didn't have to ask me twice. I sat down, like a good dog, and waited for my food. Woof!