Thursday, May 10, 2018

Korean War inspires a Roadside Shrine in Arizona

On one of our road trips we passed by a roadside shrine 2 miles outside of Miami Arizona, built by Ruben Licano who served in Korea.  "When I was in the Army in Korea, I promised the Virgin Mary that if I returned to Arizona alive, I would build a shrine  which he named Shrine to Our Lady.

Top Ten Roadside Shrines in Arizona
It was one of the most elaborate and beautiful I have ever encountered on one of our road trips. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Invasion of the Tumbleweeds

I never saw a real tumbleweed until I came to Arizona. They always looked kind of cool,
that is until you actually have to deal with one and you realize it's full of nasty little thorns and like giant bur's. Luckily this was just a lonely one in our neighbourhood and nothing like the invasion in California.

Monday, April 09, 2018

An MRI and The Fabric Cactus

I was having an mri and started to panic as they rolled me into it and my face was just inches from the top.  I told myself, "close your eyes jafagirl, breathe slow, imagine what you want to create in the studio". 
Fabric versions of catci came to mind and by the time I'd finished exploring how and what I imagined it should look like I was done with the MRI. Finally after 2 years I found a use for the gorgeous vintage green velvet my friend Karen gave me.
This is a work in progress as I have other stems to add, as well as beads/thread, flowers and perhaps a wee critter. I'm not trying to copy any particular plants,  but rather imagining them and going from there. As with so many of my 3d textile art I don't have patterns or any examples to guide me, so I just make it up as I go along.  It will be one of several wall pieces for the Winds Cafe Exhibit in 2019 with my TAG group in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  

Saturday, April 07, 2018

The Creative Desert

and I mean this in two ways because Ahwatukee is in a hot desert climate and because 
creativity/arts is almost non existent in the visual sense within my daily and immediate area.  Before any locals get defensive this is not a complaint, it's just a difference I will get used to.  I was very spoiled as an artist in the last place I lived, Yellow Springs, Ohio, which was like Bisbee or Jerome.

I no longer have the distractions of the visual prompts or the daily interactions of a very active arts community, but I don't see the creative desert as a negative, but rather as an opportunity.

What creative people understand about the importance of being alone

In the digital age, it's easier than ever to avoid spending time alone with our thoughts. If we don't have family, friends or colleagues nearby, we can just whip out our smartphones or fire up Netflix. In fact, we so dislike solitude that we would rather administer electric shocks to ourselves than just sit and think....

Monday, April 02, 2018

Pareidolia: Snot Rock in Ahwatukee

There are times when seeing faces in things is fun BUT when I noticed my water fountain looked like a face I was NOT pleased. I can never unsee it now lol!
Before I even noticed the rock looked like a face I had made a wee cairn that someone else in our household (I am not naming names) laughingly said looks like rock had sneezed out some wee rocks, hence the name snot rock. Anyhoo, snot rock is sporting a lovely flower power hairdo.


Just for your amusement ♥

14 eerie 'faces' of pareidolia from nature

Most of us know there aren't faces on Mars or messiahs in our toast. Still, we can't help but see them. The human brain is programmed to recognize other human faces - so much so, in fact, that we even see them where they aren't.

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Mentor's Legacy: Marie Linnekin

 I was told I should meet a fellow artist called Sue in our village in Ohio and so I invited her over for tea. I was bowled over by her sketchbooks and she felt the same about mine. The discussion over the sketchbooks sparked a conversation about who had inspired us and I said I had this wonderful mentor in Maryland. Sue said "how interesting, me too". I told her it was a teacher at Ann Arundel Community College and again Sue said "me too". I was one of the students the teacher invited to her monthly critiques in her home for several years. Sue again said "me too" and in unison we shouted "MARIE". I mean what are the odds LOL! We could clearly see the influence Marie had on us when it came to our sketchbooks. Unlike some instructors Marie encouraged us to use our sketchbooks like playgrounds for the imagination and exploration of everything. 
Colours, shapes, words, quotes, bits of cloth etc were all tossed into the sketchbook, along with formal drawings, thumbnails. Marie said in time as your skills develop you can go back to those early sketchbooks and realize some of the ideas that seemed impossible to achieve at the time or they will inspire new ideas.
Painting by Marie Linnekin

I was 40 when I took my first oil painting class. My intention was to go to college and work towards my social work degree now that my children were older but that all changed. Marie saw something in me and took me under her wing and that was the beginning of an amazing art journey.  Those monthly group art critiques at Marie's house were a crucial part of my development as an older artist. Learning how to do a critique, how to take one, how to stretch the boundaries, how to get your work photographed, etc etc.
Marie was an amazing artist, an inspiring woman, a fantastic teacher and mentor. I am forever grateful to have been part of her life for a short time and for her kindness and support. 

Last Christmas was the first time in over 20 years I hadn't sent a card and letter. Not sure why but I decided to double check to see if she was still at the same address and I found her obituary.

Marie was a beautiful BRIGHT star and she will continue to guide the way for all those she touched. 

Jacqueline Marie Mills Linnekin's Obituary on The Capital Gazette

Read the Obituary and view the Guest Book, leave condolences or send flowers. | Jacqueline Marie Mills Linnekin, 84, died in her home, with her children at her side, on February 25, 2017. Jacqueline was born in San Diego on October 17, 1932 to Marjorie and James "Jimmy"

Friday, March 09, 2018

Clouds and Studio Notes in Ahwatukee

Saw these amazing clouds this morning.

If you are a fan of clouds

The new hashtag you should be following? #Cloudporn

Who knew clouds could be so sexy?

About Ahwatukee 
 origin of the name

Each day is an adventure as we learn to live in a new place and a new lifestyle.  I have a new motto when it comes to plants in the southwest, "look but don't touch". They can be ever so pretty but the thorns are lethal and sometimes they are hidden within the leaves, on the trunk or tiny slivers sneak into your flesh and irritate.
Esqualita is now up and with her studio dog Phineas Fallis, all is well in the studio 

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Ahwatukee Rocks

When we first moved to Phoenix I came across this great fb page called Ahwatukee Rocks. I can't tell you just how happy I was to find this as it's right up my alley. I love the whole concept of adults and children painting rocks and leaving them in unexpected places for people to enjoy. 

National craze hits village with Ahwatukee Rocks

From East Coast to West Coast, a trend that promotes random acts of kindness while combining it with creativity is this summer's craze, an unplugged and heart-satisfying alternative to last July's Pokémon Go. In the past month, an Ahwatukee woman and two children have brought the craze local with a Facebook group page, "Ahwatukee Rocks."

So I joined the fb group and after finally finding my box with some of the stones left one out today.
painted rocks and stones
Hope whoever finds it enjoys it.

Well BACK to unpacking studio boxes
 until next time 
cheers and thanks for visiting

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Unpacking and Setting up an Art Studio

It seems each place requires a different set up, different storage, different furniture before one can even open all the boxes. 
IKEA to the rescue and I got a new table and
studio skeleton
a new very comfortable chair and it didn't break the bank. I am itching to get all my supplies out and start working on some ideas.
Meanwhile Rooster made the cut, why I have no idea since he is falling apart and scraggy.
Some things I opened and I have to ask myself why the heck did I bring THAT. 

How To Set Up an Art Studio
I like the video because of his accent ;)
and I like his still life box. Reminds me to keep one of my moving boxes to make one. 

The biggest requirement is LIGHTING. 

Saturday, February 03, 2018

This Art Life in Ahwatukee, Arizona

I don't have a clue how my art life will be in Ahwatukee, Arizona, but it all starts with a house, well a HINGE on the gate of the house to be precise.

I was totally enamored when I saw the gate to the courtyard and knew this house was meant to be. We haven't moved in yet, but already it is firing my imagination.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The End of an Era In Yellow Springs, Ohio

16 years of art mischief in Yellow Springs, Ohio and it all began when I met Nancy at the Yellow Springs Arts Council. 
It started with the art gallery in the local restroom, The Chamberpot Gallery, and ended with the controversial Womans'Tree ornaments outside Current Cuisine. In between there  have been two bouts of 15 minutes of fame as part of the jafagirlsexhibits, inclusion in books, magazines,
Knot Knot Tree
interviews, eyebombing, free art friday, birdbombing, street art, community projects etc etc and I am sure we made many in town groan and grumble along the way ;) It's been quite amazing for so many reasons. I got so much encouragement and support, the town folk being such good sports, having the freedom to blossom as an artist, and so many many dear friends and acquaintances I've travelled this journey with.  There will be new faces in town, new ideas and new energy and I look forward to watching it continue and blossom from afar. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Adventures and New Travels for the Vampire Rabbit of Newcastle

In 2006 I had a wonderful trip back home in the UK and showed my mother the Vampire Rabbit of Newcastle.  You can see it on google map here. In 2008 I decided to make a twin version  and put it up somewhere in Yellow Springs. My choice was the alley on the side of the Gulch on Dayton Street and it did stay there for a couple of years and then I put it up over the door of "would you, could you IN A FRAME". It didn't last a month up
up there because someone yanked it off it's screws and I thought it was lost forever. I decided to do a lost and found bunny poster and posted the flyers in local shops and poles and despite my husband thinking it wouldn't work.

I GOT my bunny back within two weeks. Somebody said they found it abandoned on the side of the road and took it home. Thereafter it was safely perched above my front door for several years. 

Now the Rabbit will find a new home in Arizona. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Credit Where Credit Is Due for #metoo and The Women's Tree in Yellow Springs, Ohio

A shout out to Tarana Burke for starting the #metoo movement, and incredulously omitted from the Time Magazine Cover applauding The Silence Breakers.

An activist, a little girl and the heartbreaking origin of 'Me too'

Ever since the allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein surfaced, those two simple words have become a rallying cry. Women -- and some men -- have used them to share personal stories of sexual harassment and assault.
As we see repeatedly in the news around the world and in the USA, sexual abuse, harassment and rape continues and crosses all boundaries, classes, cultures, politics and is an ongoing problem. Just because a few high profile men have been called out, lost elections, resigned or been fired doesn't mean it's stopped. It's an ongoing problem.

 The reason behind the The Viva La Vulve Tree installed in Yellow Springs on the night of the inauguration is sadly still relevant. To see such a lewd suggestive tweet against a senator is sadly not unexpected given what we knew before he was elected
With that said felt ornaments seem to be popping up on other trees with #metoo on the back of them.
Perhaps they will elicit again misdirected rage, or ideally promote some healthy discussion in the community where women have been fighting for several years to be heard in regards to several predators. Like I said in the interview “ was, and IS, about women coming together and women power, and not wanting to be silenced.”