Archive for the ‘Arts and Crafts’ Category

Buenos Aires… La Boca… It was the art and the heart of the city

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Now a commercial tourist area, La Boca was the heart. It was and still is where the poor live.

It was an artist area, where the left over paint from the ship yards was used to dress up and brighten up the homes of the people.

Bordering the bustling shipyards of the past on this enormous river port , that are now outdated and abandoned and has some of the most polluted water in the world, I was told.

The hard working people lived here and lived their lives with passion. Artists and the laborers together… The Spanish, Portugese, and Italian together. This is where the tango was born.

At several of the street side cafes there is the Tango Man and Woman in her fishnet stockings waiting to dance with the extroverted touristas.

La Boca celebrates the everyday worker. In one paseo there is a set up of a typical dwelling depicting the life of the laborer. The classic old radio, the photos of pop stars of the past. Today the poor still inhabit the neighboring streets, but this Boca is all about tourismo.

I was told that the artists vendors in this street of booths are selected and approved. These are the chosen. Their art reflects  the colorful buildings of this area, and mostly is specifically of these neighborhood buildings.

The large sculptured caricatures of famous Argentinians from Evita Peron, to the countries favorite Soccer stars. They are above you watching with humor and bringing a largeness to these relatively small tenement buildings.

La Boca is named for being the harbor at the mouth of the River. The heart, corazon, the mouth, la boca. It is the people living large and living loud with their colores and their passion (for their soccer also, the arena is in the neighborhood).

Vive la Boca.

Let your colors shout out for the life of the People.

Adios Argentina!

Recycled for art

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Having a friend stay with us this week gave us an idea to recycle an old ironing board for an art supply table.  Laura loves to paint and since we didn’t have an easel, we found a new meaning for an extra ladder.Before you toss, rename and resuse.  Use your imagination!

Art from Garbage-How a small Mexican town inspires the youth

Monday, March 26th, 2012

To say that I was impressed by the community center of the small beach town of San Pancho, Mexico, would be an understatement.  Thanks to many volunteers, dedicated citizens of San Pancho  and an old warehouse that housed a small dairy processing plant , the entreamigos.org, San Pancho’s Community Center was born.  The result is an inspiring, safe, stimulating home for arts and cultural events with the underlying theme of recycled goods.  Besides, art and  cooking classes there is language emersion.  Entreamigos, offers after school classroom support for the community families in most need and a safe learning environment for anyone who wanders into the doors. Entramigos counts on donations to continue their programs and leads as an example for all communities to act responsible while enjoying the arts.Greeted at the entrance with a scrap metal tree

The bathroom wall is made from crushed plastic bottles, left open to teach the kids about the importance of recycling.

Walkways made from a mixture of concrete and recycled crush colored glass

Floral Art, Floral Business … Bouquets to Art continued…

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
MY neighbor had a flower shop in Santa Cruz… Downtown on Pacific Avenue. Then the Bonny Doon Flowers moved into the new New Leaf Market. She has since sold that and continues to do her floral design business from her home in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Bouquets to Art is on tonight, and through the weekend. Your local museum may do something similar. My sister told me her Boston art museum also had this type of special event. Look for it on their calendar. Another crazy way for people to be creative.
Are you a lover of flowers and you just think you enjoy doing it for your parties and for friends and family? Well, maybe you could actually make a business from this hobby or passion of yours.  I have done the floral arrangements for friends and family, for weddings and school functions, probably saving friends thousands of dollars on their events. Perhaps you can do it on the side and collect some clients for weekend parties and then larger events like weddings and when you have a strong enough client list, you can take it all the way and have your passion support you.
Your life, your passion…. Believe in yourself and you can do it.

Tree Trimming

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

When Ron and I first got together, we had little money and a postage stamp sized apartment, but I still wanted my big tree and a Christmas like I’d had at home.  So we went out and got that tree that took up 3/4 or our living room.  We bought lights and a tree stand and then realized, we had no ornaments, no way to decorate our beautiful tree What to do? Have a party!. Not too much money left, but enough to feed our friends and trim our tree.  I bought 5 or six little origami books for kids, the kind that come with paper for about $2.95 apiece (they probably cost more now, but not much), and sent invitations to about 30 friends. Ron, a great photographer, started work on a slide show that included all the people we’d invited.  We bought all the ingredients for a big salad, cheese lasagna, and brownies, beer and wine, popcorn, cranberries, needles and thread.

What a party!  People were all over the house and down the stairs, luckily, the woman we shared the house with was a good friend, a guest, 2 apartments in a tiny one family house.  Everyone grouped together to share the origami books and created wonderful ornaments. We took turns stringing the popcorn and cranberries, tedious work.  Everyone ate, drank and had fun.  Perhaps the most amazing ornament was from our young friend Brian who took all the black paper that no one else wanted and worked for hours fashioning a baby grand piano.  We had birds and boxes,  frogs and flowers, and new ornaments that our friends had brought as gifts.

Later in the night, we all squeezed, and I do mean squeezed into the living room.  All cuddled up, with christmas music playing in the background, we watched my husband’s slide show, the year in pictures, featuring every guest.  A wonderful night, a new tradition, and a beautiful Christmas tree,  Who could wish for more?

ART… It is all around you! Be a Regular Customer at Your Favorite Museums and Galleries

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Today in our world, I think that it is amazing that while people are hungry and needing medical attention and go without medical care because they and our country can’t afford it,  and the government is deep in dept in fighting wars in  other countries and poverty and illness and crime here at home, that still we are able to support developing artists all around us. From the Art Museums to the art on the downtown shopping mall, I am surprised and delighted that art is so much a part of our public spaces. It says something for the spirit of our time and our communities.

Lascaux Cave Painting

http://www.artnewsblog.com/2008/08/lascaux-cave-paintings-in-france.htm

This species that we are has been creating art since cave times and the developing of our civilization was a story of developing art in our cultures all over the world.

From wall painting, such as in Lacaux, France, to elaborate architecture for individual dwellings and for celebrating the daily life or the religious life, the history of MAN. It amazes me that throughout our history we have always had ART in the human equation. My sister and I spent days in Turkey this past summer and the beauty we saw in the architecture in Ephassus and other  ancient sites we visited  displayed how early civilization lived every day with the beauty they created all around: the tile floors, the ornate down spouts.

A few weeks ago, Sally and I went to a great museum located in the small town in northern Massachusetts,  Williamstown. Last summer Cindy shared it with me, The Sterling and Francine Clark Museum. Last year when Cindy  took me to the museum, an incredible exhibit called “Picasso Looks at Degas,” that studied the great artist Picasso’s affection and respect for his mentor, Degas. Having never met, but living at times in close proximity in Paris,evidently Picasso looked to his elder and studied and learned from his work. I never knew of this fondness that the younger artist had for the master Degas.

One thing I really enjoyed in the exhibit, was the many places when Picasso would draw, or paint Degas in one of his( Picasso’s) works. Very amusing actually when the bearded character of the old man Degas is spotted in so many of Picasso’s rather graphic bath scenes, just casually stuck in somewhere.

Pissarro’s People was the current exhibit. It is leaving the Clark and moving to San Francisco’s Legion of Honor. A few months ago, I raced up to the  other San Francisco museum before I left town.  The Picasso exhibit was at the de Young Museum all summer and I hadn’t caught it yet and I had meant to, so I was working on a family project and left early that day so I wouldn’t miss the wonderful collection. I really enjoyed the well told story of the exhibit that showed the art and also taught about Piccasso’s life. I find that the exhibits now have a theme, a purpose, a story to tell. The words on the walls are there to enhance the experience and I find that they do. I may not remember it all, but some of it sticks.

Last year there was the  Post-Impressionist exhibit from the d’Orsay Museum in Paris visiting. We have gotten a large serving of French artists in our museums in the last few years:  Picasso, Pissarro and Degas. Picasso went through so many different periods and styles and change our way of seeing the world and challenged our view on ART.

If you go to the museum with a friend and they especially are excited about the artist and the subject, a book from this exhibit would later make a wonderful Christmas, Chanukah, or birthday gift for them, so keep it in mind for later… Good idea right… You’re welcome…

I have been keeping an eye to the Clark, the de Young , and the Legion of Honor Museums schedule of exhibits and I almost missed some as I was planning to go with friends and then never making a connection ran up or down alone ( I live a couple of hours drive from some of these museums) to be sure not to miss the inspiration of viewing some incredible art. It is something that you can do on your own. It doesn’t need to take a whole day, but if you can plan ahead with a friend, you can add a nice stop for lunch or a coffee and a walk around the Golden Gate Park  and the Arboretum in San Francisco, or Central Park in New York.

I love the museums I have been to: New York’s Met, The Frick( so special),museums in  Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles… the Modern’s, the Asian Collections, the expansive outdoor art experiences such as the Storm King Art Center ( the photo at the top I took there) right outside New York… If you live in the New York City  area and you haven’t been, you are really missing something big… the sculptures here are HUGE! …

Get out there for a break from your routine and some inspiration and education.

What museums do you love?

What are your favorite artists?

I would love some shared ideas to come into the blog and if you want to add information on your favorite museum, exhibit, artist, we would love to add it and share your comments with others.

Right now on my list is to go back to the de Young for the Masters of Venice, and I haven’t been to the Oakland Museum in a decade. They have an extensive collection of California art, from the early California landscapes of Albert Bierstadt and Guy Rose, to the wonderful typewriter by the ceramic artist Robert Arneson where the fingers are the keys.

photo from mahalo.com

A Poem for Today…

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

My  Good Friend just recited a poem for me that was consoling and affirming as I have been struggling with responsibilities and relationships and vision… Thanks buddy…

ENJOY…

SWEET DARKNESS

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love
The dark will be your womb
tonight.
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
(House of Belonging)

The diRosa Preserve: Art and Nature… Talk About An Art Experience!

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Art is literally all around you inside the various buildings built to house  the collection of the late Rene diRosa as he expanded his collection… And outside over the rolling property and around the preserves lake perimeter. I just went to a fundraising event over the weekend at the Preserve with my sister, who lives nearby in Sonoma, and some friends. The preserve exhibits over 2300 works of art by 900 or more California artists.

I had been to the preserve once before  and was looking forward to sharing it with my sister. her daughter’s school had been here on field trips, but Jenny didn’t get chosen as a driver so she hadn’t been yet. We have driven past this unusual museum/ outdoor gallery of art so many times on our way between the family home in Napa and San Francisco. I lived in Napa when I first was married and my older son was 7 when we moved back to Santa Cruz. We drove past the diRosa Preserve countless times and always wondered what was there behind the unusual gates and the Sheep that didn’t move along the hill holding back the reservoir.  I need to take my sons there to see what we were wondering about all these years ago.

The collection is astounding and the evening was entertaining with music, dinner, and art auctions. An art auction is a great opportunity to purchase art and add to your collection while at the same time supporting an art museum or collection.  Some times you can purchase art for a very good price but be careful as it is easy to make a bid when you didn’t mean to and to get carried away in the heat of the auction and spend more than you had planned.

So if you have time on your way to a wine tasting weekend in Sonoma or Napa, give yourself a little extra time and stop at the diRosa Preserve, right across the highway from Domaine Carneros. Wander the grounds and walk through the galleries and enjoy a unique art experience. From deForest, Neri, and Arneson, to the large diSuvero, from the colorful and whimsical to the real, and socially concious and socially challenged. Pass through at your leisure or take a quick look and return when you have time for a longer exploration.

ART; Paperwork in 3D

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy the Shelburne Museum?  This week my friend, Kathy, and I set off to enjoy the fall foliage, and I had the pleasure of introducing her to the Shelburne.  The featured exhibit was Paperwork in 3d.  We really had no idea what to expect, but we were blown away.

The exhibit includes everything from pop-up-books and cut paper to Japanese origami and sculpture.  How do they do this?

Michael Velliquette

Lauren Clay

Hunter Stabler

Matthew Reinhardt

Heart Rage Michael Velliquette

Suigintou Brian Chan

Lighted Paper Riki Moss

ART; 3D from The Disney Museum

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

How Strange, I’m blogging about the wonders of 3d paperwork at the Shelburne, and Jo sends me this treasure from the Disney Museum. This is a paper mache panel currently being repaired and cleaned.  It seems I’m not the only one looking into 3D art.

Check out the detail.

If you are on the West coast, anywhere near San Francisco, take some time to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum.

While looking for Disney paper mache art, I came across this. You never know what you’re gonna find or where you are going to find it! So much to see, so many places to visit.