Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Can You Name #5WOMENARTISTS ?


I'm taking up a National challenge featured HERE in this Huffington Post article, to name off the top of my head 5 women artist.
You know what?
I had to really think about it and I am a women artist.
How many male artist can I name starting now.... Goya, Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Rembrandt, Wyeth, his son Wyeth and his son Wyeth, Sendak, Renoir, Whistler, Carle, Matisse, DiVinci, Chagall..... I could go on and on and those are just the ones I am pretty confident I can spell.
Are there just not that many memorable female artists?
There is a question larger then the time I have today....I have to take a sick cat to the vet, not my cat and not my plan for my day, but it is one of the random chore that pops up on any given day for most women who have chosen to live the life of wife and mother between raising our children and taking care of our aging parents. Somedays you get to devote your time to taking somebody else sick cat to the vet and other chores for the good of the family. Humm. think Picasso stopped his art for such things? I can tell you he didn't... read a previous post on the routines of famous artists, male and female HERE . I highly recommend the book too.

                                             
But on to the subject at hand and it should be no surprise that my list has one thing in common. My list is made up of women who have NOT turned their backs on the most important part of being a women... creating and raising a family.




Wife of  Carl Larrson, a  Swedish well known Arts and Crafts movement artist in the mid to late 1800's....

She was a painter too, and gave it up to support her husband and raise their eight children. But while she did that.....she decorated her home with paint and thread. Then her husband painted the everyday scenes in their home...


 and brought Karin's design sensibilities to the rest of the world and started a movement. Ever hear of IKEA?





You might be wondering why there is a cat? The family story is that Maria or one of the other potters my husband's parents visited back in the 60's in New Mexico wanted to buy my in laws cat. Yes they traveled with a cat when they came West on buying trips for their Western Wear store near Chicago called The Hitching Post. Here is another post about the pots they bought back then and what they put in them. Let's just say "value" is in the eye of the beholder.

I love the PBS show Crafts In America and I love any episode on quilting or stitching. Although the quilters out of Gee's Bend, Alabama are more well know, the ladies that get together at this community center in Missippi are pretty amazing and at the top is Mrs. Rankin who won a National Heritage Fellowship in the 90's and traveled to the White House to meet the then first lady Hillary Clinton. 
"How far can a needle carry you?" 
Mrs. Rankin asked in Craft's In America's episode "Community"
Pretty far, I'd say...


As a young artist and a young mother I was so moved by Children Book Illustrators like Australian Julie Vivas. How wonderful, the adjective used most by my main Art School professor and only female in the department, were Vivas water color characters and look at her hands. Then very soon as a young mother, many times did I hold my baby daughter and read...


and...


But the reality is that many many women that created though the ages have not been remembered or celebrated. A few have in Mirra Bank's 1979 book. Including Elizabeth Glaser's Lady in A Yellow Dress...

We have no idea how many of these painted and stitched treasures are tucked away in the attics and closest of family houses or been tossed away.

Most of the works and writing in Anonymous Was a Women were done before these girls were married and had children. I  had the privilege to continue my art after marriage and motherhood and know I have freedoms and choice because of what women before me have done.

But I also have freedom as an artist and mother because of my husband working hard to provide for our family and that is why Karin Larrson and her husband Carl are such an inspiration...

                                                          
Who is that? Behind him, stitching away in the next room? Just a women who will inspire a ethnic style shift away from gaudy heavy Victorian interiors.

From this....


To this,..
Which is still how most of us live now... thanks to a women taking care of her family who didn't give up her own sense of style and had a husband who supported her.

 "How far can a needle carry you?"




Thursday, February 09, 2017

Vantage Point...of a German Shepherd


In High School I did photo shoots of  my "punked out" friends in spiked hair, sunglasses and trench coats and developed the black and white photos in my step dad's dark room. In Art School I "masked out" half the exposed paper to put my roommate in a cereal box. I graduated in 1990, the year Adobe released Photoshop.
Eventually I learned photo editing software, updated my camera and updated it again when technology changed and I could afford it, but I never forgot my photography professor's description of a " Pinhole Camera"...a black painted box, with film inside and ....one single  pinhole for a lens and the implication was clear, it's not the camera that takes great photos.
Since Art School, I've never taken his challenge to shoot camera obscura photography, but I do believe there's a time to use my big bodied, big lens Nikon D3300 and there is a time to take out my phone camera, currently a LG V20.
Like when a photo-op presents itself crammed into a gondola with eight skiers who really wanted one more run down the slopes above Telluride, Colorado  and didn't mind or notice there was our rather large German Shepherd/ Lab dog residing on the floor, named Piper.
Luckily Piper didn't mind playing sardines with a bunch of skiers,
To use my Nikon to capture this moment, I'd had to of  stood up on the bench of the gondola conforming my body to the domed top or literally be outside swaying on the top of it.
Small, unobtrusive cameras captures moments of time far better for the reason people tend to not notice them and you can use them in cramped spaces. Small cameras that have the ability to capture vivid, light filled  moments like a bigger DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera) now that would be something.
A new company... Light.co  is claiming such a thing, introducing their Light L16 compact camera to the market and it is the exact opposite of the pin hole camera with...

"...a multiple lens systems to shoot photos at the same time,
then computationally fuses them into a DSLR-quality image."

Images of the Light L16 camera images are filled with amazing light and color, but it is the promise of what multi lenses will do with the "depth of field" that is most intriguing for me, each lens taking in essence a photo at a certain depth so they are all crisp and clear and then layering them together. 
Light.co's Pinterest board Here features photographers who share a picture from their favorite location, which can be a challenge now days with most digital photographers scanning through 1000's not 100's of choices,
Picking one photo was a tough one for me, living in the Four Corners where I've shot images both in the snowy  mountains of Colorado and red rock deserts of Utah over the same weekend. But the hastag #vantagepoint really stuck with me and I have no better example of a vantage point than capturing my very large black dog looking right in the camera with brown eyes asking me...."Do I really have to put up with this?"
I still wonder what would have happen if she decided not to?



Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Snow in the Mountains....


Below Ophir Pass at just under 10,000 feet above sea level is the little town of Ophir, Colorado, an old mining town that still has life for those wanting to live off the beaten path, literally just below where the plows stop plowing....

photo cred. @zetrocer, cause I didn't want to climb out of the truck...
(though he has not opened his twitter feed to the public...hum?)

                  

There is a "top of the world" feel on all sides of the town....


But the "village" below is lively and active, not the sort of mountain town for "tenderfoot's vacation homes...



There are a lot of young families living in Ophir. A lot of kids and a lot of dogs...



And a lot of snow equipment....


To protect  the only way out of town in the middle of winter because...


it is below this...


an avalanche shut with it's own warning sign, already buried in snow...


Even without an avalanche there is a lot of snow and some place no one will get to until the Spring thaw. 

Ophir's post office is on the other side of  the danger zone... 


nearer to Highway 145 that heads up and over another pass to....


to Telluride...


where most days there is "plein air" painting happening right in the middle of downtown...



And the "Ski Tree" still resides in Elks Park...


But it is always the surroundings, high mountains covered in snow that end the glorious show.. when the ski turns pink and the sun starts to go down.


Cause there ain't nothing like the fading light in the high country in the middle of winter.