Monday, November 16, 2009

Share the Road

I have titled this Calavera: 'Share the Road'. It is a tribute to all the cyclists who have been killed riding their bikes in the city. I created this piece specifically for the 'Muertos' show at Redux and it can still be seen there until Nov. 30th. It started with picking up bits of broken reflector in the street and feeling that each broken shard had a story to tell. I took the opportunity of being involved in this show to create something that I hoped would convey a message, it was a bit of a departure for me. I tried to keep it pretty -in the 'sugar skull' tradition, but I also let it bleed. For the most part, I enjoy art because it makes me feel good, but sometimes I get even more out of it when it makes me angry. I felt it was important to make something that might stir an emotional reaction and make others angry too. In my own little way, I hope to inspire an awareness: to SEE cyclists on the road, be courteous and drive safe (STOP driving over them!) -it's a matter of life and death!

El Hueso
doesn't like this piece. He was instantly put off by the gory aspect. He had been enjoying my quirky little Calaveras until this one crossed the line. It's true that my work has been mostly lighthearted, decorative little musings meant to bring a smile and ease our fear. Let it be known, it is NOT my intention to glorify death or wallow in the dark side. My folks for example don't really get what I am doing, it just doesn't appeal to them at all. I understand that not everyone wants a skull on their wall! I know that death is a loaded subject and the last thing I want to do is offend anyone. But kids on the other hand, are totally drawn to my stuff. They don't have the baggage attached, they just think skulls are cool! Perhaps it's a generational thing. I want to know what you think. Be honest, be forthcoming, I'd love to hear your feedback.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

warm & fuzzy

It's such a warm, fuzzy vibe when you can draw the community in to support handmade art and craft while benefiting the local Elementary school. Shopping becomes so much more meaningful when you know where your dollars are going and you can personally see who benefits. It feels so good to be a part of this community and go to a school that values art and is chock full of creative families. We had our first Bazaar last year and doubled our projected earnings for it. So this year, we doubled the amount of vendors and took over both the cafeteria and the gym! It always feels like a gamble when there's so much riding on it, but I think I can safely say that the 2009 Lewis Holiday Bazaar was a huge success! We are hoping to generate a reputation as the Hip place to start your Holiday shopping, and I think we're off to a good start. The caliber of our vendors is impressive; from our very own first graders to the royalty of Indie Craft! I am grateful to every one of them for being a part of it! Spread the word and come back next year, Lewis loves you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

graves are the footprints of angels

We spend our lives postponing death; dreading it, fearing it, cheating it. But the fact remains that there is no escape. The more we are able to accept our fatality, the more meaningful we can make our lives, the more passionately we can love and the more present we can be. Embrace life until it is our turn to embark on the unknown journey into what may lie ahead. I am working on this. Working on changing my perspective. Banishing my stress, my worry and my fear and learning how to just peacefully BE.

Today is El Día de los Muertos or All Souls' Day. It is a time to celebrate and remember our loved ones. Honoring their spirits is a way to keep our memories of them alive. Today I am remembering two Rubys. One very young and one very old. Grandpa Ru passed away August 19th, 2009. Born Reuben, some people called him Ruby, but we all called him Ru. As I look at his picture, I can see a twinkle in his eye and I hope he can feel the love in my heart.

I am happy to say that the tradition of celebrating Day of the Dead is ALIVE and WELL in PDX! It seems this year, more than ever, there are gallery shows, sugar skull making, processions and altars all over town. I find it both enlightening and encouraging! This month, I have been fortunate enough to be included in a 'Muertos' show at Redux on Burnside. I am in the company of 22 other incredible artists -which is a big thrill for me! You can see all the work from the show on this gallery blog. -But please be sure to visit Redux some time this month, you are sure to find many treasures there. The show runs from 10/27 - 11/29. Opening Reception is First Friday, THIS FRIDAY, 11/06 from 6 - 10pm.

And on the subject of the moment, I would like to share a few quotes I have gathered. . .

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death. ~Leonardo da Vinci

Death is beautiful when seen to be a law, and not an accident - It is as common as life.
~Henry David Thoreau, 11 March 1842, letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. ~Robert Ingersoll

Someday I'll be a weather-beaten skull resting on a grass pillow,
Serenaded by a stray bird or two.
Kings and commoners end up the same,
No more enduring than last night's dream.

He spake well who said that graves are the footprints of angels. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? ~Kahlil Gibran, from "The Prophet"

From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity. ~Edvard Munch

"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance."
-G.B. Shaw