no woman is an island

paloverdeb

Last Spring Wright contacts me about a Palo Verde Beetle I’d just painted for an upcoming bug exhibit at the Idea Museum. I have a sister who is into bugs and anatomy, he says, and this would be a great gift. I respond, You have a sister that’s into bugs? And anatomy?  I should meet her one day. 

Today he brought the family to my studio. I meet everyone including his sister Cady. Within minutes of being introduced we are discussing anatomy. She mentions a short study at Stanford and working with cadavers. Cady Did (they call her, yes like the bug) is completely surprised when she learns the studio visit is arranged for her to receive a graduation gift.

She is home for the holidays, lives in Oregon and will be graduating from Pacific University with a degree in Occupational Therapy. Congratulations Cady. Wright is correct, the gift is fitting. Even that the composition  includes the word surprise (as in Surprise, AZ) feels appropriate.

The whole family pitched in to make this happen. Thanks everyone! It was great to spend an afternoon with all of you.

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Olive, Mead, Cady, Monica, Wright, Jenni, Day and Sandy

No woman, or family member in this bunch, is an island – for sure. As everyone walks out of the studio Sandy comments, I feel like I should get college credit or something for this studio visit. I wonder if she can know how much I appreciate the comment.


The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.

While having connected to Wright last year, I finally meet him at a studio visit the Breakfast Club hosted at my place last May. He brought along Sandy, his mom. Today my husband and I enjoyed meeting his wife, his daughter and son, and his sisters. Everyone has their hands in the arts in one form or other.

On another note, the Palo Verde Beetle along with several other of my bugs, will be include in a publication to be released in 2017. More on that later.

el murciélago

Murciélago is Spanish for bat. I like the word, and I like the creature.

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Approximately 70 species of bats live in the Sonoran desert region, about 27 of those species live right here in the state of Arizona, more than in any other state. I live near a bat colony and note them as they occasionally fly about the neighborhood.

About bats:
Bats are from the order of Chiroptera (meaning hand-wing), which describes their most unusual anatomical feature and the reason why it’s the only mammal naturally capable of true and sustained flight. In the course of working on this study I learn more about this magnificent nocturnal creature.

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  • A bats body is hairy while a leathery membrane makes up its wonderful wings.
  • Bats are not blind though see best at night.
  • They use echo-location to maneuver through space, and to help find shelter and prey.
  • They have an acute sense of smell which helps in the rearing of their young in large maternity colonies. In fact, it’s the way they find their own young in the midst of hundreds of others. I find it particularly interesting that colonies include non-reproducing females that help with rearing duties.

In the lower elevations of Arizona bats mate in late Spring, maybe as early as March.  In Northern Arizona bats can hibernate 5 to 8 months. 

Bats are in serious decline. They are an important part of our ecosystem helping to keep populations of night-flying insects like mosquitos, in control. They disperse seeds and pollinate many plants. In the state of Arizona bats and bat colonies are protected by law.

Symbolism:
Because bats live in the belly of Mother Earth, they symbolize death and rebirth. They are  reborn every evening at dusk. The Native Americans observed them as highly social creatures with strong familial ties. While the bat is nurturing, verbal, enjoys touch, it is also shy, intelligent and gentle.

Bat medicine teaches us to release fear. Think new beginnings.

 

today in the new york times

JP-CRYSTAL-bl

Photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

PHOENIX — Two men stepped out of a rental car here recently and walked up to a modest ranch-style house with a cat and a grapefruit tree in the yard, worried that the homeowner might mistake them for missionaries or salesmen.

They were neither. They were representatives of one of the world’s wealthiest art patrons, Alice Walton, the Walmart heiress and founder of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. And they had come all the way from there to the door of Monica Aissa Martinez …

Click here for full article

animal study / animal medicine

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detail

Here are the last two small studies of an animal series, a vertebrate and an invertebrate.

The hummingbird is an animal with a backbone – more accurate – it has a well-developed internal skeleton.  Vertebrates have a complex body and for my work – make for an opaque focal point. The red In above detail represents muscle tissue, the white is bone.

The butterfly below – an invertebrate – has no back bone. Compared to my other work it seems more transparent. I’m surprised to learn 98% of animals are invertebrates. Other attributes: small and slow-moving, no back bone (no internal skeleton at all), and no cell walls.

…no cell walls!?

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detail

This series of 4 (I’ve shown you 2 details in earlier posts)  are on panel. I laid in collage and carefully rendered shapes with graphite and casein. All these creatures are found in Arizona. And as the earlier post suggests, could have been found in my studio.  Each painting is finished with several coats of varnish.

These are for an invitational exhibition at Shemer – AZ MicroArt to coincIde with AZ MicroDwell (alternative spaces for simple living).pollinators

… now think animal medicine …
The hummingbird associated with guidance – is a light in the darkness. The butterfly supports transformation. Both connect to joy. The bee symbolizes work, community and communication. And the beetle surrenders to change, and is known for its adaptability.

Studying a Hercules Beetle
Bee Study



studying a hercules beetle

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Hercules Beetle, Dynastes Hercules

A job took my husband out to a mine in Superior, AZ a few years ago. Deep in the earth he found this Hercules Beetle. He thought I would appreciate the intimidating creature.

It’s the subject of this small collage below. Though I want to approach the work like other anatomy studies, I can’t. Insects are invertebrates – they don’t have skeletal and muscular systems like vertebrates do.

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detail of Hercules study

Insects don’t have solid muscles that contract and pull on tendons that pull on bones to make them move. Their muscles are fluid encased in their exoskeleton. They move via a hydraulic system – fluid moves from chamber to chamber causing limbs to straighten out at high pressure and fold at low pressure. If you’ve ever stepped on a bug and seen the white stuff that comes out, that’s the fluid that supports their movement … their muscles. I may never step on a bug again now that I understand this so clearly.

Aside from shape and size – the color of this bug is also a notable quality. Consider it a form of camouflage.  The beetle appears yellow-green or black depending on moisture in the atmosphere. During dry conditions it can be a yellow color. During humid conditions it can appear black. This one, living and dying in the dry heat of Arizona, leans towards green.

I’ve made the small animal studies for 2 upcoming invitational group exhibits. This week someone else invited me to participate in a pseudo-science show. Pseudo-Science – I’ll look up the phrase and consider it may be another interesting opportunity to show these small works.

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I plan to get back to my large figure work now. I’ve been away from it for too long. The understanding I now have from these small animal studies is invaluable.

when the water came

This week as we mark the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I find Rebecca Ross at work organizing a showing of When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina. Even now as I write the post, current news focuses on the Gulf Coast as it experiences yet another hurricane, this one – Isaac. The timing is important and only adds more relevance to the work.

The exhibit which will run  August 31 – September 16, 2012, at eye lounge offers, in images and words, firsthand accounts that relate the dramatic stories of Hurricane Katrina
evacuees who relocated from Louisiana to Arizona. The photographs and
interview-poems featured in the exhibition are drawn from the book of the
same title by poet Cynthia Hogue and photographer Rebecca Ross.

Deborah Green © 2010
Rebecca Ross Photo

What : When The Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina
Who: Interview-Poems by Cynthia Hogue
          Photographs by Rebecca Ross

When : August 31 – September 16, 2012
Artists’ Reception: Friday, September 14, 5 – 9 pm

Where: eye lounge: a contemporary artspace
419 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
http://www.eyelounge.com
Gallery Hours:
Friday, 5 – 9 p.m.
Saturday, 1 – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
First Friday, 5 – 10 p.m.
and by appointment


The book When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina is available locally at  Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, or through Amazon.

an inside look: phoenix artists…and so much more.

Artist / Designer / Photographer…and those are only three of the hats Anthony Zeh wears these days – man, the guy’s busy!

You may recall I wrote about Tony in February when he invited me to take part in his 100 Artists Portraits project. Last month he showed some of the photographs in the series (at Bokeh). He’ll show 25 more this coming First Friday, in the Onley Gallery, at Trinity Cathedral.

The project aims to educate and celebrate both the history and diversity of our arts community.  I particularly appreciate the mix Tony is capturing with that camera of his. The photographs depict artist at work, in studio – set next to a compositional slice of their materials. Here are a few photos to remind you of the series and share more of my favorites.

Timothy Chapman – Painter

Annie Lopez – photographic media artist

Colin Chilag – Painter

Jenny Odom Ignaszewski – Painter

You can see all the photos to date, and new ones as they go up, at his website.

Oh…and look at the other project that was birthed along the way. It’s titled Solo and it’s simple… great fun, great composition.

Solo Portraits

Tony photographed visitors to his Bokeh opening. He refers to the set as 100 portraits of people wondering through the art community. The head shots are full of variety: both introverted and extroverted expressions are to be found.

Are you enjoying the work Tony?
I enjoy the work immensely. It’s a great adventure getting to see how the  artists work and to see what their studios look like. I love connecting with new people and talking to them. This project has opened me up to that.

His excitement is clear, he continues…
In conjunction with the opening of the exhibits, I’m also shooting portraits of the people who come to the show. They are simple head shots, in the black and white style I have developed. This really lets me connect with the whole community!

More of these images can be seen at Artsaz.com.

I ask him if the main project changed in any way since he began it last August?
The project has pretty much stayed the course as the style has not changed. The speed at which I am photographing has unfortunately slowed down.  He explains it all takes time and it all costs money. He drives around the entire county to visit studios and photograph artists.  He’s working on raising funds.

I had a September goal for completion, but I don’t think that will happen. But what will happen is A Portrait of 100 Arizona Artists will be completed within the Arizona Centennial, with help and support from the community.

Tony sent me the pdf of the invitation (below).  I was certainly not expecting this pleasant surprise.

Anthony Zeh is documenting artists who work in various forms, with various content, and of various generations, who have participated in the shaping and encouragement of the artistic culture in metropolitan Phoenix, in the last 20 years. That’s an ambitious project and it’s pretty great.

I’m jazzed to be a part of the grouping.


WHO:    Olney Gallery presents                  
               Anthony Zeh 
WHAT:  Anthony Zeh Photographs
               An Inside Look: Phoenix Artists
WHERE: Olney Gallery
                100 West Roosevelt
                 Phoenix, AZ 85003
WHEN:    June 1st – August 19th, 2012
WHAT ELSE: *Tony will be shooting visitor
portraits from 7-9,  opening night only. 

Olney Gallery is located inside Trinity Cathedral, right in front of a great labyrinth.
After (or before) you see the exhibit,  walk the labyrinth.


So…what all is Anthony Zeh doing to get his project out, and raise funds…
here let me outline a few things as best I can…

his web site → A Portrait of 100 Arizona Artists
All prints of artists are available for purchase.

And…

again…He’ll be shooting portraits at the gallery (all ages welcome) – opening night only.
He will offer 11×14 limited edition, signed Art Prints for $100.
Tony’s Smug mug account offers less expensive pictures.
No charge to have your photo taken, but you must sign a release.

Look at the community portraits, on his web site → Solo

And there’s a book! It’s for sale…click on the photo below.

Solo

He’s YouTubing too…didn’t I tell you…the guy is busy!

Email Tony for more info.


A Portrait of 100 Arizona Artists received a Ted Decker Catalyst grant.