Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chicano art and my Irish bones

"Art is a record , a document, that you leave behind showing what you saw and felt when you were alive, that's all."
Carlos Almaraz, sketchbook entry
March 4, 1969

I fell in love with Chicano art about 5 years ago when I went to an exhibit in the midwest of Cheech Marins personal collection. I loved the dualistic documentary aspect of much of the art. I love the idea of just putting it out there! For all the world to see! The dark, and very real everyday tragedy, and the lightness of joy and beauty that is peristantly intertwined, both given their rightful place.

That probably explains more of why I chose to begin January with such a piece. This Chicano influence, especially with living in socal near the border now, is seeping into my Irish bones.

Patssi Valdez's use of symbolism has lured me to explore my own desire for visual imagery as expression.

Culturally I fell in love with this art that reveals the deeply instilled love for Catholic iconry and story mixed in with ancient indigenous wisdom. It speaks to my Irish heritage.






Thursday, January 14, 2010

January's 'Legacy of Sorrow' project is about compassion

Here is the start of my January bead journal page. I begin with a very personal piece of myself, a looming ghost of a memory that exists from before I even had a vocabulary. This has been buried in my psyche all these years and living stubbornly nestled in my soul, annoyingly comfortable, a persistent shadow. It made sense several years ago at age 45 when my mother decided to tell me a story. A really tragic story. I cried for a week. It was like the missing puzzle piece snapped into place and I could finally see and make sense of the ethereal feelings I had been carrying with me all my life. I will share it later when (and even if) I finish. Who knows. It might be getting too heavy for my mood this winter... ...awww, it's not too much. It is bittersweet, and real, and it is mine. When I pay attention things reveal themselves.

This piece is about the legacy of sorrow my father left me, and how that sorrow has transformed into compassion.

I focus on this not at all in woe is me or self-pity or wallowing. I prefer to see it as awake, a humble visionary searching for... and finding... compassion... and not even searching but rather being, in my reality, in my story, my truth...

Speaking of awake, ha! I have been up for over 24 hours (15 hours at work) and I am so outta here. The hospital where I work has been washed away in a wonderfully hot shower and I am ready for bed in the middle of the day.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Here is the bracelet I made that was designed by Melanie Dorman. It is so intricate and detailed. Most people gasp when they see it and comment on how incrediblly beautiful it is. I say this as a tribute in admiration to Melanie, not to brag. Although it did take skill to make it (here's my brag). Definately not for a beginning beader.

Patssi Valdez

Another favorite artist
Patssi Valdez
I love her use of color and symbolism.