Inner visions, Inner Harbor

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The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. 

Why had I never been here before? 

Last week my friend and blog colleague Lesley Watt was visiting. We had planned our vacation art camp with a mix of field trips and artwork projects. The weather was so insanely cooperative – very unlike late August/early September usually is… So our first adventure was the AVAM in Baltimore, on a glorious temperate, blue-skied day…

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Mosaic bluebird of happiness. 

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A museum is covered in installations.

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Bunny! On the “Magic Bus”

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This mosaic Cosmic Galaxy  egg was breath taking. It even incorporated images from the Hubble telescope. ( Artist: Andrew Logan)

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The Museum grounds are outstanding. Sculpture, installations, fountains, gardens. I felt completely enchanted before we even entered the museum.

 

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A sense of fun, a tranquil enclosure… 

There are many instances where words or a quote stop you in your tracks. I did manage to capture a few heartfelt phrases.

There is no photography allowed in the museum, so you are seeing pieces from the grounds, and in the mirror below a stealth pix of Lesley in a mirrored mosaic. The blue sculpture above? Entirely beaded, representing John Waters and Divine as a folk art weather house – you know – where figures emerge and disappear depending on the weather readings?

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No pictures allowed IN the museum, but the bathrooms were fair game! 

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In the gardens between the buildings. A true oasis in the city. 

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Need I say more? 

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Amazing views from the AVAM Bird’s nest balcony

After the museum we headed to the Inner Harbor for a tourist browse and then dinner. Crab cakes, naturally.

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The Inner Harbor – then off for crab cakes! 

Lesley has posted regarding the adventures over at Art Jewelry Elements. Take a look at her pix! And stay tuned for more here, later this week!

Starting anew…

Happy New Year! 

Meditation table

Yes, its the 2nd, and I am still honoring feelings of fresh starts, cleaning out the old, preparing for the new. Last year was a hectic mad dash to the holidays.  A mad dash that I felt was my state of operating – for the entire year. Many things DID get finihed, many loose ends neatly tied off and trimmed before December came to a close. Others? Well – January is the calendar’s Restart button. So I feel the slate is clean, and I look forward to the new year, its offerings, its potential, and its promise. 

Having said that – I dont do resolutions as much as I do “new beginnings”. I wanted to share with you a few things I have begun and will be endeavoring to continue as the calendar pages flutter by, as the wheel of the year spins… 

I am a collector of Tarot decks, and have probably a dozen. I tend to use the same few decks most frequently. I like to draw a card for the day, sit and ponder the message, sip on my coffee… It is the closest I come to meditating, but a few minutes of stillness to start the day is so beneficial. I was inspired to create wool/felted/embroidered/beaded bags for each deck. And then that grew into working with a deck a month… This month its the Druid Animal oracle deck, looking at totem animal, and animal symbolism from the Celtic/Druidic perspective. Written by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, it is exquisitely illustrated by Will worthington. In the back you see the bag I have started, upcycled from a felted wool sweater with a needle felted white horse ( ala Uffington) I still need to do details. 

Worthington's deck

The daily practice thread continues – into an art journal idea. A Rolodex card-a-day art journal. I can see the finished Rolodex in my mind’s eye, filled with color and texture, snippets and memories. The cards are so small – 4″ long – easy to travel with, and I am allowed to catch up if I miss a few days from business, sickness, etc. The idea to do a piece in 365 parts was inspired in part by Kirsty Hall.  Kirsty Hall is a British artist who did a 365 jar project.

Kirsty Hall Jar 365 in situ  KHall jar 365 detail

The 365 jars project has its own website. The project was interactive – jars were found, recorded on the site and adopted by their finders. Sadly Kirsty is in the UK, or else I would have been searching for a jar myself. It was fascinating and very inspirational to travel the year with her. While this is much smaller in scale and definitely more personal – I have to tip my hat to her! I have ordered a vintage metal Rolodex card file… but started on New Year’s day regardless. 

Rolodex sketchbook

Rolodex sketchbook2

One last venture – The Empty Shelf challenge. The idea of author Jon Acuff, the idea is to fill an empty shelf with the books you read over the course of the year. Well, I have no empty shelves, and read many things on the Kindle. So I am translating this to Instagram & Twitter, where I will be posting pix of finished books, and tagging them #emptyshelf. I have meant to do this many years running, and with the ease and fun of editing pix in Instagram – I may just achieve it. Many thanks to Jess of Rosy Revolver for bringing this to my attention! 

 

Please feel free to follow along – my Instagram ID is “jdaviesreazor and my Twitter ID is “JDRshrineart” 

I’d love to hear what you are reading, planning, or resolved to do in 2014!

 

 

A dream-y collaboration…

Last December I received notification for a show called TWOgether, a collaborative exhibit. Held at the Center for Creative Arts in Yorklyn, DE – the call was for a pair of works by 2 artists. I immediately thought of Betsy, my partner in crime, and many artistic undertakings. (We have had multiple exhibits of our show Imago Dea – envisioning the feminine divine.) So we sat at her kitchen table after the holidays and brainstormed. Until now we have always exhibited collages. Betsy’s are digital, using her photographs among myriad other items, textures, locations… She exhibits them as stunning giclee prints. Mine are paper, fabric, glue, paint… more traditional style collages. This time I wanted to do a mixed media piece, bring to life ideas I had been sketching. And I had to deal with surgery and recovery. So I sketched this to show her my basic assemblage idea…

working sketch

(The moon was to illustrate that some image would be framed by the vintage Mother-of-pearl buckle…. Thats were we left it. For Betsy to take the threads of an idea, and a handful of found objects I presented to her as my potential materials. And run with it. And run she did!

Betsy's "Oceana"

Ooh – the textures, nacre of shell, ripples of water, sand… The colors. That ammonite – which she scanned from my original. Oh! This is going to be good. 

filigree links

Sterling and copper links echo the sea foam shapes. The sterling is actually the positive and negative of the same curl. 

WIP dreams

River rock and enameled copper for color. The same ammonite – tab set in copper. And putting it all TWOgether…

Detritus of dreams

Words from her poem (included in the print) under mica, framed by the MOP buckle. The layers are micro-bolted, and riveted. 

dreams detail

I couldnt be more pleased with how it came out! The show is opening tomorrow, with a reception on Friday the 10th from 6-8pm. If you are in the area, please stop by! It will be on exhibit until the 24th.