This instrument has a story.
I have one of these..yes this model. Right now it's in the care of my grandson whose fingers are nimble, unlike mine.
In about 1952 I took my miserly collection of cash ($40) to South Philly and visited pawn shops. I don't know how many guitars I tried, and tried again. I don't remember how many pawn shops I visited, and revisited. But in one of them I found my wooden friend. I bought it with my $40 because I loved how it felt, and how it sounded. It has a deep box that picks up the lower registers beautifully, and the neck was just right for my hands. It was a little "used" -looking, but I liked its colors and shape.
This friend went with me EVERYWHERE, being my meditative companion and my joy. I taught myself chords beginning with Burl Ives' Folksong book, and as I progressed to high school and college I found others who shared their music and techniques with me. We sang along in The Gilded Cage, in Philadelphia, among other things.
That guitar went to the swimming meets, to the seashore, to boarding school, and just everywhere I went! I finally got it a case!!
Some twenty years ago I noticed that the ivory pegs were disintegrating. A local guitar restorer took a look at it, and gave me a quote. I paid to have it restored (not refinished, however) to good mechanical order, at least four times what I had bought it for. The restorer said my guitar was worth more than $4000.00 ! It's a treasure!
Sadly, my fingers are 75 years old and not good at tripping over the strings any more. I do plunk around on it at family events now and then, playing songs for my 5 and 7 year old youngest grandkids. Their parents sing along with gusto, having been brought up in the company of this old friend.
May my guitar live long long long! It has the most wonderful karma, if you use that word. I just think it's my most loyal buddy, and the songs..the songs!
O O O THERE
my take on AMPLE vs SUPERFLUOUS
In a Wordpress Blog also called o o o there, I have written today about the balance of Ample Sufficiency as versus Superfluous Abundance.at left: : barnacle cluster on mossy rood at Potlatch State Park, Olympic Penninsula, WA
Someone has been printing in the workshop overnight.
Last night I took a little collection my odoriferous fresh paintings to the workshop and locked them in. This morning on my coffee survey walk, I found that miniscule marks had been clearly printed on the surface of some of the dark areas. Clearly the printer had previously visited the light areas of a juicy painting of peppers on a white table and then moved over the darker boat scene to make his impressions. Relief work—stamping of very small paws – and a good job too!
There ARE mice there. Emptying out boxes at any time gives clear sign that small creatures consider my workshop their own…I am only a renter. And once I found a dear little timrous cowrin’ beastie hiding beneath my carved wood bowls when I upended the box to prepare for a showing. I said hello, and put the box on its side near the grass outside. Seemed a friendlier thing to do than De Con, and he was really very sweet looking, and scared.
He found EVIDENCE of my daytime activites. I have given myself a “week off” to paint. The crush of work to put together this year’s Farmer’s Market season has just worn me out. It is a solo entrepreneurial effort where I am all the departments at one. I even make the coffee.
But this mouse found that his box near the top had drying paintings off-gassing on it, and he no doubt sniffed, wondering if the sticky stuff was edible. I did not see signs that he stayed long, however…clearly his tracks moved smoothly across the painting and off to other pursuits.
But I am wondering whether I should keep the marks. After all, these paintings were rather intensely put on prepared surfaces as a way to “warm up” my painting mind—to get in gear for a week of painting. This is part of the life of the spontaneous marks I made yesterday, is it not? Well…I think I will leave the marks on along with my own marks and contemplate whether they are to save or paint over.
As for the printer: Well…I think I will leave him alone again this time. DeCon? I am torn, as was Burns, with realizing the needs and rights of this small creature who doesn’t use up much of my rental space, and likely his family has lived there for much longer than I have been in residence.
But Burns did turn his little friend OUT, and I may have to do that. But maybe next year.
The prospective woodworking shop seen from balcony of house. Firepit at left. The possibilities are elegant-- the clean-up will be challenging. Yes, that is snow beyond the tree trunks. This was taken in March.
This April finds me in a new office at a new location high on a mountainside on the Olympic Penninsula of Washington State.
I am still trying to find all my stuff. The paintings I submitted to a local exhibit are SOMEwhere here in the new art space, but so is everything else. Must find those paintings and finish framing them! Moving is no small matter!
There is a new woodshop forming in a large garage which is still not cleared of the previous renter's things. My tools and workbenches are piled in a corner waiting to be laid out so they can be used. There's a nice tight little woodstove in there that needs to be installed that will heat the place nicely and make a year-round shop for Silk Purse Products carving and finishing. There's insulation in the corner that must be tacked up some day soon.
AND a lovely little tool shed with potting shelves and plenty of space for all kinds of gardening and other yard tools. It's a rather wild and smarmy looking place right now, but will be wonderful when cleaned out.
The wild and smarmy tool shed waiting to be cleaned up.
Here it is February. In May, at the usually windy end of the month, the first outdoor fair will go up, and, Lord willing, I'll be there with Silk Purse Products.
The studio smells badly of solvent right now. I dragged out some unfinished bowls and put a coat of finish on the outside of a bunch of them last ngith. Designs will go on the inside of some of these vessels. And I have some new ideas for carving into the mango bowls that are waiting. The poor cat and I went to bed glad to shut the door on the odors.
I may have an open house earlier than May to lighten the load of product more quickly. There seems to be a move to a new location in the near future. I don't relish relocating all my shop equipment and materials. But I will when I have to.
Meanwhile the art goes on.
See you at the fair. Susan
someone started a painting from a photograph. It was of a young woman coming out of a log cabin, but the artist had given up when they got to the woman part...the log cabin was painted in, but the canvas was untouched except for pencil marks where the woman was to be!
The woman in the painting had with her the photo taken of her some years ago from which the painting was derived. She now wanted SOMEONE to try to finish it.
SOMEONE got to be me, today, and I have this small square canvas in the studio along with a faded photo to work from. i will go to the woman' s place and take photos of my own to see better her skin tone and the basic bone structure. She has gotten heavy in the meantime, and grey! This will be a good challenge.
And it is so prepaid. This is a good thing in the current economy!
To interview for this commission, I took unframed art work of people's heads to the gallery that requested that I do this job. Folks had a lively time looking at various clothed and unclothed figures in pastel, watercolor and oil. The woman was especially admiring of a profile I had made of a black dancer -- a nude, but not particularly revealing. The head was done with a fairly dramatic handling of the face against the background. She liked this. So that is how I'll approach the painting of her.
I am extremely grateful that she gave consent to me to put a warm neutral glaze over all, to unify the thing, and give me a base to work from. She was happy to let me "take over" the painting rather than try to match the style of the original artist. This makes it much more alive for me, and it will show up in the painting.
Below, the profile of the dancer that the woman liked.
Working with primary colors is the emphasis for the workshop coming up. To prepare, I am working with...you guessed it... red, yellow and blue.
I ran across a Kandinsky painting and realized that he had worked this painting in red, yellow and blue! What serendipity!
The banner concept I started with has now turned around into another form of the squares and circles I was working on earlier this year. But now it is two-d versus three-d, and in color rather than wood solids. KANDINSKY WILL TEACH US! We will not be forging, but copying loosely what he did (see below.)
Pushing the color-- from the vividness Kandinsky enjoyed in his painting of squares, to a more nuanced and delicate collection of transparent squares, using the sensitivity of watercolors to good avail. I love this sort of thing, and have reached a spot where I know my enjoyment of it will be contagious: this is the "sweet spot" for a teacher, I know.
Below: top, three wood blocks with holes, photo from studio;
bottom, reproduction of a painting by Kandinsky.
Coming: variations on these themes by people in hollandART Studio
...wood bowls and pelicans, paintings and raw materials, grinders and scroll saw, sawdust and leather scraps. all of this is the stuff of making art in my studio.
...never enough space, never enough time, and no end of ideas streaming into my churning world!
What a wild scene! The large room currently has a display of wood bowls in one corner, the vestiges of a woodworking shop in another corner with its tools tucked here and there all around the room under tables and in boxes and up against the wall.
In another corner is an easel with a large chunk of cardboard on it, armed with clamps, and faced by a camera on a tripod. Nearby is a large envelope full of large acid free archival clear bags for storing artwork. Most of the remains of that project are in rolls...needing to be stretched out so they can be photographed and put away in the nearby mini-storage place.
In the middle of the room is a large table. Next to the large table is a smaller table with leaves outspread. All of this is covered with a heavy clear visquine sheet, and on that is an array of supplies, a bunch of brushes, tubes of color, small plastic cups, large cups, and a huge flexible container of water.
There are three sheets of work going on at once.
The MAIN piece is a clothesline lineup of square pennant flag-like shapes with these same pigments in all sorts of strengths and combinations.
What I am preparing is a lesson on color: warm and cool, reds, yellows, blues, and how they interact. What is a coordinate? What is a complement? What does grainy pigment do? What does a quinacridone pigment do? Why do they do that, and how can you exploit that?
It's great fun, but very tough on a mind that is so full of "a number of things" that it seems to get diverted at every interruption.
I go to bed weary, but my mind keeps working...I get up at 2AM with a great idea. Gotta write it down. Then I have to check the internet, of course. And then, at about 5AM I go back to bed. But the dog needs to go out now.
It will be quite a ride here. Keep posted! Class starts in about two weeks. Susan