Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Finally, a good picture

One of the few traditions left of our Christmas past is to go out late on Christmas Eve to see the lumanarias. Generally it's after the crowds and really quiet and peaceful. We go to our favorite places and then some new ones and always end up at a cemetery or 2. Yes, decorating graves with lumanarias is a big deal here, and Christmas trees, toys, lights, poinsettias and anything else you can think of to bring holiday cheer to the dead.
Every year, while my son waits (sometimes not) so patiently in the truck, I run around trying to get even one picture of the beauty and magic of the lights. This year as we were leaving the cemetery, I made one last attempt to capture the light and look what I got! Some loving soul had place a lumanaria on the Virgin's head, like a crown. I really, really like this image so you will probably all get tired of seeing it, but wowsers, it's good...for me and my little point and click camera!
I also experienced the generation gap with my son last night. His favorite was the house that is programed to a radio station and the lights change with the music. Quite the high tech wonder. Blinking light overload for me, bliss for him. Give me a paper bag , sand and a flickering candle any day.
Happy left overs day. And I am still on that light kick as well, so look for the light somewhere today and enjoy it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Persistence of Light

Last Friday night I saw a most unusual sight. It was the Solstice, it was snowing, sleeting, and raining for about 10 minutes just at sundown and as I watched, I saw a most beautiful sunset, through the snow, sleet and rain. I was elated and puzzled. Don't think I've even seen a sunset in the snow. The almost full moon was visable that night as well in a cloudy, overcast sky. It made me stop and think....well something has to don't ya think? About light and how it always seem to get in. Even when I think I have the blinds closed tight, the full moon shines in. Even in the darkest sunglasses, some of the brightness shines in.
It seems to me that each holiday celebrated around this time of year, when the days are shortest, revolves around light. Or maybe I read that somewhere, anyway back to what I think... Stars, candles, menorahs in memory of a miraculous light, Kwanzaa candles celebrating community.... and I think I know why. So now you get to hear about my theory of the persistence of light, aren't you happy? Light is there to show us the path we are on, whether it is the right one or to show us where we have strayed, no matter how we resist it. Feel like I am in the dark? Wrong path. Can't seem to see what is right in front of me? Wrong path. Why is this so hard for me to learn? Must be bad lighting. And those people in my life that shine a spotlight on what I am doing right or wrong? Lighthouse keepers trying to keep me from crashing.
Sometimes I have to run out to see the full moon (like last night, isn't that a picture?) because I simply have to have that light right then. Not artificial light, not someone elses light, but the full scope of the natural light that illuminates the night and me. I am partial to the moon at any phase, but it's a glorious full moon right now. I take endless pictures of the full moon trying to hold on to that feeling.
I love Christmas lights and birthday candles and night lights and reading lamps and I think that is what drew me to the Land of Enchantment, that persistent light. Okay, I know first rocks and now light? I could blather on, but it's time to share my wishes for you all:
May you have the light you need
May the be able to see the light at the end of every tunnel and know that there is hope
May the sun shine brightly on your endeavors
May each full moon illuminate all of your good fortune and how many things brought you joy that month
May you feel the warmth in your soul that the light of your friends and family brings you each time you encounter them.
Good light to all and to all a good light!

PS: This photo is one more of my attempts to capture the rain

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bus Stop Art and Enlightenment

I ride the bus. I use to ride it everyday, now only every once in a while. Here, unlike most major cities, people ride the bus only if there isn't a chance in hell they can get somewhere by any other means possible. And why not, it isn't reliable, the buses usually smell, the drivers are always pissed off about something and the buses that are scheduled to run every 10 minutes have updates that say the next bus is due in 19 minutes. The city does great with bus stop art (this is part of a series of mosiacs) and making commercials, just not running buses. However, the biggest perk of riding the bus for me is that I come off of every ride feeling really good about myself and the choices I've made in my life. I should tell you that 2 of the buses I use to ride went to Methadone clinics so maybe my experience isn't typical.
Some days the conversations were soooo enlightening. Like the one about isn't "When did you get out?" the perfect start to any conversation? Could be rehab, could be jail but the salutation is always appropriate. Or the man who explained to me in great detail about his emotional "draggage". And I not only listened and believed his explanation of that draggage but now use the word quite frequently.
But today's was the best. Did you know that Lexus makes all their cars from recycled Coke bottles? No really, except for the top 1/8 or 1/16 (she couldn't remember which) it's all plastic. That's why when you kick them, they spider web. Hummm? She was so appalled about it, she is not even going to buy a Lexus! I did have to loan her the last nickle to get on the bus, but she isn't buying a Lexus, no sirree Bob. She is sticking to American made cars, like Volkswagen. Did I mention it's entertaining too?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Coolest Old Woman EVER!!

Yep that's me, as proclaimed by one of the other vendors at the UNM show. She immediately realized what she had said and tried to remove the old from the title but it was out there in the universe to stay. And I really didn't mind, sorta, well maybe just a little. Okay I grabbed her by the throat and made her take it back. But really, the rest of the title is pretty amazing coming from a college student. She was impressed that I had the only other combo skulls/virgins there. Not on the same art, but in the same booth.
It was really great fun to be back on campus, among the cleaver and talented. Selling things! It wasn't the best show but so much better than the state fair.

So here is what I scored at the show (by that I mean traded!!) a bowl of melted toy soldiers, a magnificently beaded pin with a plastic dragonfly on it, an Airstream ornament and truck made of aluminum cans (the tail gate says Classic!), a Jesus nightlight and 3 Einstein candles made special for me! From my young friend who thought I was soooo cool, skull earrings and a necklace with a Zia charm. There was such a variety and even some pet clothes, but they were hand made. My new friend said her daughter says that canine couture hurts dogs feelings because it tells them they aren't good enough as they are! My friend Laurence was there with his beautiful drawings and masks. Everything was really and truly hand made.
But boys and girls the biggest shock of all was Angry Hot Glass lady from the state fair!(if you don't know about the adventures of Angry Hot Glass Lady, see all my state fair posts over on Tara's blog in the September archives) Yes, just one booth over was our old angry friend. We heard various and sundry tales about her from others who had encountered her but the shocker of the century was that she runs a DAYCARE from her home!!!! Yikes! How can that be? Don't they check for things like uncontrolled anger and outbursts of Tai Chi (this time to the music at the show) or all around nastiness? Is she better with children? Double Yikes!! Another lovely lady came into our booth and started talking about how angry that woman was and proceeded to tell me all of the mean things she had done to a whole other context. Scary stuff, she talks to children, everyday. Does she teach them Tai Chi? Does she call them the things she calls people who don't buy from her? Keeps me up nights I tell you. But the show was fun and the college kids gave me great hope for the future.
Next, it's on to the 1st and 3rd Fridays at the Factory! Really like selling in places where people come expecting art. Like it even better when they find and but them some art. Come see, great stuff, good people, Factory on the Fifth, between Aspen and Haines in Albuquerque 6-11. Be there or be square...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Visual aids for previous post

Here are the pictures as promised but a little jumbled. You can see lovely Magdalena, the ghost town of Kelly, making art and poor Jimmy who had to eat off of tools since we had taken every available space in their house to make that art! Also included in the slide show are some of the pictures from the Recycle Show and if you want to see the slide show of the fashion show, go to Paula's blog and see our own Donna Barnitz's winning entry! Back soon my lovelies, enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Where I've been

My darling son just informed me that it has been 3 weeks since I blogged anything. And since you know that my greatest fear is being boring, I want you to know that this isn't the most interesting list of places and things! You've been warning, read on at your peril and prepare to be bored. Here is the update of where I have been (without pictures, they are on another computer). Today, we ate too much turkey and some really good pumpkin chiffon cheescake - yum. Last weekend I went with friends to the Recycle Show in Santa Fe. A fabulous (sorry Dave) experience with some of the most wonderful artists using at least 70% recycled things, objects, junk. My lovely friends Laurie and Judith both had booths, follow the links to see their blogs. Leighana Light and Kim Logan were there and ArtStreet. I bought cool things and the best deal of the day was the Polaroid, close up camera I bought at a garage sale on the way up for a buck! Score!!!
I have been to Magdalena on quite an a adventure. I went to help my lovely friend Laurie (see above) get ready for her first show. I had a grand time, not just working as a production worker but some of the best junk runs ever. I really channeled Michael deMeng and picked up some really great things. Had so much purple glass in the pocket of my jeans that I had to hold them (the pockets) to walk up hill. Laurie teased that I could make signs that said "will work for junk runs" Could be a future for me...but will everyone I work for make me lattes and tea fluffs? Could be a deal breaker. Thanks Laurie for taking such good care of me.
I can't remember much more than soldering, soldering and more soldering. I keep thinking I need to have 50 new pieces for each show, now that's pressure!
And here is what I am Thankful for this Thanksgiving Day:
Colder weather, finally!
Katie's delight at being let out of baby jail (that gate to the kitchen that's kept her out of the action for far too long)
Grown up kid that's nice and kind to others and polite and can carry on a conversation with any one!
My circle of friends that continues to grow. I thought for so long that I couldn't have any friends that didn't know Donnie, but to all those who have included me and love me, thanks!
Feeling the call of art and being able to pursue it these last few months. Other choices are in the future, but now it's fulfilling and wonderful.
Knowing that my past is not my future. That I can make different choices and at any moment I can begin a new future.
So my lovelies, this should satisfy my son and make me feel connected again. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Not Dead

Sorry I haven't been hanging around in Bloglandia these days, I am really busy getting ready for shows. We had our first trunk show on Sunday and it was great fun. Good food, excellent company and the time flew by. Chami's house is amazing and we had a nice turn out. The next one is the first Sunday in December at Regina's house but between now and then, there is a 3rd Friday show at the Factory on Fifth and the big one...the ASUNM show at the ballroom at UNM. Whew, makes me tired just listing them. Be back later with photos and details.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Art@Home Show

Skip the mall this holiday season and
buy directly from local artists!

Enjoy the comfort of a private home, a sampling of appetizers and drinks, and
the ability to leisurely browse an amazing array of gifts and art made
by an eclectic group of artists.

Date: Sunday, November 4
Time: 1-4pm
Address: 717 Richmond Dr SE, Albuquerque

Participating Artists:
Ren Adams/Mixed Media & Printmaking
Donna Barnitz/Jewelry & Fiber Art
Phoenix Forrester/Jewelry
Raine Klover/Mixed Media & Photography
Kendall Murakami /Silversmithing
Leau Phillips/Jewelry & Mixed Media
Regina Portscheller/Mosaic Collage & Mixed Media

For more information go to:
to preview some of the artists work (including mine!!) and find links to their
individual websites.

Next Art@Home Show Date - December 2 - Info TBA
cash & checks only please!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Road Trip!!

Well my lovelies, the Colorado road trip has come and gone! Here are some of the high points.
We got stuck in the Balloon Fiesta traffic at 6 in the morning!
Beautiful sunrises
The best cemetery in Ojo Caliente, including the bunny Christ, we think that it may have been feathers but from a distance it looked like ears.
Beautiful route through Antonito where we saw the oldest church in Colorado and the coolest house ever made of aluminum cans and I picked up some purple glass in the parking lot of a funky apartment complex!
What a wonderful surprise Salida was, quaint, old, lovely scenery.
Waiting too long to eat causes you to eat weird things way too fast, where was Paula when we needed her?
Colorado needs to make their road signs clearer
Fort Collins changes every time I go and Colorado traffic is unbeliveable!
The Gorey DeTales exhibit is everything it is cracked up to be. It was fabulous and each piece was so different! I loved them all, couldn't choose a favorite.
Saturday night in a college town - not easy to find a parking space or a restaurant. We ended up with both and both were wonderful but took a while!
Rainy days in Boulder are great, made leaves stick to things they would be passed by on other days. Boulder hasn't changed as much as Fort Collins, still found haunts from my youth...ah Taj Majal at the Boulder Theater.
Fog makes everything look mystical.
Warm Brie with honey, rosemary, apples and strawberries is the best accompaniment to spicy eggplant soup with roasted red peppers.
Honey should be kept in separate compartments in the trunk, however, those heavy duty power washers at the car wash do get honey out of car mats.
Family is family... know what I mean?
Everything is prettier when you are on a road trip!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Why I paint and write and sing

"Our truest responsibility to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find the truth." Madeleine L'Engle

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

As requested

Here is the mural from the previous post. The artist is apparently called "Burro". See the guy's feet are on top of Jesus and he is carrying a mallet. Never seen anything like it. I love New Mexico!
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Monday, October 8, 2007

At long!

Or big pile o' bones, you decide. I am not and have never been a seamstress, but I remember my sister talking about those Very Easy, Very Vogue patterns that seemed like they had 112 main pattern pieces and instructions in Latin, making that name a total joke. I thought about that several times this last couple of weeks while I was working on some danglies for a trade. I thought it would be so simple to put together what I had in my head. Joke's on me!
I saw a stamp of a skeleton with wings, kinda like Nick Bantock's cover for Griffin and Sabine and since I couldn't actually purchase the stamp, I decided to make my danglies based on that image I had in my head. I found skeletons in mass at the local super size craft super store - hey, I had a gift certificate - and some cheap wings and just kept adding to them. You know that "I'll just add one more thing, do one more step or glue something else to them" and so they became the most completely overdone danglies I've ever done. But the good news is that I like them, they are finally done, sent off to be disbursed to others, and I can't wait to see what I get back.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Graveyards and condoms

What a great weekend I've had. Too much fun to not tell everyone about. Friday night we went to a wonderful event at the Factory on 5th. First Friday event with really cool artists and good friends. Saturday I took care of the babies so Raine and Chris could go up, up and away in a helicopter at the balloon fiesta. Raine and I then went to re-shoot some cemetery photos. We hit a few, accumulated more than our fair share of those awful goat head stickers, saw rabbits, prairie dogs, lizards and something that moved in the leaves so we moved! Graves decked out with boxing gloves and wrapped up in Dallas Cowboy memorabilia. Amazing wonderful and sooo very New Mexican. Some are sooo old and some were so loved.

But by far the weirdest one was the one in the middle of the subdivision. We went in the back way, up a very steep sandy hill, amazed at how the wrought iron fencing could stand upright on the hill and then at the top was this great old cemetery in the middle of a brand new subdivision. All of the houses had huge windows and they did have the most amazing view of the city across the river. That wasn't the weird part. There was this great mural on the wall with Jesus carrying a gang member who had a mallet in his hand - gang guy, not Jesus. Big roses on each side. That wasn't the weird part. There was a grave with a cage built all around it. That wasn't the weird part. The weird part how many used condoms there were all over the cemetery! I guess nothing says romance like headstones and painted Jesus looking down and the added thrill of knowing the people in the houses could see everything. Weird, weird weird.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mystery Solved!

At the fair, I fell in love with a print that I saw in the Hispanic Village. A lovely man tried his best his best to sell it or one like it to me and if I sold even one more necklace... When I told Raine about it, she said she though she had seen it in a store here in town and last weekend she bought it for me!! How's that for a fairy god mother? It is the most unusual print. When I found out who did it, I googled the artist, Octavio Ocampo and fell in love with his whole collection. Okay maybe not the Jesus (hanging on the cross or crying one) or the creepy Mona Lisa cat thing, but most of them. anyway. Don Quixote is my new favorite. And Jimmy Carter is really cool with the cities and builidings and James Dean done with cars, this guy rocks!
I have always loved optical illusions. Loved the hidden picture pages in Highlights. Can't really do those dots ones that look like something from one direction and then you can see others things when you squint or move it of whatever, but loved the way they were done.
His stuff really makes me think about the whole "we of me". I am pretty sure that is from a book I read in my misspent youth, or I may have made it up or heard it somewhere else. I think the book was called "Members of the Wedding" or something like that. I know, I know there is this great data base in the sky. That's where the Internet is, isn't it? Next door to Heaven? Or maybe it is heaven? OMG, geeks run heaven!! I knew it, that's why it is so hard for me to figure out important stuff. I digress.
I always think about the "we of me" when someone leaves my life for any reason. My friend Regina has this great quote on her blog about being sad when you loose your daddy 'cuz that's one less person that makes up who you are or something like that . It really made me think the first time I read it and I should remember who wrote it to make note here. I know, I know, google it, but then I would have to stop this train of thought and once the train stops these days, I am SOL at getting back on track. See, I digress.
I want to start thinking about the "we of me" with each encounter. Each person I meet should contribute something to who I am. It's that either a good example or horrible warning thing. But then would that make me too scattered? Can I actually learn something from each person I meet? If you look closely at the not so wonderful picture I took of my new wonderful print, you can see that each part of every feature of her face is made up of other people. I kept taking pictures because I wanted to be able to really share how interesting it is, but they still don't show everything. And I haven't added the glitter yet! I digress.
The eyes fascinate me the most. It is 2 different peasants and her chin is a pope giving her roses which become her lips. How often do others see others in us like that? Good or bad? Other than family resemblances? Close up or at a distance? But then would we all end up looking like something Picasso did? But that wouldn't be so bad would it? I digress.
But on the other hand, it could just be like the Chenille Sisters song -Pizza Deliverance- about finding the face of the virgin in a pizza (just another cheesy shrine) and having all the town and newspaper and reporters there and everyone being in awe until a little boy takes a bite and starts to share, there is a little bit of god (I say others) in us all.
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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Incredible generosity

This is at the beach at LaJolla, California. It reminds me that life is like this, while you are seeing beauty around you and can see the greater beauty waiting for you, you might have to pass through some tight places to get to the next part. You can't loose track of where you are and what is in store for you, even in the tight places.

This is the link to Tara Bradford's blog: She is a very gifted writer who brings to light political points, showcases artists' work and shares her amazing poetry. However, today and for the last few days, I have been given the opportunity to be a guest writer on her blog. My ramblings about my state fair experience/nightmare/life lesson have graciously been posted to encourage me to start blogging. I have known incredible generosity in my life and she is right up there. Thanks Tara.

Isn't this whole blog community amazing? Not only has it expanded my circle of friends, it has changed the way I look at the everyday in my life and helped me understand everyone's everyday is very different and very wonderful. The conversations and comments are virtual presents for my soul. So I thank you for your incredible generosity and for encouraging me, those near and far, you know who you are...

I only hope I am not boring! That is my greatest fear, especially after my state fair experience/nightmare/life lesson. Everyday life isn't nearly as entertaining. And I am grateful for that, I don't think I could stand the state fair experience/nightmare/life lesson every day!

I found this quote on another generous soul's blog: "once we believe in ourself, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any other experience that reveals the human spirit." e.e. cummings

Here's to risking...with the incredible generosity of friends!!
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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Did I mention I like rocks?

This is the Nature alter that I created on the beach at Fort Warden last year when I was at ArtFest. It was part of one of the best classes I ever took, Anahata Katkin's Creative Instincts. We went to the beach as a class in the morning and built our own alters, took pictures of them and then created art in the afternoon based on those alters. Most people brought back one or two of the things from their alters, some left them there. Not me, I brought back every single rock, pebble or piece of kelp. And reassembled them into an alter so my house mates could see. And packed them in my suitcase and brought them all home to New Mexico - yes we have rocks here, but these were special enough to pay the extra weight fee for my extra heavy suitcase. They are very different than the rocks I pick up around here. They are smooth from the water and have a slightly salty smell and ooohhhh, the colors! Lime green, teal blue, almost white, smoky grey. One is almost square, another egg shape, each so unique is was worth every penny it cost to get them home. Hey, I brought home shells too, to offset the weight, okay?

I have lots and lots of New Mexican rocks and lots of rocks from Colorado and even some I brought back from the streets of Paris and the white cliffs of Dover. I will continue to bring them in and give them special places so I can see them. I do wonder sometimes if I will know when enough is enough. Or is it more is better? Did I mention I like rocks?

PS: I did it!! Figured out how to put a picture in. I'm blogging now, oh yeah...
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Here I am!

First day of fall, first day of a new adventure.
Okay boys and girls, here I am! I've tried a Live Journal and used it more of a photoblog than a regular blog and didn't keep it up and so here I am on blogger, with an addition. My Live Journal was Look What Leather Lips Sees and now I have added that little "and Says" so I will have that prompt to remember to put words with the pictures.
I am not a journaler, more of a talker, but have just finished 5 days at the fair and wrote down my thoughts each day and people seem to like it so here I am, writing! Whoda thunk it? And as soon as I figure out how, there will be an image thrown in so I don't feel like I've completely left my comfort zone!
And how amazing is it that in my Foundation for a Better Life quote of the day is:

“ If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. ”

- Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
Dutch painter, post-impressionist