Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lost - Poetry Wednesday


Oh, what I won't give
For a Google map of locations
For missing things.

I am ordinarily so good
Can find the smallest things
Amid the clutter in my life.

But of late I seem to be missing things
The second set of keys
I keep just in case the first is lost

My favorite hoodie from Canyonlands
The book I should have written this poem in
Did I leave it on the night stand in Raton?

And then there is Kathi, Alan and Marc
I last saw Marc in Raton
But not the same time as my book.

And where is my sense of timing
My ability to reach decisions
My infallible sense of direction.

I keep walking the same paths in my house
Hoping the book will be beside the lost sunglasses
Laid neatly by my spare keys atop my hoodie

I think I am losing it.
It is as if the key to finding myself
Is in finding what I have

J Binford-Bell
Composed on the computer because I lost my poetry journal
Oh, and my favorite pen.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Land that Inspires Me - The Creative Process

Sandstone Bluff or Castle Wall?
 Before I painted I photographed. I have painted plein aire but the sun and sand has gotten into my eyes and into my paints. Besides with a camera I can record in a short period of time more images to paint later in my studio. This last week, in addition to a visit with my sister (also a photographer), was a search for new images to record.

The Malpais of New Mexico, the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau which has provided lots of inspiration, was my destination this last week. Being on the edge instead of in the center was a new perspective. Below tall Ponderosa pines cast shadows on the sandstone bluffs.

Light and Shadow at Play on Sandstone

The other advantage of being on the edge of this huge geological formation is the vistas. Here the lava flow of the valley butts up with the sandstone cliffs.

Sandstone bluffs

Sandstone Arch or cathedral?
 I have told people that I paint the adobe missions of New Mexico because they remind me of the canyon walls I so love. Here the canyon walls remind me of a mission church. The light and shadow captured in this photograph will probably be used in paintings of both.

Vista of the bluffs to the East
I am looking for a long narrow composition to paint horizontally. This photograph and the one of the sandstone bluffs may furnish the basis for one or more such paintings.

And people that view my paintings often ask about the water in them. Water in the west is a gift and often a surprise like in the photographs below. I include water in canyon pictures almost as a magical charm, but in my recent exhibition into the Zuni mountains it surprised me in this hidden canyon.

Water protected in the rocks

The slot canyon
 In the water starved land of the New Mexico Malpais it is often the rocks that protect and shape the water but the water also has its effects on the rocks. In another picture I have of this canyon face there are images that can be developed. I will surprise you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Art Sunday - Friends and Neighbors

Sylvia Ford mixed media street scene
I was reading in the last few days about the Impressionists. What I have read many times before but which had not impressed upon me with quite the impact as before was that they knew each other. Many of them were friends. Lived and painted in the same areas and exhibited at the same salon. No doubt they influenced each other and their work.

That got me thinking of my circle of friends here in the Angel Fire/Black Lake area. Most of us have been in numerous fairs and exhibits with each other. And our works are displayed side by side in the Angel Fire Artspace Gallery. Sylvia Ford, above, is one of my favorite artists there. I like her as a person and love her work. We have talked about trades in our future.

Katherine McDermott started Artspace Gallery and works in many media including promotion. Not all artists are good at that. She has given us a space to display our work and sell it against some formidable odds like the economy. I particularly love and admire Katherine's pastels. The one below was in the 34th International Show in Raton, New Mexico.

Foggy Fall Morning by Katherine McDermott

I don't even attempt pastels. Does that increase my admiration of those that do the well? Yes, no doubt. And while I do string beads I do not form metal. Jessica Duke, my good friend, and one of the first of the artists at Artspace is a star at it. And yes, I do believe a painter can be inspired by sculpture and jewelry or any other media which is executed well. Jessica sculpts in silver, and paints in stone.

Turquoise and silver Necklace by Jessica Duke

Jessica likes my paintings and I like her jewelry. We have traded work before and no doubt will again.

And in any group of artists/friends there is always the one we follow, hoping all the time to reach their level. Jennifer Cavan, also one of the first artist exhibited at Artspace, is our benchmark of achievement. I just never want to be on the road as much as she is.

Crisp and Cool Morning, oil pastel by Jennifer Cavan
It is so wonderful to know that when I seem to have reached an impasse in new ideas I only have to stroll through Artspace and be challenged and inspired. Over the years I have watched them grow and improve and have worked to do the same.

Bridge of Enchantments by Jacqui Binford-Bell
BTW I believe all of us, except Sylvia, are on Facebook with our own profiles and fan pages so we are also ether friends.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Poetry Wednesday - Time


Time that fickle wave
Washing over us
Constantly changing flow
Creeping forward
Keeping awaited days
Just beyond our reach
Rushing forward
When we wish to savor
The Moment.

Tim that so fickle song
Doing the Minute Waltz
On decades of memories
Replaying a fleeting smile
In three part harmony
Launching us forward
Pushing us back

Time so fickle and so familiar
Haven't we been here before
I went to bed today
And awoke in yesterday
My love still alive
Beside me in bed
Forever gone
Lost in time
Come again

Oh so fickle time
Let's begin again
Once more with feeling
Just those moments 
I thought so unimportant
Forever etched
In instant replay
At the most ackward
Time moving against the flow.

Time oh fickle river
Moving us ever forward
Along life's river bed
Dancing on the surface
Eddies of memory
Backwaters of impatience
Don't leave me here
In memories
Of shorelines past.

J. Binford-Bell, September 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Artistic Vistas and Treasures Labor Day Tour

Studio looking natural

There is another Artistic Vistas and Treasures Art Tour this Labor Day weekend. I should be in a flurry of cleaning up and making snacks for the event. But I did that for the previous tour and only one couple showed up. So this weekend whoever comes gets a working studio. I am spending this Friday on the garden and not my studio.

I do plan to bake some cookies, have cheese and crackers, and some iced tea for whoever does drop in but no special fuss. I will be painting so at least the time is not wasted. I have several works I am anxious to get back to which I have shoved to the side to do gardening - which is an artistic venture of another sort.

Three new works
And my new garden creation in progress. I thought of doing the garden when people were expected at the studio but I get really, really messy. Not that I don't get messy painting. Hopefully this weekend proves me wrong and I have loads of visitors and some sales.