Monday, January 30, 2012

Shepherd's Delight

Shepherd's Delight


It wasn't the red of the clouds
which delighted us
It was that they could be
that color.

Winter took from us
the brilliance of the setting sun
giving us pale sunsets
in pastel.

This week the sun returned
in a flash of colored glory
a promise of spring to come
in Red.

J. Binford-Bell
January 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Magpie 101

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder
and so does horror.
I cannot see the life
beneath the form
but only the manner of beauty's death
At the hands of some beast.

J. Binford-Bell
January 2012

The image was provided by Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales 101. I wanted to run and hide from it but decided to embrace my horror.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

WOW! This was nice!

Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce featured an article about me and my painting lessons this week. Loved it.

Jacqui Binford-Bell Studio & Gallery says, 
" I Know Jo, do you?"
by Jo Mixon

This week's featured " I Know Jo" business is 
 Binford-Bell Studio & Gallery

Tuesday my sister D.J. and I had the privilege of taking a full 2-½ hour painting class from outstanding local artist, Jacqui Binford-Bell. We braved the blowing snow to get to her studio in Black Lake because I was not going to miss this opportunity!

We were greeted with a freshly-shoveled path to the door of the studio. Jacqui welcomed us inside, offered us warm drinks, introduced us to her gallery pets; and immediately we began our watercolor lesson. I felt like a kid in a candy store. The first thing we learned is that Jacqui is an excellent teacher. She explained the details of what we were to do, the supplies we were using; and then by example, showed us how she accomplishes the creative masterpieces of her craft. Before noon both D.J. and I had each begun work on three separate paintings. Time seemed to stand still as we allowed our creative juices to dictate what would appear on the blank slates before us. Jacqui taught us secret details that would enhance our paintings and ways to make them reflections of our own personalities. She even treated us to delicious homemade muffins in a mid-morning break.

A fine arts graduate from the University of New Mexico, Jacqui has been in her studio in Black Lake, just south of Angel Fire, for several years now. As her web site states, "Her work is the visionary expression of the landscape in fauve colors that delight the senses." She travels around New Mexico photographing churches and canyons that become the enchanted subjects in her work.  She says, "Arches, Canyon lands, Bryce, Escalante, Glen Canyon, and  Kodachrome live within me and my work. Every time I sit down with a photograph to translate it into a painting I am revisiting these magical landscapes." And for her efforts she has received many awards. 

Currently she is perfecting the photographs themselves as another way of her
artistic expression.

If you would like to experience the fun we had, leave your inhibitions behind for a few hours and book a painting class with Jacqui. Learn something new while she is running this special. The cost is $50.00 for a half-day session and you can bring a friend for that price. For groups of three or more the cost is only $30.00 each. You'll learn to pour watercolors, increase depth in paintings with the color and perspective, composition and drawing tricks, and much more. You choose the subject you want to explore. And you'll take a break and watch the snow outside the studio  

Call Jacqui at 575-377-3602
or visit her studio located at 11 Llano Vista Rd. Black Lake  
or visit


Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Creative Process - Keep working in trying times

Peace by J. Binford-Bell

In these trying economic times artists are extremely hard hit. We are all cutting way back on the expensive shows we partake in and galleries that represented us are folding. There is little to no room in the budget for $1500 a page ad in the more elite collector magazines. Barely enough money to pay dues to professional organizations that allow the artist access to call for entries, free group advertising, and validation with the IRS.

I was chatting this morning with another artist with cash flow issues. We were debating what exhibits to enter. The gut reaction is none. They cost bucks. Not just jury fees but preparing your art to display if you get in. With photography which is really free after the camera there is printing and matting and framing your photographic gem. Thankfully I do my own matting and framing but frames cost. Printing, even if you do your own, is not cheap.

And so begins recycling. I have rummage through the stored watercolors from my on paper era and decided to remove and archive the watercolors and reuse the frames for photographs I am entering in two shows. In some cases this will mean smaller prints. But that saves money on printing costs and mat board. The goal is to get your work before the widest range of people at the lowest cost to self. With photography if a patron really likes the image it can be enlarged to suit them.

With painting too frames can be taken off work that is being archived in your storage room and used on new pieces. And the advantage of stretching your own canvas is that stretcher bars can be reused once the painting is taken off them. I am doing that with several works at the moment. Not every painting is a masterpiece though all of them are a step in the progress of an artist. And lugging them around to shows took its toll on a couple pieces. I am saving the canvas removed from the bars and in some instances cutting out sections to use in a collage. Recycling? Could I make a whole wall mural this way?

No, I don't ordinarily do collage but artists have to do. It is who we are. I see the collage as an exercise to channel new directions into my paintings. And it is keeping me out of trouble and making space in the storage room.

I am also looking at taking better advantage of my studio. Running a winter Cabin Fever Special on art lessons with a friend. And while dropping fairs have centered more of the advertising I can afford around promoting the studio venue. In these trying times I don't see myself as seeking out a new gallery to just have it fail with my art locked inside. My studio allows me to display my paintings and my photographs and the jewelry I make and provides a space to entertain patrons and give lessons. Art magazines are touting the "Trunk show" approach to promotion and a studio is perfect for that. And its passive solar design is proving a real blessing with heating bills. And my usual winter depression.

Yesterday it occurred to me that we are back at the time of the Impressionists that lived in drafty lofts in Paris and even painted on cardboard if that was all the world offered up. Collectors might want to visit more studios in search of that gem to add to their walls at very reasonable prices.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Magpie Tales 100

Sculptures by  Jason Decaires Taylor

I found Jason Decaires Taylor's unwater sculpture gardens disturbing when I first ran across them on the internet. Maybe I downed in a former life. But this week after the disaster of the Italian Cruise ship that overturned they are all that more unsettling.

Cry the dead

The drowned
from their watery grave
silently scream
in the bubbles rising to the surface.

The surface
they will never again see
seals itself
over their deep decent. 

The waves
go on about their path to the shore
not touching
the silent abyss below.

Cry the dead
no more from beneath the waves
ring the bells ashore
time to say goodbye.

J. Binford-Bell
January 2010

In Memory of the dead and missing of the capsized Costa Concordia

Friday, January 13, 2012

Not the Season

Photo by J. Binford-Bell

Not the season

Not spring
by a long shot.
Winter by the calendar
but the snow is melting away

Too cold for fall
too dry for winter
Spring to my lilac's internal clock
buds already forming

I sit at the window
bathed in winter sun
streaming low into the studio
Dreaming of summer's colors

J. Binford-Bell
January 2011

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

And my choices are?

Stairway to the past

It is that time of year again with the call for entries go out. A bit easier this year as I am not submitting for any fairs, and because of funds, am going for just a limited number of exhibitions. But maybe that makes it more difficult. I want to most bang for my bucks. And by that I don't mean just the chance at the biggest awards but the number of people that will be introduced to my work. And because I have not done a lot of painting since last fall what I enter will no doubt be photographs. And so the process begins.

Window in time
Last year at this time my problem was finding five photographs to submit to my first ever amateur photography show. And this year the problem is reducing my choices down to five. That is good. But in this first year of taking my photography seriously I have been searching for my "voice" in this medium. I think like with my paintings it is all about color.

Dawn on the Grand Canyon

And then along comes an image that really captures my heart and there is nothing colorful about it.

Under the Ice
Or the color is "ordinary" by New Mexico standards.

On High
Come the Fall
Then I am back to my favorites. I won prizes last year with an two old wrecked cars. And I have sold a print of one since then. So another car?

Get your kicks on route 66
Or another look at the Grand Canyon.

Through the haze

All this, of course, leaves out my new pictures of elk, buffalo, cliff swallows and turkey. But I will do another blog about the choices in the wild life files.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Magpie Tales 99

Deliver me

Release me from this tangle
Concrete canyons 
Paved paths of alien origin.

Give me back my wilderness
Forest roads
And game trails down the mountains.

If this is civilization
I want to regress
Back to my pagan roots.

You can have New York
I won't take Manhattan
I would rather be lost in New Mexico.

J. Binford-Bell
January 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day One

Day One

Day One

The Mayans maintained
and Nostradamus agreed
the world as we know it
ends before this year is out
No need for resolutions

How and why the world ends
go without mention 
or how many times before
what we know has vanished
leaving behind just ruins.

And yet we can stand
before ancient evidence
the world has moved beyond many a doomsday past
Were the people of Waputki or Chaco given a date?
Would the outcome be different if they were?

After Pompeii
or Atlantis sinking into the sea
did those left alive
call it the end of days
or was it day one?

Jacqui Binford-Bell
January 1, 2011

Posted on Jingle Poetry At The Gooseberry Garden.
The Theme for this week is Fairytales, Hope and New Year's Resolutions.