there is grass under all that snow

We are buried in snow right now, with below zero temps and arctic winds buffeting the house.  It’s a great time to think about the grasses that are dormant beneath the icy layers of snow, just waiting to spring forth in a few months.  And who better to give you the feeling of grassy growth than Santa Fe artist Charlie Burk.

2014-0127burke3Luxurious Passage
49×97″ oil on panel

Burke has been painting landscape for over 40 years. His paintings seem a blend of abstraction and realism, with their vibrant colors and grassy stems and seeds.

Charlie BurkSerene Afternoon
48×48″ oil on panel

Burke is one of the artists represented by the Winterowd Fine Art Gallery, one of the galleries that recently participated in the LA Art Show.  The show took place at the LA Convention Center, January 2014. The Winterowd Gallery is located in Santa Fe, and notes that “many of our artists have an enduring fascination with nature that continue to inform and inspire.”

Charlie BurkStride Spirited
24×24″ oil on panel

When walking in the nearby parks here in the Midwest, I am fascinated by the tall prairie grasses. I try again and again to capture their beauty, but don’t seem to quite capture the magic to my satisfaction.  I am a little gratified that they seem to echo the feeling of Burke’s work.

Photo by Chelini & OefflingPhotograph by Chelini & OefflingPhotograph by Chelini & Oeffling“We find that it’s ever so
In this life’s uneven flow;
We’ve only to wait,
In the face of fate,
For the green grass under the snow”
– from “Consolation”, Annie A. Preston

 

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a new look, reflecting

It’s a new look for the Rowanberry Blog this year, and I have a new goal to strive for in continuing to post.  Reflecting back on this artistic journey, I just can’t let it go and give it up.  I have to keep trying to find the time to share artistic inspiration, at least more consistently if not as frequently. I also wanted to upgrade the look of the blog to be able to share larger images.  There’s nothing like the impact of a large, beautiful image.  For those who spend more time on the phone screen, I guess it might not matter, but if you get home to a nice large monitor… wow!

Today I am sharing some beautiful and somewhat surreal photography from Cody William Smith.  He is a photographer and cinematographer with some interesting work.  These pictures are from “A Moment’s Reflection”, from June of 2013.

Cody William Smith“A Moment’s Reflection” is my ongoing study of specular, or mirror-like, reflections. My intention is to draw new connections between familiar forms by introducing specular reflections to environments where none would typically exist. The mirrors serve as a focal point within a given scene and also function as a window to provide an entirely unique perspective on the same location. -Cody William Smith

Cody William SmithSmith specializes in landscape, fine art, and environmental portraiture.  In the film world, he freelances as a gaffer, 1st AC, and photography assistant.  He has an interesting set of credits to his name, including being involved with several professional music videos, short films and magazine shoots.

Cody William SmithVisit Smith’s website:  http://www.codyslr.com/

go ahead and wire that baby

Kind of a convoluted blog story, but I belatedly saw this article (from 2011) and cracked up.

Damien Hirst“The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” by Damien Hirst
(Image credit: Fickr user Rupert Ganzer)

Kind of ironic that in “the physical impossibility of death”, the dead tiger shark suspended in an acrylic tank filled with 224 gallons of water immediately began to rot. Hirst’s artwork was on display at London’s Saatchi Gallery.  It started to smell, and efforts began to stem the odor.  They added bleach, which only made the shark decompose faster.  Read the whole, fascinating story here: Neatorama.

I shouldn’t laugh – karma will always come back to you in the end. As much as you think you plan your artwork, you never know what you may forget to consider.

My fellow glass studio workers consistently tease me for the “Oeffling Standard of Work:  Make it Last for 100 Years.”  I insist on structuring pieces as best I can, to be as sturdy as they can be, so that they can withstand handling and often, outdoor elements, for as many years as possible.  (No, I don’t believe I would guarantee one hundred years…)

Linda Oeffling: stained glass snowflakeSo every dimensional stained glass piece I create has copper wire painstakingly soldered around each outside edge. This can add up to an hour or more of work for a small piece, not to mention copious amounts of solder, which keeps increasing in price. The copper wire reinforces the piece, holding it together as gravity tries year after year to make it sag apart.

So “ha” to my lovely co-creators in glass!  Learn the lesson from Damien and wire that baby!

Walking is the way

Catherine WillisCatherine Willis
the perfume rings: exhibition curated by Diana Esnault-Pelterie

“I consider my work as an exploration and a celebration of nature. To pay attention to smell is my way to observe quietly what I encounter on my path, a form of meditation, “Caminando se hace el camino.” (translated, “walking is the way”). My blog is called Chemin Faisant. If you are really quiet, everything has a scent, even the pebbles, even the meteorites.

It is my way to acknowledge the mystery of being alive on this planet.” – Catherine Willis

Catherine WillisCatherine Willis
ROOTS. a Perfume Ring.
July 2013 figtree branch, cinnamon bark, root from a planetree, textiles, metal, rubber.

Willis is always looking for interesting papers on which to create pieces.  She has used essential oils as pigments, but also has utilized beeswax based pastels or watercolor.

Catherine WillisCatherine Willis
FULL FATHOM FIVE
graphite and ink on filipino paper. 2010

Willis has also participated in olfactory performances, burning perfumes while accompanied by musicians playing instruments.

Her blog is a delight:  http://catherinewillis.tumblr.com/

Layers of Light

I am enjoying the artwork of Jun Kaneko (thanks to Brandie for the link to this artist!). He is an incredibly prolific artist, producing work in Ceramics, Bronze, Glass, Textile, Drawing, and Painting.  Whoa.

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko, Installation View, Bullseye Glass

The beauty of glass is in its capture of light, and Kaneko’s installations wow the eye with color and reflection.

Jun Kaneko

Hump, Glass, 2001Kiln-formed glass| 6h x 18w x 10.5d in. | Photo credit Dirk Bakker

Kaneko was born in Japan, and began his studies in painting.  After coming to the U.S., he was drawn into sculptural ceramics.  He has taught at some of the nations leading art schools, and holds honorary doctorates from several notable Universities.

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko, Mission Clay, Fremont Project,1993-1995

He has fantastic pictures on his website.  I love to see the scale of the work as shown by the photo above.  See the finished pieces below.

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko, Mission Clay, Fremont Project,1993-1995

Kaneko plays with scale and proportion, and is a pioneer in the field of monumental ceramic sculpture.  His latest exhibition can be seen in Millennium Park in Chicago, IL, in the  Boeing Galleries, from April through November of 2013.

Jun Kaneko, Legends, Myths and Truths,  Temporary Exhibition: April 12 – November 3, 2013.

Jun Kaneko, Legends, Myths and Truths,
Temporary Exhibition: April 12 – November 3, 2013.

See more on his website:  http://www.junkaneko.com/

Birds like you have never seen them

I came across some unique and beautiful photography today, from the lens of Bob Croslin.

Bob CroslinBob Croslin, “Cedar Waxwing”

Croslin starting taking portraits of injured birds at a local bird sanctuary in Florida.

Bob CroslinBob Croslin, “White Pelican”

Every Wednesday I would show up and photograph a bird or two never knowing what kind of bird and if I’d even come away with an image. I’d set up lights and a back drop and cross my fingers. Birds, like humans, don’t like to be in a new environment and would immediately run for the exit. Add a camera and several lights and inevitably we were corralling birds – no easy feat because several of the birds were still flighted. I can’t count how many times I was told by a sanctuary volunteer that there was no way I’d be able to photograph a particular bird – especially the shore birds. Every time I’d make an image that would blow them away. Nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in me. – Photographer Bob Croslin

Bob CroslinBob Croslin, “Yellow Crowned Night Heron”

Croslin was, in his own words, a “punk rock kid” who discovered a love for photography.  Floating around without a definite goal, he ended up at the University of Florida, majoring in Journalism.  This is where he really fell in love with telling stories with a camera.

His photos have a surreal quality, making you want to study them closer.  They do draw you in to the tale.  See more of his work on his website: http://www.bobcroslin.com/