Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The second part of Madmudslinger’s interview with Rebecca Bud. Hear about her creative process, ekphrastic art, and messages for future archaeologists. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Runes by https://madmudslinger.com/

I decided today would be a good day to pull a Rune. I wrote about my special set of Runes made by my daughter here. The rune I pulled today was Initiation-Perth. I am using the explanation from the booklet published by the potter and included with every set. There may be other explanations. In the introduction of the booklet, she encourages people to look at other books on Runes and learn more about the history of this ancient Norse and Germanic alphabet.

Perth is for becoming whole, a secret matter, something hidden, and mystery.

Your ways to becoming enlightened are very private and cannot be shared. You are freeing yourself to gain a broader perspective. Be prepared for lucky rewards.

If you pull the Rune in a reversed position:

What you see as bad luck, will come with rewards also. Lessons are being learned.

Stay in the here and now, this is where the self-work gets done. Perseverance and patience are your friends.

I pulled the rune in an in-between position, lateral instead of vertical, so I feel both messages are fitting for me. Gaining a broader perspective is something I work on, looking carefully at both sides of every situation is important. Perseverance and patience are indeed my friends and was worth a reminder at this time.

I hope you enjoyed the Rune reading. I plan to share more.

Emily Carr, The Indian Church, 1929

I have long admired the work of Canadian artist and writer, Emily Carr. She was known for her expressive paintings of British Columbia’s coastal forests and the First Nation tribes that lived there. Emily Carr herself was an interesting character and is considered a Canadian icon. I have been to her house in Victoria a few times and have always felt her spirit. I was delighted to see that blogger friend, Rebecca Budd, posted a video of Emily Carr’s garden, which I just had to share. Enjoy.

Emily Carr House, Victoria, B.C.

“Real art is religion, a search for the beauty of God deep in all things.” ~ Emily Carr

Check out some of Emily Carr’s artwork here

I have a wonderful set of Runes, made by my potter daughter. She makes her Runes from the local clay she mines on the small island where she lives and fires them in her wood-burning kiln. I love my Runes and the more I use them, the more comfortable they become in my hands. I also love how they speak to me.

Runes are letters in the runic alphabets of Germanic-speaking peoples, written and read from at least 160 CE onwards in Scandinavia, as well as in Anglo-Saxon England, to well into the Middle Ages. They have come to represent ideas and guidance.

I’ve decided to pick a rune every so often and write about it. I’ll use the description written by the potter in the little book that comes with each set. There can be other interpretations.

Today I picked Kano – Opening.

Kano symbolizes fire, a torch, spring, knowledge, gifts, fertility, creative expression, craftsmanship, and the first light of day.

There is light peeking through the darkness and an opening within yourself to take on new opportunities. There is a way out of every circumstance. You already know the way.

This is a perfect Rune for the start of a new year, especially a year following the last two we have had to deal with. It is comforting to know there is light peeking through the darkness and that we have it within ourselves to find it.

Taking on new opportunities, gaining knowledge and utilizing creative expression are things to look forward to, however they manifest themselves.

“Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.”

― Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

You will enjoy this podcast with the amazing Rebecca Budd, where a potter tells us how she followed her dream to become an international selling ceramist and how she built her own wood burning kiln, one brick at a time. She mentions her mom as well. I am bursting with pride.

Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

Marcelle Glock, Ceramist

Today, I am heading over to Mudge Island, located within the scenic Gulf Islands, between Vancouver Island and Gabriola Island.   I am delighted and thrilled to meet up with Marcelle Glock, Ceramist to discuss the wood fired ceramic tradition.

Marcelle is a remarkable artist. Her pottery and sculptures sit in private collections around the world. Her artwork encompasses stoneware, raku, and local wild terra-cotta.  Marcelle forms clay into extraordinary artworks – from functional to sculptural, wearable and oracle.  She imbues each piece with a primal reverence toward the natural world. 

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia.

My home is decorated mostly with items I´ve brought back from my travels. Since we can’t travel right now, it’s comforting to remember past trips. We enjoy looking through our photographs or at items we have brought back to remind us of wonderful times. I don’t do a lot of shopping when I travel, but I like to bring back a piece of art or handicraft as a memento of the place we’ve visited.

One of these items is a small, rustic vase decorated with rawhide that sits on my mantel. Something I couldn’t bear to leave behind, so it came with me to Spain. I believe I purchased it in Arizona at a Native American craft shop. I remember asking the salesperson about the background of the pottery, as I always like to know about the art I purchase. She kindly wrote the name of the Native North American Indian tribe the artist belonged to on the back of the American Express receipt. I got busy and forgot to do any research when I got home.

The other day as I was dusting the mantel, I wished I had looked up some information about the creators of the pottery. I reached inside and found a piece of paper. I pulled out a yellowed and very faded receipt. The young woman’s printing on the back of it was still clear: TARAHUMARA.

My piece of Tarahumara pottery

We had just watched a show on TV about the Tarahumara Indians who live in the Copper Canyon, in the state of Chihuahua, Northern Mexico. When I tutored Korean students in English, I used a lesson plan about the Tarahumara Racers who run a 90-mile race non-stop over rough terrain, often barefoot or wearing homemade huaraches, with little difficulty.

After doing some research, I found that author Christopher McDougall has written a book called Born to Run, where he highlights these amazing people with incredible running abilities.

Here is a short video about these special people.

Tarahumara pottery is made of rough earthen clay and is usually white, orange, or brown. A decorative slip made of red ocher powder and water is often applied. The vessel is left to dry and harden in the sun, before being placed into an open, dry flame for about an hour and a half. Rather than being polished and smooth, Tarahumara Indian pottery is rustic and still made as it has been for generations. Often strips of rawhide are stretched around the piece to add to the simple design.

What a great find. Although the American Express receipt was too faded to read the name of the store, I was able to make out the date, 04/15/ 92. I’ve had this piece of pottery for twenty-eight years and only just now learned more about it! It is now even more special.

Do you have anything you have brought back from your travels that has special meaning to you?

During a visit to Sedona, Arizona, a few years ago, my daughter and I were intrigued by the horsehair pottery we saw in the wonderful shops there. My potter daughter decided to create some of this pottery herself while I was visiting her last fall. I was privileged to watch this fascinating process. The four pieces turned out well. Here are some pictures of her creating horsehair pottery.

Carefully removing the pot from the kiln
And placing it on a cement slab
Applying the fine horsehair to the hot piece of pottery

Horsehair pottery is pottery that incorporates hair from the manes and tails of horses into its design. The process of creating horsehair pottery involves applying strands of hair to the surface of a hot clay pot that has just been removed from the kiln. The hair carbonizes, leaving random patterns in the pot’s surface. Horsehair makes great patterns because of its coarseness and length. Tail hair is thicker, so it leaves bolder patterns, and finer mane hair produces more subtle lines.

Every pot created using this pottery technique is unique. Many artists add other design features to the horsehair pots they create. Some artists use the same technique with dog or cat hair. For instance, my daughter has used the pet’s hair on urns she has created to hold a dear deceased pet’s ashes.  

The above information is based on information from this website. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-horsehair-pottery. Check it out to learn more.

Adding more hair
All four vases finished
Each one unique
The finished pieces after waxing

All the pictures were taken by me, the unofficial photographer, except the last picture taken by madmudslinger

For more of my daughter’s work check out her website www.madmudslinger.com

Follow her on Instagram where she posts many pictures of her work https://www.instagram.com/madmudslinger/

Have you seen or heard of horsehair pottery before?

Copyright © 2020 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved

In a recent post, I wrote about a day trip to the Monastery of Montserrat high up in the mountains outside of Barcelona. As well as the impressive Basilica which houses a famous Black Madonna, there is a wonderful art museum on site. It is not very big but holds some impressive pieces of art and artefacts. It was worth an hour of my time.

From the website –

Most of the works of art that are housed in the Montserrat Museum have been donated to the monastery by private citizens. The Monks at the Monastery see it as their duty to display the artworks for those visiting Montserrat as a promotion of culture. This ideology originates from a previous monk at Montserrat called Father Bonaventura Ubach. He collected archaeological, ethnological and zoological artefacts during travels to the Middle East and brought them back to the Monastery.

I would like to share a few of my favourites.

At the entrance, a Guadi inspired sculpture of St George, the patron saint of Catalonia

Old Fisherman, painted by Pablo Picasso in 1895 when he was just 14 years old.

Unhappy Nelly, by Edgar Degas, 1885

Madeleine by Ramon Casas, 1892

The Tapestry Merchant by Maria Fortuny, 1870. I love the detail in this painting.

Café des Incoherents, Montmartre by Santiago Rusiñol

Le Givre, temps gris (Frost, Grey Weather) by Claude Monet 1877

Here is a short and very amateur video of the room of Black Madonna paintings and sculptures in the museum.

An then, as I left the museum, I noticed someone had left their clothes neatly folded in an alcove outside. There could be a story there. (and you wonder where I get my ideas!)

I stopped to purchase a jar of honey made on site by the monks and was thankful for a very special day in Montserrat.

My talented daughter lives on the beautiful west coast of Canada where she makes pottery and communes with nature.

Here are a couple of examples of her pottery.

More of her pottery can be viewed on her website https://madmudslinger.com/

She recently had an opportunity recently to observe first hand an Eagle family. She sent me pictures of this amazing nest where the Eagle parents are raising their adorable Eaglet. This is what she had to say about the youngster –

“It’s so cute, ever since he’s been big enough he peaks his head over the side while waiting for his parents to come back with food. Interesting that only one hatched this year.”

She also included some information about the nest.

“The nest has been there for years, maybe decades, but 2 years ago a series of storms crashed it to the ground. The site was abandoned until last year when the Eagle couple decided to rebuild. Building is a lot of work, it went into the season so they waited until this year to hatch another family. It’s very exciting. A celebration!”

“An Eagle nest weighs one ton and a VW Beetle can fit inside it. The adult wingspan is 8 feet so they need some room with all the comings and goings.”

She is fortunate to be able to witness this marvel of nature. I’m so happy she shared it with me.

Have you ever had a chance to view wild animals in nature?

I can’t believe it is almost a year since we drove to Paris and saw the most amazing sights. I’ve written about it here, here and here. But I haven’t yet mentioned my visit to the fabulous Musée d’Orsay. It was on my list of things to see it but was not sure we would have time. It was our last day and we had a couple of hours free in the late afternoon. My friend said, “Let’s go!” I am so glad we did as it was incredible. Seeing works of art I have admired all my adult life, made my heart sing!

The building itself is a masterpiece. It’s located in the centre of Paris on the banks of the Seine, in the former Orsay railway station, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. The building, no longer used as a railway station, was scheduled for demolition when the idea of using it to display collections of art from the period of 1848 to 1914 was suggested. In December of 1986 the museum was opened to the public.

Visitors are greeted by the magnificent decor of this former train station that came so close to being destroyed. I was gobsmacked the minute I walked through the doors.

One of the first paintings that caught my attention was Millet’s The Gleaners. I have always loved this painting of women collecting leftover grain after the harvest. Perhaps because of my rural background.

On the next wall I spotted Corot’s Le Moulin de Saint-Nicholas-lez-Arras and burst into tears. For the first ten years of my working life I was employed by a wonderful German woman who owned a gift shop in Medicine Hat, Alberta, called Ed’s Studio craft. She imported many things from Europe and was an art afficianado. She taught me so much about business, art and culture. We sold among other things, art prints and art cards. She gave me many wonderful gifts over the years which I treasure, including an art card depicting this painting. She sadly passed away at a young age.

Le Moulin de Saint-Nicolas-lez-Arras by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot. I always wished I could step inside that painting.

Of course there were many, many more of my favourites. Here are just a few.

Claude Monet’s Poppies

Renoir’s Dance at Le moulin de la Galette

Renoir’s Dance in the Country

Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone

Van Gogh’s The Church at Auvers

From the roof top of the museum is a great view of Montmartre with the imposing La Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart)

Inside, looking through the clock with Sacre-Coeur in the background

Because it was once a train station, there are a number of impressive clocks in the building to add to the atmosphere. Perhaps telling us that art is timeless and stirs emotions from the past, the present and the future.

To view these works of art in this amazing place is a must. I wished we had more time but I plan one day to return.

Have you been to Musée d’Orsay? Or any art museum that stirred your soul?


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