Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thanks to Life - Gracias a la Vida - April Exhibit at Onda Gallery in Portland, Oregon

Violetta Parra was a gifted singer and songwriter who's iconic piece, Gracias a la Vida has inspired and entertained people since she wrote it in the 1960's.

Gallery curator, Allan Oliver at Onda Arte Gallery in Portland, Oregon invited a group of Latino artists to create work in response to the lyrics from the song for an exhibit in April. He choose these two originals from my recent work. These are original one-of-a-kind pieces called Monoprints. Monoprints are the result of painting on a printing plate, then running it through a printing press, a magical process that always results in the unexpected. I like this form of painting, the gentle surprises at the end of the pressing are juicy, artistic challenges.

Purchase these original monoprints at Onda this April 2010 in Portland, Oregon: 
Allan Oliver (Director)
2215 NE Alberta St Portland, OR 97211
Phone: (503) 493-1909 Fax: (503) 493-1909

Here are the lyrics to  Gracias a la Vida:
Poem by Violeta Parra
 Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.             Thanks to life, which has given  me so much.
 Me dió dos luceros, que cuando los abro.            It gave me two bright eyes, that when opened,
 Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco                  Can perfectly distinguish black  from white
 Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado,                  And in the sky above, her starry backdrop,
 Y en las multitudes  el hombre que yo amo.         And from within the multitude, The man I love.
 Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.              Thanks to life, which has given  me so much.
 Me ha dado el oído que en todo su ancho              It gave me an ear that, in all of its breadth
 Graba noche y día grillos y canarios                    Records— night and day- crickets and canaries,
 Martillos, turbinas, ladrillos, chubascos               Hammers and turbines and bricks and storms,
 Y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado.                   And the tender voice of my beloved.
 Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.              Thanks to life, which has given  me so much.
 Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario.                  It gave me sound and the alphabet.
 Con él las palabras que pienso y declaro,            With them the words that I think and declare:
 “Madre,” “amigo,”hermano,” y luz alumbrando   “Mother,” “Friend,” “Brother”and the light         
 La ruta del alma del que estoy amando.                  
which illuminates The path of the soul I love.
 Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.             Thanks to life, which has given  me so much.
 Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados.       It gave me the ability to walk  with my tired feet.
 Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos,                  With them I have traversed  cities and puddles
 Valles y desiertos, montañas y llanos,                   Valleys and deserts, mountains and plains.
 Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio.                         And your house, your street  and your patio.
 Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.             Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
 Me dió el corazón, que agita su marco.                It gave me a heart, that causes my frame to shudder,
 Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano,           When I see the fruit of the human brain,
 Cuando miro al bueno tan lejos del malo.            When I see good so far from  bad,
 Cuando miro el fondo de tus ojos claros.              When I look into the depths of 
your blue eyes…                             
 Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.               Thanks to life, which has given 
me so much.                              
 Me ha dado la risa, me ha dado el llanto.              It gave me laughter and it gave 
me tears.                               
 Así yo distingo dicha de quebranto,                       With them I distinguish 
happiness and pain—                                         
 Los dos materiales que forman mi canto,              The two materials from which
my songs are formed,                                      
 Y el canto de ustedes que es el mismo canto.         And your song, as well, which
is the same song                                   
 Y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto           And everyone’s song, which is
my own song.                                          

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Monoprints Layered with Drawing and Painting

Blending spirit with physical energy is a direction in my original art work that is now surfacing in different images for me. Working with the art form of the monotype at Atelier 6000 printmaking studio has opened new ways for me to translate creative inspiration to image and surface.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Learning About Printmaking at Atelier 6000

In a world beset with problems and challenges, there is more than one way to give back. Pat Clark, owner of the printmaking studio Atelier 6000 (aka A6) in Bend, Oregon, is not only a master print maker and artist, she's a master at giving back.

Pat retired from the UC system and moved to Bend a few years ago and opened her printmaking studio. Artists of all levels are encouraged to join A6. There are classes offered in addition to the free membership class once per month. And often, many of the artists are more than happy to share a few tips to get you started. They are a generous crowd. Here's an excerpt from the website introducing  Atelier 6000:

Patricia Clark, owner/manager, is an established Master Printmaker Artist Teacher. She is the former executive director of Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA) and has held full professorships at USC, CSU Long Beach and the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. Clark also directed numerous summer arts programs for teachers through the University of Southern California and California State University, Long Beach. She is a graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art.

In an increasingly digital art world, Atelier 6000 provides space, instruction, tools and materials for artist teachers and students to make and develop works of art exclusively by hand.

A6 is foremost a place for learning. It embodies the spirit of the traditional atelier, or studio-workshop, where students learn directly from master artist teachers. Master Printmaker Patricia Clark and numerous gust artist teachers offer all levels of classes and workshops in printmaking, drawing, design, the book arts and art collecting. All of our classes are offered. . . . . READ MORE

I've been printmaking there for about 3 months now and am just starting to feel like I am getting some flow into my process. Thanks to Pat and the generosity of my fellow artists at the studio, I'm beginning to make progress. I've learned that creating hand made prints can range from exacting to free-form, and that the process encourages me to see and feel images differently. I love it! If you're at all interested in learning something new in the arts, whether you're a beginner or somewhere else in your artistic life, I encourage you to visit Atelier 6000 (visit this link for membership fees) and take a class or if you're in Bend for a while to join.

Photos:  These monoprints are part of my series of work I title Siempre Amor, Love Always.  Two monoprints -- one is the "ghost" of the other. These mark a breakthrough for me in understanding the medium. I'm excited to continue exploring.