Monday, October 25, 2010

"Dia de Los Muertos"

The Day of the Dead...."Dia de los Muertos" is a celebration honoring the life of those that have passed on. It is a traditional celebration from Mexico as well as Central and South American cultures. It is believed that death is a part of the cycle of life, a time to remember loved ones that are gone, but not forgotten. During this time it is believed that the spirit of the dead are invited to visit their friends and relatives to enjoy festivities in their honor. In Mexico it is a tradition that November 1st is All Saints Day, a time to honor deceased infants and children and November 2nd is All Souls Day, a time to honor deceased adults. My friend Peter Perez told me once, " we are not truly dead until we are forgotten".

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Matters of the Heart....

When someone says...."You do not truly know what I am going through!" They are most likely correct. Unless you have experienced the very same thing....there is no way to know. But, if it is a person that is close to feel the pain and most likely would do anything to take away the sorrow or at best make it better. Sometimes not knowing what a person is going through is not the most important is to be there as a friend. A shoulder to cry on or simply to lean on when we are off balance. Matters of the heart are so delicate...but despair is a very lonely place. Open your heart to someone in need today....

Materials I used on this folk art heart are a woven placemat, felt, embroidery thread, abalone buttons, metal leafs and a tin cross from Oaxaca....I call it my Fiesta Heart!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Collect and Gather....

I find that I love to collect and gather little gems that speak to me. When these little gems make their way into a piece of jewelry it is very satisfying and makes the collecting all the more fun. In honest...I never dreamed I would be making jewelry of any kind and do not consider myself a jewelry designer. I simply play with the materials that work for me and am always surprised by the end result. I find pleasure in taking apart an old jewelry piece and giving it new life! I enjoy materials like wooden beads, Milagros, copper, hemp, Afghanistan dress flowers...and of course a lot of recycled anything just to name a few. My pieces tend to have a funky flair and sometimes I think I am the only one that really likes them. Then, a gentle gratification comes when a piece sells. An encouragement to keep creating!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cross Roads....

As we go through our lives we are constantly hitting cross roads. Some are a normal part of life……others are complicated and painful. In all instances it is a chance to change and grow. If we look closely most times a clear path is already open for us to take. The ones that cause our hearts turmoil and an internal sadness need intimate soul searching.

This is a deeply personal piece to me…it represents Faith…Music…Love. The challenging crossroads require all three.

I used muslin, felt, embroidery thread and many hours of hand stitching.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

La Virgen de Guadalupe.....

The Virgen de Guadalupe is my saint of saints! I have said countless prayers to Our Lady over the years for guidance. I open my heart to her and in return she helps me overcome. She gives me strength to get through the times that are clouded with my tears and sometimes bad judgment. We are small in this world of sorrows and unjust times difficult to keep faith in people, moral principles, and religious beliefs.

My Virgen de Guadalupe art consists of hours of handwork that sooths my heart. Since she has been my guidance through prayer it is only natural I have poured many hours into these art pieces.
I use natural slubby muslin for the center in which the Virgen image is embroidered. Other materials I used are cotton and metallic embroidery thread, felt, painted recycled frames and passion for Our Lady.

The Virgen de Guadalupe is more than just an image, it is a history lesson. Symbols of her dress hold a special meaning to the indigenous people of Mexico.

• The mantle (her robe) is blue/green, the color reserved for Ometecuhti/Onecihuatl who are the divine couple considered the creator and unifying force of all creation. The mantle is covered with stars and these reflect the eras of this civilization and the relationship to Ometeotl the god of all duality.
• The dress/robe is red with symbolic “writings” that tell a story to the Nahuatl people.
• The belt worn by the Virgin is a maternity band, explaining expectant birth or new expectations.
• The virgin is stepping on the moon, indicating greater importance in relation to the sister of the sun, Coyolxauhqui.
• The golden rays of the sun point to the presence of the “sun” god, Quetzalcoatl.
• The angel who “carries” the virgin is perceived as the symbol for a new beginning, and also denotes Nahuatl nobility since royalty were carried.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Personal Style is Art too......

My personal Style....
People ask me, “When did I start dressing this way?” I have to say I really do not remember…I think it was about five or so years ago… maybe longer. I have always admired ethnic clothing, jewelry and textiles so; I think my style has simply evolved into me wearing what I absolutely love!
In my closet you will find things like long full skirts with beautiful Indian embroidery, huipils from Mexico and Guatemala, woven belts of all types, handbags, Mexican dresses, Indian tops, and even a few lovely pieces from Morocco. My jewelry also has the ethnic flare…many pieces from India, Mexico, or hand made pieces made by me or from one of my many talented artist friends.
I have to tell you that there are times when I think I would like to change up my style and be more on the so called normal side…but, it never does seem to happen. Not only do I feel more comfortable in the clothing that I choose to wear but, I also feel elegant and beautiful in my own way.
I hear a range of comments but, my most favorite is what I consider a compliment…. “You look like a piece of Art!”

Monday, June 28, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel....

When I am going through rough times and want nothing more than to find refuge in my art...I think there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

On a recent trip to Humboldt County, we drove down this street to see the giant redwoods...... I was stunned by this view.

In an odd and refreshing way it lightened my heart...sometimes we have to overcome the big obstacles to get to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Balance in what we do....

One of the things I love most is putting all of my art together to make a statement. I arrange then I re-arrange and sometimes re-arrange again until I find the balance that is pleasing to my eye. When it all comes together I find that there is a most definate look and feel to what I do. It pleases me when someone says "It is very you, Diane." I believe I have achieved the balance between me and my art. Sometimes I feel so comfortable with my art...I wonder why can't all things in life be such a sweet balance?

Monday, June 7, 2010

"My Folk Art Paradise"

My Folk Art Paradise depicts my love for Amate Bark Paintings from the state of Guerrero. These beautifully executed paintings are whimsical and full of color. I find them stunning and have always felt like they represent an imaginary paradise. This is my version of an Amate Bark Painting using stitch work and applique.......My Folk Art Paradise!

Created for "The Garden of Eden" show at The Folk Tree in Pasadena. Show runs June 5th - July 3rd.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Enchanting Milagro

One if the unique treasures that is created by some Latin American cultures is the "Milagro". The word "Milagro" means "Miracle". I find the word and the meaning itself enchanting!

These metal religious charms are sometimes a sign of gratitude, devotion, protection, good luck, healing, fertility, faith, affection, safety.....just to name a few.

Some of these charms have specific meanings but most are up for individual interpretation. I find these prayer emblems captivating and inspirational!

As I am getting older and learning to embrace my age with grace.....not so easy sometimes, I thought this Body Bonita artwork would be a refreshing reminder to love my body. It is made of felt, ribbon, linen twine, tin and metal body part milagros, some machine stitching and many, many hours of hand stitching.