I love a good challange. This year as for the past six or seven I've been a party to a great ongoing project. A fundraiser for our local Botanical Garden. Twenty five to thirty artists are given plywood birdhouses each year. I don't think I've ever gotten the same style twice as each birdhouse is taylored to house a differing bird, small to large, songbirds to tiny scavengers. No buzzards. I'm designing for an unknown inhabitant. So I go with my bird gut.
This year I chose leaves that speak of feathers as shingles.
But what stands out for me it is the first time I've used 23k gold on this project.
When I stepped back it reflected nicely – I saw it was not unlike a light over the bird house's front door.
I hope it becomes a happy home.
This is coming up:
The following has happened exploring an aesthetic shift as a result of a powerful dream. A first for me – in the past inspiration was awake surprising me.
So I went with this dream. I was surprised the whole time.
A tall vase – eighteen inches, five and a half inches square, carbon stained cement impressions of Japanese anemone leaves. Red enamel waterseals the interior.
I remembered a late flight back from New York, seeing cities lit up in the black of night. From that hight cities were lit as if by gold that snaked their highways into the darkness.
So I did that. Who'd have thunk.
A White vase had to come next, however the gold accent had to lift it off the table. All my vases, sculptures, indoor accents pieces have a padded black cordoroy base to avoid scratching glass and fine wood surfaces.
This is a celebration piece, Wedding or Aniversary gift.
Japanese anemone has a major patch at the west end of the garden here at home.
Another discovery with this work, quite different for me, is the casual, almost sporatic use of 23k gold as a decorative element. This work opened me up to other ideas that have caused the change in my interest in decoration.
A sixteen century Spanish wall in Galway, Ireland had shown me an elementary stacking structure I could apply in creating a diferent pattern on a dynamic shape. That showed up while I played with a piece of printer paper for a origami bowl. However the half inch steel hardware cloth didn't want to bend as I liked and imposed it's own demands.
I am interested by what was old, now seems new.
Puzzling Letter to a friend who has to be in charge of what is happening.
. . . . .Playing hard to get is an end in itself –– it is a political maneuver. I may not be the right thing. So when something is important. I stress REALLY important –– intending to work on that is my only choice. So why is there a hesitancy before that commitment to speak your truth? Because you know this yourself, this stand-up connection will change the course of one’s life. This is your moment to live your life, rather than leading it or having something else lead it. So, stand up and be you kid, have it, own it –– respect it then make your life to the best of your imagination. Fear is food for courage.
. . . . .Perhaps there is another breath in choices; you have been testing this method for as long as you have been alive. Sure there are those mini-vacations you took in-between classes in school, those first tries at romance filled with the importance of bumping and tickling –– moments of ecstatic life awareness when hearing a loved one has died –– or when you realized you were no longer in love, fell in love, or recognized you are just getting older. Where were you when you faced that unrecognized, implacable bully, or something that made you really afraid? Replay that moment when you recognized you were truly alive, and what you did about it. Did you speak up?
. . . . .Look around, we are in a big club This Life. There are no political leanings. Step up to the plate. Show us who you are; eat to live, and keep your eyes open. Learn to wait for that moment of WE WANT YOU! Because YOU are among the best of us. . . . . .Show up.
. . . . .It is important that you listen to yourself not making judgments –– NONE. Listen to your inner conversation. That's it. It is in your own nut shell –– LISTENING. Let those ideas wash over you. Get to know you. Don't try to hold on to all those thoughts, they are rain on your parched earth. Let the storms pass to fill up your hollows, make puddles, create lakes from them. You can see truth in your observations from books, poems, songs, reflections of life, wisdom in great literature, movies, in conversations with friends, old people's faces, and in you. Listen. Meet each moment as if it was your very first ever, and when ready ― speak your mind and make sure that witness hears you –– clearly. . . . . .It matters. . . . . .This puzzle we face at this moment is incomplete without all of us taking part in the solution.
This site promotes James Maxwell - multimedia artist and author.
Its contents supports the work of James Maxwell multimedia artist and writer. As a graphic designer his work consists of being a teacher of watercolors, oils, acrylic, and other graphic media. He is commissioned for paintings in private collections, and public venues. His print works ranges from etchings to glicee. Author of "The Concrete Gourmet's Cookbook - Solid Recipes" - the book consists of 12 chapter of how to make objects using the referred concrete recipes, cement recipes, using concrete as fine art material, cement as media. The how-to use these concrete projects range from making garden planters to food safe serving vessels, worm bunkers to sculptural mixes, and day to day usable objects to follies.
Names and words associated with James Maxwell are: artist James Maxwell, author James Maxwell, illustrator, Graphic designer, painter, watercolorist, sculptor, multimedia artist, writer, The Concrete Gourmet's Cookbook, cement recipes, concrete recipes, how-to mix concrete, concrete art projects, Along the Way - Travel Stories, he is copartnered with Mendocino Stories an online community of artists, writers, and musical artists, http://www.mendocinostories.com, he is one of three coauthor, and the graphic designer, of Along the Way Travel Stories.