Where Have All The Songs Gone?

March 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas | Leave a comment
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Into The Wind by Joan Desmond, 30" x 24" acrylic on canvas

©Joan Desmond, Into The Wind. Acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 24″.

March pushes brazenly into the canyon. Wildflowers splash with vivid abandon on the hills this year, and the customary wind cuts deep, frantically knocking winter’s junk from pine trees. Accompanying such visual and physical, seasonal flurry, is an atypical silence on the trail. The usually rich warble, chirp, and cheep of the feathered ones have almost disappeared. It’s nesting time.

Gone are the pompous displays of song and plumage from February when the dating game was in full swing. Now, birds are paired up, busy, and strangely quiet. The male raven rarely takes his seat on the telephone pole. Nor is he at the window asking for peanuts. He waddles up the driveway noiselessly, one of his feathers amiss. I like to imagine him tired from feeding his incubating mate. A single blue jay comes foraging, rather than six or ten. No juncos, mourning dove, quail, sparrow or finch forage under bushes. No owls hoot in the dark. Occasionally, a colorful, unidentified stray flies by looking lost.

Soon this interlude will spin into April with new bird, sky antics. We’ll watch lumbering young raven take-offs, and near aerial collisions as parents caw directions; shrill alarmist blue jays in training are sure to chant endlessly, unable to distinguish a ground stick from a snake; and the sweet, versatile trill of the mockingbirds will charm again from tree and shrub. The rhythm sustained.

Rhythm-scape for Blog post 100!

August 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Posted in Art Studio | Leave a comment
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©2012, Joan Desmond, Rhythm.

Not Your Parents’ Duct Tape

December 4, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Posted in Art Exhibitions, Mail Art | Leave a comment
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fluxkit-shakers

FLUXKIT Shakers

Or perhaps 50 mail artists at ready, get set, and go… these are mini music shakers from my “duct tape and lentil” series for Keith Buchholz’ FLUXKITS.

Fluxkits are smallish objects (a box perhaps) that are collections of other objects that hold meaning to the artist and can be interacted with by an audience. Keith Buchholz is assembling this edition of 50, everyone contributes 50 of something. Then we each get a FlUXKIT in return and it is also archived. Mail Art easily moves in the direction of Fluxus, since it (and Fluxus) has such a strong element of humor and anti-commercialism.

The music aspect refers to #12. Musicality*, on Ken Friedman’s 1992 list of 12 Fluxus  ideas (and my own need for rhythm)

*from 40 Years of Fluxus

Women’s Creativity and the Midsummer Moon Art Celebration

July 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Art Exhibitions, Art Studio, Considering Ideas | 1 Comment
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kids-drawing-5

photo by Sherry Gaskin

From the “make art”  table. One little girl’s version of a prayer flag, sending a positive message out on the breeze.

What have I been up to lately?

Several months back, my friend Elaine across the lake, had a terrific idea about assembling an event celebrating local women artists, and hosting it in her backyard at the time of the Summer Solstice.

Getting involved would distract me from immersion in studio work, but it sounded SO RIGHT, particularly at this point in time, when so much is doom and gloom, and people are holding back. This is exactly when we need to brainstorm, and realize that we possess many resources for creating new directions. Also, it would create a fine venue for art display, which is always welcome, so I committed to the idea.

We discussed the artists we knew. There’s an incredible wealth of female talent in this community in the Fine Arts. Besides, we could identify many cool ladies who would attend and enjoy such an event. As individual artists’ names came up, it was apparent that this could be expanded to include singing, dancing, and poetry, in addition to visual art, creating a balanced day of the arts. This also meant being selective about participants, keeping physical space and time in mind.

From experience, I know that a select group of women can produce a supportive, encouraging, co-operative, and inspiring atmosphere. That was the intent behind the Celebration, and that attitude carried through all the planning.

celebration-invite-front-sm

Color framed the day, heavy on burgundy and reds, as reflected by the postcard invite.

musicians-10

photo by Sherry Gaskin

Out  Of  The  Question kicked off the festivities.

Music was by the group Out Of The Question, with Pat Seamount, Katharine Edmonson, and Kris Wilber. What’s more, most attendees contributed their music during a later percussion fest.

elaine-gourds
photo by Ellen Schafhauser

Keeping the beat with gourd shakers. In the background, art displays line the entry.

Visual Artists participating were Eve Laeger-watercolor, Sherry Gaskin-photography, Elaine Shrader-painting, Ellen Schafhauser-photography, Katharine Edmonson-assemblage, Pat Seamount-painting, Marjorie Carroll-sculpture, and myself.


photo by Sherry Gaskin

Jill shares her short stories

Ann Beman with a poetry workshop, and Jill Sloan reading her short stories represented literature.

photo by Sherry Gaskin

Ann drums everyone in for the poetry workshop.

drum
photo by Ellen Schafhauser

That’s me introducing drummin’ fun.


2-girls-drummingphoto by Ellen Schafhauser

Friends Hannah and Emma collaborate on a frame drum.


heather-59

photo by Sherry Gaskin

Graceful Heather from Tribal Moon Rising

There were many attendees, a number of which had only planned to drop in for a bit but then got caught up in the flow and stayed all day. Day flowed into the evening with individual dance performances by Pamela, Marluna, Ankhet; and members of the troupe Tribal Moon Rising– Heather, Melynie, and Kristie. The grand finale was everyone on their feet dancing, celebrating our common abilities and potential.

The June 26th issue of the Kern River Courier, page 12, has a lovely article by columnist Donna Fitch, about the Celebration, titled Show fetes Midsummer Moon Art

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