Saturday, July 30, 2011

An Artist's Date ~ Gourd Pickin' in a Heatwave

Our dates tend to be a little different than most.
The romantic and sentimental things are done on a daily basis, you know... surprises with wild flowers, dinner and a movie, or making a cup of tea for your sweetheart.  And then when a celebrating day comes when those things would be expected, we do something .......completely different.
Now, I'm not saying the sweet things don't exist, just that I guess we drum to our own beat.

We have both been sick the past few days, sick in the middle of a heatwave with low grade fevers, sinus problems, nausea,  and just plain yuckiness. We had been needing to go to the gourd farm since we were completely out of gourds and we use them so often in our artwork. So, John picked this afternoon to make an appointment at the farm.

After a light lunch and a gift of earrings and a necklace that John had stashed away, we got ready to go. Today was relentlessly HOT, in the triple digits with a heat index that made if feel like 108 degrees. This made the trip a little oppressive, with a traveling time of three hours round trip, especially when we found that our air conditioning in the vehicle decided to stop working after the first 15 minutes. But we endured anyway, drinking lots of water and the occasional "Slushy" along the way.

Once we arrived, we were immediately greeted by this little guy, who so delicately perched himself on the side mirror to say hello.
Now the excitement could begin, picking through bins and barrels of wondrous gourds, each having their own potential to be a beautiful piece of Art. It didn't take long to gather many, thank goodness, because the heat was so bad the sweat was just pouring down our faces and mixing with gourd dust.
An hour later we had our stash...lots of gourds that would soon be Art Dolls, Drums, Bowls, Vases, Masks, and Jewelry. We carried our bounty to the side yard with the help of the farm's beautiful Weimeraner, who wanted to play the whole time...teasing and poking at you as you searched for your gourds.
Our picks

We got lots of gourds, plus a bag full of little bitty tiny ones about the size of my thumb.
Next time I will dress a little more appropriately, since my Maryjane shoes showed they're displeasure from the barn floor.

All is well. We had a good time together..a fun time...a productive time...a HOT time...and above all, time with each other and that's what counts.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blending Art with Natural Elements in Gourd Jewelry

As Eco-friendly Artists, using natural and recycled elements and reducing waste has always been important to us. One of our most used mediums are Gourds, creating Gourd Bowls, Masks, Sculpture, and Musical Instruments. We were having lots of small pieces left over from our creations and it always seemed a shame to just throw them out. Recently we decided to start taking those small scraps of gourds and transforming them into jewelry.

After sketching out some shapes, the pieces were cut and sanded. We then began adding small paintings to the piece, with the gourd being our Canvas, and sealing them to protect the Art. Beads, baubles and trinkets were then strung on to the pendant, and finished off by hanging them on long high quality Leather Cord. The result...a Natural Adornment displaying a work of Art.

We love that were are now completely using every piece of our Gourds, and that we have a creation that BOTH of us are designing together...John does the cutting, designing, sanding, and beadwork...and I do the painting.

These have been very popular, but we do have a small amount of them that are listed in our Artfire Studio

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Symbolic Meaning of the Horse Totem

Symbolic Meaning of the Horse
Horses have enchanted and intrigued people since their existence. Besides their beauty and fluidity in motion, what attracts us to them?

Running with the Moon ~ Original Painting by Jeanne Fry
The Horse represents movement and travel, the desire to do so, and the freedom that we possess. It is a symbol of our strength, power, and abundance of choices.
Many times when we are feeling stuck in this fast paced and stressful life...when we feel as if we are going through the motions of other people's expectations, the Horse can become important to us. It reminds of of our free will and passion for life.

The original painting above was sold,but is available in my Fine Art America shop as an Art Print here
Running with the Moon Art Print

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Animal Totems and their Symbolism in our Lives

Animal Totems, or Spirit Helpers as they are sometimes called, are considered to be
guardians and teachers in many Native Cultures. It is their knowledge of skillful living, and their physical and social characteristics  in Nature that we study.

Night Vision - Original Painting by Jeanne Fry

 Within this process of learning  we strengthen our connection with the Earth and create an Inner Balance.
Animal Medicine affords an awareness of our own personal strengths and weaknesses, and a wisdom for life lessons.

Turtle: Motherhood, Longevity, Awakening to new opportunities, Nurturing of the Earth
Snake: Rebirth, Transformation, Wisdom
Wolf: Guardianship, Loyalty, Spirit, Community
Bear: Power, Healing, Decision-Making, Strength
Rabbit: Fertility, New Life, Defense, Spiritual Growth
Otter: Laughter, Happiness, Awareness of surroundings
Butterfly: Dance of Joy, Faerie Realm, Joy, Gentleness
Deer: Gentleness, Innocence, New Adventure, Grace
Raven: Magic, Creation, Vision, Messages and Intuition
Frog: Abundance, Creative Power, Cleansing
Jumping Antelope: Freedom
Elephant: Strength, Loyalty, Knowledge of Earth, Strong Family, Society Ideals
Spider: Creativity, Weaving of Fate
Buffalo: Abundance, Nurturing
Ant: Teamwork, Community
Dragonfly: Light, Transformation
Lizard: Dreamtime, Intuition, The Ability to Leave Behind things that are no longer needed
Owl: Vision, Wisdom, Omen, Magic
Grasshopper: Leap for opportunities, The Opening of Doors
Heron: Grace, Transformation, Loving of Self
Duck: Relationships, Calming
Giraffe: Grace
Dolphin: Intelligence, Communication
Bat: Magic, Perception
Mountain Lion: Leadership, Fairness, Balance, Power
Thunderbird: Servant of Great Spirit, Messengers
Beluga Whale: Creativity, Listening to Inner Voice
Phoenix: Power, Transform, Fire Element
Hawk: Vision, Power, Synchonstricity in Messages
Eagle: Victory, Responsibility of Power
Beaver: Builder of Dreams
Raccoon: Dexterity, Disguise
Seahorse: Emotions, Magical
Ladybug: Good luck
Snail: Patience, Serenity
Hummingbird: Joy, Happiness, Energy
Flamingo: Good luck
Moose: Majestic, Wise, Stands up for beliefs, Inner Wisdom
Salmon: Returning home, Spiritual Journey, Determination

We offer handpainted totem stones here on our website

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Choices in our Directions as Artists

Like the ebb and flow of time, so goes our directions as artists. Life experiences and a continual fine tuning of our philosophies, creates more possibilities to explore within our creativity.

We have studied the growth of our Art over the years, reflecting back over the changes from the beginning until now. Trying to stay conscious that our Art is speaking not only to us, but to those who collect it, we have made choices on where to currently expend our creative energies.

For example, over the years we only sold Original paintings, and did not dabble in offering prints of those works. But we have found that certain pieces deserve the opportunity to be offered in that way, in order to reach more people who resonate with the work. So now, specific Paintings and Photography that is meaningful to us, are offered in a new forum for our collectors through Fine Art America. Here you can choose to collect some of those works, in different sizes, on archival papers, on stretched canvas, matted, framed...all a choice for you. Each week I will add more to the collection and hope that it widens the scope of possibilities.

Our jewelry has also made a transition, not only from being solely created from gemstones, but now offering more mediums with clay, bone, and glass beads. But probably our biggest change is venturing in the use of one of our favorite Natural materials...the Gourd.

The Gourd is designed and cut, painted with layers of hue to enhance it's richness, and then embellished with a complimenting bead work. Each pendant is hung on long soft leather cord that can be adjusted in length.
What we love most about the Gourd jewelry, is the ability to offer our Gourd design, Painting, and Bead work...all in one piece. It also allows us to utilize more of the gourd, instead of wasting small pieces.

So, this new evolutionary period will produce...more Paintings, Prints, and Photography...a larger line of jewelry including more natural materials....a new line of Art Doll sculptures that will be revealed soon...a larger line of Gourd Rattles, Drums, and Cedar Flutes that utilizes a blend of contemporary yet still natural persona...and some things will be discontinued.

We will be choosing more galleries to show in, that will allow us to more time to spend on our Storytelling Performances  and Workshops, and hope that you enjoy the transition along with us.

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