into the new

drawing, inspiration, new work, other work

have been drawing a lot these past few month into the year, a way to release the tension of the world.

it helped.

these below from a first intense series in July…they have not title, for now.

july 2020 – drawing in progress
july 2020 – drawing in progress
drawing – 07.25.2020 – sharpies and other fun pens on watercolor paper – 5″x7″

pretty much the finished state…but it will matting and framing in due time!

new drawings

drawing, inspiration, other work, studio tales

picked up drawing again, healing the scattered idle time of being in-between things…

new drawings

new drawings

so parked a few tables upstairs under the aging skylight and have been climbing the stairs at night to a carved out space of non-thinking.

new drawings
almost…

for some reason, the lines on paper, the filling-in of color, the randomness of process (but sometimes not…) or maybe simple contrast from another side of making…

and then it’s up from there.

UP RiSiNg – color markers on paper, 8.5″ x 11″

a summer-full of events

retrospects, studio tales

so, last time i wrote about the daily in my life was at the beginning of an unassuming summer, just when things were rolling on into the next thing which was slow in coming.

for the first time in YEARS i attended a ‘high caliber’ event here in town, the southwest makers symposium held at form+concept gallery and that had been eluding me the years past.

but this time it was meant to be, got a surprise invitation and was honored with a guest registration ticket from an ancient acquaintance and simply HAD to go!

2019 Southwest Makers Symposium

The Bench – Southwest Makers Symposium 2019

during the course of a weekend, i immersed myself into the depth of discourse of visuals and concepts of an art and craft i have been practicing all my life. saw people i hadn’t seen in years, caught up on the ‘academic’ side of things, taking it all in at once. yes, refreshing, even if it then took me several days to recuperate from the buzzz…

here is harold o’connor (to you harold, at last!) with one of his great pins/pendants:

Harold O'Connor's pendant/pin

Harold O’Connor with one of his cool cool pendants/pins

in between it all and with work in progress and in the making…basically all i did at the bench all summer long were squares and circles:

work in progress

squares and circles in progress

several interruptions came visiting, including the much needed repairs in the studio, which saw construction people and plumbers and electricians roam the space i so dearly guard from strangers for several days, throwing a delaying time wrench into the works…

ahhhh, but the satisfaction of having a functional vent and hood over the stove at last, lights above the entrance outside actually working, a swamp cooler finally blowing in some cool air and, hardly the least important, a much improved shower!

hot it was for weeks on end, time is the studio frantic and in slow motion and the premonition of more change growing stronger by the hour. and still, everything seemed to suddenly accelerate in a bout of decisions-to-make-now.

a big first one was to leave a local market venue i had been doing for the last 7 years, it was draining me beyond the financial, beginning to affect the spirit, which is something you always want to avoid.

SFAM this summer

last few show-times at SFAM this summer

time to move on. away from the windy and rainy days under the flapping tent, away from unreliable market schedules, away and past the cold and the heat and the complete exhaustion that left me flat for days thereafter, always.

good then!

i caught up with the record keeping put off since the beginning of the year, filed taxes, filed away paperwork and, alas!, everything was neat and stored in envelopes and boxes by the end of august and out of site. done!

i have still to pick up speed in the studio, ride the rhythm of things, but this morning, stepping into the back room, where all the soldering and melting and the messy stuff happens, i am reminded of the practical, in black and white:

soldering bench shot

metal room, a soldering bench shot

also, after blowing a crockpot, i have finally up my ‘old’, ever new pickling vat, pulled out of yet another box and now equipped with the right plug to fit into the transformer to match the voltage…another good thing.

italian pickling vat

my italian pickling vat

and and and….i have a tray of ‘candy’ to look into…. squares, squares and more squares to play with.

box of squares

squares!

happy.

will keep you posted, just stay in the loop.

the plants that come visit

inspiration, plants and animals

and so it happens again.

the back yard is small, a little wild spot at the back of the industrial building that holds my studio, my tools, all the (still) scattered-about books i treasure and a spot of quiet respite despite the city.

i want to bring plants into this little heaven.

backyard growth1

new growth in my little wild backyard

the vine that gives me grapes and needs uplifting to the left, a proud datura to the right, second largest in the yard and a couple more growing inside and along the not-so-raised planting bed…

backyard growth2

another beautiful datura

on my daily walks with my dog kara out on the mesas, the desert is in bloom again and just a few weeks ago i stopped on the trail in awe for the first prickly pear cactus flowers of the season: beautiful yellows shining in the hot sun.

we chatted a while, i told them how beautiful they were, i told them i wished them in my garden…

 

Prickly Pear baby

and a baby prickly pear cactus!

and so it happens again. I noticed this little one just the other day…

the plants that come visit.

the plants i invite into my garden.

the inspiration they bring me, in myriads of imperceptible ways and sooth my work with simplicity.

house in cortona

paintings from long ago

other work

while in italy last fall for family matters, i re-discovered some of my old paintings, hanging here and there, somewhat in disarray, throughout my mother’s 11-room house. i spent time taking pictures of some of them, relishing all the past memories they carry with them.

i used to paint then, between breaks from the bench. below a few of them i am particularly fond of.

house in cortona

a snippet of the house in cortona (oil on board, 24″ x 24″-c. 1989)

this one was actually back at my time at california college of the arts ( (once called ccac), before they dropped the “un-artsy” last ‘c’ for crafts…

painting of playing the drum

playing the drum (12″ x 24″, c.1989)

 

back in the days when i lived in tuscany, out in the country in a very ‘non-cliche’ mode, my father once visited and stayed for a while. and i painted him. reading, he was always reading, and that is the way i will forever remember him. a legacy he left to me. we were kindred spirits…

painting my father

my father (oil on canvas, 48″ x 24″, c.1989)

and this one, a quick one of an upside model…

painting 'upsidedown'

upsidedown (oil on board, 12″ x 18″, c.1989)

 

 

painting my father

long time coming

2018, new work, retrospects, trips

it’s snowing.

almost spring just the other day, but today it’s winter again. so it goes, this climate change is very real.

snow today

snow outside the studio

here in the studio this morning, taking a break from the bench, taking it all in, hot tea, fire in the stove…it’s time to regroup and look at what has happened these past few months. a lot.

it may seems like a superfluous attempt, to catch up with things past, but they do inform my present and continuously bring insight into all that’s needed next.

2018 was a hard one. full of challenges, delays, enormous stress, quite a few losses, but also, alas, some good news.

the losses were heavy. i lost my father and 2 dogs last year, and i am still mourning all of them.

painting my father

my father

the time to process everything and a sudden trip to italy this past fall, all still in the ‘digestive’ mode. it takes time to grieve, really, and that time has eluded me well into this new year….

but the good news is that on march 8, 2018, after 11+ years of riding the complex and taxing task of keeping my artist visa alive, i finally got my green card

a huge chunk of stressful living was wiped off my slate in matter of hours, literally.

the immigration officer who interviewed me had my 12+ inch thick file on her desk, as i entered the room and apprehensively sat down on the chair in front of her.

the first thing she said was “i love your work!”

THAT was promising, i thought. everything was a joyful ride after that, i answered all the protocol questions with a bunch of ‘no’s (you know, am i in the us to overturn the government? was i ever part of the communist party? will i engage in prostitution, human trafficking, or join some terrorist group?) at one point i almost gave her a business card, but refrained. the whole thing took maybe about 20 minutes and i was out of there in a flash, stupefied.

two weeks later, while at the santa fe artists market, my regular saturday showing in town, i spotted a somewhat familiar face among the customers perusing my booth, but could not place the memory. i was busy with closing a few sales, and could not readily pay much attention to this person. but she hung out and kept looking at my work with avid interest and finally, when the booth cleared, she came forward and introduced herself: “ms. aureli, do you remember me? i am the immigration officer who interviewed you!”

she was there with her husband, whom she introduced to me, and then…she bought a piece of mine! a long arc pin, in the black finish.

i was in shock, again. did not expect this at all, it made me REALLY happy and had to go and share the event with a couple of trusted friends right there at market. it was such a coronation of a long long journey, and definitely an honor. i felt so grateful!

the next few months were spent nursing my 19 year old ailing dog, and hanging in there, not wanting to let her go. tasha had been with me since i moved to santa fe, a beacon of light throughout all those years, along with my other sweet four-legged companion, cd, who had passed on suddenly due to a liver tumor just a few months earlier.

tasha+cd-love4ever

I struggled to keep a regular routine at the bench, but pushed on however i could, reshuffling and reviewing inventory, planning to add and remove pieces here and there, a new line, new work, at some point. several trays with work in progress scattered all over my studio, patiently waiting for my intervention to become something.

it all dragged on for a while, a new dog entered my life and things seemed to settle for a while, work days ahead were looking promising and i longed for hours on end spent at the bench to flush away months of stagnation.

kara

kara, a new blessing

then, one sunday morning, right after a very successful day at market the day before, and right when i was ready for a fresh reboot, i got a text message from my brother from italy: my father had passed a few hour earlier.

and so, i dropped everything. 

i felt numb, confused for the next several days, needing to review everything, needing to book a flight to italy almost immediately, needing to go, see my mother, be there with her.

my trip to italy was a 15 day-long nightmare, for so many reasons, but i survived it with minor scratches and quite a few memories to live by.

view of the sea

view from my mother’s house

i was back home mid november, landing in los angeles, re-entering the country on my new permanent resident status and i almost kissed the ground. passing through immigration was smooth as butter, despite my resurfacing apprehension, the custom officer talked to me in italian, asking if i was carrying vino with a smirk on his face and waving me through with a broad smile that made me want to hug him. i was home, i felt i belonged and i danced my way to my next flight to new mexico all the way through the airport.

now, a few months later, i am just beginning to recover from these last events, taking baby steps into what’s ahead: my work, better work, new work, in celebration of life, that goes on, despite it all.

work in progress

new earrings in progress

looking forward

studio tales

A4.

it was just last year, and just about this time…. after way too many relocations i finally stumbled upon my new studio space and found elbow room again! about 1500+ square feet of raw, open space. open to interpretation, open to spread all my work around, the in-progress pieces long forgotten and out of sight. all of them.

new studio

A4 – a new studio overview

it had been a t-shirt print shop and a juice bar and quite a few things before that. tucked away and caught in between the industrial stride of a city differente and a bit of wasteland, right there, at the edge-of-almost.

the kitchen area had an old sturdy sink and a no-joke woodstove. took me several weeks to build shelving and countertops all around it, a handsaw, a couple of hammers, nails and lots of screws.

finished kitchen

finished!

and then, the real stuff: work benches and tools, and battling a dense concrete floor to bolt everything down for hours…

(on the workbench front, check out my new blog for updates)

the ‘metal room’ in the back (for melting and soldering), a big window and a perfect utility sink that had seen a lot of splashing colors wash down its drain (…)

in the back back…

a backyard shot

even a backyard!

what else could anybody wish for?!?

it was only this past summer when it all slowly settled into place and things began to flow again…. a few months now, but just yesterday for me.

here, now, just over a month into another year and celebrating a new cycle, getting down to business with a renewed spirit of possibilities.

showroom in the front is coming along, a few studio visit weekends in the works for this month…

showroom

up front

stay tuned!

 

celebrations

(of) woodstoves, bathtubs and jimson weed

events, inspiration, studio offers, studio tales

about woodstoves

and so it’s happening again.

i am moving the studio.

a rough ride these past 3 years, relocating in and out of unsuitable places, strewing bits and pieces of my beloved studio across mesas, steep and rocky dirt roads and not-so-shallow rivers…. yes, there are still rivers to cross in new mexico.

but this time is different.

recurring themes in all these past wanderings keep circling back to me, like the bathtub.

the bathtub in the middle of the room, sitting there, mockingly. just like one of my last recent places. and just like in Diva (a beautiful movie i once had a tape of) …must be a good sign.

Diva movie

got the bathtub… and even the aquarium, aka the fish tank and 2 golden fish!

and in the backyard, just like this past spring and still in winter clothes, there is an old friend waiting…it must be a very good sign indeed!

‘celebrations’ then.

but this time is different.

this time there are 2 doors opening at the end of the tunnel: stepping into a new studio this month! a new space at last and special gift from the universe for my birthday…

this too is happening and just in time, at the very end of this month!

‘celebrations’ then will also be a very special STUDIO SALE  – feb 25-27.

celebrations

‘celebrations’

3 days only of unique and one-of-a-kind statement jewelry pieces at ‘birthday gift’ bonus prices, just for my studio subscribers and a few other aficionados!

(hint..) i will need a refrigerator at my new place and a couple of good work tables for all my trays with work-in-progress i’ve been holding onto for so long…can’t hardly wait.

so stay tuned and keep in touch for updates, more are definitely to come!

in celebrations.

patty’s garage

events, studio tales, studio visits

a quiet, on the splurge of the moment holiday open studio with a couple of neighbors, patty o’connor (beautiful and colorful blended media on canvas) and terri miller (very interesting recycled art out of old tires), for hot cider and sunshine from the new mexico’s sky.

here are a few shots. the sun’s glare was really bright…

jewelrywork display

holiday open studio 2016 – my display

 

 

HolidayOpenStudio2016-Patty1

holiday open studio 2016 – patty 1

 

thank you to all who could stop by!