"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." ~Sir John Lubbock

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.michellehedgecock.com. Feel free to explore past posts here, then please come by for continued creative fun! If you like what you read, don't forget to "follow" my blog at its new site, to continue to receive creative fun and inspiration in your mailbox! Thank you.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dia de los Muertos

Last weekend I gathered with fellow creatives to spend the afternoon making mini-altars for Day of the Dead. Those of you who know me--even just a little--know that Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of my favorite "holidays" full of creative art and personal expression, passion, and celebration of life and loved ones.

In between taking plenty of pictures and eating yummy pan dulce, chips, guacamole I managed to make two nichos. I was inspired by everyone's personal altars honoring loved ones who have passed, even a beautiful pet altar was on display for a sweet reminder of all the beings in our lives that bring us love and happiness.

Day of the Dead occurs every Nov. 1 and 2. Traditionally, the first day celebrates children, now our "los angelitos" or little angels. The second honors adults who have passed. This is also when families will go to the cemetary and spend the night and day mourning, playing music, eating, celebrating with loved ones at their graves. Day of the Dead is not meant to scare people, it is simply and honestly a day of remembering our dead, it is their day to be honored and we honor them by celebrating their lives and life through altars, offerings of their favorite foods and items, smiling with their memories, and engaging their happiness through fiestas and love.

Nichos, retablos, altars....can be simple or extravagant. Traditionally, these expressions were made from old boxes, cigar boxes, cans or small tin boxes--anything put together or that could be used to create a niche for placing objects that honor someone you love, who has passed. It's a great way to incorporate recycled materals into your art! 

Below are photos showing the found materials for my nichos, specifically a found car ashtray and a found metal scrap round, also I used a toy plastic scorpion which I "transformed" just by using fine black glitter. I attached a bone skull bead to a feather butterfly and added more black glitter to the body. Glitter, sequin, bright paints and color are simple and very effective Day of the Dead elements to make your nicho or altar sparkle with celebration :)

Grab a photo, jewelry, notes, a small box, paint or other artsy accents and create your own memory box (altar!) in honor of someone you miss and love. Bring it out once a year for Dia de los Muertos or keep it close to you in a special place. Express yourself in this way and you are are sure to feel the magic of those you love.

Would you like to see more of my Day of the Dead? Click my set on Flickr! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

F.A.T. Release: "El burro sabe mas..." Palm Springs, CA

As many of you already know I happily participate in an online community of artists who leave their works in public places for people to find. This particular group is known as Found Art Tuesday and was originally started by artist Rosa Murillo. I am inviting fellow creatives like YOU and friends in my art meetup group (Let Nature Be Your Muse) to start doing this locally--join the Flickr group if you wish to post your experiences and of course your work. 

Meanwhile, it had been awhile since I've left something somewhere and I decided to get back to it by leaving this little piece called "a,e,i,o,u -- el burro sabe mas que tu" hanging from a light fixture by the restrooms and back entrance/exit in my favorite local Mexican restaurant. The little rush of excitement returned as I tried to hang it up there before I was spotted!

I wonder who will be the one to check it out and (hopefully) take it home with them?!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Land Art

Whitewater Preserve

A couple of weekends ago, my art MeetUp group gathered at the Whitewater Preserve for a morning of land art creations. It was the first time since I was a child, building stick houses around exposed tree roots, that I planned on creating something using only natural material and tools strictly from the surrounding environment. In the spirit of true land artists, we used no rope, glue, paper clips, etc. to bring our vision to life. I did bring gloves for moving around river rocks, but never used them.

Before arriving my intention was to create something using the plentiful rocks by the river. But once I got to the site, I saw lots of driftwood that inspired something completely different.

Excited to have a new idea, I began gathering. And gathering. Gathering armloads upon armloads of  "just right" pieces of driftwood. I knew I would need alot, but quickly realized I would need much more than I expected!

During the 2 and 1/2 hours I tried my hand at land art, I'd gained a whole new appreciation and respect for land artists  and what they see in the wilds around them, and especially for their patience, flexibility and the physical work involved with bringing about their masterpieces.

At the end of three hours, our small group reconvened for a short break and a light discussion sharing our experience in trying this, followed by an inspiring walking tour of each participant's work throughout the Preserve. It was a fantastic way to spend the morning out in nature and in such a creative way. I can't wait to try this again!

Check out my first land art creation in the photos below. Click the link at the end of this post for more images from the day, including the five other installations!

If I had more time, I would have kept going by adding 
more rays to try and make more of a stylized
octopus-like design.

I was very proud of this ray!

After about three hours of working solo, we
gathered for our own land art "gallery" tour,
visiting each participant's works throughout
the different environments at the preserve.

For more images of the day, please visit this photo album full of fellow creative's land art creations!