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2014-Mask-finished

For the past several years, my sister and I have participated in the Masks Exhibit at Fort Collins Museum Of Art.

Each artist receives an unfired ceramic mask as their blank canvas, and then look out because creativity explodes, resulting in two-hundred amazing masks.

Figuring out what to do with that blank mask is a bit of a challenge. This year, we sat with it for a long time, trying first one concept and then another. Some we tossed out because they were impossible to execute. Others didn’t make the cut, due to our time or ability (or lack therof.)

I felt drawn this year to create something inspiring and hopeful for our community. We’ve been through two very tough years. Fire and floods have ravaged many parts of Colorado, leaving so many people hurting. We’ve been pretty upset with Mother Nature.

My plan was to remind us of the softer, gentler side of nature. The side where flowers bloom in lush abandon. No more fire. No more flooding.

Just pretty poseys.

And maybe a bird or two thrown in for good measure.

2014-Mask-Process-1

We titled the piece from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote: “The earth laughs in flowers.”

It all seemed perfect. My sister and I set to work making almost two-hundred flowers–thousands of pieces of hand-cut, individually glued pieces of glass of every color we could imagine.

As we worked on the old girl, we fondly dubbed her “Lucille.” You know–Lucille Ball! Actually that came from my husband, and it stuck.

 

Lucille is a woman of substance–she has heft. Round and balanced and, well, earthy. I don’t know about you, but I like that. I want Mother Earth to be substantial. No wraith-like, skinny girl who lives on nothing but celery and lettuce leaves. In my view, Mother Earth has to have a strong presence. She withstands a lot–and yes some of her own making. Still, she needs to be able to pack a punch if need be.

 

In the picture above where Rick is holding her, you can see that she’s a big girl. She’s sixteen inches in diameter, which translated to a whole heck of a lot of surface area to cover in glass.

 

When we started the project, the vision was to tuck a sky blue, or maybe a soft, grassy green around the flowers. But when we got to it, we found that ME(Mother Earth) wanted to be much more earthy. We ended up choosing a gorgeous, coppery, iridescent brown and she was quite satisfied.

Interesting in art (and life sometimes) how the project takes on a life of it’s own. Lucille definitely was running this show.

 

And now the shameless self promotion!

Lucille could be yours. For the right price, she’s available. And get your mind out of the gutter, I don’t mean LIKE THAT! This is Mother Earth we’re talking about.

 

The Earth Laughs in Flowers – aka “Lucille” is part of a fundraiser for the Fort Collins Museum of Art. This glorious exhibit opens in Fort Collins Friday April 4th and runs through Friday May 2nd.

All that while, you can bid on the masks. And mark my word, there are some stunners. Lucille is in very good company.

 

We want Lucille to go to a good home.

Remember the eco-slogan from a few years ago? “Love your mother?”

Well, we mean it!

If you have a garden, or love flowers and the earth, or are drawn to the ancient artform of mosaic, then you probably have the perfect place for her.

 

Even though she’s a woman of substance, ME(Mother Earth) could do with a bit of Tender Love and Care. And perhaps you are just the one to give it to her. Get down to the museum and check her out. Of course we’re biased, but we think she’s gorgeous 🙂

Wednesdays with Mija

Let me clear something up right away. I am NOT the crazy cat alluded to in the title of this blog post.

Just sayin’…

So here’s the story.

I live with an artist, which means we have many interesting and beautiful things around our house, and in our yard.

In fact, my artist (as I sometimes call her) specializes in art for the garden.

She glues little pieces of glass to just about anything. We have a bowling ball covered with glass, a terra cotta bird house thingy covered with glass, and a big chunk of sandstone sprouting three little glass-covered balls.

See what I mean?

The proper name for what she does is mosaic.

I’m never surprised when a new brightly colored object appears in my garden.

I like art. And I especially like this art.

I was however surprised to find a photograph on the computer of some kind of metal sculpture of a cat.

Kind of cute really.

We don’t actually own this particular sculpture, but I’m thinking we should.

I rather like the idea of cats in the garden.

Just not real, live cats because I’m the only one allowed here.

I’m not big on sharing my garden or my peeps.

But “art-ified” cats are another thing altogether.

I like it.

What about you?

Would you put a piece of art in your garden?

Note from Jean: The cat Mija is referring to is a metal sculpture that I saw at Fort Collins Nursery last weekend at their open house. He and some of his companions really charmed me.

Maybe he will come to live in our garden. Stranger things have happened!


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