Cempasúchitl

I do not need land

To endure. Look for me in

The floating gardens.

I have started on a new series exploring the notion of phantoms and of the ongoing bonds that we share with those we have lost. This is the first piece, which draws upon the Aztec origins of the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The cempasúchitl (referred to in the title) are the marigold flowers used during this holiday to draw spirits to their loved ones.

-UB

The Art of Making Herself Small

Happy New Year!

As I resume creating, I am experimenting with different ways to integrate verse and visual imagery into one piece rather than two separate ones.

In this case, the background is a collage of patterned craft paper. I designed and cut the silhouette from black card stock and drew the clouds onto the text bubble with colored pencils. Finally, the text superimposed on the image with the application Adobe Creative Cloud.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

-Ursula

Work Now Up at a Local Gallery

This month I have the fortune of sharing my most recent work at Left Coast Art Studio. This local gallery on the Central Coast of California features a wide variety of local artists and hosts a wide range of workshops and activities for people of all ages and levels of interest. If you are ever in the area, it is worth stopping by this unique creative space. 

Sewing Project: Framing Companion Poems

I have been invited to share my work in a local art studio this November. While working furiously to put finishing touches on pieces, I was struck with the idea of using a new medium for presenting the companion poems to the visual art: fabric. After a few failed attempts and profanity-laden sessions of seam ripping, I finally began to feel pleased with this choice. Below are a couple examples of the frames that have emerged from my humble sewing machine, plus the paintings that accompany them.

Mola (4 panels + poem)

Long ago

I became the 

Seamstress

Of my own skin.

Like the Quetzal

Like the Macaw

One color is not

Enough to speak

My name.

Study 

My layers

As you would swim

The Caribbean

As you would face

A setting sky.

Share in

My glimpse 

Of this universe

Knowing it will

Never fit inside

Your suitcase.

This four-panel piece and poem is an homage to the textile medium of the mola created by the indigenous Guna community of the San Blas Islands. It is intended to be displayed horizontally rather than vertically as I have done here. When done so, the sand, the horizon and sunset continue across all four panels. The background has been painted in acrylic. The foreground, kept mostly in black to suggest a silhouette, is all card stock. I left the natural wood grain behind the sand to increase contrast with the design in the paper. 

At the beginning of November, I will be displaying this work along others in a local gallery. 

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

WIP- Mola Panels

During this little hiatus from WordPress, I have been savoring a long process of work in a relatively new medium for me: paper. Here is some of the progress I have made so far on what will hopefully become 4 panels celebrating the textile art tradition of the Mola from the Guna women of Panama. A poem will accompany these pieces as well.

More to come! Gracias por la visita.

And/Both Magazine

A lot of magic is going on behind the covers of And/Both Magazine.

I recently learned of them from a fellow artist who thought my multidisciplinary style could be a good match for this publication. I submitted work and was pleased to have a poem and painting accepted, but the real pleasure came upon receipt of the issue itself (#6, “inhale/exhale”).

There is breathtaking artistry in every detail of the magazine. Some entries of verse are printed on vellum, allowing for collaboration with the visual art that follows. Other entries are tucked in as bookmarks, which inspire further interaction as they follow your progress over different entries. Even a moveable arrow on one page and an embroidery ribbon weaving through another remind you that you too are an active participant in this experience.

As a result, And/Both becomes a beautiful celebration of diversity and community. Each piece resonantes with its own unique and complex perspective, but an open dialogue continually buzzes amongst them, building commonalities. It is an endeavor that proves particularly cathartic in this latest issue, which focuses on current events related to the pandemic and civil unrest and injustice in the United States.

For more information about And/Both Magazine and for purchase of their issues, visit their website: https://andbothmagazine.bigcartel.com/products

Rain Dance

Original piece in watercolor pencil, 1/21.
As yearning 
Yields its last steps
Circling the dust
Drum in hand
She arrives

Girl Fawkes
Christener of tin roofs
Windshields
Oak groves
Cracked clay

Beckoning all
To drink in her cool
Clean mirth
Her resolve
Her faith

Until even 
The asphalt beams 
Under this
Coat of 
Afterbirth

-UEB