Monday, July 31, 2017

Weird Is Relative, Everyone Discovers

Title: WIR,ED (Nerd alert: If you rearrange these letters, you can spell weird;)
Medium: Canvas, acrylic, toilet paper procured from a local art museum, wooden dowel, pencil, all linear except for the writing on the toilet paper 
By: Clara G. Herrera
(Enriching music: Wake Up, Arcade Fire; Wake Up, Rage Against the Machine; Wake Up and Live, Ella Fitzgerald)

Behind this piece: So my kids have acquiesced. They no longer question the art and writing. Weird leaves their lips and I say, eccentric and smile. If only they knew...It was during one of these conversations, that I thought, what is something that everyone uses, that is completely mundane and part of everyday life that I can turn into an artistic expression? Writing on toilet paper ain't that easy.

Reflection: I thought about the science behind this piece as I was creating it. All is linear except for the writing on the toilet paper. It is not written in a straight path, just like life is not. I thought it down to the letter size, punctuation and lack of it. I could have used other colors, but black and white were chosen for a reason. White is all the wavelengths of the color spectrum reflected equally. Black is the absorbing of all colors. In life, we are constantly reflecting on and absorbing all that is happening and has happened to us. The result, in my opinion, is gray. Our brains are gray.

Written mathematically, it would be W+B=G; If W>b=W/g; If w<B=B/g. 

Nomenclature broken down: If white and black are equal, the hue will be gray in equal proportions. If there is more white than black, the gray will be a lighter color. If there is less white than black, the resulting pigment will be a darker gray. However in all areas of life, at all times it is either black, white, or gray. Each includes all colors of the visible spectrum.

Gray is balance. It's like those clouds that shield the sky. It is that crisp wind that kicks up suddenly creating goosebumps on your skin. It is the light rain that follows quenching your epidermis for further growth. It is calming. It is peaceful. It is the day and night mixed together in the hues of life. 

It's a God Deal/Home

Title: It's a God Deal/Home
Medium: Canvas, acrylic, paper ashes from a letter written to God
By: Clara G. Herrera, for my son

(Enriching music: Welcome Home Son, Radical Face; Favorite Place, Black Books)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A midsummer's night

Yesterday was a day of creation. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and began painting and writing. This went on until about 3 a.m. this morning. My hands are green. There's paint all over the place. My house smells like acrylic. Art pieces started, four completed. My mind spills out as if an overflowing sink. It is a wonderful feeling, but also challenging.

I have given up trying to figure it out. My art friends just say go with it. So, I am. I figure God is trying to help get much of this out of my head and into production before I go back to school grading papers and teaching science. Two phrases have entered my mind as of late, "Production is everything. and Continue the Path."

In the midst of this painting frenzy last night, that is certainly not random, as each stroke, color, song I listen to as I'm creating has meaning and purpose, I told my daughter, "Can you imagine that there are some people who go through their whole lives never asking themselves, what will I create today? I can't imagine living my life that way." 

Creating for me isn't a want. It is a need. I don't know anyway to describe it except that I must do it.

I told a friend of mine the other day, I got a lot of art I want to throw out into the world but I have to wait because some of them are not very "teachery". Some day, that will come, I suppose. But for now, here are some tame ones from yesterday.

Title: The Dog Messed Up This Painting
Medium: acrylic and tempera
By: Clara G. Herrera
(Enriching music: Searching With My Good Eye Closed, Soundgarden)

Title: Red
Medium: acrylic and tempera
By: Clara G. Herrera
(Enriching music: Spring, Giuseppe Verdi; Hey Man Nice Shot, Filter) 

Title: Self Portrait 2017
Medium: acrylic, tempera, kissing the canvas (that's the red lips;), all painted with my fingers
By: Clara G. Herrera
(Enriching music: Nothing 'Bout Me, Sting: Korben Dallas, Eric Serra from the Fifth Element soundtrack)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

see ya later

Title: see ya later
Medium: alligator skull, sunflowers
By: Clara G. Herrera

(Enriching music: I Come From The Water, the Toadies; The Collector, NIN)

Friday, July 21, 2017


Title: Discard/Reclaim

Medium: neighbor's thrown out glass shower panel, burnt out blue light bulb, old broken wine goblets, crushed kid's sidewalk chalk, acrylic paint, glue

By: Clara G. Herrera

Thoughts: Sometimes the art just finds me. The truth is, I can't escape it. I pick up random things to turn into art like this glass shower panel. I figure these things will tell me what kind of art they want to become. This week, this one did.

(Enriching music: Let the River Run, Boston Gay Men's Chorus version; Show Me How To Live, Audioslave)


Friday, July 14, 2017

SIL series

Title: SIL 1, an examination of light in shadow
Medium: white acrylic, canvas, wind, sunlight, trees
By: Clara G. Herrera
Concept: Over a period of an afternoon, while prepping the canvas or another piece I am creating, I discovered an art series, SIL, that can never be duplicated. Shadows and sunlight change. The tree creating the shadows will never have the same configuration due to branches and leaves falling. In conjunction with that, the wind won't be at the same velocity. I also took a series of still black and white photos that show the paintings created by nature. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Declaring Technology Independence?

I did it. It was more challenging than I thought. But, went to a baseball game with my kids and had a great catch with them and conversation.

Go to HuffPost for link or read it here without links.

I decided to try out this whole independence from technology thing on the 4th of July. I will unplug myself from all my personal devices, said the woman as she typed an internet post on the computer, that will be uploaded shortly with a photo taken with her phone.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I can’t just become a hermit for a day and ignore the technology all around me.

Well, that’s not true. I guess I could pull a John the Baptist and go out in the desert and eat some bugs or something. However, I’m just not into that.

I think it’s more challenging to stay off tech when in the midst of it. So, I will try my hardest to abstain from my own techie stuff during a normal day. Might be quite a task.

Phones, computers, tablets, television, enable me to: listen to music to workout, play around on social media, check emails, texts, news, along with a plethora of other things.

At day’s end, I usually traverse down Wikipedia’s rabbit hole to learn something new. Did you know the original gummy bears were invented in 1922 Germany and were inspired by the trained dancing bears popular at festivals there? Everyone needs to know that!

Uneasiness enters my brain as I wonder if I can do this for 24 hours. I’m typing fast. I only have 30 more minutes.

Would it count if I just vow to stay off my phone and not other technology? I’m thinking, naw. That would be like someone on a diet saying, “I eat all desserts except for anything with chocolate. I’m on a diet.”

While I was reading this out loud. I got to what I thought was the end. I’d written, “Now the trick is, to get my kids to do it.”

My kids heard. They looked up with wild, scared eyes as if I’d just told them the world is going to end.

“We’re not doing that,” my son said. Science studies reveal limiting kids’ screen time is a beneficial, healthy rule. But, that’s my job as a parent, not my son’s.

It made me wonder what might be a growing market and career in the future. I think more therapists will specialize in generalized technology addiction. The problem already exists.

Not surprisingly, it’s got a name: Internet Use Disorder, or (IUD) which is kind of funny, considering the other type of IUD is birth control. So, they both are trying to control something one technological and the other biological.

Watch people walk down the street texting as they run into poles or people. See toddlers playing with iPads at grocery stores. Honk at someone because they were checking texts at a stop light lately?

Yep is the answer to all of these questions unless you haven’t noticed because you were looking on a device of your own.

My kids and students have never lived without Amazon (1994), Google (1998), YouTube (2005), iPhones, (2007) or Netflix (1997). Those are just a few.

Have you ever tried talking to a kid about video stores where you actually had to go out of your home, drive somewhere, and rent a movie on a freakin’ tape?

Their eyes glaze over. In their minds you morph into an old man sitting in a rocking chair smoking a pipe saying, “Sonny, let me tell you about them old days.”

On July 4th, I’ll dive in to get a snapshot of life before so many screens, if only for a moment. I’ll be looking up at the fireworks instead of down at memes of fireworks on my phone.

Though, I suspect like vampires to the light, I’ll be forced to shield my eyes from the light of technology anytime one of my kids or friends says, “Check out this cool meme on my phone!” I think I can handle it. Hopefully, I won’t turn into dust.