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That wonderful, fanciful, fantastic food artist, Patricia Arribálzaga, whom I featured a while back was kind enough to respond to my request for a short interview. I love her concise, to-the-point responses; she radiates confidence and certainty about her craft.
What do you love about your medium?
I love working with edible material, my art is ephemeral, my art object are dematerialized when people eat it
Describe a piece of artwork that you find superficial or boring.
In my case I find boring the artwork that you can find in every places denoting lack of surprise and personality .
When did you first call yourself an artist, and why?
When I was around 7 years old when I felt a strong emotion with the result of my drawings and hunger to continue working.
Describe a piece of artwork and/or an artist that you find consistently inspiring.
You will very sadly miss out on an art update today, because I’m using all my free (read Pearl’s nap) time to send art requests for my upcoming amazing birthday art festival on November 8th. I am so very excited about this event. I did this once before a few years ago, and I can still feel the creative euphoria that night kindled. If you are an artist and you’re local (you know, in a state roughly adjoining Minnesota), please consider showing or performing some work at the event. If you’re not an artist, just come and soak up the artsy goodness. It’s going to be fantastic.
And then there was the marvelous world of paper cutting, displayed most elegantly by Emma Van Leest.
Her creations put the word “intricate” to shame. I wish I had a better one. I love how her creations are not just a beautifully detailed picture of one thing, but a whole world created in the confines of a piece of paper. They are truly wonderful, and I hope you’ll check out some of her other images as well. Her artist statement is really beautiful too, and I love what she has to say about the feminine world of handicrafts.
I’m always on the lookout for new types of art that I haven’t featured here, and today I have found a breathtaking pastry artist, the wonderful Patricia Arribálzaga. The exquisite detail and beauty of her work would be phenomenal even if it wasn’t edible, but there it is in all its eatable glory. Her anise cookies first caught my eye with their gentle sculptured look.
Now those cookies are amazing, and I can only assume delicious, but they honestly pale in comparison to some of the unbelievable work I found on the Cakes Haute Couture website. For example…
Just because Arribálzaga’s company likes to show off, their pastry creations use only natural ingredients (no preservatives or additives), absolutely everything they use is edible (including ink and gold leaf), and they decline to use any natural flowers or prefabricated items in their work. All of their decorations are made exclusively from sugar paste, marzipan, or chocolate. You just have to know that before you look through all the amazing pieces on their website, so your mind can be appropriately blown.
As with a few other posts, Arribálzaga owns a company that makes a great deal of this amazing artwork, so I can’t guarantee that these particular pieces are her sole creation. I feel confident though, having read how she trains pastry artists in her unique methods and standards, that her spirit and efforts are behind these pieces.
Turns out I improperly credited the wonderful sculpture in my last post to Daryl Stokes. He was kind enough to let me know that “Sunrise” isn’t his artwork, although he does do amazing redwood sculptures like the one below.
I’m still looking for the artist of the piece I put up (because it’s amazing) and I will re-post it when I find the correct credit. For now I’ve taken the post down, sad day.
Rebeca Mojica, whose stunning chainmaille jewelry was featured on this blog last week, very generously agreed to do a profile for me. Her work is truly innovative and elegant, and as you’ll see in this interview, she is a wonderfully joyful artist.
1) What do you love about your medium?
I love that chainmaille is so versatile. Given all the different sizes of rings, virtually an infinite number of textures and patterns can be created. I use colored metal, too, so that brings a deeper level of customization to my work. I guess I love the fact that there is something for everyone with chainmaille. You like big and chunky? Done. You want something intricate and delicate? No problem. Clothing? Yes. Sculpture? Sure.
I also love the repetitive act of creating chainmaille. Once I settle into a rhythm, it is completely satisfying to me to continue weaving for hours. I lose myself in the meditative motions, and before I know it, I “come back” to reality and discover I’ve created something beautiful.
2) Describe a piece of artwork that you find superficial or boring.
This is a difficult question. I suppose the artwork that I find boring would be something that is simply a rectangle of a solid painted color, with no textural variation. Now, sure, take a ton of small rectangles of differing hues or shades or textures, and arrange them artistically on a wall and that’s interesting. But just a huge red square … well, it doesn’t really do anything for me. I guess in some avant-garde way it might prompt me to question, “Is that art?” and that clearly may be the main purpose of such a piece. But frankly, I don’t want to question if something is art, I just want to enjoy it. I want to be moved to feel something.
3) When did you first call yourself and artist, and why?
I started calling myself an artist a couple years after I began creating chainmaille. Really, it was prompted by being the “Featured Artist” at an Art Gallery Opening. “I guess if I’m good enough for them to call an artist, then I am an artist!”
Though I go back and forth between the words artist and artisan. Definitions vary, but to me, art is purely something to be enjoyed with the senses and it has little or nothing to do with physical functionality, for instance, visual or performing art. Artisan pieces, on the other hand, are objects that have an aesthetic element, but they are also functional, such as jewelry, purses, furniture, cuisine, etc. Some of my work is purely art (Sears Tower sculpture and Chainmaille Mandala). But most of what I do is more artisan-oriented.
4) Describe an artist and/or piece of work that you find consistently inspiring.
This is another tricky question! I am inspired by so many things, and I think it is difficult to choose a single artist.
Could I choose the universe? Because that is really the only thing that is constantly inspiring me — the fact that the deeper we look in nature, the more we see. The variety of lifeforms and patterns, and the incredible scales at which the world works (both macro and micro) are astounding.
So as not to completely cop out – Bear McCreary – Is an amazing musician. Through his music, I’ve been moved to tears, been covered in goose bumps, laughed, and smiled in wonder. I look forward to being inspired by his soundtracks for years to come.
Sky Cubacub – Obviously I relate to her meticulous work. 🙂 I love her versatility and am always excited to see what project she will tackle next. She is so young, which makes her triply-inspirational to me.
Alexander Volkov – Without a doubt, my favorite fine arts painter; his mastery of light and reflection is amazing. I could stare at his wintery scenes forever – they take me to a serene, quiet place. Living in the city I don’t remember to appreciate nature as much as I’d like to, and his work gives me that opportunity. It is centering for me.
And of course, no list of my inspiration would be complete without mentioning Aerosmith. Whatever it is about this band, I don’t know, but they never fail to lift my mood, and sometimes, as an artist in the middle blocked creativity, a mood-lifter is just what the doctor ordered. 🙂
5) What is your unique purpose for creating work?
It is an unstoppable force from within. Not only do I have the need to create, but I am a people-pleaser. It gives me such great satisfaction to create a piece that is “absolutely amazing” and “exactly what I’ve been looking for for years!” Obviously I understand the need to express oneself, and I am humbled and thrilled to pieces that I can help other people find an outlet by which they can express themselves. To see the smiles on people’s faces and to hear the compliments they receive when wearing Rebeca Mojica jewelry — those are some of the main reasons why I do what I do.
I want to push this medium to new levels. When I hear people say, “Wow, I didn’t know that chainmaille could do that!” then I know I’m on the right track. The fact that I’ve been doing this for a decade, and people still say that about my work, is one of the deepest rewards I could ever ask for.
Today a lovely image by Raphael Sagage for your viewing pleasure. I love the elegance of this piece, and how Sagage is able to incorporate such a bold color palette and yet create such a peaceful affect.
I have a particular admiration for artists who can create work like this, that is half abstract and half figural. It’s the kind of talent I ascribe to impressionists, that ability to know how far from reality you can get and still maintain the natural image.
Today I present to you Judith Braun, who makes lots of different types of art, but caught my eye with her wall “fingerings.” They are too simple, dramatic, and beautiful to be real, certainly to be charcoal or graphite fingerprints on a white wall. Still, there they are in all their magnificent glory, because an artist touched that wall.
Judith Braun is one of those artists that I admire because she is willing to say, do, and be things that I am too afraid to say, do, or be. One of her museum pieces is entitled, “Without Pleasure All We’d Have is a Bunch of Stuff Vibrating.” I love that.
My apologies for how my side bar interrupts this beautiful artwork. I’d continue to try to fix it, but I’d like to write some fiction today. You can click on the image to see it in its purer form.
I’m always looking for new ideas for my crochet hats, and I stumbled into some of Sebahat Cetinkaya’s work and could not stop looking at it. Here is the image that first caught my eye.
Although this is nothing like what I do with crochet, I was struck with this overwhelming feeling that I want to do that. I do not usually feel that way about art, usually I’m so stunned that anyone can do that. This piece is no less stunning than the other things I’ve seen, rather it is so beautiful in a way that feels native to me. I want to learn to do that.
Sebahat Cetinkaya doesn’t have her own website, but she and her children have an amazing etsy store that you could check out here.
This is a great article on Cetinkaya’s creative process and history (super interesting stuff)
Finally, this is a short video of her and her daughter which makes me feel all warm and gooey inside. Pretty sure that’s what it’s trying to do, but I like it anyway.
Today’s art post comes with a discussion question, are you psyched? Today I stumbled upon some fantastical European castle gardens. They are so similar and yet so different, and they reminded me of a principle I’ve encountered in some of my hat designs.
This is the Chateau de Villandry, displaying in the dizzying splendor of precise geometric design. I did not find any pictures that completely captured the sheer vastness of these gardens, but this one is nice.
Here you have the Gardens of Marqueyssac, displaying the magical harmony of of a seemingly random and varied design. This is also only a small part of the whole garden, and if you choose to look up some more images of it, make sure to find some night time ones. They are stunning.
I’ve found that pattern design has a spectrum of precision and spontaneity, and that spectrum is like a lance with two sharp ends. One the one hand, trying to make something perfectly straight, perfectly round, perfectly parallel, perfectly anything, is like a tiny dictatorship you created yourself. In contrast, if you’re going to make something look just slightly off kilter, it HAS to be perfectly precise lest it appear merely sloppy. And there is no turning the crank with a “random” balanced pattern, each piece must be considered and chosen. Which type of design do you prefer? Do you admire one over another? Which kind of patterns do you find in your home, on your clothes, around you accessories?