The Exodus brings the Arrival

cropped-desert-hawk-eucalyptus-base-garden-shot.jpgI am influenced by my desert surroundings. My studio faces stony mountains and a jagged skyline, such a contrast between sky and land. The heat in the summertime consumes you and demands your attention. During the day the sun lingers high in the sky and the heat remains throughout the night. The silence of the desert accentuates my senses releasing memories along the journey, many times now with a fresh perspective.

 

Fish and BreadI try to imbue thoughts of faith, restoration, and healing within my work. I believe light has healing power for the body, mind and spirit. I add healing soil collected from healing areas in the southwest such as Mission Chimayo and Sedona, AZ. Many of the pieces have the healing soil from the mission integrated into the pieces. The light emitted from the layers cast with phosphorescent powders provides light and pierces the darkness, fading over time to a tiny glow.

 “The most precious light is the one that visits you in your darkest hour!” Mehmet Murat Ildan

My studio is full of shards, artifacts, and salvage. At times, I re-purpose these pieces into my work which provides a pathway to new work and a new direction. I experiment illuminating the work with LED light fixtures as a way of viewing them in a dark setting.  My pieces, when viewed in natural light have distinct characteristics and it is the light effects the LED fixtures provide when viewing in a dark setting that set the piece apart.  A different connection and context is created as the light penetrates the translucent layers and reacts to the layers mixed with phosphorescent powders.

SuperPhoto_Creation_2017-11-08_Nice MysticalWith this new series, I have created a sense of motion in the piece. This new work has the piece hovering and gliding over desert and ocean landscapes or seascapes.   The different pitch provides a sense of descending, flying or a sense of hovering. The changing color of light creates a wide range of spiritual moods, from calmness and healing to a sense of peace.

“Seeking the Sacred V” The last of this series. 18″x 7″x 17″ Alligator Juniper, cast resin, steel ball joint hardware, LED light, UV Light. There is a beautiful planet that lights and glows beautifully under UV light. Seeking the Sacred-WEB strong image enhancedThe elements of earth, air, and water intermingle as an intruder looms above the land. The resin impregnated the live edge of this piece of wood creating a seascape showing a sea floor and a sky hovering over the ocean. Clouds are suspended between layers and emit an eerie glow. An LED pulsates light behind the piece and illuminating a portion of the ray.

If the pieces I create imbue a “mystical” mood to my viewer, I feel I have succeeded in my mission as an artist. If the pieces take you to a journey of deeper perceptive state, even better.

Website Gallery

Lortega777@gmail.com

602-369-3698

 

Exodus

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Seeing the final phase of these pieces: final resin casts, the LED lighting location, additional airbrush detail, sanding, engineering hardware to attach the steel rod to a base.

Flying and hovering and strange night lights all part of the story of Exodus. Freedom is the theme of the Exodus and wings provide a unique freedom. I often have dreams of flying or hovering outside my body. Freedom is a spiritual feeling and is associated with light. SuperPhoto_Creation_2017-10-06 WEB AAAA Wonderful

The cast resin pieces become a lens diffusing LED light through the wing and surrounding area. It’s a soothing light, a light you might see in the distance of the desert wilderness. Exodus is a story of a flight to freedom through a desert wilderness. The journey is illuminated at times with a column of fire or clouds for the masses to follow during the day and during the night. A journey in the desert at night avoids the heat of the desert day and the stars of the night illuminate the desert floor.

New pieces-Cast Resin Wings: 34″-38″ wingspans. LED light-wood and resin bases. Series of 12 available this fall. More at: Online Gallery Website Exodus

“Strangers in a Strange Land”

“The Encounter I” My studio has an abundance of resin and wood shards, artifacts from past projects, and salvage, things I cannot throw away. It is full of music as well and my mind wanders through the biblical stories of the Exodus, where guiding lights and columns of clouds and fire are found along a desert journey. Before starting work, I muse on some of my common themes in my work, the themes of healing and restoration.  Bits and pieces of memory are stored in the shards of my work, time is captured and measured in these lifeless pieces. I look to release the memories contained by using the media of resin, LED lighting wood and steel.Creation Double Wings WEB

At times I think myself as an alchemist,  looking to release the memories “stored” in the pieces. I am drawn to using resin, LED lighting wood and steel.  I seek to create commonalities between materials, and the experience and memories.

In this photo, I imagine the molded resin wings engulfing what looks like the heart of a being. The LED lighting pulsates colors through the translucent layers of cast resins.SuperPhoto_Creation_2017-05-25_105516WEB AAA

Healing, light, and restoration have become central themes in my work. My imagination is inspired by nature and depicting stories from scripture. I imagine a time during the creation of our world, the light, the formation of earth and sea. Stories of hope, healing, and provision while lost in the desert. LED and UV light is a medium that I use to illuminate my work.

When I am in a wilderness environment, I imagine a time when the landscape was shrouded in chaos but formed to create meaning and mission where time, space and light dispelled the darkness as new beginnings emerge.

The desert and the ocean have always been part of my life as has surfing, diving, fishing, sailing and exploring remote realms in Mexico, Central America, Alaska, and Hawaii.

One of my favorite artist’s quotes comes from British artists Francis Bacon “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery”. My feel my work has a mysterious nature to it, lights that penetrate the darkness and seemingly comes from within the work, light that pulsates a healing and meditative mood and helps penetrate the darkness.

 The Art Process   I utilize resin, wood, steel and light in most of my pieces. The translucent nature of resin and how I cast and color resin layers creates skies, clouds, oceans, and landscapes. I mix phosphorescent powders into certain resin layers allowing me to “create” light in the darkness. I use LED and UV lighting to illuminate the resin layers and the light seeping through the resin creates a sense of wholeness, healing, and peace. 

The perception of these works shifts as the color of light is changed, at one point a sunset at another time a twilight in the desert or ocean landscape. Any light “charges” the phosphorescent layers in the work to produce a radiant quality…an eerie glow. That “glow” dissipates over time but may remain a subtle light throughout the night, only to be charged the by the light of a new day.

More on website: http://www.stor-ybox.com

 

 

Seeking the Sacred

Our personal journeys take us to many places. At times we find ourselves along paths that are unmarked and without light to guide us. We are forced to confront fears that only darkness can produce. But we are driven to explore, it is part of our DNA as humans whether it is reaching to the stars or the depths of the ocean or… the boundaries of our imagination. We begin the journey as children: bringing natural curiosity as artists, scientist, and philosophers.
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A new series of work titled “Beneath the Darkness” reveals imaginary desert and ocean realms. Places and moments of time where light penetrates the darkness providing hope, security, and inspiration. A concealed LED light illuminates the cast resin layers in the cross-like shape and radiates a light within the steel and plexiglass base.

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“Seeking the Sacred”

I had a sense of creating something sacred, perhaps a holy vessel, something that can produce a sense of peace and maybe miraculous healing. My own faith says that is possible. Some say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. I hope the piece becomes that beacon providing the light into a voyage to a sacred harbor.
Two in a series: Resin-Steel & Light       19″x 11″x4″ See at the Ice House
First Friday April 7th 2017.

www.stor-ybox.com
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Lost Memories-New Musings

The sycamore slab takes on a new life juxtaposed against a corrugated steel background, like an ancient relic, a religious icon illuminating a dark outdoor space. There is new meaning in this space, the context has changed-the space has been transformed and in its center is the light emanating from piece “Lost Memories”LM-horizontal Night NIce

The wood was termite infested, crooked, twisted and weathered in the Arizona desert sun, I was drawn to this 10′ sycamore slab for those reasons-the greater the deterioration, the great the opportunity to transform the piece and claim it as yours.

I saw the wounds to this tree, the borings into its flesh and  perhaps was the debilitating condition that ended the life of this magnificent tree. I was drawn casting resins into the “live” edge of the slab, the process of restoring, is almost fetish like and a driving influence in my work.  The edge of this piece with translucent layering of resin casts with phosphorescent and pearlescent powders, has become the focal point of this piece. Illuminating the edge with LED lighting provides an other worldly appearance, confronting the viewer.Lost Memories Steel Red

During the process of creating, there is a time to let the “muse” take over… that involves letting go of my desire and my efforts and creating what God has called me to create. Allowing faith to infuse my art is a major part of my  creating process.LIght Lost Memories cool backyard shot

When I am alone working in my studio, listening to the silent sounds of the desert, I ponder so many questions, themes and challenges.  Lifeless wooden slabs confront me in the studio-rough surfaces-crevices and live edges. Hostility is depicted by the jagged, sharp pitted edges as well as the size of the piece that confronts me. This lifeless but beautiful fragment of a once prosperous living entity; a majestic Sycamore tree existing in the wilderness was my task for reclamation. I am certain, that when God saw my life- He saw the same challenge.

Phil 2:13 For God is working in you-giving you the desire and power to do what pleases…Him.

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Holy & Healing

 

A lost memory recaptured on recent trips to Taos, NM and Barcelona, Spain. A spiritual journey began with visits to churches and basilicas in Barcelona, Spain. Sagrada Famila is famous worldwide a church that has been under construction for over a 100 years and complete by 2025…they hope.Monstrance New WEB

Mission church Chimayo, outside of Taos is one of the best examples of an early Spanish Colonial mission. In this case, it is a “healing” place, like Sedona, AZ and other healing places in the southwest.  Chimayo mission is the site of physical and mental healings, some say miracles. We often mistake problems that require a spiritual solution-not a financial one.

Inside mission Chimayo are 2 separate rooms-in one, crutches hang on every wall, a testament of physical healing. From this room, you enter another room-low slung and no bigger than 10’x10′-central to this room is the small well in the middle of the floor of this room filled with the “healing” dirt from the land. Visitors are encouraged to take some of the dirt…Sandra did.Monstrance Fence-Night

My traditional view is that church buildings were built to inspire us to focus on God. Spires, stained glass windows, and items on the altar were created to depict religious themes and to point our lives away from the earthly realm and focus on a heavenly realm.

A limited series of work, I created with my favorite mixed media-Wood-Resin-Steel & Light and bringing into existence my own version of a “monstrance”.My vessels display something holy-fragments and I choose the land, sky, water and an unseen world.   There is a place where beings in the Rio Grande gorge ascend seeking a light from a wooden shard hovering above them and containing the healing power of the land. Light emitted from the piece breaks the darkness surrounding it. I think of the opportunity to spend moments of meditation during this period of light… a time of prayer and being thankful for all that God has created. Monstrance New WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myopia…a focused look

A “show” was just a  passing thought one late winter night among unfinished pieces in my new studio space. My new work needed to be shown; Obliq Art had not put on a show in 16 months. I thought of all the good times we had and miss so many of the artists and collectors and just friends who made Obliq Art a regular stop on First Friday…and that thought was sown into the universe that night. “The right people will show up”. “The right space will show up”. Sometimes you have to walk in faith. "Healing is...in the Cloud"

My work was about restoration of wood and about adding  a different dimension to wood. Clear and colorized resins were pour into termite caused borings. Phosphorescent resins casts were added as well as casts with pearlescent powders. Lost Memories was created this past winter. A  termite infested, crooked, twisted and weathered Sycamore slab that spent much time in the Arizona desert sun. A perfect piece to restore and reclaim. Another thought…Lives are like that.

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Pete Deise and I have become friends over the last year. He reminds me of the surfer who first surfed Mavericks alone for years-a lonely pioneer living a pioneers life. Who else creates massive steel sculptures in an outdoor studio setting and at 115 degrees?  I’m infatuated with his new work and personally I want to see his work have a larger footprint in downtown Phoenix especially in some of the downtown buildings and projects I am involved with, like the Jackson Street warehouses I am selling. Setting his shows are a little different than hanging paintings in a typical gallery setting, it was fun and challenging putting together this show.

Pete Deis
Lunar
Justin Queal and I have been getting to know each other, its been about 2-3 years. The Myopia show is our first time showing together.  We’ve broke bread, set this show, gave him a lead on a potential commission (which he got)  and spent time together talking about art.  Again another artist that I admire and getting to know him and his lovely artist wife, Abbey. Its a rich life when you have relationships like this. Flourish comes to mind when I think of Justin’s future.

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Radiant Energy

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Cheryl Brandon
Constance McBride and Cheryl Brandon have been in my consciousness for a while, especially Constance whom I first met at Obliq Art at the Arizona Center. Met Cheryl at the Fred Tieken’s Az 45 show in his gallery in Paradise Valley. Two very distinct ceramic artists with a wonderful following. Great contrast to the large pieces. We are resetting the gallery and their pieces in the space with more room to “breathe” and visible 360 degrees.

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Constance McBride
Someone asked me, “When are your shows”? I guess the short answer is “When I want”.  Look forward to seeing how Obliq Art evolves. The Myopia show has allowed me and the other artist to experiment in the space.

The show opens again on Third Friday, March 18 at 7 pm and from noon to 5 PM on Saturday. Lots of parking behind the space as well as street and park parking.

New City Studio- 1300 N. Central Ave-across the street from the main Library and adjacent to Margaret Hance Park. Google Aerial.JPG