Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's Official!!

Artworks Gallery in Bozeman has their photos of my masks up on their website! The show opened on Monday, the 19th. It's been almost a month since I mailed all the masks off, but somehow, it just feels more 'real' now that I see the photos of my work on the gallery's web page. I leave next Weds., the 28th, in the morning, arriving at 1:00 p.m. Thank goodness it's a quick hop of a flight - since the travel is on a Dash-8 or similar, via Horizon. I'm used to taking those small prop planes from Anchorage to Kodiak in rough weather, but they are a bit of a squeeze!

I think it's finally summer here in Washington! It's still cool for this time of year - only getting up in the mid-to-high 60's, but it's supposed to warm up to the low 70's this weekend. Not that I mind the temps - it's just been so cloudy, I still look pretty white. Guess my pale skin will shock anyone expecting to see an Eskimo when I do the gallery opening!

Many thanks to you all, my cyber-friends, who have been so supportive! I've been occupied with lots of yard-work and home stuff the past month - kinda my decompression after all the mask-making. But I don't want to just let my blog slide.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Baba Yaga and Her Hut

Here's a photo (finally) of Baba Yaga and her hut which I made last summer. I have a love of fairy tales, especially illustrated books, and have a collection of Russian fairy tale books, among others. More than ten years ago, I made a large (almost life-sized) figure of Baba Yaga, the archetypal 'witch' from Russian folklore. She was in my featured artist show at our co-op gallery, The Dancing Salmon in Kodiak. My friend in Montana now has Baba Yaga in her dining room. Last spring, I started a series of 'spirit houses', which I haven't yet completed. But I did make Baba Yaga's hut, which stood in the middle of a birch forest, upon chicken's feet so that it could turn in all directions. Baba Yaga had a fence made of human bones, topped with skulls whose eyes shone with a red fire at night. One of the most well-know stories with Baba Yaga in it is "Vasilisa the Fair", about a little girl whose cruel stepmother sends her into the forest to seek fire from Baba Yaga. You'll have to read the story to find out the rest!

My Baba's hut was made from some reclaimed cedar siding, some cedar plank driftwood, cut into shingles, and cottonwood bark. I painted the hut following some fairy tale illustrations. The chicken feet are carved bark, as is Baba Yaga herself, and the crow on the roof. The roof lifts off, and the door opens. She has a table and bed inside, but the interior still needs to be painted, and Baba needs a dress. I also need to fix the front porch, and paint the skulls. I look forward to finishing this project, and picking up on the rest of the series!

Oh - the size: the hut is about 8"x8"x15" high. Baba is 5" tall (excluding her hair). Her arms, legs and neck are jointed with copper wire so she's poseable.

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