Friday, March 6, 2009

Rooster Collage, anyone?

............................Plywood rooster

You may ask yourself, i wonder what Diane does when she is not teaching or hosting a workshop? if you answered "painting a rooster", then you would be right!...............Primed rooster

Well this all began a month ago when an artist friend asked me if i wanted to paint a cow. I said ok. Then she said, "well the cow is kind of big. Maybe you'd rather do a rooster?" ...........Added beach glass mosaic in thin set mortar

Sure, compared to a cow, a rooster is tiny. Or not. In this case i picked up my 4 foot tall rooster, cut out of heavy plywood, ready to be painted.

.............Printed opening line on matte photo paper

"Don't worry", i told my husband when he was about to freak out. "We aren't keeping it.".................Cut out feather shapes from various text, script and printed papers

The animals are part of an event called Barn Art sponsored in part by the Point Reyes Books bookstore, called Geography of Hope. It is a conference celebrating writing on farming and rural life and is part of a larger reaching topic about sustainable living, organic farming, preserving open space and living well. Here is an excerpt from their website:
............Rooster feet are cut from a typewritten novel bought at a garage sale.

The first Geography of Hope conference, held in 2008, was one of the most exceptional literary events ever to take place in northern California. ... this year’s event will take as its focus writing on farming and the rural life featuring authors who are farmers, ranchers, and growers, people who—to paraphrase Barbara Kingsolver—have devoted their lives to the health of their habitat and food chain. ............Applied feather shapes to rooster with gel medium
Conference chair David Mas Masumoto grows organic peaches and grapes on his family farm in Del Rey, in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Author of Harvest Son, Epitaph for a Peach, and Four Seasons in Five Senses, the author has won numerous awards for his writing, which also has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. You can visit his website at
......Painted base grass green, a glaze of yellow to the feet and some flowers cut from deli paper
Held in the heart of Marin County where the predominant land use is agriculture, the “Geography of Hope: Writing on Farming and the Rural Life” will explore the duality of inspiration and cultivation as expressed by some of the finest writers in the nation.

.......yellow painted novel paper for beak, a map and a postcard for the wattle, and a metal hose faucet and a yellow bead for the eye. a few beads on nails lengthen his crown

Field trips to nearby family farms and ranches will give conference attendees a chance to experience local agriculture, a tradition in western Marin County since the mid-19th century. Art installations, spirited panels and conversations, and delicious meals prepared with food from local farms and ranches will be hallmarks of the weekend as attendees gather in barns, gymnasiums, and community buildings, on farms and in parklands to explore the relationship between people and the land.
....................................Here is the finished rooster

The phrase “geography of hope” ended Wallace Stegner’s famous 1961 Wilderness Letter and was a major factor in the passage of the landmark Wilderness Bill a few years later. The ideas in the letter also encompassed his wider concepts of the American West. Point Reyes Station, located adjacent to Point Reyes National Seashore, is the commercial hub of an area where many land use concepts advocated by Stegner have taken root, including both wilderness protection and farmland preservation.Sorry to cut and paste all that - but it was better than paraphrasing. The finishes pieces will be featured around Point Reyes Station and the Marin French Cheese Company in Petaluma. Once i know where my rooster will come to, you know, roost, i'll let you know. If you are in the Marin area - be sure to check it out!


Elisabeth said...

HI Diane,

Thanks for sharing your process and all the information about the Geography of Hope Conference. Can't wait to see your rooster "live" in Point Reyes.


Dee Dee said...

Fantastic! The quotes made me laugh.