Tonight, Friday July 25th, the Beatrice Valenzuela Flagship Boutique will be hosting a welcoming cocktail reception for the arrival of Rebekah Miles Ceramics. (and have you seen the delicious concoctions Bea makes?!)
On her hand painted ceramics:
I am primarily a painter using ceramics as my “canvas”. I started teaching myself ceramics as a way of exploring making paintings as functional, sculptural pieces. I draw inspiration from a seed savers exchange catalogue, an antique loteria set, fruits, flowers and animals. I love putting my personal touch on the age-old artisanal craft of shaping basic forms from slabs, molds and templates. I work in a community center with many ceramicists who have worked for decades.
On her hand painted book covers:
I paint one-of-a-kind book jackets on a range of subjects, specific artists, cultural topics, photographers and authors. The selected books are a reference to art history and the art of literature and libraries. I choose an image to paint for a cover illustration based on qualities such as poignancy and visual graphics. If the book is not illustrated, I find an image that is complementary to its contents. I may also choose to paint my version of the original illustration. The cover text is included in the painting (title, author and publisher) on a hand-cut paper jacket, using a heavy weight glossy paper and acrylic paints. This process gives the book a new essence, and restores it to better shape (I try to find used books). It also makes it a functional sculpture/painting.
Rebekah in the studio
The anqique loteria set that inspired her most recent works
Could you tell me about the selection you'll have at the Beatrice Valenzuela shop?
This collection was inspired by California / Mexican imagery, and specifically an antique loteria set (see above). . . . My process of selecting imagery has to do with the personal meaning of the subject matter, in this case the tradition of a game and the symbols of the cards, mostly natural elements (el nopal, la mariposa, el sol, el caballo) and grouping them in ways that compliment each other. Other series such as the seed savers catalogue pieces have a meaning for me as an ambassador of small farmers and keeping heirloom varieties alive. My work in different series is like a mismatched set of dishes and linens and flowers that are (hopefully) charming when put together.
You ceramic works are so illustrative and specific. It's beautiful to see your paintings translated onto a sculptural object in addition to flat surfaces.
There is something lighter for me in painting functional objects vs. making paintings. For many years I made paintings, and I still love it, but I enjoy making small pieces that are more accessible.
Who / what / where inspires you?
Georgia O'Keeffe, art history from all times, road trips, listening to country music.
Rebekah's lovely works at the Echo Park Craft Fair this Spring 2014
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and photographs, Rebekah! Have a wonderful reception this evening!
Rebekah Miles Painted Ceramics at Beatrice Valenzuela
Welcoming Cocktail Reception Fri July 25th, 5 - 7pm
Collection will be available at the Flagship Shop
all photographs courtesy of Rebekah except those taken at EPCF