Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Carter Mullen Mexican Mask Collection

My brother, Carter Mullen, assembled a collection of Mexican Masks over three decades.  It was a diverse, colorful and authentic collection, most of which were "danced" - worn in flamboyant ceremonies, processions and guarded rituals.  Sadly Carter left his collection behind.  But he would be very proud to know that I found a home for his masks at the Museo de Las Americas in Denver, Colorado.  Below is a book I had made for my Dad's, Bob Mullen, 91st birthday (today) which showcases just some of Carter's masks.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fabulous Murals in San Miguel


On March 22 and 23, a group of 33 artists from parts of Mexico (Tlaxcala, Oaxaca, Queetaro, Leon, Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende and San Luis de La Paz), Chile, Canada, Argentina, Germany and the United States painted some incredible murals in Colonia Guadalupe in San Miguel de Allende.
Muros en Blanco - Blank Walls Organization was formed with the collaboration of the San Miguel de Allende Tourism office to promote art in Colonia Guadalupe and to boost tourism.
The above is a great looking Medusa rowing, part of the huge mural in the next two photos.

Such fabulous colors. The purple is just like the Jacaranda trees that are in full bloom in town.
Truly the heart of the Mexican culture with the sun and corn.

Pretty wild.

Such vibrant colors.

This mural has a lot going on.  The tiger is very reminiscent the clay folk art tigers from Chiapas.  The skeleton riding it with reference to day of the dead with the hip, punky teenager casually sitting on the tigers hind haunches with her I-Pad in hand.
A take on the paper maiche dolls that I just adore.
Beautiful movement and colors.
You can really get an idea on how the blooming Jacaranda trees inspired the artists.
What a wonderful style with the Catrina dressed in traditional dress but at the same time, it feels like one big papel picado.  Beautifully executed.
Great deer!  Reminds me of the Mexican Tourist Ware from the 1930's and 1940's that was made in Tlaquepaque and the burnished ceramics from Tonala.  A deer was often depicted on the large platters and vases.
And this surreal scene is just great.  I think I would call this The Cucaracha (cockroach) Cantina, a bar that has been in San Miguel  for a very long time and doesn't open it doors until at least after ten at night.
Talking about your drinks going to your head.
A technique very much like Van Gough.
A throw back to the 1970's - reminds me of the psychedelic art that you would have found on many of the album covers.

The murals can be found on Calles Carlos de Castillo, Maria Felix, Julian Cardillo and Margarito Ledezma.  I am sure more residents have come forward to offer their homes facade as a new canvas for another talented muralist.  Check them out, they truly are wonderful!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring time at the Denver Art Museum

We finally got around to changing out the arrangement for the Betty Woodman vase at the Denver Art Museums.  This is a project that my friends Judy, Liz and I have taken on since 2008 when the museum purchased the vase.  We still had the winter arrangement on display (well March was a very snowy month!).   Spring is trying to popping her head up here and there so we decided on an arrangement with tall grasses, orange glads, deep purple irises and a variety of spring green leaves.  I have written about some of our past arrangements in the past.  We usually change it out three to four times of year depending on what exhibits are at the museum where we can play off that theme or we design it around the seasons.

Below is a brief description and history of the Woodman vase.
This fall, the Museum has an outstanding exhibit coming in October, Passport to Paris.  This exhibition will showcase the rock stars of the art world— Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and more.  It will focus on French art from the late 1600s to early 1900s and explores changes in art and society during three important centuries in art history.
We already have ideas on what our next arrangement will be.  But in the mean time,  we will all be out in our gardens cleaning them out, weeding and putting in our annuals and perennials.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Baked Goat Cheese with Salsa


This recipe takes goat cheese to another dimension and is one that could be prepared earlier in the day or even the day before and then baked before serving.

1/4 cup roasted pine nuts, roasted
8 oz. goat cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, softened 

Mix well and set aside.

4 arbol chiles, toasted on a comal
2 pasilla chiles, toasted on a comal
2 garlic cloves, roasted on the comal in their skins, then peel
6 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
 juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Simmer the chiles in water in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let soak fora bout 10 minutes or until soft. 
In a blender, blend the garlic, tomatoes and lime juice until the tomatoes are chopped.
Drain the chiles, remove the seeds and stems.  Tear into small pieces and add to the blender. Add the salt and blend to a slightly rough texture.
If salsa is too thick, add a few teaspoons of water.
makes about 2 cups.

Note: this is a salsa with incredible depth that compliments a variety of grilled meats and      quesadillas.

Soak corn husks in hot water until pliable.  (You can fill your sink with hot water and weight the husks down with a heavy bowl or plate). Drain and line a round cazuela (a Spanish or Mexican baking dish) with the husks, overlapping on the bottom.  Put the wide part of the husk at the bottom of the cazuela.
Pour in about 1 1/2 cups (or your desired amount) of the salsa into the lined cazuela.
Form the goat cheese mixture into a shape of a disc and set in the middle of the bowl.

Gently fold the husks toward the center of the bowl and secure with a toothpick.

Bake in a 350' oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through.   Remove from the oven and remove the toothpick. I chose to trim my husks some for a nicer presentation.
Serve with corn tortilla chips.

Buen Provecho!