Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The New Southwest. Big Bad Collars.

The New Southwest.
I have felt that for a while it is time the for resurgence of the West.  My obsession began with cowhides and then moved on to cow skulls.  What could I do with a cow skull that would be new and unique?  This got me pondering.

You see, I am not from the Southwest.  I was forcibly relocated here from the Northwest (don't get me started...)  But the fact is I am a seems to be where ever I am.  (Marcus Aurelius was right:  "wherever you go, there you are".)  I grow weary of the washed out '80s Southwest.  It simply does not make sense.  It does not inspire.  This is not the place I know.  The colors here are bold and vibrant.  This is a place for only the tough.  Wimpy washed out pastels can't survive the desert sun.  Rocks are red, cactus are rich greens, wildflowers are deep purples and bright oranges and yellows.  Sunsets flame.

Beautiful needs to be useful too.  What purpose does it serve to have a pretty thing that can't be used for its purpose.  Useful has its own inherent beauty.  I use only Latigo leather for a reason.  It is tough and can handle what you throw at it.  And it is beautifully textured, naturally.  Increased age only means increased character to it.  Most my supplies are horse tack because it is made to work:  endure wild, unrestrained stress.  If it can handle the work of taming the west, a cowboy's work, then a working dog fits right in.  Natural elements survive the elements.  And look good doing it.  Having been raised in a farming community, living in the desert, you see the beauty in practicality.  To me, much of what is considered Southwest fashion fails this.  It represents none of the vitality I see.

So it's time.

Time to quit wallowing in washed out colors of a washed out time.  Time to return to the Old Southwest:  a dynamic time, a tough time, a vibrant time.  Time to return to the values that make us hardy and useful.  It is time to see the beauty and life in the desert.  Time to use everything we have.  In this time we will live beautifully.


So you see my obsessions.  I hate to feel washed out, useless, is how too many of us feel these days.  It is all about utility and sense of purpose.  If what we surround ourselves with is vibrant and useful, with an intent for purpose, we will feel that way too.  I also believe you use what you have in its entirety.  We are serious meat eaters around here, but also, out of respect to the animal, I believe you use the whole animal, every piece.  (My dogs' chew treats are  We'll just leave it at that.)

So I come back to cow skulls.

The symbol of the Southwest.  The staple of Southwest fashion and decor.  Finding inherent beauty.  I wanted to do something new and unique.  Reinvent the Southwest using its own inherent elements, the inspiration within its own past.

(Editor's note:  Considering the abuse the woman suffers at my hands, I owe this one to Gail.  The last time she walked into my house, before she could even set her purse down, she had an apron thrown at her, a tasting sample shoved into her mouth and was told to start stuffing hors d'oeuvres.  Therefore:  In her defense and as she pointed out to me, she never actually said she hated the old card.  She is far too well mannered and gentle to have done such a thing.  But, not to worry, the others all did!  The business card just caused her eye to twitch convulsively!  Wow...I am just like the New York Times now:  complete with retractions and editor's notes!  I feel very significant and accomplished now.)  (PS:  A congratulations too!  To see more of Gail's work, please see the article on container gardening:  Latter-Day Woman-Spring 2010 )

No comments:

Post a Comment