Archive for May, 2010


love o’clay, love o’illustration

Sharing a bit of my process here.

"I meet her this way often" © 1998 CC Snider-Bryan

“I meet her this way often” © 1998
Low relief tile. Coyote, Duncan underglazes. 10″ sq.
Documents the way I would meet my sister at the head of an intersection, each on our different morning paths – hers as The Cleaning Lady, me as Mom of Preschooler and Press Lackey.

"Yerba de la Negrita" © 2001

“Yerba de la Negrita – Scarlet Globemallow” © 2001
Duncan underglaze and Mayco border. 4″ sq.
From my earliest series documenting flowers in our yard.

"Carlito Springs IV" © 2008

“Carlito Springs IV” © 2008
Press mold. Duncan and Mayco glazes. 6″ sq.
4th version of this story, the first made into press mold. The story told me by Bernalillo County Open Space Caretaker of the tracks: Badger and Puma, @ the spring.

"Lilac Gestalt II" © 2008

“Lilac Gestalt II”
Press mold. With Laguna glazes.

Glazing Neighbor Guineas

“Neighbor Guineas” © 2004.
Press mold. Duncan, Mayco glazes, Amaco chalk. 6 ” sq. Guineas in Los Ranchos, my sistah’s neighborhood – with Sandias in the background. I look at Sandias and at Guinea heads each time I do these.

"From a Dog's Nose" © 2006

“From a Dog’s Nose” © 2006
Press mold. Duncan, Mayco glazes. 6″ sq.
The old arroyo I used to visit weekly, the last time I took our Dog there – an amazing place. The goal is to depict the sense of space in that arroyo with the looming Sandias, as well as document the then 2 year old Dog’s slow attempts to catch a Jackrabbit. A friend told me this composition didn’t work. Different versions exist.


Mallards, Western Tanangers, Mosquitos, Romping Doggies

Field Log 5/15/10 Alameda Ditch north of Alameda Road

First distinctive life forms encountered this morn on ditch entered at Alameda Road (NOT Blvd) were 3-4 male  Mallards with not a female in sight. They were lounging in the sand of the opposite  side-of-ditch road – they eyed Maginaw the dog, but did not budge from their spots. Wonder if these were young teen Mallard boys.

Next to notice: Western Tanagers in a field east of ditch and then in bosque neighborhood close by ditch.  Spotted while the males flew away and could see the back with outstretched wings: yellow tail, black band mid back, then yellow shoulders. This view not in photos at Cornell Bird website. First noticed the predominant yellow, later noticed the orange heads. Also spotted a few of the green-grey with yellow edged females – so it is breeding season as Cornell territory map shows.

Delivered the book to Beth & Jim’s home where they spoke of mosquitos being alive and well at their evening meal outdoors. Maginaw behaved herself with Buck who she hasn’t seen in a few years. Beth’s mom Marilyn said they too have seen the Tanagers in their denser Bosque area, which is two stones throws from the Rio Grande. Maginaw started snapping at mosquitos. “She would eat bees when she was a puppy,” as I explained how her stray mother was found with litter and rescued by Watermelon Mountain Ranch.

Going back home on the ditch, Maginaw’s 6 years and weak back knees showed a bit as she romped with the Chavez pup. Her spirit and desire to play still strong and she did enjoy herself. But her speed is not up to par and she is totally tuckered on the porch right now.

Mag lounging those weak knees


Postscript:  I thought I had published this! Alas, it was just a draft still tonight when I finally dug into my hole again after some crazy week or two. And guess what? W. Tanagers are nesting in the Sandias (according to Judy’s new post on “It’s a Bird Thing”), and mosquitos are floating around my head now in early evening moonlight. And we are working on placing these Eagles and Mallards on the Bosque mural panel …

Bernalillo Mid School Manassah's Eagles & Brando's Mallards


Up Over Our Shoulders The Mesa

Corrales— east of ditch, west of road © 2004 Cirrelda Snider-Bryan

Up Over Our Shoulders The Mesa

We are in Corrales.
Village where my grandma
lived her best last years
for us as little girls.

Close to sunset,
late summer
sun streaming through tree trunks
light dancing through so many green leaves,
long shadows next to golden greenrows of sun on grass on alfalfa.
Tall lushness blocks
glare of the sun on
valley floor.

We know by going back over the tiny ditch
with Grandma carrying the matches and bag of trash
to the blackened burn can
that there’s a dirt hill above
and then a hundred miles beyond
that sun is setting over
homes of meadowlark in juniper
bluetail lizard in sandstone sandy dirt
and yucca, purple sage.
The sun sets over wilderness.
And we know it’s up there, beyond
this lush valley.
Over our shoulder
up over the mesa
we don’t see but a few houses.
And then know it’s wild.

That our home in the valley is bordered by this other place
brings a settled yawn,
a quick jump in our galloping.

Music from guitars and voices singing
laughter and lights glowing
late in the black night
through wooden gates over mud walls
out the low window of my grandma’s one-bedroom.

The plowed and planted field,
the stacked wood,
the path to the burn barrel,
the conservancy district ditch,
and steeples of the old church over yonder —
Humanity done good in this valley.
But it’s the connection above —
up over that horizon
to the wild land of the mesa
territory to the west
land belonging to the mostly much smaller
beings stink bug rattler cottontail
jack rabbit tarantula stones and rocks
smoothed from rains in ravines arroyos
sage brush rabbitbrush 4wing salt bush
chamiza —
But it’s the connection above —
brings a settled yawn,
a quick jump in our galloping.


Copyright © 2004 Cirrelda Snider-Bryan

[thanks to Santa Fe Poetry Broadside for publishing this in its online poetry "broadside" website - issue #40, May 2005 -]

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