October 19, 2020 - Rachel Moody featured in Voyage LA:
Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Moody.
Rachel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula by an artist and teacher. My father is an oil painter and painted every day in his studio next to our house. My mom was always exploring crafts, from spinning and dying to weaving, gardening and painting. She was the teacher known for bringing arts and crafts to the kids, from murals in the classroom to each student getting their own loom and learning how to spin, dye and weave. She taught my sister and I as well. As a young teen, we were road tripping to Montana attending pow wows on the Flathead Reservation, where my mother has family roots…
I was inspired by the head to toe beadwork, started buying seed beads and was hooked. Turns out all of the women in my family (on my mother’s side) did beadwork, crocheted or did doily handwork. Through the years, my love of nature and travel supported collecting treasures from shells to beads in marketplaces in Bangkok, Thailand, Katmandu, Nepal, estate sales and gem shows like Quartzite and Tucson, Arizona. I had the great opportunity in 1998 to open an eclectic shop with two girlfriends and a community of artists. The Big Sur Garden Gallery at Loma Vista. It was an incredible experience. We had over 50 local artists that consigned their work with us. We hosted musical events and had fashion shows and became a hub for locals that wanted to support local arts.
Upon selling the gallery in 2006 so I could have more time for my beadwork, I also created our family business Big Sur Inspirations. I make jewelry and mobiles primarily but have made headdresses, body jewelry for dancers and altars for weddings, really anything imaginable with gemstones, crystals and glass beads. I’m finally getting the time to dive into my creativity and use what I’ve collected. Last fall, I had the honor of hanging a show of my mobiles, garlands and beaded curtains for the holiday decorations at Post Ranch Inn, here in Big Sur. My sister has built us a family website www.bigsurinspirations.com to represent myself, my father, sister and husband’s creative endeavors.
We have been archiving my father’s original oils, watercolors and gyclee prints and have recently created a puzzle and card line with his work. My husband is a retired sandal maker and has started writing and incorporating illustrations my father has done into his books so we are just starting to present those efforts on our website. My sister’s clothing line Sarahndipity is dormant at the moment but has been in the midst of being re-envisioned with sustainability as our core mission. We look forward to printing her art again soon.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like life, we have enjoyed times of smooth sailing and also have had to navigate challenges along the way. Making art comes easiest and is the most enjoyable for me. Bookkeeping, photography, building our website and social media presence are my challenges. I do a lot myself but have learned to get help from experts as often as possible when I feel challenged. Luckily my sister, father, a tech-savvy neighbor and two photographer friends have helped immensely.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Big Sur Inspirations – what should we know?
Big Sur Inspirations showcases my family’s art.
My specialty is beadwork, which ranges from dainty to bold jewelry designs and small to large beaded installations, including mobiles, beaded curtains, wedding altars, etc. I’m best known for my seed beadwork, which is done with tiny glass seed beads, needle and thread. I have created some signature styles, peyote stitching and capping stones and shells. Sometimes I use waxed linen for native style jewelry that is soft and easy to wear. I use wirework, primarily sterling and gold-filled for all sorts of earring styles. I make gemstone and shell button bracelets as well as multi-strand bracelets with leather snap closures my husband makes me. My husband drills many of the stones, shells and glass I use in my jewelry and beaded hanging art. The materials I use have been collected in my world travels, in overseas market places from Thailand, to Nepal, gem shows, etc. I have a wide variety of gemstones, shells, beads and stones, Austrian crystal prisms, African metal and trade beads and lots of Czech glass.
I am proud to have created a puzzle and card line of my father’s realistic artwork of our area.
We are re-imagining my sister and father’s clothing line with sustainability as our core mission. In past, we have done full-color printing of my father’s artwork and more stylistic silkscreening of my sister’s art on comfortable organic clothing.
My husband has re-printed his book “What Happened to Sherlock Holmes as set to rest in The Legend of Wilson, the Amazing Athlete with my father’s illustrations. He has written a second exciting story, fully illustrated by my dad, going to print soon.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
- Earrings range from $24-$150
- Necklaces range $75-whatever your budget allows
- Mobiles and beaded curtains start at $225 and go to whatever your budget allows.
- Puzzles range from $34-$36
- Cards are $3.50 each
Address: Big Sur Inspirations
HC67 Box 1114
Big Sur, CA 93920
- Website: www.bigsurinspirations.com
- Phone: 831-392-5388
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bigsurinspirations/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelmoodybeadwork/
October 02, 2020 -Ed Moody Featured in "The Carmel Pinecone"
By DENNIS TAYLOR
BBQ with George Wallace, and the Ringling museum in Florida
REALISM AND surrealism occasion- ally intersect, and longtime Central Coast artist Ed Moody lived in both realms on Aug. 18, the day the Dolan Fire was ignited in Big Sur, 40 miles south of Carmel.
When he realized the flames were com- ing, Moody, 76, spent the next two-and-a- half hours moving his paintings, art sup- plies, and his “big, clumsy easel” out of the remote mountaintop space he was renting, and into his truck.
“I didn’t have a lot of personal stuff up there, and I managed to get everything off the hill,” said Moody, whose temporary home/studio was one of 14 structures de- stroyed by the fire. “I was painting in the most beautiful place you could ever imag- ine, and it was terrible to lose it, but so many people lost so much more. I was very lucky.”
A unique family gallery Indeed, he remains upbeat about life as he takes up temporary residence a few miles north with his daughter, Rachel, a Big Sur bead artist, and her husband, Terry “Hide” Prince, a Pacific Rim surfer, sandal maker, and London-born author of “What Happened to Sherlock Holmes” (which Moody illustrated).
Moody is philosophical about life, a believer in “synchronicity,” a concept es- poused by analytical psychologist Carl Jung that says events are “meaningful co- incidences” if they occur with no causal relationship, yet seem to be significantly related.
“I’m a symbolist,” Moody said. “I see everything in life as a symbolic presenta- tion to our consciousness, and all of my work is symbolic.”
Although he has largely supported him- self by painting photoreal- istic renderings of Monte- rey County landscapes and seascapes, Moody’s true passion has been surreal- ism, some of which can be seen on the Moody family’s virtual gallery, Big Sur Inspirations — big- surinspirations.com — where his artwork has also been converted into greeting
cards, T-shirts and puzzles.
The website — designed by his younger
daughter, Sarah, a graphic artist who lives in Pacific Grove — includes Rachel’s orig- inal bead work, a line of clothing designed by both of the Moody sisters, Prince’s Sherlock Holmes book, handcrafted jewel- ry, wall hangings, and other one-of-a-kind offerings.Moody is also a writer on the verge of completing his third philosophy book. He plans to publish them as a series with sur- realistic artwork he’s painted over the past 19 years.
“Some of the art will be in the books, and some of it will be part of shows related to the books,” he said.
Moody was born in 1945, the final year of World War II, into a mili- tary family. When the war ended, they settled in Bir- mingham, Ala.
“That’s where I grew up in the 1950s, which was the time of Bull Connor,” he said, recalling the city’s commissioner of public safety, a Democrat who is remembered for his brutal- ity in opposing civil rights for blacks in the 1960s.
“I grew up around Ku Klux Klan members and people of that mindset. I re- member going to a George Wallace for Governor polit- ical rally when I was in high school — a free barbecue lunch for my buddies and me — where Wallace said, ‘I’m going to make race the issue in politics in Alabama, and I’ll make it the issue in the whole country!’”
“I graduated from high school in 1962, left Birming- ham the next day, and never went back,” Moody said. “That was a decision I actually remember making when I was 12 years old. The South left an imprint on the way I see life to this day.”
From ages 8 to 12, Moody took private art lessons, and, as a high school student, he spent most of his spare time in the school’s art room. But he didn’t begin painting in earnest until he left Birmingham at age 18 for Tampa, Fla., where he was mentored for three years by a retired illus- trator.
He spent most weekends in Sarasota, at the Ringling Museum of Art, studying paintings from the early Renais- sance through the Baroque periods, especially Rembrandt portraits.
“I worked at a steel factory, then a sheet-metal factory, but two years later I was making enough money with my art that I quit the job. It was actually costing me money to work,” he said. Moody has been a full-time artist ever since.
One out of 100
In an era when abstract art was a worldwide trend, Moody was selling realism. He entered one of his pieces — a painting of a man sitting on a stump, playing a banjo — into a competition at the Florida State Fair.
“There were 1,000 entries from all over the state. They hung 100,” he said. “Ninety-eight were non-object ab- stracts. The other two were a small portrait by Jerry Farn- sworth, who probably was the best-known portrait artist in Florida at the time — and my banjo player.”
In 1965, Moody fulfilled a longtime dream and moved to Los Angeles, and in 1969 he came to Monterey, where he met Janette Coustette, who would become his wife of 24 years and the mother of his two daughters.
Moody was a Carmel resident from 1996-2004. When his marriage ended, he relocated to Big Sur’s Sycamore Canyon, where he lived for the next eight-and-a-half years. When that property was sold in 2013, he became home- less, but continued painting, mostly plein air at Point Lo- bos and River Beach.
“I’ve had a love affair with Big Sur since I saw ‘One- Eyed Jacks,’ with Brando and James Dean,” he said. “I re- member sitting in a theater in Birmingham, seeing the Big Sur coast and wondering, ‘Where in the world does a place that beautiful exist?’ Then I wound up living a mile from Pfeiffer Beach, where that movie was filmed.”
Although the online presence at bigsurinspirations. com is a primary source for the Moody family’s art sales, their work also can be found at Nepenthe’s Phoenix Shop, Treebones Resort, and Ragged Point Inn in Big Sur, and River House Books and Spencer’s Stationery at the Carmel Crossroads.
Dennis Taylor is a freelance writer in Monterey County. Contact him at email@example.com.
September / October 2019 Highlights
New Jewelry at The Phoenix Gift Shop in Big Sur
New jewelry by Rachel Moody is now in the Phoenix Shop ( downstairs boutique ), Nepenthe Restaurant, Big Sur. Nepenthe is located in the heart of the Big Sur Country. Situated on the ocean side of Highway 1, the property is 29 miles south of Carmel and 63 miles north of San Simeon.
Jade Fest 2019 - October 11,12,13
Rachel and Terry will have a booth at the Jade Festival this year. This is a chance to be in a serene location, South Coast, Big Sur. Many long time Big Sur and Californian craftsmen will have some amazing pieces to show as well, and good deals are sometimes offered below retail prices. There will be food and live entertainment. A locals longtime favorite festival.