By Mike Cook
“I’ve probably been doing art my whole life,” said Renee Short, multimedia artist for Las Cruces.
“I just grew up doing it,” said Short, a native of Brooklyn, New York, who moved to Las Cruces in 2009 and has worked extensively in painting and drawing, pottery, textile arts, labor. wood, photography and other creative arts. She is also a poetry and screenplay writer.
Short started spinning as a child and continues to knit, embroider and make rugs, and make many of her own garments. She has taught knitting and crochet at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library and Doña Ana Community College, and has tutored in fiber art.
Often, while taking the New York subway, Short would say that she would be stopped by someone who admired an item of clothing she was wearing and made. Short would take out her sketchbook, take ideas from this person she had just met, and create a similar item of clothing for her. She also makes hats and scarves which she donates to Goodwill, Mesilla Valley Community of Hope, and street people.
In addition to the realism of the outdoors – painting and photographing mountains and flowers – Short said she loved abstract art; another of his childhood interests was making collages. She also uses found objects in her work.
“Whatever appears, I will include it in my work,” said Short. “I can take anything and make it my art.”
Every piece that Short makes – for herself or for someone else, as a gift or donation, on order or for sale in a gallery – is one of a kind.
“It’s unique in the truest sense of the word,” she said.
Short found out that she didn’t like the titles on her artwork.
A good model for her, she said, is the Japanese haiku poem, which has no title and calls for an opening that “has to grab you and guide you through it all.”
That’s what Short tries to do with his art.
“You experience it,” she said, “not my interpretation of what I want you to experience. “
Short paints and creates in his house in Las Cruces.
“Everything has its place,” she said. “It’s very organized. I clean after each job.
Short once rented a baby pool to hold everything she was using for a particular project involving acrylic paints. That way, Short could pour, splash, and create at will.
“I probably create every second of the day,” said Short. “I always have a pen and paper to jot down my ideas. “
She will often display the materials she will use for a particular project, such as canvases, fabric and wood, and then “spend a day or a week exploring those possibilities” and move the pieces before deciding to “focus and move on.” do it. . “
When taking photos, Short said she can spend hours preparing for a particular photo. She particularly enjoys following animals, especially insects, to capture her favorite shots. An avid hiker, biker and BLM volunteer, Short said she had already followed a red velvet ant “for an hour before she had a good photo.”
“This is really how it hits me,” said Short.
As a writer, Short said his poems and stories are unique – “things no one would ever think of writing.”
“I approach everything as an experiment,” said Short. “I don’t just learn from her, I learn from her.”
You can see Short’s art at the Agave Artist Gallery, at 2250 Calle de San Albino in Mesilla, and in the administration building of Memorial Medical Center.
Visit resart25.com and agaveartists.com/renee-short.