1/3/23

Wrapping things up with intention


Wrapping things up with intention

"Relevance" 6x8" oil on canvas panel,

Over the past few years, have you noticed how precious your time has become? The subject of time eventually revolves around more personal questions about "why we do with what we have". Personally, the subject of time has been a hot topic between me and my three-legged easel.

As a very young artist, I simply wanted to draw horses, yet I was completely unaware of how drawing the same subject repeatedly taught me a lifetime of skills. My "why" was to improve my ability to see better what I saw, and also get some sort of praise or recognition for my work. But life takes its turns...and time reminded me I had to eat.

Now..what time has taught me is to value an intimate relationship with what I paint. The "what" can be an emotional intention, a purpose, or a lesson at the end of each mark. My creative intentions revolve around my personal story more than any quantity, blue ribbon, or banknote. After all, is said and done, there is no better time than to discover and understand your personal "why"... now!  
What is your "Why"?  Do share!

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11/3/22

Crossing over to the other side...an introspection on life

Crossing over...

Throughout the Fall months in the Northern Hemisphere, a noticeable change in the weather, color, and pace of life is evident. It takes me back to when I was in college. I recall my music history instructor had us study the late 60's album "Bookends" by Simon and Garfunkle.  It is a compilation of songs written about the seasons of life.  

Right now I am feeling as if Fall offers more than seasonal changes.  Lately, I have been practicing introspection as I move and look forward...and back at my life.  Spring:  do you see it in children?  They are blossoming beings, growing and learning day by day.  Summer:  a more relaxed, confident, and productive pace of life.   As we enter into Fall, a keen observation of the colors, temps, and a realization that winter is just around the corner...and over the bridge!  Whoa, the chill of Winter!

Where did the time go?  Fall truly gives us a keen introspective on time. Time is here. It is now, and it should be spent with intention.  How about you?  Do you contemplate the seasons? Do you know where you are in life?   Do tell!

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8/1/22

 


Pulling weeds... 


"Queen's Patch"  12x12" oil on linen panel

and other unsung pleasures.

The heat of summer is upon us and thoughts of cooler days only tease us as we linger in the throes of August. In good time the weather will continue its path toward cooler days, and I ponder the scorching summer heat as one of life's weeds.  Not all of life's weeds are bad...and in some way, I question how earthly weeds have developed a fascinating ability to thrive. Oh, how wonderfully smart nature really is!

Consider the dandelion...  
A dandelion creates tasty broad leaves that you can add to your fresh garden salad. Its bright yellow flowers magically transform into perfectly sphere-shaped, fluffy wish-makers that have been designed to catch the wind and land on a willing patch of ground to blossom once again. Perhaps a sparrow chic may find its first tiny seed to eat from that fluffy wish-maker!  Ahhh, nature... how I love thee.

What about the prickly weeds of life?
I want to point out that these weeds can be viewed as "situations".  We need to view them as they really are. The heat of the summer has its purpose. And so does every action and reaction in life. The circle of life serves us all in terribly difficult times as well as miraculous moments. What a world we live in! My point is that every lousy thing that happens has an upside.  Missed your flight? As you wait it out at the airport bar, you engage with another passenger who shares brilliant ideas that provide answers to past challenges. At times, we have to really look hard to find it and most of the time it's right in front of us.

The beauty:
A sunrise ends with the sun setting.
The ocean has crashing waves that never cease, and beautiful sea life underneath.
A slow sigh of relief begins with a screaming breath of life.
Painting on-site on a blistering July day brings a sunburn and a wonderful work of art. The view before me was blocked by overgrown bushes, so I painted the weeds in front of me.  Why not?!

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6/4/22

How people view our artwork


How people view an artist's work is as unique as the individual. 

Every one of us has life experiences that inform how we look at the world around us.  People view our work as unique as to how each individual person thinks, dreams, senses, and perceives the world around them.  It is so fun to learn about all the angles art will bring to mind while looking, absorbing, dissecting, analyzing, and swallowing the whole piece.

Some will take an analytical approach “Perhaps there is some sort of reference to…?" 
Some will take a dream approach…”It takes me far away…" 
and some will take on a memory approach…”It reminds me of…"

But what do people see when they look at a pastel?  Well, there is one common reaction I get each time, and that is…”Oh, that’s CHALK, isn’t it?  Well, it is the most common art material since the dawn of time and is often mistaken for chalk, but no, it is not chalk.  It’s pure pigment rolled up with a touch of binder.  

....Silence....

The earliest renditions of art are displayed in the caves of Lascaux and were made with mankind's first pastels.  The earliest masters used it to summon up quick ideas and from that time on, artists have relied on its versatility to create beautiful works of fine art.  People will always view our work as individually as the artist creates.

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6/1/22

 A different point of view... 


creates new ideas. 

When I was a young child I would spend hours burning energy riding my bouncy horse. After a couple of hundred races, I wondered if there were other ways to ride the horse. Why not? So I tried riding on it facing backward.  And then I tried riding side-saddle and eventually, I discovered hanging upside down was the best...until the blood rushed to my head.

I suppose the horse taught me that changing my perspective might open up new possibilities...and that curiosity could offer up some life lessons.  Flexing my point of view has helped me manage a few challenging circumstances. In these uncertain times, I believe that flexibility is more important than ever before.

Sometimes we can just get in our own way....and sometimes we can get in others' way too.  
A stifled point of view could deem us self-absorbed, judgemental, and even shall I say...narcissistic.  But when we get out of our own way and begin to understand another's viewpoint or life experiences, our compassion and forgiveness grow.  Listen carefully and ask questions to better understand their "why" or "view" to see what makes them "tick". We don't have to agree, yet understanding another's point of view or experience connects us and certainly opens up doors to better relationships in our community.  We humans have the unique ability to have and share compassion for others.

What if?
Why not?
How fun!

Moving along...    



4/24/22

Keeping it simple

 Keeping it simple...in a complicated world 

No doubt we are living in very challenging times.  Global warming, cultural division, instant communication, space flights, war, and Covid...and that's just the tip of the iceberg!  Iceberg? Ack!  

Coming from the 60's generation, it would seem we had it tough.  It was rare to have a private phone line, a color television, and fast-food meals. It was not convenient, yes, but it was simple.  While I was raised in poverty for a short time with my unstable Mother, I saw and experienced a LOT of things that have informed my perceptions of the world around me. We got along with very little and struggled. Yet the distractions were few.  Looking back, it really wasn't bad, but that's hindsight.  Having had success and failure in many forms changes our perceptions of life.  The struggle is good, but not fun. We learn from it all and hope for better each time around.

Recently, I recorded a few instructional videos and an online appearance on repurposing pastels The experiences were very challenging and tested my will.  My personal expectations were high and I felt confident.  I am still wondering what the final result will be from it all.  Will it have been worth my time?  Will it inform and inspire others?  Most likely. But who knows.  I allow my hopes to not be crushed if all fails, and I understand that I have no control over much if anything in this world. What works best is living simply and being responsible with choices.  It's like that even more so in the year 2022.  

 If you could change one thing in our world today, what would that be?

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1/3/22

 Spinning Into a World . . .




. . . Like OZ
(recap from April 2021)
 
The past few months have been a whirlwind of new adventures for me...but not anything like a fun outdoorsy adventure. I"m talking about Online Video adventures.  All because of shitdowns and social distancing, most if not all of us have had to recreate our lives online...and we're either getting pretty good at it or pretty messed up.  Well, I'm feeling a little bit of both. 

A while back, I started teaching pastel painting online, and then I soon found out that online instruction requires a huge mental shift filled with excitement and fear.  Imagine along with me, talking with a group of peers with your eyes closed, sharing how you do what you love to do, say...flying a kite, for example, and then suddenly you are looking into a computer screen trying to explain how to do it.   And then the wind picks up, and then your kite....well. You get my drift.  Needless to say, my mind has been getting quite the workout,  unlike my now flabby body, as it shifts from my vault of information and then transfers that into verbs, computer commands, and clicks, all while laughing at how It all makes sense.  It feels as if I am both running from tornados and running towards them at the same time. And I'm not out of breath!  Are you?

Mostly, what I'm yearning for is the comfort of familiar days.  Who loves a great conversation face to face? Or a good firm handshake or hug. Remember those?  Gosh yes! But you know what?  The return to whatever normal was will be sweeter when we land back on solid ground... hopefully soon.  And oh, how a normal routine will feel ever so sweet.  And the clean-up, no matter how devastating, will be a cathartic rainbow.

Moving along...    

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