Thursday, February 22, 2018
"Life is made of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement.
It would be wonderful if they came to us unsumoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves how to live, really live...to love the journey, not the destination." - Anna Quindlen (from the book A SHORT GUIDE TO A HAPPY LIFE)
Sitting here, this winter morning, sipping tea, contemplating life's journey. What a beautiful ride it can be. Not every moment of our journey will be that way but dang-it-all most moments should be and if they aren't then we really should do something about it! My life is and has been centered around my kids, family and friends but ALSO my art. Sometimes I may focus too much on my art and that may have given my life some difficult twists and turns, but in the end and through it all, I still had my art. So I've come to realize that a large part of my 'journey' has been my art and how grateful I am for that! Now, don't think that this journey has been easy as any given day, hour or career can have it's own challenges. But seriously, I believe in life you should be enjoying every aspect of the journey which means ACCEPTING the good with the bad.
There are many moments that help balance my life with my art and one is YOGA. For many years I've been practicing yoga and in the last 2 years have been studying in Marquette with Mary Connor at Marquette Yoga Center in a Yoga Teacher Training Program. It has been just what I needed at just the right time - something to focus my energy and intention into that is healthy and uplifting. The above quote is the one I chose to use in my class this past Friday evening and every single time I re-read it, it sends chills up my spine. "Life's moments - small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement" - how true is that!
I think of how this quote relates to my painting as well, As I spend days on end totally focused in the studio. Working. I realize that with my long process of layers and sometimes just 'thinking' about painting, that I have to learn to accept that every layer or day in the studio may not be a total success or pure joy, but the beauty and destination is developed by the actual 'journey' or time spent in the studio. The good with the bad. The successes with the stumbles. Cheers to enjoying the 'journey'!
Here is a very new piece, "Looking Through", Oil/cold wax on wood panel, 38x60"
Saturday, October 28, 2017
"Ideas for work are coming to me in abundance...I'm going like a painting-locomotive." - Vincent van Gogh
Dividing my time between 'studio time' and 'working the gallery time' is always a nice change of pace and adds variety to my days. My gallery in Door County (Cappaert Contemporary Gallery) is seasonal and is open May-October which means come this time of the year my focus shifts slightly from juggling both to putting much more energy into my painting and studio time.
It's been a great year at the gallery and I am now feeling a desire to lock myself up in the studio to paint, to experiment, to explore deeper gesture marks, textures and colors. I can feel my inner creative desires starting to boil, sort of like a pressure canner, perculating and needing to be released.
My thoughts and inner energies are shifting as this beautiful autumn season is starting to feel like winter and I am really excited for the snow to fly and the quiet of winter to be upon us.
Although I have several commissions to finish up before I can get into some serious work, I know that will be here shortly. I look at my paints and brushes and panels and feel this draw, this pull, to start getting to work...soon they say!
What are your plans for this winter season?
Monday, October 2, 2017
"Things take the time they take. Don't worry." - Mary Oliver
I was recently asked to write an article for the IEA Magazine (International Encaustic Art) because of my involvement with Cold Wax Medium in my artwork. I've always enjoyed writing and am an avid journal keeper so this sounded like a fun project to me!
I started the rough draft and decided that my 'story' was not going to be about techniques and 'how-to's' - it was going to be more about the deeper meaning of art, authenticity and soul work because that is what is important to me! I see so many people making pretty pictures or pretty objects but it lacks deep meaning, it lacks purpose and a story. I was reminded of this just this morning when a photographer walked in to my gallery, reading my bio/statement we talked about 'FEAR' as the subject of how it can stop you from doing things in life - like making art.
I read a lot of Mary Oliver and recently came across her quote "Things take the time they take. Don't worry." Stopped me in my tracks! Yes, things will take the time they need to take so why are we rushing through life, through our days? Why don't we just stop, breathe and take the time that life and our art take us.
And how does that relate to art? Art takes time, it isn't so much about the technique it's about the observing, the seeing, the thoughts that go into each piece. It's about building your life around your art, it's about watching how over the years life changes and your art changes with it - even if it is just tiny little changes. It all takes time to evolve. So enjoy life as it passes by, enjoy your time in the studio, enjoy the moments when you are not painting and you are just 'thinking about art'. It all evolves into one happy art filled life. Be authentic.
"Exploring Spaces" 36x48" Oil/Mixed Media on Panel
Thursday, September 14, 2017
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." - John Lubbock, The Use of Life
After returning home from my FUN and successful show in Santa Fe, I find myself needing a well deserved break. Although life continues on, I find the desire to get some unfinished projects done around my home, cleaning, repainting trim and doors - you know like the projects we put off until we just can't stand it anymore!
I have spent the last weeks also organizing and cleaning my studio which is deeply preparing me for new moments when I will feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.
I used to feel guilty when I took a few moments to myself or time off to play. I am learning to be gentle with myself and realize that it is ok to take time for yourself, time to just be still, time to relax and enjoy moments of not always being on the go and working so hard. I have come to realize that taking a break can be a relief of sorts. As I take this short break I am fighting the urge to actually get back into the studio and in a way I am still living and breathing art! I am looking through journals and notes and of course thinking and contemplating painting.
There are some new projects (my first collaboration piece with another artist that I admire) as well as new thoughts on color and texture that I plan to focus on once I do return to the studio. I truly believe that taking this time to be still and contemplate my art and life may just lead me to where I go next.
"Fleeting" 48x38" Oil/mixed media
Thursday, August 3, 2017
As I prepare for my solo show in Santa Fe...
I am totally amazed that I can be so focused on my artwork during these beautiful summer days! I still feel there may be one more 'good painting inside of me' so I will continue to paint under a fun-type of pressure until my departure on August 20!
I have had smaller solo shows in the years past, but this is a biggie! Not only is this solo show on the world famous Canyon Road in Santa Fe, it is a concentrated effort of a full year's worth of painting selected for one grand showing in a fabulous art city - one that I have shown in for about 7 years now! I am grateful!
I wanted to share with you the process of preparing for a solo show as it is quite lengthy!
First, an artist decides on a concept or inspiration for the show pieces, along with the show title, and statement about the work - thankfully, I had help with all of that!
Then decisions are made with the collaboration of the gallery on the sizes of the paintings that work best with the gallery space. Next the panels are custom built and then I begin to PAINT. PAINT. PAINT!
Once I have a complete body of work finished (in this case it was 20-30, mostly large paintings) to choose from. All the images are then photographed, titled, recorded and archived in files for promotion materials and reference.
Eventually it becomes show time - you load up the van, drive across the country and the opening reception takes place where you meet collectors from all over the world!
The ending to all of this is...having a great time in Santa Fe, my city I LOVE and I swear - no painting in the month of September because I will be exhausted by then!
So, I invite you to follow my travels to and from Santa Fe on my Facebook page as I document the trip, the show and all the fun times I will have in Santa Fe.
Thank you to Globe Fine Art and the owner Steve Cie for the solo show opportunity! Onward!
Meanwhile, Cappaert Contemporary Gallery, is open every day 10-5 through October so be sure to stop in and see us!
I thank you for your continued support and look forward to seeing you this year!
Cappaert Contemporary Gallery
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
"The most seductive thing about art is the personality of the artist himself." - Paul Cezanne
Usually an artist puts 'all they got' into their art which often makes for an interesting life, at least to the artist themselves but maybe not so much to those around them. Some, though, are so intrigued by the way an artist see's, thinks, lives. I am grateful that I put 'everything I've got' into my art. As I'm working on this blog I have to say that my Pandora station just played the song, "Have a little faith in me" - for some reason that song has been repeating itself more often than usual.
Opening in Santa Fe on August 25 at Globe Fine Art, Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM is my solo show "TRANSITIONAL HORIZONS" and I honestly have been putting 'everything I've got' into the paintings for this exhibition. A huge undertaking but a great opportunity for my art career, and may I add it has been and will be a fun adventure! Luckily, I had some good friends who encouraged me along the way to keep going and not stress over the enormous amount of 'focus' that this new series would involve. After putting my life on hold for months, I am putting the final wrap on many of the pieces and although I work intuitively, there were a few new mini-series that came to me and will be a part of the show.
The 'Taking Flight" series was inspired by photos from the sky (as in an airplane) that were shared with me by my friend who is a pilot. It's amazing the abstract textures and shapes you see among the clouds and sunsets - especially when you zoom in really close! I am very thankful for Mike who continues to share this inspiration with me (and I have to give him credit for coming up with the show title too!) What is that saying, it takes teamwork - one cannot do it alone?
Also part of the exhibition will be the new 'sunsets' - again inspired by the air pictures taken. By zooming in to a sunset you really get to see some intense colors and layers which I tried to capture in paint.
Oh and there's more, but you will just have to be patient and wait until the show opens! "This solo show represents these places of beauty, from distant horizons and wide expanses to up close, intimate bits of the landscape. They are the echoes of my soul and vision coming forth through my art." -
See you in Santa Fe (I might just have to buy another pair of boots!)!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
"We travel because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something inside our minds has changed, and that changes everything." - Unknown
What fuels you? What keeps you working day after day, year after year?
For me it is many things but especially traveling! Recently I returned from the beautiful country on the other side of the world called New Zealand! All I can say is I didn't have enough time there and need to go back, although I seem to say that wherever I go! I guess it's how I look at things!
Spending most of my time painting, hiking, horseback riding, wining, wandering and exploring fills my mind and soul with images, thoughts and inspiration for future paintings because YES, I always come home to my sweet little studio in the US!
My time in New Zealand was spent on the North Island in and around the city of Auckland. Within a short drive of the city I could be on either side of the coast which varied no matter which direction you would take! Just like life, it varies! As we drove north to go horseback riding we discovered beautiful dunes and white sand beaches, beautiful like in Michigan. As we drove west we discovered steep cliffs through the mountains jetting over the ocean. It was here where these black sand beaches were famous for surfers from all over the world! Then of course the hiking in the woods, somewhat tropical, was just breathtaking as well! And who could resist a short ferry ride to Waikeke Island - home to some of New Zealands most beautiful wineries!!!
No matter where my travels take me, I am excited to come home and ponder the images and thoughts racing through my mind. Eventually these images settle and I can create for a long time on the memories from my travels.
Where will my travels take me next? Well, now I am 'slightly grounded' and staying put in my studio. I'm finishing up commissions and working on some new paintings to send off to my galleries this Spring. THEN!...I will be starting to paint a whole new body of work for a solo show that I have coming up the end of this summer!
It's going to be a great year - and if you don't see me around, it's because I'm locked up painting! And THANK YOU to all my friends and gallery owners that keep telling me that YOU CAN DO IT, even when I am not so sure!
This painting, "stillness" reminds me of the black sand beaches in New Zealand!