Friday, August 31, 2018
"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives" - Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
I have just stumbled upon a really good book, 'BROAD STROKES, 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (In That Order)' by Bridget Quinn. It's a fascinating book and discusses the art and life of many women artists, who no doubt struggled in their time as wives, mothers, women in an art world dominated by men. They still did what they wanted to do and many very successfully. I highly recommend the book!
Author Bridget Quinn explores the lives of Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Alice Neel and more. Some I haven't heard of like, Ann Mendieta and her earth art.
As my 'baby' starts his 'first - last - day of school' as a senior in High School next week, I look back on all the years that I, as a wife, mother and artist juggled my art career and followed my passions, never letting anyone tell me I couldn't do this! I wish every woman/artist had been as lucky as I have been. No, it was not easy.
Now, I don't have the 'wife' part anymore, but I still juggle the mother and artist and gallery owner lifestyle, but always being the optimist I see it as all good. I enjoy my quiet times in the studio as well as my time in the galleries meeting with collectors and installing my paintings in their beautiful homes. Life is good and Cheers to all the women who are busy being Moms and following their art dreams!
Saturday, August 18, 2018
"Pockets of silence, where we can all root and grow. We must hope we can find them" - Rothko
One of my fav painters, Mark Rothko, inspires me by his luminous layers of paint and his division of space via color fields. Although my paintings are based on landscape, they often use the manner of color fields to divide the space and many times with a horizon line.
Not one to 'fight' my paintings (or fight anything for that matter), I often let the painting tell me how the 'space' will be divided. Often times it is a distinct horizon line, yet at other times their may be no horizon line or a softer version of one.
As our Summer slowly transitions to Autumn I can gently feel the evenings becoming cooler, a sense of peace. My forest painting series have been a long series for me and in many different versions and seasons. I definitely find my silence in the forest, ever since I was a young girl, that is where I find peace. I love visiting the city, but definitely need the 'green space' and the 'woods' to balance and center my life. My forest paintings range from winter (crisp whites with brilliant blue skies) to spring (the lush colors of new growth in the forest, the beautiful greens and often times the carpets of forget me knots on the forest floor) and of course the Autumn series (including warm colors, earth colors and a sense of restfulness).
As our seasons continually transition here in the Midwest, I find myself grateful for all the inspiration and beauty around us. Take the time to really notice the beauty of nature. Enjoy your day!
Sunday, August 5, 2018
"What we need to do is recognize Inner Nature and work with Things As They Are. When we don't, we get into trouble." - Benjamin Hoff
"Desire is the wish for things to be not as they are. What is wrong with that?" -
"Within the real lie the seeds of all our dreams."
These quotes are from the book MEDITATIONS FROM THE MAT, Daily reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. A good daily read that I enjoy over and over again!
Recognizing and accepting as we journey through this life becomes more and more important everyday. I'm finally learning to realize that. Things will work and happen exactly as they are supposed to and fighting it or reacting to it may not be the best way. I often relate my art to life when I journal or blog about my thoughts.
Accepting and not trying to change things, not trying to fight how things are. That is where the peace lies and YES! this is a 'real life'. Artists can be dreamers and forward thinkers, I truly believe that is how we survive, however, our lives our 'real'. We experience all of the good and bad and ups and downs that everyone does, although some may say they are a bit more extreme because of our lifestyle. I am sure, though, you will never find a 'true artist' who will have it any other way. It is these challenges in life and in our studio that keep us going forward.
This week I plan to spend most of my time in my studio and I am so excited. When I am painting it seems that I am so focused on making art that the worldly troubles float away, so yes, some may call that a 'dreamer' but it really is how I operate. I turn my color mixes and my layering process from 'problems' to 'solutions', and if it doesn't work one day I keep trying the next.
Yoga postures can be related to these thoughts as well, as we enter asana's we breathe and 'practice', maybe not getting to the posture immediately or as well as we would like, but that is all part of the journey. Just Breathe.
Life. Art. Yoga
"Quenching Thirst", oil, mixed media on paper, 4x7" (a new painting I just completed this week - by the way I have been working on this small painting for over a year now, coming back to it until I felt I got it right!)
Sunday, July 8, 2018
"I like to move forward and notice things along the roadside that indicate where I should go." - Josh Homme
A beautiful Sunday morning at my gallery gives me a few moments of solace, sipping tea, journaling and enjoying the water views and gardens at this magical space. I still pinch myself because I feel so truly blessed to have found this incredible gallery live/work space to share my art with others.
I was watching a video this morning, an art video by Nicholas Wilton. The title was short and caught my attention. GO BACK TO MOVE FORWARD. That hit a chord with me today!
I like to relate so many things in my art to my life. In the process of my painting, I do so much 'excavating' of the surface in which I really 'go back' into the surfaces and layers underneath in order to continue forward with more layers and ultimately a finished painting Seems that just like my painting, life can be the same way. Moving forward, going back, moving forward, going back.
These next two months are an incredibly busy time at the summer season of my gallery and I am thankful! Trying to fit 'life' and my art in the next two months will be a challenge but somehow through all the craziness of my life and schedule (which is hard for many to understand) it will all work out. I plan to be in my studio ALL WEEK which will bring more solace to my life.
I am forever grateful for my art.
"Calm Breeze" 24 x 48"
Thursday, June 21, 2018
"It's a risky act to make a painting and send it out into the world." - Rothko
Now that the gallery is set up and the season is rolling I am finding some time in the evenings to watch some art documentaries and you tube videos on artists. Recently I enjoyed one on Rothko titled 'the Power of Art". Very good - he talks about how he had nothing to lose and a vision to gain during certain years. He is an inspiration! I also enjoyed one on Salvador Dali, an artist that intrigues me and I knew very little about and of course, I watched another one on Gerhard Richter! Let the summer fun begin!
I returned from a painting expedition to Paris this Spring and am so inspired by the reflections in Monet's ponds at his gardens in Giverny. This trip was truly an incredible experience but I realize I must study the language more next time before I go. Sometimes 'winging it' is not the best way to go!
Monet's Reflections - New Series
Now the season begins! The gallery opened May 1 and we are gearing up for the height of the season to kick in right about now! With this comes energy - lots of energy! In the people that are visiting Door County as well as the artists and gallery owners that dot the peninsula. Openings and receptions are keeping art lovers excited about the new works.
Here at Cappaert Contemporary Gallery we are preparing for our upcoming "Water and Wax...Group Show" featuring five artists working in wax as their medium but inspired by Water. The show opens with an evening reception on Saturday, June 30 from 4-7 pm and runs through July 15.
So for now, enjoy summer solstice - I'm packing up a picnic and headed to the beach tonight and hoping for a beautiful sunset - again!
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
"Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." - Swami Sivananda
Giving life all you got and finding what makes your soul sing are just two of the many important parts of happiness. Happiness is within and not found outside of yourself. Everyone holds the ticket to their own happiness and hopefully we are all right where we belong doing exactly what we need to do at the time. (I write this to remind myself!)
Art has been my one small act to make the world a better place. Creating beauty and sharing color with others truly does bring me joy. I truly feel sorry for those that don't see the beauty all around us. It is there, you don't really have to look far. Beauty, happiness and joy are around you at all times its just a matter of being 'mindful' and enjoying the present moment.
Although I try to always be mindful and live in the present moment, I too sometimes slip. I love it when my friends 'catch' me on it and remind me! I was snowshoeing with a friend a few weeks back and it was a beautiful day here in the U.P. with blue skies, like it couldn't get any better! As I was enjoying the day I made the comment that I could just imagine hiking right now in another of my favorite places, Santa Fe! I got 'called out' on that one when my friend said something about being present where you are at the moment! Absolutely! We all need to be reminded, even me! That was all it took and I was back to enjoying the beautiful blue sky and the shadows being cast on the snow. Finding peace in the woods. Being mindful.
I am so excited about my new series in the studio. I titled it "When Wings Were Only A Dream" and it is a series combined from different inspirations. Pictures of a friends trip to Australia which triggered a whole new color palette combined with my hikes along Lake Superior this winter and the lines of the horizon and ice inspired the break up of space and layers of line. This series has a lot less texture and a more sense of calm and stillness than previous works. It is interesting how all these elements of inspiration and life unfold into a whole new series. I truly put my whole heart, mind and soul into my art.
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"