Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16, 2014

I've started a new series titled the Adam Series based on the account in Genesis when Adam was created from the dirt of the earth.  I'm incorporating different colored dirt within the work to symbolize the different colors of the human skin.  It's been fun finding the different colors of dirt to match the colors of the encaustic paint.  Using the dirt has been interesting as it adds a wonderful texture and completeness to the work.

The idea came to me as I was heading home from an Image Journal workshop called The Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, NM in the early 2000's.  I was driving home with a friend and we noticed the beautiful colors of the horses grazing off the highway.  Then it hit me - the colors of the horses matched many of the colors of the earth and so does human skin.  This little epiphany (an epiphanette!) lead to the idea of creating a series of artworks that would encapsulate that idea.  Now, after many years, I'm actually creating it.

I find the inherent qualities of the encaustic gives the work the sense of movement and texture I desire for I want the swirls and motion to reflect the stirrings of creation, one that birthed Adam.  I named it the Adam Series for several reasons: the word adam means clay or dirt, the color that adam reflects is red, and it was the name of the first human.  I do want this series to pay homage to the Lord for His handiwork and bless and inspire others towards worshipping Him.  For those who may not realize the association, I pray that these pieces reflect beauty and wonder.  For those that do see the correlation, I pray that praise and honor be given to the Lord.

I'm working on a series of studies now to help work through things before I embark on the larger pieces.  The studies are 8"x8" and the larger works will be 30"x40".  I'm very excited to see how they will progress.  So far, the studies have been getting good responses and reactions.  When working on them I try to contemplate the beginning of the creation of Adam and the beauty that God bestowed to the human body.  It has been said that we are made of stars and that the earth has stardust within it.  I can only think of the cosmic beginnings of our world and its inhabitants.  To be made of the things that compose the universe; that which God spoke into existence and ultimately created with His own hand - Adam - gives such a sense of wonder to our own presence here on this planet.  To be one with the universe and ultimately to be one with God through His son, Jesus - that is truly a cosmic existence!!!

So as I continue to create this body of work, I pray that I stay focused and true to that which I am called to do within it.  May it bless the Lord and give Him praise!

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

I was contemplating my Interstice Series again because it seems to be progressing past the initial point of departure for the work.  The basic idea was that the interstice - small cracks and crevices - when broken down into the simplest imagery, was a series of contrasts, areas of light and dark.  But the more intriguing aspect of the definition was the 'space in between'.  That part of the definition has driven me when working in this series.  But what has happened now is the initial motivation is becoming more and more distant when I'm creating.  I see the play of contrasts still but the encaustic medium is definitely dictating a deeper meaning within the work.  I am working with not just the values of black, white, and grey but also with more textures, more mark making.  The hand of the artist is seen with traces of my thinking and process.

Incorporating my prayer life and meditation within the creative process, I am finding that my hand is not just directed by me, but by the medium and what I believe, the Spirit as well.  When stuck with what to do next, I pray and do receive answers - answers that lead me to leave the hand of the artist.  This leads me to contemplate the ultimate Creation - the worlds that we know and that which inhabits it.  Our world shows the Hand of the Creator with its beauty and organization.  That organization also has within it chaos and chance - just like my creative process.  I believe that human creativity mimics the creativity of God.  So when I am working in the studio, my body, mind, and spirit are driven by organization, chaos, and chance.  The spontaneity that occurs within the structure I create leads me to a place of play and order.

So why continue within this series?  I feel that I need to work towards finding the essence of the interstice - the space in between - the place of the Spirit.  What that means is still a mystery to me and I may never achieve the final answer.  I just know that this exploration is not exhausted by any means.  I will work on other series but this one will, I feel, continue for a long time.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 12, 2014

Well, I got the call... the one I was expecting but didn't want to get.  My mom needs to either to have a companion with her or we need to move her into assisted living.  My mother has dementia and it is progressing.  We've been uneasily waiting for this day to come and it is now here.

The call came yesterday while I was on my lunch hour at work so I was able to take it.  As would be expected, a myriad of questions and emotions filled my mind and heart and I found that I could think somewhat clearly but not enough to ask everything I needed to ask.  That's what today is for...  pulling myself together to handle everything that mom needs.  Spending time on the phone with family and agencies has been draining but it is that season of life.  Things are the way they are; it is what it is.

Many thoughts are going through my head regarding mom's care and making sure she is comfortable and secure in her surroundings.  The last thing we all want is to make a decision that would disrupt her thinking to the point of making her worse.  This 'between a rock and a hard place' is no fun.  All of the options are costly and would change her life significantly.  One of the main concerns is that she transitions effectively through this with as little disruption as possible.  She still comprehends her situation to some degree and is aware of her surroundings.  How does one tell their mother that she no longer can care for herself effectively and needs permanent help?  I pray for grace to fill this situation and her comprehension will be sufficient for this change.

As with this change that life has brought, I am at a place of apprehension, doubt, and appreciation.  Apprehension and doubt as to my ability (with family's help) to render the correct decision.  This won't be apparent until the change is made.  Appreciation for the years of having this time with mom before the inevitable happens.  She will get worse, she will forget.  It is hard to watch your mother become a child, to lose the ability to think and take care of herself.  But at the same time, it is a privledge to honor her as she declines; to render her the dignity her life deserves.

So, in the meantime, I make the calls, talk with my sister and family members.  We together try to grace mom with everything we can to give her a good life in these declining years.  We'll pray for patience and wisdom as we care for her.  We'll keep doing so until she departs.  We don't know how long that will be but with our Lord's help, we can handle this life event and truly honor her until she arrives to glory.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 4, 2014

Hi all and welcome to my new blog!!!!  So much has happened, I'm not sure where to begin but here goes...

2013 was a year of change.  I left teaching at both colleges (Community College of Aurora [Dec. 2012] and Denver [May 2013]), enjoyed being a grandma, mom, and wife, gained a upcoming son-in-law (wedding TBA), and even took time off from the studio, and... started a new job at an art supply company which developed into a full time management position.

Artwise, my work was accepted into the Fusion Encaustic Exhibit at the EncaustiCon Conference 2013 in Santa Fe NM this past year and a beautiful catalogue was created for the show. The piece Interstice II was the work accepted.  What an honor it was to be included in such a wonderful exhibit!!!!!

While all this was happening, my art was taking some new directions.  I'm still working loosely within the interstice ideas but moving in a broader direction with the work:  larger areas of tone, less bands, more subtleties. I'm beginning to think about adding color back into the work as well.  Even conceptually the work reflects more than just the definition of interstices - I'm seeing a deeper, more personal symbolic embodiment in the pieces.

I've also been invited to participate in two shows this year at Denver's, Space Gallery in April and in the Fall.  The April show is titled, Fusion V.  It's a collaboration between artists and poets to produce new work inspired by each other.  I had the pleasure of participating the Fusion IV a couple of years ago so I'm thrilled to be working with the same concepts again.  The poet I'm working with is Wayne Gilbert whose poetry has really inspired me to new levels.   Working larger, more colorfield areas, enriching the textures and surfaces of the work have come out of this exchange (I'm still working on them and will post pics when they are available). The other show is called Surface which will be a black, white, grey show in the Fall 2014.  This show excites me as well because the work will really push the Interstice concepts to a new level.  Working on some sketches for the show, the ideas that were flowing were those of flat vs depth, mystery vs the obvious, contrast vs subtlety - all of which I hope to incorporate within  the new work.  I'm really excited to see what comes of these ideas and how conceptually it will develop.

I'm looking forward to what this year holds both personally and professionally.  I've made a determination to raise the bar in my art, to rekindle the fire of my faith, and just spend more time with my family.  These are the things that hold me together - keep me sane, as well as drive me personally.   I've also determined that this year will be the year that I make more strides to obtain gallery representation hopefully culminating with representation that not only will be beneficial financially but help promote me professionally outside of Colorado too!

I've also been contemplating the people in my life lately especially artistically.  Looking back (as one does at the beginning of the year) over the past couple of years, I'm becoming more and more appreciative of the artists and mentors who speak into my work.  My growth as an artist, the concepts, and technical development have all improved as a result of having these individuals available and willing to put their time and efforts towards my personal and professional development.   My gratitude is overflowing!  I certainly would not be where I am today if it weren't for these wonderful people and their words of wisdom!  I'm also becoming more aware of how the different artistic disciplines help inspire my work.  Not that I didn't know or acknowledge it before, but it's now becoming more important to me.  Poetry, music, dance, all have contributed to my work.  I plan on utilizing them more and allowing them to have a greater voice within my artistic language.

Well, I guess that's it for now.  Happy New Year!!!  Until next time, take care, enjoy, and God Bless!!!!!