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Showing posts from 2019

Remembering 9-11-2001

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I've been remembering the events of 9-1-2001.  It's been 18 years since that horrible day.  I distinctly remember what I was doing when I found out and will never forget the look on my husband's face during the attacks.  I remember feeling completely helpless as the events unfolded. The sorrow that overwhelmed me was intense.  So much loss.  So much pain.  The sorrow was smothering.  I kept watching the TV, trying to make sense of it all.  Of course, no sense was to be made.  It was madness.  
I was also mad. Mad at the audacity of the attacks, mad at the loss of life, mad at the terror that was inflicted on our nation.  I remember watching a video later of Osama Bin Laden stating that the entire country of America was in fear.  'No, I thought, You're going to see anger, our anger and we're fighting back.'  Anger wasn't just the only response though.  We saw people coming together, helping one another. We saw compassion, great compassion towards each ot…

Exalting Our Spirits

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“I choose that my art be engaged in that which exalts the spirit of man.” Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still is one of my favorite artists and his work, inspiration.  There is a quote that describes Still on a mural in Denver.  It states:  "The canvas was his ally.  The paint and trowel were his weapons.  And the art world was his enemy."  Pretty powerful words for describing an artist but his work truly is powerful.  The boldness with which he painted has always struck me.  His mark making alone shows his confidence and his authority.  If ever you are in Denver, visiting the Clyfford Still Museum is a must. 



Clyfford Still PH-1187, 1956
The museum is one of my favorite places here in Denver.  I can breathe there and just be.  I'm always ready to create after visiting his work.  Having such a wealth of inspiration so close is wonderful.  For me, Still is successful, his work does exalt the spirit of man; his work is life, energy, and speaks from and to the spirit.  The pictures al…

Silence

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To be an artist, you need to exist in a world of silence.  Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois is right, we need to exist in silence.  It is a part of the creative process.  Whether we create in quiet or not, silence is a necessary component of the creative life, our creative practice.  We need to create 'a world of silence'.  As artists, we think, we ruminate, we ponder.  We consider what we create and silence gives us the time and space needed to birth our ideas.   Silence connects us with our being; it allows us to be - to breathe, to be still, and it allows us to connect with something larger than ourselves.  Silence gives us the permission to be within ourselves, to tap into our creativity so we can create. Silence rejuvenates us in a way that no other activity can.  It gives us permission to let go of matters that weigh us down or hinder our process.  It brings relief to the chaos of the day.  Art making is both physical and mental.  The observation, critiquing, contemplating,…

The Gift of Doubt

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The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.  Robert Hughes
I've heard this quote before from the critic and author, Robert Hughes. I like how he addresses doubt.  We all have it.  We all face those times in the studio where doubt creeps in and tries to take over our creativity.  And, it doesn't matter how long you've had your practice, it just happens.  I don't know of one artist who hasn't struggled with doubt.   But the issue is how we address and handle doubt when it arises.  I've seen doubt paralyze artists and I've seen it spur artists onto creating wonderful works.  It can do both.  Do we, as artists, rise to the challenge and face doubt or do we shrink from our calling and quit? Doubt is a nasty animal - it would love for us to quit but as artists, we can't allow it to dictate our creativity - or our practice.  Doubt can also be a gift.  It can move us to dig deeper into ou…

Deepening the Mystery

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“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”  Francis Bacon
I love this quote from Francis Bacon.  It speaks of the vocation of the arts and artist.  To deepen the mystery is to tap into the spirit of the artist and transform that into a visual representation of what that spirit says and is.  How do you hold mystery and show it in a work of art? Is mystery something that can be tangibly expressed?   I believe it can for art is a spirit to spirit communication.  Mystery, cannot be completely defined for within it, it contains an essence that goes beyond our comprehension.  Mystery is perceived when it exists, it makes great art.  The Masters of Old were able to grasp and express it within their work.  The art goes beyond mere storytelling, copying, and expression.  It touches the human experience, touches something universal that we, as humans, can relate to and discern. Mystery deepens our awareness of something beyond ourselves.  And when it exists within art, the art become…

Back Home

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8-6-19

Well, I'm back home from my residency and hit the ground running with hanging my work with the artists of the new, D'art Gallery here in Denver.  I'm so excited about this group of artists.  Seventeen of us formed this gallery in the heart of the Santa Fe Arts District in Denver, CO.  It's a vibrant group of artists to work with and I'm grateful to be a part of the gallery.  Our grand opening is this Friday from 6-9pm at 900 Santa Fe Dr. if any of you are free to join us!



Since I've been back I haven't been able to get into the studio - yet - but I've got a few ideas cooking in the meantime.  I have been working on a commission project but my fine art work has taken a back seat for now.  That's ok because next week, I'll be back in the swing of things. 

My hubby, Randy and I had a great time in Arroyo Grande visiting friends, seeing wine country and of course, sampling the wine, and visiting the beach.  It was such a needed trip after an …

Artist Residency Part 3

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7-24-19

Well, the alumni artist residency is wrapping up and it's been wonderful.  I've enjoyed getting to know the students and faculty of Azusa Pacific University.  It's been a time of rich discussions, renewing friendships and beginning new ones, and deep fellowship.  It's been a time of creativity and production for me as well.  I've been exploring both new and old materials and ways of working.


Indie Yarn with Thai Bird's Nest Paper - In Process 

I've discovered Indie yarn.  It's wonderful!  I'm currently working with it sewing it into Thai Bird's Nest Paper.  The work is so new I'm not sure what I'm doing with it yet.  All I know is that I needed to sew it into the paper.  I'm planning on painting it but need to sit with it before I do so.  Sometimes, I just need to piece to speak to me to tell me what to do with it.  This is one of those pieces.  I trust the process, the intuition, and the materials to direct me. 

We also went…

Artist Residency - Part 2

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7-17-19

Well, it's been almost two weeks at my Alumni Artist in Residency at Azusa Pacific University.  It has been an amazing experience. I've been able to connect with the students with critiques, conversations, and art making.  Interesting lectures have been great and it has been wonderful to see old professors and meet new ones, making connections and new friendships. 

My art making has been on overdrive while here.  I'm working on two books, a construction, and paintings.  I feel engulfed with the creativity surrounding me with all of the MFA students working away while I work as well.  It's been good. 

I've been able to focus on work centering around the Holy of Holies: a book and a construction.  While not literal in depiction, the work embodies the idea of the sacred space, the place to meet God.  We see Him through a veil of this worldly existence and the work uses materials to depict that idea.  Cheesecloth is an important physical element within the work…

Artist Residency

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7-12-19

Well, I'm finishing up my first week at Azusa Pacific University for my Alumni Artist in Residence here in California.  It has been a rich experience so far.  I've been able to see old friends, critique students' work, make art, sit in on lectures, and had my show opening.  What I am seeing with the students' work are topics related to our society: isolation, technology, abuse, feminine identity.  These students are digging deep into their concepts and ideas which makes for intriguing and poignant art.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of their works.

My show was well received and I was actually thanked for showing work that depicts the darker times of life.  It was stated that within the Christian community, showing the negative or darker things of life can be considered a sin and that we need to always be positive.  Well, that's not life nor is that consistent within the Biblical narrative.  The Bible is full of dark and difficult times within its s…

Getting Ready

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7-1-19

I'm getting ready for my Alumni Artist in Residence at Azusa Pacific University.  I'm beyond excited for this opportunity!  I'm hoping that the residency will not just produce good things for me but for the students as well.  I'm scheduled to critique the graduate students' work, host a workshop, make work, host two field trips, and have an exhibit.  A full schedule, but one that should be a lot of fun!

All the art work is finished and packed.  I'm in the process of packing my supplies and living materials for the month.  I'm so looking forward to this!  My show will be a process show.  The work is from a few years ago up until now. Since the work shows pure encaustic painting to mixed media/found object, to fiber works, my hope is that the students will see my process moving from media to media.  Thematically, the work revolves around sacred ideas and concepts.  Psalms, Lamentations, and the Crucifixion all inspire the works.  That, I believe, will …

Of Green and Red

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6-24-19

Of Red and Green

Compliments play With chiaroscuro Of red and green
Vibrant colors Echo light and dark of contiguous petals
Slender stalks Hoist crowning Glories of fragrant hosts
Leading upward Praises of Fluorescent delight

Mystery

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6-10-19


“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist…" Rene Magritte







Le Retour 1940 Rene Magritte

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist…" Rene Magritte

I love this quote from Rene Magritte for it encompasses the essence of art - it's mystery and how appropriate it is for us as humans.  Human beings intrinsically create.  We must, it is a part of our nature, from the greatest works of art to the advances of science and medicine.  We create.  We've discovered macro and micro worlds on this planet and in space.  And within it all, we, on this earth, among the vastness of space and the wonders of our world, discovered that the universe contains the such immense mysteries, things we can and cannot explain. Mysteries that go beyond our initial comprehension.  Our existence, coupled with such wonders leads us to create, to express such things.

Art in itself, expresses the human condition.  One of its roles, expresses what it means to b…

Crucifixion Meditation

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6-3-19

I'm excited because I've been selected for the Alumni Artist in Residence at Azusa Pacific University in California.  It is an incredible honor and I'm so grateful for the opportunity.  I'll be working with the graduate students hosting a workshop, field trips, critiques, making and showing art.  It'll be a busy time, definitely! 

I'm working on new work for the show that will be up while I'm there.  I'm calling it my Crucifixion Meditations.  They relate in some degree to the Lamentation Series I'm working on currently too but these are intimate works - approximately 12"x12"x1.5".  I'm planning on having ten - twelve pieces created for the show. 

I've been working quickly with these pieces, meditating of course on the Passion of Christ for them, but working very fast.  They are coming out of me as fast as I can create which let's me be more spontaneous and less calculated with the works.  I prefer working this way.…

Prayer

5-13-19
Prayer

Moments Birthed by Pensive waiting
Reveals Yearnings of Ageless pleas
Guttural Cries of Primal needs
Speak Forth weighted Petitions
Supplications Revealed in Meditative moments
Spur Restless Anticipation
Rendering forth Silent replies
Awakening dawn

Asiatic Lily

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5-3-19
Asiatic Lily
Stamen and pistils Quiver within Goldenrod petals Spotted with crimson
Delicate arches Symmetrically balance The flowers stance Against dark Green leaves
Withered memories Of vibrant colors Contrast against Yellow blossoms Of bursting existence
Bringing to Full circle The Dance Of Life And Death

Palm Sunday

4-14-19


Palm Sunday
Sipping coffee Within the silence Of the morning
Awaiting the business Of the day
Reflections of past Hallelujahs and Branches
Setting the stage For the week
Passion and suffering Host the time Of the season
With joyful Resurrection to come
All absorbed within A cup of tan Warmth
Renewing moments Of peaceful contentment

Continuing the Process

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4-8-19

Continuing the Process


Thinking about my latest piece on Thai Bird's Nest Paper, I'm contemplating just what it means to me.  I typically allow the piece to speak and also allow the time it takes for it to speak.  I'm ruminating on this one, especially.  I feel like I'm breaking into new territory, which is exciting.  I'm not pushing this at all, in fact, I'll allow however much time it needs to complete it.  The waiting can make me a bit anxious as I want to create and work on it but many times, I'm just looking, waiting for the piece to tell me the next step in which to go.  It's not frustrating. It forces me to slow down and really see, really look into what I'm doing, making the work, and bringing it to completion. 



This process allows for me to contemplate, pray, and rest if you will.  The act of creating, of creation is one where the energy is expended but also contained, built up in order to release into the creative act.  I'm grat…
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4-1-19

It's a beautiful day here in Denver and I'm ready to create!  I've been working on the Lamentation Series but also other works as well.  I'm revisiting an old material - Thai Bird's Nest Paper.  It's wonderful!!!!!  I'm stitching hemp thread and cheesecloth to it.  The textures are scrumptious! I'm playing with ideas of hidden and revealed, things constant within chaos. 

The textures of the paper will allow for me to use paint and show it off beautifully.  I can't wait to get the paint on it!  Right now, I'm stitching and sewing the cheesecloth onto the paper.  It's very meditative and grounding.  It is a welcome break from the intensity of the Lamentation Series.  Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the Lamentation Series but emotionally, it takes its toll.  So, this work is very welcome and needed at times. 

The sewing is reminiscent of my teen years, when I used to sew.  I learned during high school and received my first sewing …
3-14-19
A Day’s Grace (After a Bad Dream)
Images swirling within The mirror of my mind
Traces the memory Of the previous night
Echoes disquieting dreams Disturbing the morning’s dawn
Settling into routines While shaking remembrances
Affirms resonate traces Allowing the day to grace


Saying Goobye

2-26-19

Saying Goodbye


In the solitude I sit
waiting for the stillness
to subside

Pensive and hurried 
thoughts fill my
head

Your presence
no longer here
but in another place

Sorrow for what
wasn't and
for what was

Making it hard
to release
and say goodbye

1-28-19

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It's snowing in Denver and the solitude is lovely.  While I've been busy painting on my LAMENTATION Series, I'm taking a morning break of stillness. I'm looking at the tiny orchids on my kitchen table and contemplating their beauty.  But, with that, it is appropriate that I'll be working more on the series today as it is the second anniversary of my mother's passing.  I'm not sad for she is in a better place.  I can rejoice with that but I am contemplative; thinking of the brevity of life and all that this short time on earth offers.  
With my musings this morning, I'm contemplating the Memento Mori - keeping death before us, the vanity of life, and the brevity of our lives.  We are told to number our days for we really don't know how long we have on this earth. For me, that means I must take in and give as much as I can to this life.  As an artist, I do create things; things that might not have value to anyone else but me and yes, they will, at som…