Last week was a bonus week . . . I was gifted with a full week in the studio . . . practicing, playing and picking up the pieces of paintings left unfinished. In other words, although there were struggles, there were also some successes and I found myself feeling good about a couple of things I wanted to share with you.
The first was an exercise in freedom. It’s harder than you think. No planning allowed, only a will to lay color to the surface and keep going until you feel satisfied. The big idea behind this exercise was to be oblivious to the applause of others. Over the years, I have somewhat grown in confidence because of time spent practicing the process, and although I still seek approval, I am happy if I can look at the finished work and smile, at least a little, knowing I did my best and that I would happily hang it on my wall. But please don’t stop the ‘likes.’ I’ll be devastated.
The second thing I learned last week came after a conversation with a dear friend who wanted to know why I don’t have the ability to make purchases on my website. Without even thinking about this in depth question, I said, “because I want to meet the people who like my work.” So far, I really like everyone who likes my art. It’s crazy, but I don’t want to give that up by including a shopping cart and digital checkout. I want to get to know you, maybe meet your family, share a few bites or a glass of wine and hear what you love about my art. It feeds my soul and gives me the courage to continue.
So I guess what I’m saying is that I need you. I enjoyed the quiet studio time striving for freedom from fear. But we need each other in this journey of life, and art enhances it.
I hope I’ll see you at the studio someday soon. In the meantime, enjoy the new additions to my website. No cart, but lots of heart!
Although I never dreamed of having my art hang in an art museum, I have to admit it feels really good . . . and it’s going to feel even better when it sells at the Huntsville Museum of Art 29th Gala next month. Their website explains, “The Museum seeks to foster understanding of the visual arts and appreciation of artistic achievement. The mission of the Museum is to bring people and art together through acquiring, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting the highest quality works of art.” Wow! What an honor to be included in “highest quality works of art.”
So as I was thinking about museums, and then galleries, I came to the realization that although it is truly wonderful to gain such inclusion and recognition, for me the real honor comes from you hanging my art in your home. There is no finer place because it is your personal space, your sanctuary, your comfort zone. An invitation into your world is the greatest compliment.
I meet the most wonderful people on this artistic journey of mine. Some stay close for just a short time, yet the connection is so meaningful as they take home a creation that communicated something deeper, along with a cutting or two from the studio garden. Some stay in touch via social media channels, cheering me on. Still others become great friends and get together for meals around the fire on cool winter nights. Today I received a text from a very special collector turned prayer warrior who I appreciate more than you can imagine. The image here is hers, and every so often, when I need a little boost, I look back on her loving, prayerful texts and thank God that He brings such blessings into my life through art — each one a true miracle (they happen every day, you know).
Speaking of blessings, my website is updated with new images of available art, not all, but I am working on it, thanks to Aaron Sutton, website designer extraordinaire. His patience is phenomenal as I am most likely his queen of technologically challenged clients who insist on having a hand in the process. Promising myself to keep this site as calming and easy going as my studio. Wish me luck!
And if you are one of my wonderful people, I hope you can feel my gratitude in this blog hug.
You should see my “Hiking Glacier” book. I couldn’t possible part with it now. The glossy full-color cover is now a thin film separated from card stock, and all 232 pages are as wavy as the flood of water that filled my backpack. That book survived the coldest, wettest, most miserable hike I have ever experienced. My fingers were numb after the 10 miles. All backpack contents needed to be laid out by the fire and one camera body didn’t make it. But my book . . . it lives to tell the tale of a wild and wonderful adventure of moose spotting, rain in an alpine lake home to the icebergs and the warm welcome of strangers sharing shelter beneath the hemlocks as we made it to the lake. They smiled without a single complaint about the weather because they shared our love of mountains, cliffs, rushing water, wind, courage and beauty beyond anything you can experience without getting your feet wet. Take a chance. Take the hike. And take in the marvelous mystery of truly living in nature. Let me know if you want to borrow my book.
PS: This painting is inspired by Upper Grinnell Glacier Lake, and I was grateful for the warm sun that day.
It’s always good to get a new perspective . . . to challenge yourself to see, think and feel in a new way, simply so your energy and enthusiasm gets stirred up and you can see what incredible things happen.
Found this old photo of me and my sister — just kids having fun looking at the world upside down. Marlene’s expression is priceless, and my memories are more so. It got me thinking about how original art can have that effect on an audience, whether we are engrossed in actors on a stage, musicians on a corner or paintings on a wall. Experience the real thing, then hang on to it, tell your friends about it, relive it with your dog, post pictures of it and write about it. Then do it again.
ArtsQuest was last weekend, and what a delight it was, experiencing not only original art in all forms, but sharing it with art lovers of all ages. A young girl hugged a painting I created and stories were told of art that moved people, spoke to people and turned their day upside down.
Be original. Buy original art. Get the tickets. Experience the real thing. But most of all, try a new perspective today.