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.
I dropped off a few new paintings at the CAA Member Tent today. What fantastic art from everyone!!! My first ArtsQuest was 19 years ago, when we first moved to the beach. I loved dragging my three sons around on Mother’s Day, taking in all the beautiful works from so many talented artists. Now I am proud to say I am an artist, and I sure do wish my sons were near here to drag around. Instead, I’ll be volunteering in the CAA Member Tent (just outside Tommy Bahama’s front door), and hope to drag you in to see all the amazing works.
Be sure to drop by and say HI and maybe pick up a little something for yourself to celebrate all moms everywhere. Happy Mother’s Day to all!!!
It’s summertime and it’s someone’s birthday in the family. I can see Babci walking to the backyard garden. She always wore a cotton dress, long and loose, covered with an apron. I’m thinking about my grandmothers today as a get ready for another Art After Hours at the galley. Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and I thought a pink theme would be fun for the refreshments I’ll serve. “Babci” (pronounced bob-chi) is Polish for grandmother, and she lived next door to us. She made beet soup — nothing I would have eaten as a child even though it was the prettiest color pink. There was just something about beets that did not excite this little granddaughter.
The excitement came with MomMom’s strawberry sheet cake. MomMom was my dad’s mother. Babci was my mom’s. Anyway, MomMom was famous for bringing that cake to everyone’s birthday party, probably because it fed a crowd, and it was always a hit with everyone in my rather large Catholic family.
I’ve never tried to make that strawberry sheet cake nor borscht, but I thought both would be the perfect color for my pink party tonight. Both have passed the taste test with flying shades of rose, and there will be many other pretty things presented for the palate.
This morning, as I continue with the chopping, mixing, rolling, poking and plating in preparation for the gallery gathering, I am reminiscing about my wonderful grandmothers, who added that happy color to my life — it’s the color of love, and I hope you can join me this evening to share in art . . . in love . . . and in life.
Not surprisingly, tears fell at a dear friend’s memorial service. But joy was also in the air, as I came to realize that each of us touch others in ways we do not realize. I learned that day that not only was my art a catalyst to our friendship, but that family time in The Henderson Resort bathrooms was one of the best memories this young nephew had of his wonderful aunt.
Zachary spoke from the heart when he relayed a heartwarming story of “Punkin” taking the family to lunch at The Henderson, with an agenda to include a museum quality tour of both the men’s and women’s restrooms for all to see 27 paintings in each and every stall and wall. Punkin, asked the hotel staff to guard the doors so this tour remained private while the whole family viewed the creations by her artist friend (that would be me). His point was she was unique. My point is we are joined to one another as we journey through this life, and sometimes it’s art that creates the bridge that brings us together.
Today, my car is packed with new works for Art Wave at The Henderson Resort. It’ll be a great party, as we help to raise funds for South Walton Artificial Reef Association. I wonder who will be drawn to my paintings, who will like what they see when nature calls and what new friends I will meet. I’ll be sharing studio adventures with my artist friends, grateful for The Henderson bringing us together. And I’ll be thinking of Punkin, knowing that in my own small way, I helped a young man with a memory that will bring him smiles for years to come.
With Special Thanks to Melissa Mercer Brown for introducing me to an opportunity of a lifetime.
Going balls to the walls in preparation for ArtWalk tomorrow — pumpkin balls and meatballs, that is. Throwing in a pepperoni and sun-dried tomato tortellini toss and cranberry-feta pinwheels, along with mozzarella rounds on marinated vegetable kabobs because you need your veggies. The white wine and beers are chilling as the cookies are baking. It’s supposed to start raining soon, so I started loading the car with easels, glassware, flatware, napkins, serving platters and coolers.
I love ArtWalks, and tomorrow’s should be exceptional. The gallery looks great — all the new art gets me excited to share. I am so thankful that we have the space not only for the community to enjoy, but also for the talented artists to unveil their latest creations. Every day is a good day to walk through the gallery, but ArtWalk is more fun because you mix a group of great people with good food and you get joy all around.
So please stop by if you can. East End Gallery is on the east side of Shades Bar & Grill, on the east end of 30A in Inlet Beach. My buddy Gary wasn’t available to play guitar, but iTunes will be on, the balls will be ready and the walls will amaze your senses as we celebrate “Moments & Memories,” the latest collection.
I almost forgot . . . just because . . . for every person who attends ArtWalk, my family will donate $10 to St. Rita’s Hurricane Relief efforts in Panama City, Blountstown and Marianna. You don’t need to purchase anything, just come visit and enjoy. As Dr. Seuss said . . .
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
Let’s make some memories.
She was six, sweet and showed me the future in a six-by-six sketch of love.
Ila Elizabeth stopped by the gallery last evening for ArtWalk. She wasn’t on the hunt for something to eat or drink. She strolled in to see the art. She didn’t simply glance either. She studied each piece and was quick to tell her aunt what she saw and felt. I saw something special in her, but I didn’t see the future until she came back after dinner, holding her drawing, wanting to share her creation.
It was love, captured in pencil, by a super power in her special brain, and all I wanted to do was hug her. She reminded me why my own world is consumed by art — creating it, sharing it and encouraging others to do the same, making a space so artists can use their special powers to enhance life and stir emotion.
She is our future, and there is hope for a world when love can be found in the heart and passed through a pencil, creating a lasting image that feels like a hug.
Thank you, Ila. Here’s a little me with a big hug for you.