It’s quiet this morning . . . quite a difference from yesterday afternoon. This is the morning after my first Open Studio since the pandemic, and I can’t believe I took no photographs. So as I sit outside the studio, watching a blue jay perch on an empty easel and flowers bloom in the sunshine, these words will be my reminder of the joy that comes with sharing art and stories, along with the camaraderie of friends old and new.
The energy in my little studio filled with fellow artists, teachers and creatives of all kinds was simply amazing. Contact info was shared by many as we found more commonalities at a time when we see so much divisiveness in the world. Art has power, and I, for one, believe that coming together to celebrate art is coming together with hearts full of love. It’s about gratitude to have the means to create and the means to purchase. It’s about focusing on positives, like what works speak to us and what feelings are invoked while studying the colors, textures, strokes and marks. It’s about sharing. Many guests to the Open Studio brought a guest, exposing them to the new adventure of art collecting. As I said, the energy was amazing!
It is with great appreciation and lots of love that I write these words to remind me of another inspirational and joyful exchange called Open Studio. Thanks to all who followed their heart and journeyed into my world of art. No photos required. See you at the next one!
A crazy thing happened in the studio yesterday. Well, I think it was a crazy thing. The sun was streaming in the windows, warming the 60’s outside to 70’s inside, and there I was, painting with a passion, listening to Christmas music and not really thinking about anything . . . just appreciating the creative process in the moment.
I work on several panels at a time, mainly because of drying time and the need to step away for awhile. Had several good ones going and wrapped up the day with a two smalls, a medium and midway on a larger piece. Picked up my phone to take a few photos for my website and social media, and suddenly it dawned on me — I subconsciously used the very same color as the sweater I was wearing. It was weird. My black apron blocked most of the sweater from sight, but the sleeves were definitely in my line of vision. Now this was not straight out of the tube green I’m talking about. No. Multiple oil paints had to be combined to create the color, and I didn’t see the match until it was finished.
The mind is an amazing engine, and it certainly works on cruise control. Can’t explain it. Just marvel at it and keep creating.
Here’s a new series. I found myself trapped in duplication mode and needed to escape to a dreamier vision of my art day. There is so much freedom in self expression when you don’t try so darn hard to duplicate from a photo, to follow some path to an unknown place in your head and heart. At least that is the experience I have so enjoyed recently.
More than a feeling . . . close your eyes and slip away.
Far away from reality, yet close enough to come back to when you are ready. It is refreshing to play again. My art practice has kept me sane this past year, as we have all likely found new ways to cope with crazy. I’m not nearly as productive as I was in years past, but I have accepted that reality and forgive myself for casting aside the I-gotta-accomplish-more-everday theory of a good life. Instead, I need to dream more, and paint more, love more and pray more. After all, these are some of the best accomplishments.
Studio visits welcome. Call or text when you want to come by. 850-585-7689. Please wear your mask.
If you could choose only one utensil to carry in your pack as you trudged through the jungles of New Guinea, not on a grand hiking adventure, but fighting a war in your mid-20s, what would it be? Daddy always said take a spoon — good for scooping food out of ready made pouches or quenching thirst, sip by sip, but also good for digging and scraping . He didn’t talk much about his years fighting in WWII. He came home with a Purple Heart and married the love of his life, made lots of babies and lived a good long life providing for his family. The last time I saw him, he lay in a hospital bed at home. My mom and I were at his side. I was getting ready to fly back to Florida. He looked at his wife of 67 years and said, “This is the last time I will see Lori.” I grabbed his hand and shook my head. “No daddy, I’ll see you in heaven.”
I’m sorry, Daddy, that I joined the Navy without telling you first. I’m sorry I asked for an assignment in Japan. You fought the Japanese and certainly didn’t like the fact that I would be in that country for two years. You called them “those damn Japs.” I did not know your pain. I never had to walk in your boots. I served in peace time, and when people say “Thank you for your service” on Veteran’s Day, I channel the good thoughts to you and those who marched alongside you, knowing in my heart I am undeserving in comparison.
To all those who served our country, and to all who continue to do so, thank you. Thank you for our freedom, and may we honor you always by loving this land and protecting it with all our strength. It wasn’t until I started writing this that I realized something I should have figured out years ago. Some people see signs from those who left us — things like cardinals and butterflies and even boat anchors. I see spoons — the antique silver ones. Thank you, Daddy. Happy Veterans’ Day 2020.
I hope your home is filled with treasures that bring you joy. Furthermore, I hope your favorite works of art are top on the list of your treasures. They are for me, and I am blessed to have my studio as part of my home. I’ll be helping to slow this monster with extra time in the studio, creating what I can. Got to take the advice of a great friend who recently wrote encouraging words for me to turn off the news and concentrate on painting because, “the world needs all that beauty you create.”
By staying home, we are saving lives. I truly believe that.
By staying home in the studio, I hope to bring joy and peace to the comfort of your home with new art as often as I can. This (loridrew.net) is my website, and I welcome you to tour the gallery at your leisure during the next 30 days. If you have any inspirational photos, I’d love to see them. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you need help adding to your art collection, just let me know.
Stay home. Stay safe. And please stay in touch.
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!