Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Early morning abstract thinking


Beside every blade of grass is an angel saying, grow, grow, grow.

What a lovely thought. 

We are the blades of grass and if we open our hearts, there is an angel nestled there, cheering us on.

I awoke the other morning thinking, "It's in the quiet where the conversation begins." 

I enjoy silence. It's one of the reasons I usually wake up between 4-5 am. It's so peaceful at that time of day. Like a deep, cleansing breath. There's a nourishing emptiness, a space for thoughts to come, an arena for small epiphanies. 

I've just returned from an art retreat, once again astonished at the singular creativity living in us all. The volume and level of work created by 11 artists and our mentor and teacher, Rebecca Crowell, during the course of five days would make any curator take notice. 

Perhaps it was the setting; Lake Logan, literally nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outrageously spectacular views. As our nature guide, Glen, exclaimed, "It makes you happy to be alive!"

Perhaps it was walking over to the studio every morning and walking back at night, cell phone flashlights guiding our way.

Perhaps it was the poets and writers who shared our retreat space.

Perhaps it was the sharing, from techniques, to intimate stories, laughter and singing, to poetry.

And maybe, just maybe, it was the perfect combination of spirits, all vibrating harmoniously on the scales of life. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Line Play
6x7 inches
India ink

"What meaningful intentions would you like to set for your work-the qualitities you most value and want to keep going or aspire to?"

An innocent sheet of paper handed out by Rebecca Crowell at a recent workshop asking questions that urged a deeper introspection as to why we want to paint. The last question on the sheet was the one above. 

Here was my response:
Totems. Marks. Flow. Continuity. Spirit. Meditative.
I want my work to be beautiful, not pretty. Beauty is truth. Pretty lacks substance. I want to imbue my work with my intentions of calm, love, grace and joy, in essence, a mirror or reflection of my soul. 
Let it speak for that which resides within me that has no human voice - rather a collective conscious understanding. 

I came away from this workshop with a deeper trust and understanding of my creative process. Each time I approach the surface I have less fear. I appreciate and respect my hand and what it is able to communicate by moving across the space with passion and clarity. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dumpster Diving for Words

Windows #1
8.5x14 inches 

What do rectangles and circles imply? 

This morning I was taking pictures of my recent pieces and saw the pattern of circles, ellipses, and rectangles and wondered why these symbols are presenting themselves on my canvases.

Obviously, my hand is putting them there, but why? Why, when I look at a piece am I  drawn to make these shapes? 

A rectangle symbolizes introspection. A window into deeper thought. A solitude.

 Unbroken #2
14 x 22 inches

Circles & ellipses symbolize continuity, wholeness, fullness, life, love. These symbols communicate my desires. 

As a painter who likes to write, I enjoy rambling through my thoughts in a continuous  stream of articulation. Dumpster diving through the letters and words, keeping some, tossing others back into the mind-field.

When you think about it, writing is painting pictures with letters, the alphabet becomes the brush, the words, images. 

Consider the wonder; 26 letters provide a infinite source of entertainment, three primary colors, plus white and black, can provide an endless palette within reach of the painter's brush. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Showing you my ugly

A hot mess
24 x 30

When I first heard abstract artist, Virginia Cobb, say, every painting goes through an ugly phase, I was relieved! It was like getting permission to go outside and play. 

This piece has gone through several ugly stages and is now in the ugliest of the ugly. I have considered just tossing the canvas. I have asked myself, "why do you keep putting good paint on this?" 

For some reason, I can't let go, yet. Can I make it even more ugly? Oh yeah, you bet.

 For now, though, I'm going to try to work with what I have, make some decisions and  move it into a place where I want to look at it.