Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gallery hopping

I took a bit of time to go search out some galleries "NEW" to me. I've read about them for years, wanted to go, but with 3 kids-gallery hopping just doesn't "happen". It was wonderful to MAKE it happen. I visited the Moberg Gallery on Ingersoll in Des Moines, IA-blown away by Wendell Mohr's new abstract paintings. I've studied under Wendell for 2 summers learning his experiemental watercolor techniques, but, to see his new direction-doing a NEW thing at "80+ years old"-what an example to me. That's what I want to be like at 80-teaching and painting and still DOING art. I also visited the Olson-Larsen Galleries and saw their current "Figurative Show". I was especially draw to the work of Priscilla Steele. Her large scale figures were amazing-the glazes, the texture and pigment used to create the figure-so rich, so beautiful.

After gallery hopping, I headed to a scrapbook store-wandered around the aisles-looking for something NEW-something I had to have. For the first time in a long time, nothing came home with me. What is up with that? Something about being immersed in the fine art world and then the scrapbook world-it was unsettling to me. I love to scrapbook, but it seems more clear to me than even before that I want more from my books. I want more than "theme stickers'. I use them but I want more. I want more than simple, graphic lines. I want more than precut letters. I know that many people need and use these-I'm just saying that for me-I'm becoming more driven to use my own art supplies, use my own designs, make my scrapbooks really look like me.

The weather here is finally gorgeous after weeks of storms, missed vacations due to cancelled flights, ice, snow and being forced inside. I opened the windows yesterday and let the fresh air in. Fresh air in my house and fresh air in my soul.

I did lots of work at church yesterday. Good things-not easy mind you, but necessary. Good is not always easy in this life, in fact, I know that I often learn the most during the most difficult times. So much going on at church-deep, good, life transforming things.

I'm heading out to the gym, and birthday lunch with girlfriends. I've got some finishing up to do on my newest paintings-can't wait to show you, but it's "still a work in process". I'm working on so many things-spring is here and time to renew the gallery with new works. Time to fill my books with new pages. Time to clean my house...but that's another story I'd really rather NOT talk about today!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

too busy creating

My Painting Partner-
"Do you want to be an artist when you grow up?"
"Mom-I'm ALREADY an artist-I don't have to wait until I'm grown up"
Drew-age 4

I go through "creativity phases". Sometimes, I have literally 4 or 5 or to be honest 10+ painting/art projects going on at one time. Today, the kitchen table is covered with 9 12x12 canvases-an abstract piece I have wanted to do for a long time. I started with the idea I would hang it in my kitchen/dining room-totally don't think this is the right place now. I love how projects take on a life of their own. I simply need to get the paint on the canvas and then see where it goes. I have over 15 watercolor pieces that are in various stages of completion-all different sizes-some abstract, some cool new tulips unlike any I have painted before. I have a large canvas sketched out and ready to start applying paint-it is a semi-abstract piece with very bold shapes. I have a plastic drawer piled with over 10 scrapbook pages I want to create for my son's album. I've pulled the paper and photos and they are just waiting for me to pull it all together. Then, there is the stack of 5 x 7 black gessoed canvases waiting for me to turn into collaged tulip creations. Oh-and the stack of 5 x 7 frames waiting for a new photographs to deliver to the gallery. Plus, there are certain areas of my house that really need some attention, but when the paint is flowing, it is hard to break to cook supper, go to Parent-teacher conferences, or even go to the gym. I want to do all those things on the days when I just can't seem to paint, when I just can't get the brush on the paper, but when I'm in the "flow", totally undisturbed, I love days like that, but they just don't "happen" here often. Real life gets in the way-and I thank God everyday for this "real life" of mine. If my real life wasn't going on each and every day, I would have a hard time making real art. Art that speaks from my life-unbalanced, crazy, imperfect, questioning, real, out-of-my control, but totally and gloriously mine! Thank you God for today-for being in control of the daily-ness of it all and in control of my future.

You know I've really been contemplating creating one of those visual life boards where you cut photos out of magazines and tape them up. Prop it up in the studio to motivate you. It helps one to visualize the future and set goals to get there. Another way of getting at the whole SECRET thing, Oprah and the world seem to be talking about right now. Actually, I've been feeling GUILT because I haven't done such a thing. If I'm not visualizing, I won't get there. If I'm not planning and dreaming, it isn't going to happen. If you don't see it, you won't acheive it thing. MIND GAMES-artists are really, really good at these.

But, I'm crossing this OFF my "to do" list. I've turned it all over to someone bigger, someone who actually knows, and someone who can actually make whatever happen happen. I'm going to keep doing what the Spirit tells me to do for the day and leave the "great big unknown outcome" up to Him. Takes the huge load off my shoulders and gives me the freedom to create. It's great to be free.