Tag Archives: Oil Painting

Artist’s Pace

get the motor running

With one kid away at University and the other up and at ’em and out the door on her own each morning (her preference, I must add), my mornings are fairly quiet.  Most days, I use those mornings to savor some coffee, make a quick sketch, and then go about my business of working day-job hours, errand running, etc.  It is a rare thing indeed to allow days in a row of sinking into what I think of as my own particular Artist’s Pace.

Let me set the stage.  The Hub is usually just a couple rooms down the hall working his day job, entertaining a seemingly endless series of conference calls.  If I do take an ‘art day’ to spend in my studio space, it is with door closed and music on to block out the din of the rest of the house.  It’s usually about sitting down and getting things done. Business.  And the business of art is important stuff, lacking in romance though it may be.  But this week, the Hub is out of town for his business (I think it’s nice they get to all talk face to face now and again, don’t you?) and I have found myself with a few days of this house to myself and the dogs who aren’t much for conference calls, or any conversation for that matter.  And while it took me a bit of the weekend and much of yesterday, I found myself awakened today, settled into my own sense of The Pace of Things.  I find it fascinating how much Real Work I can get done in the course of one day in the studio when I am not pushing so hard; when I allow that sense of play and timelessness to set the tone for the day and for my process.  My mindset is different for a few days’ solitude and I am reminded that it truly is just a mindset; one that I can tap into in spite of the din of the day to day, should I simply allow it.

There is much to be worked on again today upstairs but first, I spent some time outside, admiring my morning entertainment, in the form of the chickens whom I could seriously sit and observe for hours at a time.

head to head chickens morning entertainment 3

They are truly endearing creatures and I am enjoying their company greatly these days.  As well as their amazing eggs.  Thank you girls!

morning entertainment 2 

While the chickens scritch and scratch away looking for bugs, the dogs play peekaboo with each other and the squirrels.  

peekaboo dog 1

peekaboo dog 2

peekaboo dogs 3

And the brooks that criss-cross our land babble along happily in the company of jewel toned autumn leaves.

a brook babbles through it

Indoors blank canvases and bits of specially prepared papers await my attention.  The very whiteness of blank canvases, or a new journal for that matter, used to intimidate me to the point of avoidance and inactivity.  This is not so any more.  To me the site (and feel) of a freshly sanded canvas is an invitation to explore another world.  I accept this invitation gladly, with my bags packed for adventure.

canvas blanks

Lately I have been traveling north for these imaginary adventures, where I seek out the magic of the ‘Merry Dancers’, The Norther Lights.  My earthly self has the witnessing of the Aurora Borealis on my life-list of goals, but my astral, internalized self has been seeing them for ages now, and they are beginning to come to the page.

Northern Lights Northern Sea

Northern Lights by Boat

There will be plenty days ahead full of the ‘business’ of applying for shows, cataloguing work, purchasing supplies, getting the word out about the Taos trip, managing the day to day of our home and family, etc., etc.  But for today, my toes are tucked into my sheepskin slipper-boots, my pajamas are ready for a spot of two of paint should that occur, and I am ready to fall headlong into today’s adventures.

Artists are the keepers of the creative flame in this world.  We are the dancers and drawers, the makers and musicians, the magicians and conjurers of worlds not yet brought to light.  It is our job to allow the spaciousness for these worlds to come into being.

Keepers of the Creative Flame

 

“There are myth places, they exist, each in their own way.  Some of them are overlaid on the world; others exist beneath the world as it is, like an underpainting.” ~Neil Gaiman 

 

 

Discoveries at the wrack line

It began years ago.  A gravitational pull to the coast that some folks feel at times.  And an introduction to a creature-self whom has captured my imagination ever since.  Fortunate to have lived along the coast for a time, and further still, blessed to visit again each summer in spite of being land-locked the rest of the year, I have pursued knowledge of this being, though I did not know what it was I was after.  Perhaps I still don’t.  But evidence of her existence has built up.  And I am introducing the results of my research as part of an art show opening next week.

“My most recent body of work explores a duplicity of place through the lens of traditional narrative and meditation upon liminal frontiers found in natural places.  For this series, North Atlantic legends of “Selkie” creatures (part seal, part human) are the basis for a collection of images and artifacts depicting the life of a being that exists on both land and water, while not a true part of either world.  Many years of walking the wrack line on both sides of the North Atlantic have fed my obsession with imagery, material and lore of the coast.   These works form an exploratory self portrait of object and image that speak of an inner dialogue between myself and the world at large.”  

Among my sketchbooks are years of drawings that have led to the discoveries present in this body of work.  Some of these drawings will be on display, along with items found along the salted wrack line of the North Atlantic…

…permitted to grow salt crystals from the sea…

Other things were crafted by me, prior to gathering their crystals…. (The shells below were crafted from bronze.)

This creature, the legendary Selkie of the North Atlantic tends to take cover amongst a variety of seaweed species. Often these can be found washed upon the shores….

(Seaweeds; knitted, felted wool, found fish bones, salt crystals, 2013)

(more Seaweed, below.  Also knitted, felted wool, salt crystals, 2013)

Occasionally, messages would wash up onto the shore…. “When lightning strikes water, it purifies it.”

Sea faring vessels know of Selkie and her mysterious ways….

Sometimes sea captains communicate with her with a knotted language only those of the sea can interpret….

Selkie can be found in the shadows of the deep, at play among schools of colorful fishes flitting about….

At the center of her lies a tender heart, easily bruised.  As I have discovered more about her ways, I have learned to walk silently along the shores.  Only then might I learn more from her.

Selkie is filled with a depth that will garner more observation and of course paintings.  I do not think I have seen the last of her in my studio….

She has taught me much about paint and patience.  About Other-Worlds, both Inner and Outer.  And I timidly introduce her here for those of you out of town and unable to visit her in person….

If you are in town and can make it to the show, my work is only a small part of a larger show and I am in such great company with other artists who allow Nature to mushroom amidst their imaginations and in their studios.

Do join us if you can, and as always, your feedback is welcome and appreciated.  Peace.