The days between winter celebrations are a welcome time for reflection as an artist. While everyone else is still distracted with the aftermath of decorations, and gifting, and family time, many artists I know need some time off to retreat into the silence for a little while.
And so, as I sit here in the quiet, thinking about the cobwebs in the studio, and the array of paints and brushes strewn around, waiting, I reflect on what I might want my art to say for the future — a future that, at my age, feels no different from the present moment. I don’t seriously expect an answer, but I keep repeating a few familiar questions. Is there a new message I want to convey, or do I just want to bring a little beauty to my small corner of the world? Do I want to protest against recent events that have assaulted our sense of right and wrong, or has that already been done much better by others? Or the one that sometimes paralyzes me — is there really anything new under the sun? If not, why even try? Maybe there’s nothing new to be said or conveyed, but there is the distinct possibility that it hasn’t yet been said in my own unique voice. There is also the distinct possibility that I’m over-thinking, which is its own paralysis.
I just need to be busy creating.
After having closed my Etsy shop this summer due to my husband’s illness, I’ve now decided to reopen it. It’s been both time consuming and therapeutic to bring it up to speed again, and I’m glad I made the decision to do it. For now, it’s just the one shop for collage, but I think I’ll be adding paintings later in that same shop. Two shops were a little too cumbersome to manage.
More time in the studio has been a mood lifter as well. I decided to lay out four big sheets of heavy paper and just start applying paint in a variety of ways, with the only goal being the use of lots of color. They don’t resemble anything one could call art, but that wasn’t the object. I just wanted to turn up the music and paint.
Then I spent a few hours working on some new collages. The newest ones are available in my Etsy shop now. I’ve featured them at the top of that page.
Here’s a look at some of the fun papers I’m discovering from the stash:
Have a creative day!
If you aren’t on Facebook, you might not have seen the little video I made this past Friday in the studio. I do have a way of stirring up things and just trying to see where they will lead me. The paint-on-paper experiments are just that — paint on paper, with no goal in mind. I cranked up the music and just let things happen. The next day, I cleared those away and created some new collages, which always makes me feel a great sense of instant gratification.
Anyway, hope you enjoy this small studio tour.
I am still feeling my way through a fog of disbelief in many ways, but at the same time, little pieces of my art life are beginning to assert themselves from the periphery of my mind. It’s comforting to walk into the studio and imagine making some kind of art. At this point it doesn’t matter what kind, what medium, or even how good it is. But I know it’s important just to pick up somewhere and begin. It’s literally been months since I had some creative time, and I miss it dearly. In my many years of being an artist, I know from experience that art is a healing thing. All I havet to do is start.
I’m posting these things from the past, in part to inspire myself, and in part because I don’t have anything new to show. I hope you see something inspiring as well.
Even though those paintings are from four years ago, I love color, and anticipate seeing more color showing up in my work again in the future.
Here is one big stack of collage papers. These are incredibly inspiring as well.
A random series of paintings:
And another painting . . .
I look forward to being back with you very soon on a regular basis.
Remember: Art heals!
I write this with a heavy heart. My husband passed away last Friday morning. It’s been almost a week, and I’m still in a mild state of shock. There is much to process, which I realize will take some time. I’m so glad the kids came to spend time with him. I’m glad, in the end, that he didn’t have to suffer for too long. He was able to talk with me daily, right up to the last, about the good life we’ve had and how happy we’ve been these past few years, just enjoying each other and the simple pleasures of life — spending time with the kids, little road trips, our pets, good food, just being together.
I wanted to write this because of something very special I want to share with you. Some of you may already have seen this on Facebook. Not long before Jim got his cancer diagnosis, he had reached out to our local arts center, The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, with an offer to donate a number of my large scale color field paintings for their permanent collection, and perhaps to make some available to the public for sale to benefit the center. They happily accepted our offer, and we delivered the paintings some time in June. Now there is to be an exhibition of them, titled “A Window in Time” which opens today. Jim was so excited about this show, and had so hoped he would be able to be there at the opening reception. Sadly, it was not to be. Here is the press release.
After a little time catching up on some rest and dispensing with life’s details, I know I’ll be back in the studio. I have missed painting. And I know from experience that it will be therapeutic.