Sunday, April 12, 2009

little treasures

Easter Sunday 2009 - a beautiful day in Southeastern Arizona - blue skies and sunshine, a gentle breeze. Decided to take a walk down to the monastery and enjoy this beautiful day. The Holy Trinity Monastery is about a mile or so down highway 80 from my home.

In lieu of traditional Easter celebrations where I have always hosted the family dinner, now living alone and far from my children, I figured spending a little time at the monastery seemed like an appropriate way to spend Easter.

The trees are all in bloom this time of year and my favorite tree in town is this giant cottonwood. It reminds me of the cottonwood that Georgia O'Keefe often painted with its twisty curvy branches. I definitely have to paint this tree.

During my walks I am often on the look out for little treasures and today was no exception. At the side of the road I found a dead but fully intact butterfly and carried him with me to the monastery and home with a little damage due to the wind and the sweat of my hand. I also found these wonderful gourds on a vine I had passed.

Of course I stopped to visit with my neighbors on the way home.

Happy Easter my friends.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fear and the Creative Genius

For years I have struggled with the my true passion of needing to create art while also trying to make a living and be the responsible grown up because being an "artist" certainly isn't responsible in a culture that values financial and material wealth as true success. The reputation of the artistic creative type doesn't seem to hold the same value in our corporate American society as other professions and artists are often considered to be lazy or mentally unstable. I received an email from a dear friend with a link to this video the other day. Elizabeth Gilbert, a very talented author and speaker discusses the "Creative Genius" and it struck me as being so timely and powerful, I needed to hear this NOW. Listening to her speak was like a gift for me. It was so relevant for me that I had to share it with all of you.

Elizabeth's personal experience of now having to live up to her own great success as a writer and how the fear of success or failure about one's work is assumed if one is a creative type. Her statement, "should anybody be expected to be afraid of the work they feel they were put on this earth to do" validates my own knowing that this is what I was put on this earth to do and whether or not I experience the "genius" or "daemons" in my artistic endeavors, I will continue to show up and do my job of creating my art. Thank you for that, Elizabeth.

Please take the time to enjoy this video as Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses:

Encaustic Group Show in Tucson

Our encaustic group, Tucson Encaustic Artists had an opening reception at Details Art & Design last night in Tucson. We had a great turnout and I was very pleased with the presentation of our work. The 10 member group presented a wide variety of work including encaustic monotype, photo transfer, 3 dimensional and sculpted pieces representing the versatility of working in encaustic. I had my encaustic monotype sell and leave the gallery before I arrived. Yippie! The lesson on that one though is to photograph your work before framing and making available for sale.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Artistic Integrity

For the last week I have been working on an ecaustic painting that includes a photograph of my son and daughter in law for their upcoming wedding gift. For the last 3 days I added, then scraped, walked away, went back, changed palette, added some more, added some more, and kept finding it was never right and probably would never be right by the time I had to pack it into my suitcase and head for Seattle. In fact, I don't even like the painting because it is so not me - I don't do hearts or cutesy, but that's what it ended up being.

detail of encaustic painting

If I don't like the painting, am I compromising my artistic integrity by then accepting it as is and giving as a gift?

I decided that they would like it, or at least appreciate the thought/effort as opposed to a purchase from the Target gift list, which I just couldn't bring myself to do seeing that I was "the artist" .

I also decided that I liked parts of the painting, the way the copper colored oil pastel melted over the wax, the way the titanium white oil paint breaks with direct heat from the heat gun, and so I learned something in the process - what I liked and what I didn't like, what works and what doesn't - for me at least. And I learned that I need to make my art based on what I like, letting a true creative process come from me and not compromise myself for what others may want or what I think they may want. Be true to oneself.