Now, is the chair jumping for joy? Up in the air? Startled? Falling to earth? Flying? With each expression it may change how you see the painting. Something like how looking at the same situation from different perspectives changes what we think about it…
I’ve been reflecting a lot on this as I practice approaching things, not from my habitual way of doing it, but by asking if I have another perspective to come from, and see what is illuminated for me. And I’m loving it. Just as I find any painting pretty much a new experiment, which keeps me open and curious, this practice is making my life richer, and more fun.
So for me, today, this painting is flying, and jumping for joy! And of course that feels great. Tomorrow may bring something else, and I’ll let it be new, and see what I discover.
Doing a number of small, 6″x6″, paintings, inspired by spring, flowers, growing…..yum!
There is so much visceral pleasure to painting… with these small ones even simply holding them in my hands as I paint rather than having them on the easel is satisfying, intimate. Laying paint to canvas, feeling the give, the texture underneath the color, the delight of what begins to appear, the mystery of why different parts excite. Yum. Yum. Yum.
Spring. Spring. SPRING. What can I say, it’s just the best. I love it here in the foothills. Even though I know it comes – every…single….year… ha! it still surprises me how uplifting it feels when the spring flowers and bulbs start popping and the hillsides get so filled with every kind of green imaginable…. I find myself taking the long way anytime that I can just to spend more time out and about, seeing what’s around each corner. I love to get lost in the reverie of the new, and the opening.
Yesterday the daffodils seemed to be calling the rain down from a thoughtful cloud…..
Wow. Trees have often kept me grounded, helped me find joy, let me sink into NOW.
At a specific time in my past trees, or the appreciation of them, helped me crawl out of a long period of pain. I began one day to look around and count my blessings, and trees were what I began with because I find them so uplifting and here, I was surrounded by all kinds of them…
As I begin, again, another journey – trees offer me the path to peace in the midst of newness, and change.
Our local scene is amazing, not only our whole arts culture which is incredibly diverse and lively for a town this size but also for our historical buildings and landmarks… and I’ve been working on getting a number of local places painted because, well, that’s what I do.
The Nevada County Courthouse in Nevada City:
Yes, it’s a bit sloping…. But I always see it that way! A local judge who saw it commented that it quite fit the place…. I think he was thinking that in some other way than I meant though 😉
Ah, the Chief Crazy Horse Saloon… well known and frequented bar that for a brief strange turn became a yogurt shop… but I hear its being prepped to be a bar again; high fives all around, it will be welcomed back no doubt:
This iconic house is at the top and split at Broad Street, you can’t miss it and it’s one of the representative homes of Nevada City:
Right now I’m working on the National Hotel, the oldest continuously running hotel west of the Rocky Mountains, 130 years! It’s a registered historical landmark… would show it to you but as I paint on black the white sketches don’t show well in a photo. I’ll certainly post once I have it.
I’m going to continue this endeavor on and off as I’d like to capture these places to honor and appreciate them. And to appreciate this area that has truly become a home for me, and as an air force brat that is saying something…I never linked ‘home’ to a place until after I moved here in 1989…it occured to me after returning from a trip because I remember feeling like I was ‘coming home’ and it struck me how that was the first time I’d ever felt that, and I was in my mid-thirties! So what was home before I wondered? “Home” resided within me, and that was good… AND I found having a physical place to land really anchored me and I appreciate that to this day; it makes my travels even more vital. Love going away, and I love coming home.
Its been a successful endeavor since its inception a couple of years ago and for me, at that particular time, a lifesaver. Coming off heartbreak, it gave me a focus that grounded me in a time that decidedly felt ungrounded. I could look at this one slice, this one tiny area, with hope and some excitement. It was great to be among comrades, it was great to be putting my art out in the community; it was and still is fun to be in town and visit with folks who walk thru the door. There was committee work to do and the building of something we all did together. I belonged and was appreciated and boy, I needed that. Wow, I feel rather emotional about this.. guess I hadn’t reflected on it much til right now. SO much appreciation for the myriad ways life does it best to help us out even in the dark times. So yeah, the gallery is a thriving endeavor including the ups and downs and the occasional drama but mostly where we as artists get to share and commiserate and encourage. I feel very fortunate and privileged to be a part of it. I am inspired and tickled by our membership and those are two of some of my favorite things in life, “inspired”and “tickled”. Drop by some time.
And then, there is The Curious Forge, our local Makerspace, definitely an endeavor close to my heart.
When my friend Liam Ellerby brought this idea to the community it really sparked me, it combines so many things that are exciting to me; repurposing objects, the chance to work in 3d with different materials, collaboration, learning new skills, creativity, sharing, supporting, and fun. Having been in on this from the beginning and seen it grow, really pretty quickly, into much of what we envisioned has been a gratifying journey. This creation has pushed my edges in so many ways – and the BEST is that I have felt eager at each edge, bumpy though it may have been at times I really wanted to make this happen; and again, being in this group, collaborating in this way has been so much fun; I found I thrive in it. There is much more to this that I’ll revisit I’m sure, its an ongoing practice for living this life in the widest way possible…hope you drop by! Open Houses every first Thursday…
Oh, and about that heartbreak… sometimes heartbreak is the heart breaking open.. and that can be a very, very good thing; ironic perhaps, non-intuitive maybe, but I’ve found it to be true, even if it took alot of time to get the ‘good’. AND that’s a subject for a whole ‘nother blog…;)
Ok, it’s a bit skewed but I like it. there is the corner of my easel, there is the back of my piano with the floating mandarins.. and there is a mirror near the front door.
I don’t paint all the time. It’s more like fits and starts. I start and then I have a fit 😉
Actually it’s not so much like that anymore, in the beginning it was almost excruciating conceiving and executing a painting, the critic demons loomed pretty large in my head. With time, it began to change, and now I can bat them away pretty well. However, I do find it funny that I suddenly decide to clean something when I sit down in front of the easel with a new work. I don’t fight it or think it’s procrastinating, not anymore; if that’s the segue to me working then I take it. And as a bonus, wow, I have a clean shower too! Such a deal.
It’s much more productive, and fun, to be amused by one’s tendencies.
I think a creative piece percolates before anything is done on canvas, once an idea is launched I feel something moving inside; something considering, loving, getting excited. And I love that time too.