My intention for 2017 is to be fierce, so I decided to crank it up on my easel. Instead of my usual staid but poetic earth hues, I toyed with the hottest pinks, neon teals and outrageous oranges. My challenge:
how then to poet my feral self and remain true to my henna heart?
Sometimes it creeps in
between the sheets
other times on the arm of a trombone
bluesy and boozy or
fireside and crackling sober.
It leads into
Van Gogh’s blue bedroom
with the walls and floorboards
all askew and naked
assumptions of sanity.
There in his room
Vincent felt it too.
Today was a Snow Saturday – my favorite day of the week for a snow day. It was only about 3-4″ of light powder and perfectly still. A great excuse to spend daylight hours indoors except for the obligatory dog walks which are a nice break along quiet wooded paths.
I decided to forgo the binge shopping and storm cooking and took some turkey chili out of the freezer for sustenance. The rest of the day was slated for painting and play. As usual I need to warm up before putting paint to paper, so I prepped some canvasses and took some unsuccessful paintings and cut them up. Only the good parts – which I call “petite vignettes” that are actually successful mini paintings when severed from the mother painting. Many artists like to do this exercise which serves the dual purpose of saving the piece from being labeled a complete failure and saving the parts that can be used as seed images for future work. Plus its fun! The thing that I did differently this time though, was to almost randomly position them to form an abstract arrangement which helped my eye learn more (or less) to edit for a better composition. Because the color palette is the same, all the parts can flow in an artful grouping. I did more cutting and pasting today than painting, however that was the planned-for-play part of the day.
So now my small stones are starting to grow into story boulders. Oh well, we are coming into the last week of January’s mindful writing. After this its #NaHaiWriMo. All of February is for writing a daily haiku. There is a Facebook page for just this and postings to Twitter. Stay tuned for more stories in far fewer words.
the dog and I track
ag ~ 2014
I hate it when the day begins
before I do
ag ~ 2014
I hop out of bed
and paint the jazz guitarist
scatting the tilt of his hat
and sway of his scarf
ag ~ 2014
Some of the old masters used brushes with very long handles which forced them to look at their own paintings at a distance while at work. For the rest of us, it is so very important to step away and disengage from our own process in order to see wholly with fresh eyes. Sometimes it also takes another pair of eyes, a mirror-image view or time off to really grasp and appreciate the entire piece.
In my case, it often entails all of the above AND turning the painting upside-down. It’s amazing what pops up, at least for me. Who would have thought?
winter blue sky
I flip my painting
at the beginning
ag ~ 2014
This past weekend I was a participant at a local art-walk. It was my first time to show and offer my paintings and collage work for sale. It was exciting and exhausting. I was more tired at the end of the day than I ever was after many a long day of labor as landscaper. Meeting and greeting is simply hard work!
It was beyond wonderful to see so many friends, family, co-workers and clients – new and old come through the door with a big smile on their face every time I turned around. And it was equally as gratifying to introduce each of them to the other artists’ paintings – all different and brilliant in their own way. I offered my mini-business cards, which were strategically located next to dark chocolate kisses, with the hope that the kisses would entice a visitor to take my artist card as well. This worked well to my advantage and will be a staple for future shows.
It was an exhilarating, successful and fun day. I did not sell anything other than myself and my love of creating and painting. I put my artwork “out there – front and center” for everyone to see like it or not! This was entirely out of my comfort zone. It is a very vulnerable and open stance. At the same time, it is also very liberating to share what is truly close to one’s heart and soul and trust that you are supported even if it’s only for the effort. And I am unconditionally supported by all for far more than just the effort. So it is with a sense of gratitude and happiness to all my fellow artists, friends and family (here, there and everywhere), that I can now move forward with the real work – showing up to paint and poet despite dishes in the sink, clothes to wash, grass to mow etc. etc. etc..
A beloved quote that says it all for me and my art by Pablo Picasso:
“If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse… but surely you will see the wildness!”
After the Storm ~