Wednesday, May 30, 2007
As an elementary school child I was led to believe that my art was not very good. I could not copy or draw as the more proficient children could and so I felt dismissed as an artist. I loved doing crafts which I learned through girl scouts or from my father. I liked working with my hands. The belief that I was not a good artist stayed with me for over thirty years. In the meantime my passion was learning about the great artists through art history and visiting art museums around the world. The passion never went away. As a substitute for painting or drawing I took up photography and competed in camera clubs and learned as much as I could about lighting and composition. And then, I reached a certain age in life when I could confidently say "I don't care what others think, I want to express myself through art." My soul-mate and girlfriend, Dena, and I decided one day over coffee that we would enroll in a watercolor class. We had an understanding, and supportive teacher, Angelique. We thrived and we became artists. There was no looking back. I would never be just an observer. Whenever life gets in the way and I cannot create art in some fashion, I become an unbearable person to be with. ART IS MY OXYGEN.
Friday, May 25, 2007
It is the end of the school year and art has ended for the students at risk where I taught art. It was a difficult year of challenging the art teacher as well as other authorities. However, one project stands out as successful because the students were engaged in the process and were pleased with their results. It make a great bulletin board for the school hallway.
Friday, May 18, 2007
I have just received a few copies of the recent publication of the Prairie Light Review (A publication of the College of DuPage in Illinois). My work, Elements of Nature, was published and it looks great because the colors are vivid and clean. It is always fun to see your work in print. The same collage is currently on display at a wonderful gallery in south suburban Chicago, the Tall Grass Gallery. The exhibit of 99 pieces of collages and altered purses is wonderful. I am very proud to be the current President of the Midwest Collage Society. The group is very energetic and innovative in their creative work.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
At the suggestion of a friend I am working through some variations on a theme of trees. For me, a TREE is my link with nature. I cannot imagine living without trees, seeing them everyday, admiring their shapes, colors, grandeur. I like trees in all seasons. In the winter I love looking at the shape of their bare branches and how the snow clings to the limbs. In spring, from a distance one can see the trees that bloom like the crabapple, the rosebud, or the dogwood. In the forest I love the trees as they overlap their branches and support all the birds, squirrels and cicadas. Fall brings the rich yellows and oranges and reds--a terrific feast for the eyes.
After a busy workshop of the Midwest Collage Society where all the members (20) participated in a mixed media frenzy I was in need of a calming activity. I decided to do a meditative walk through an outdoor labyrinth in my neighborhood behind the church of St. Thomas the Apostle. It is circular and it took 22 minutes to complete the walk if you keep a slow and steady pace. There are many turns and sometimes one retraces ones steps. It is very much a journey as is life. We sometimes retrace our steps and repeat certain behaviors. I have had a fascination with labyrinths for several years.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
"Homage to Nature's Rituals" a mixed media and collage piece measuring 8 X 8" was sold at the Inspiring Change Exhibit and Sale in Chicago, with partial proceeds going to the Sierra Club. Thank you, Steve. I hope you enjoy it for a very long time.
I have had feelings of low self worth this winter. This sale is helping me overcome this feeling of funk which I understand is common among artists and creators. Even though one creates for oneself, the appreciation of others is something that encourages me to continue. Whether a sale or an award, the acknowledgement feeds my soul and creative spirit.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
During the last four days two girlfriends and I escaped to Florida for a much needed self made retreat. Of course each morning without an alarm clock I awoke at 6:30 am and within minutes I was on the beach to greet the rising sun. Then the morning walk of about a mile began. Scanning the shoreline one always find something of interest. For a visual artist there are limitless possibilites as the ocean gifts us with many treasures. On the first day there were dozens of jelly fish and portugese man of war along the shore. They were a warning that ocean swimming would not be advisable during those days. On the third and fourth day the ocean was quiet and serene and there were no more jelly fish and portugese man of war. As usual, I did run into my dear friend whom I only see on the beach, Karla. She meditates every morning on the beach and she draws hearts in the sand. We chat a bit. She exudes LOVE for all of the earth's creation. A retreat energizes ones creative spirit.