Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Marbled Rainbow: Blue

Blue, 2'X4' Acrylic on wood panel (The photos are dark, taken in artificial light for now.)

I have been sitting with these panels in my living room for several months now. Tonight I finally was given the sense of what to do next. I darkened the corners and edges. Then I added gold leaf (spirit) to the actual edge of the panel (think like a gold leafed Bible), and added a few gold spots on the actual painting.The result, for me, is one of peace and greater depth. I like the idea of leaving the marbling alone, for people to find their own subjects within. The focal point then becomes whatever the person sees. Somehow these boundaries provide the permission, the safety to have a deeper look and seek meaning.

The daunting task of framing these 2'X4' panels has been a large part of why I have not even wanted to touch them. The last panel I tried to frame took 3 attempts, and ultimately I wasn't even satisfied with that frame. It just wasn't the look I was going for.

In a way, the treatment of the edges eliminates the need for a frame. I might float them by gluing long strips of wood along the middle insides of the edges. One of the strips would have a notch which would support the nail. The others would balance the painting against the wall on all sides, giving it the look of floating off the wall.

Late spring I thought about selling these. But now I am thinking about what it would be like to work around them, as I had originally intended. I sit in a board room with wonderful natural light, and pretty stark walls. Many times I have sat there wondering about the spacing of these panels in that room. (How many could it handle? Where would they look best? In what direction would they hang?) There is also a long hallway out the back door, where they could be used as originally intended, a way of cleansing the body/mind/spirit after certain sessions. I guess my new work family would have to want them all there...and they are a commanding set. I can just see it now: Our clients affected by agoraphobia and OCD might want to steer clear. It's one thing to sit with ambiguity, quite another to look directly into it.   

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chicago Pt III

On a bright, sunny day in 1986, I walked out the side doors at Eastview Elementary School, and began my way down the familiar one-mile path home from school. I walked through a neighborhood, past the public pool and around the middle school.  For some reason or another, the other girls I usually walked with were not along that day. I’m sure I stopped to smell flowers, wonder at the clouds, and gaze with jealousy at the birds and butterflies soaring in the air. Yes, I was that kid; my whole world was full of beauty and joy. I knew at the end of my walk, my mom would be waiting with apple slices stuffed with peanut butter and marshmallows.

Perhaps I was thinking about telling my mom all about my day, when out of nowhere, a group of teenage girls began to pick on me. They sneered names at me as they each took their turn beating me up. They punched me and kicked in the backs of my knees. They dragged me, through pea gravel, by my crimped blonde hair before walking away. I was left on the path with blood stained, ripped-up jeans and a crushed spirit. I do not remember how I got home that day.

This summer, I drove over 700 miles and returned to my childhood home to walk this very path again. One might ask, why, after 25 years have passed, would anyone would want to do such a thing? The truth is I did not even know why I wanted to go back. I simply knew it was something my body, mind and spirit needed to do. 

I drove to my elementary school, through a neighborhood, past the public pool and around the middle school and parked my car. I walked to the part of the path where I was beaten, and I marveled at how much smaller it seemed. The surrounding trees were now much taller and there was no more painful pea gravel, it was now paved. I felt strong and even grateful, as I walked and recalled both good and bad times. The path itself was nicely landscaped to one side, and the other side was overgrown with unkempt shrubs, weeds, and dotted among them were the prettiest pink wildflowers! I picked a sprig of the wildflowers, and wondered that they would grow in such conditions. I returned to the car, and pressed the wildflowers in between the pages of my book.

As humans, each of us are on a journey made up of multiple paths. My own story illustrates how most life journeys are pieced together by multiple paths, where good is experienced right alongside the bad. At times we find ourselves on a sunny path shaded by beautiful, green trees. Everything in our journey seems to be going well. The future seems bright and clear. Other times, we find ourselves on a path overshadowed by the remnants of thorny, hollow trees. This path seems to be dominated by darkness with low visibility. Sometimes we experience twists and turns which are not up to us. We might even be dragged into conflict with other people along this path.

These particularly difficult stretches can leave us feeling bewildered and defeated. These are the times 
when we might look to a neighbor, a family member or a close friend to guide us back to the sunny path. Sometimes, we might even seek the help of a counselor who empowers us to clearly see and build our own way to a newer, better path. Either way, only we, ourselves, have the power to change the way we view our journey, what we choose to do with our journey, and how we choose to experience our journey. We can focus on the weeds, and be dragged away from a world with beauty and joy. Or we can notice and cultivate the beautiful wildflowers springing up despite tough conditions.
Now when I think about my memories along that path, I remember the wildflowers. I remember all the other walks on that path that I shared with friends, the beautiful sky, the flowers, birds and butterflies, and I am grateful my heart has stayed open to beauty and joy.

Art Show this Final Friday at Shift Space

Chloe's paper dress and jewelry, and a few new pieces are up at Shift Space this month. This is a special show featuring artwork from the category winners of Project Runaway. Good stuff!
I can claim credit for the gold leaf on this one. She did not trust herself to apply it. I think I gave it more care than I would have were it my own. It's one thing to mess up my own work, and quite another to mess up someone else's.

Click here for more information on the show.

Chicago II (The AI)

For the first few hours, Cody and I walked around together, hitting the things I definitely wanted to share with him (Surrealist, Impressionism). The next two hours were on my own. Of course I went back to the Surrealist works and just lingered.

It's really something to be running through galleries and stumble upon a Redon. I have never seen the painting below because it was unfinished. How appropriate my first Redon is a bather in the sea? Then I turned to the next one and just grinned. Butterflies and flowers. Redon did not even use color until the end of his fourth decade...and after his fifth decade, was considered one of the greatest colorists.

The collection of Cornell's boxes positively ushers in an energy that is otherworldly. One becomes a child, full of wonder again, while looking at the tiny worlds he created. I could have crawled into many of the boxes and disappeared for hours.

Suspension. An act of grace for regular stuff, no?

I guess this proves I took the photos with my iphone.  ^

The name of this one is "Sand Fountain".

Cornell's "sand boxes" make me want to forget painting/metals for awhile. I only wish I could pick one up and move the mix around the box. These discarded items are now so precious, a collection.

Of course Magritte's Time Transfixed is always commanding. I must always pay homage to it, because it is the first Surreal image I remember.

For my sweet boy

Mason starts high school this week.

Opal photo reveals thin veil

I snapped this crazy photo with my iphone while riding the Silverton/Durango train in Co. 

Same photo. No filters.

For my sweet girl

Chloe starts college this week.

Marbled Silk Mandalas

All lined up on my front window sill.

I "printed" on paper, too. 

This is actually the paint floating on the substrate. That white bar at the top is the reflection of one of the high windows in my studio.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Chicago I

Des Moines has a rad art park. This one felt a bit like stepping into my own painting.

We were actually separated by a wall of blue glass, facing each other.

Trying out the new pedal at Chicago Music Exchange.

My feet waiting for U2, with 27,000 of my closest friends. U2 delivered.

Electric Cactus. The stage, the screen, the visuals---amazing.
More cacti, connecting points of light.

Thanks to all his hotel stays with Healthtronics, we got to stay at The Palmer! This the longest consistently operating hotel in US. The interior was gorgeous. Especially the peacock doors. 
An old friend (unknowingly) displaying her awesome tattoo next to something out of Chloe's dreams, Another trying to make Chloe jealous.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Exhaling Bubbles

After a few weeks painting hiatus, I had an amazing session last night. I combined bubbles and ink and only inhaled up the straw too far once. Then I looked for patterns and drew what I saw. That this pretty, winged spirit emerged was/is such a wonderful gift. Here are a few more raw images. I wonder what you see?

With bubble pre-burst