Monday, April 14, 2014

Embodied Spirit Mandalas

A random comment I saw last week on FB:  "I believe both transcendent (i.e., detachment, dissolving) spiritual pursuits/experiences (typically more yang/masculine) and immanent (i.e., embodiment, presence) spiritual paths/moments (more yin/feminine) have much to offer different beings at different times in life and evolution and that perhaps fulsome "enlightenment"(both individual and cultural) requires a full capacity to engage and dance with both of these amazing spiritual offerings and states of being." 

Here, the circle represents spirit and the square represents body.

(While visiting with Amy this morning I became conscious of how much this painting and its philosophy are similar to these new pieces.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wordy-words about my next painting series/process

I have been doing lots of meditating on (and some experimenting) with a new painting process I am excited to begin. Having long been fascinated with the marbled end papers in my antique books, I have wanted to really marble for some time. It takes all kinds of patience and special materials to figure this out. (Cody even made a trip to the butcher's for me. That is love.) Sure, versions of marbling can be done with fabric softener (we did this in Art Honors Society at NWHS) but not match up to the real thing. I did a bit of it when I sold the mandala paper packets.

With real marbling, I love the colors, the serendipitous creative process, the movement, the imperfection, the involvement of water, etc. I do not love that these beautiful moments are shelved in books or simply discarded as ephemera. So, I am excited to marble on canvas for my next series of paintings. I believe I will still be using resist and a brush---but I will be starting with (under layer) whatever is lifted off of the water.

Why now? Last week was terrible. We had to put our sweet ten year old dog Penny down. I am a different person than I was last time I grieved the loss of anyone. I carried and buried Penny's body the day after she was put to sleep. Why would I do that? I loved her body while she was here---her soft fur, her wet nose. I risked loving an animal---I am feeling the loss of my dog within my own body and I am okay with that.

Throughout this grief process, I am noticing I am more connected to the human experience (square/immanence). I have always been connected to the spiritual experience (circle/transcendence)---almost to the detriment of the human side of myself. I thought it was the spiritual thing to do. I never even knew detriment in that form could happen. ...but what if I believe "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Do I dream so hard of heaven while I am on earth that I forget to be present while I am here? Shouldn't I experience and share beauty now? What does it look like when I connect with both circle and square in a more balanced way?

To me, it looks like the paintings that are in my head---and ready to come out on canvas as soon as I get everything in order. Thursday will be the day I actually create the first layer of the the first painting in the series. I'm so excited. (Some marbling I did on Saturday.)

Yesterday while reading my favorite magazine, I came across a new-to-me painter: Dee Ferris. Ahhhh-may-zing, right? It reminds me of the things I like most about my own recent paintings. The way her gallery described her work: "Presenting mere glimpses of her subjects, Ferris conceives painting as a platform for ambient communication: nebulous brushwork conveys the delicacy of heartfelt longing; her chimeric narratives are hinted through distant vaporous vignettes. Using the tropes of melodrama, Dee Ferris’s paintings drip with an over the top sentimentality. Transcending kitsch, Ferris wittily uses cliché to describe emotional absolutes, validating the gushy and saccharine as genuine sensation."

Sounds about right.

Currents (finished)

Currents (water & wind) Acrylic 32X48 $275

What do you see when you look?
View it in person at my office: 4425 W Zoo Blvd, Ste 3

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Girl

I will never forget the night Chloe came in from my studio and put this sketch on my nightstand. "Look Mom. There's a smoking bunny in your room!" I am proud to share that a more finished version (she added a few wisps of smoke after I snapped this) of this super-soft bunny drawing is going to tour 5 museums in the US for the next year because Chloe won a gold medal at the National Scholastics Art and Writing Awards. This means out of 255,000 pieces of art, Chloe's bunny made the top 1%. She was even invited to Carnegie Hall for an award ceremony! We are on a waiting list for tickets to the event. Might have to hold a fire-sale to actually get there.

People often remark that her talent comes from being the daughter of a musician and an artist. Yes, we do provide a home where she is encouraged in her gifts---but I promise her raw talent is from somewhere out of this world. (I could post a zillion pictures from her early years. Girl could put a dress-up outfit together out of trash!) Her drive and her technical skills are all her---she works HARD. If anything, I have learned a thing or two from her. She inspires me and she has since the first time I saw her chubby little face, big blue eyes and red hair.
Chloe recently asked me to show her how to make this ring.

(Chloe's art teachers at Maize Hight have provided amazing guidance and support. Before winning at the National level, she earned 6 awards & 2 cash prizes for 6 pieces accepted to the regional Scholastics show. Thank you Gallery XXI and Wichita Arts Council!)

Thank God for warmer weather

Faith Hope & Love. Slightly domed .999 and 22kt Gold Overlay. $75
Imperfect Anchor. Hand sawn Sterling Micro ring. $35

Forget-Me-Knot & Pretzel ring. Sterling $15, Copper $10
Rawwwwr. Found lion head & Sterling ring. $35

Sea Moon Mandala pendant. Sterling, bronze & copper with pearl (one I brought back from China, myself!) $55
.999 adjustable band with dangly bronze heart. $35

Days like yesterday make me wish I lived in a more steady climate----

For the first time in months I was able to leave the window and door open in the studio
so I fired up the torch AND the kiln. It was bliss.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Still Untitled

Another bridge. Promise of hope. Face still obscured---shame? anonymity? room for your own reflection. The background will be reworked. Additional lines will be added to the parasol to make sure it doesn't just look like a disembodied orb. Can hardly believe how she has evolved right along with me. I'll find the other versions of this painting and link to them here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Odilon Redon

    (Redon's work next to my piece, Grotesque Ethereal)

An old friend of mine recently sent me quite the gift---Jung's Red book. Of course Jung's influence on my psychological theory and practice is undeniable. Of course I like his art---and it is quite the thing to read about the art that influenced Jung. This is how I "found" Odilon Redon this week.

Look at the birth dates of my own influences (Sert, an important patron who literally brought many of these artists together in the same room, was at one time neighbor to Redon!) and it is easy to see how far back Redon's undeniable influence goes:

Goya 1746
Blake 1757
Bouguereau 1825
Redon 1840
Klimt 1862
Bonnard 1867
Matisse 1869
Parrish 1870
Misia Sert 1872
Jung 1875
Carl Rogers 1902
Cornell 1903

Of course Goya and Blake influenced Redon's subject matter. Redon's use of color influenced Bonnard. (Crazy encouraging side note: Redon did not work in color until his fifth decade.) Bonnard's use of color influences my own.

On my genogramjourney website I keep the following Soren Kierkegaard quote: "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." It is more natural for me to read magazines from back cover to front. I skip all over the place in my sketchbooks. I paint and create with metals even though it often results in a big, messy experiment. Sometimes I get it right, though, and when this happens...well, I am glad I didn't "wait" to try.

It is a delightful, strange thing to retroactively "discover" someone who has influenced my own artwork. I would liken it to unwrapping a gift that is brand new yet already occupies a deep place in one's heart. There is so much about the art world left for me to explore. What fun---and what community I feel looking back!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Angel of Many Currents

Angel of Many Currents
Acrylic and Oil

 Yes, she is signed, but she will still be getting some iridescent rainbow to her wings. There will also be another layer to the water, over all.