Sunday, January 18, 2009

No More Turtle Time

I love the quote an artist friend of mine posted in her comment about my "Raindancing" post:  "Behold the turtle.  He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out."--- James Bryant Conant.

It certainly speaks to what I've been up to these past months - holed up in my "turtle shell"!  It's been a good place and a bad place to be for me.  I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say, major changes happened in my life two years ago.  The quick version is: I had a major health issue, the studio that I and four other artists had been operating out of for many,many years suddenly closed, we all had to relocate here and there, which destroyed our artists' community and to top it all off, my mother died the same month we were forced out of the studios.  And if it couldn't get any more depressing, my absolute favorite aunt/artist (my mother's sister) died in the following months.  Needless to say, my life was suddenly in a turmoil....  and that's the Cliff Notes version.  I tried to stay connected to my artist-self, but I couldn't.  It felt like I was scrambling on top of marbles, trying to get some sort of foothold but didn't know what to "step on".  It's only been recently that I've started to feel "human" again, to tell the truth.  Separating myself from my art and hiding out in the garden I think has been therapeutic to some extent, but I feel like I've "lost" something along the way and it worries me a bit.

So, it's time to poke my head out of this shell and look around, see where I want to go and plan how I'm going to get there.  My first stop is Maui.  Not a bad place to get started from, eh?  I intend to produce something everyday.  I don't know if I'll be able to post my work, but maybe I'll be able to... we'll see.  I'll be there during the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational - a week long event that brings together 25 of Hawaii's and the mainland's top plein-air painters to paint the beauty of Maui.  It culminates in the Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine Gala Reception at the end of the week.  During the week, all of us visitors, tourists, and locals will be able to watch them as they paint around the island.  I'm so excited! What an opportunity!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I've been clearing out duplicate files from my computer and just cleaning it up in general.  It's been a long time since I've taken care of this task.  Actually, I've been actively avoiding it for a while now!  But, I realized that this avoidance was also stagnating my progress toward becoming a "full-time artist" and keeping me from moving forward.  My files were getting confusing - too much duplication in numerous various files.  I think it's a feng shui thing... Clutter creates stagnation.  At least for me it does!

But that's not what this posting is about.

I ran across a bunch of quotes that I had collected over the years.  The first one on the list struck me and that's the one I want to share:

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, 
it's about dancing in the rain."

I don't know who to attribute the quote to and I can't remember where I ran across this quote, but I think it's quite apropos for the times we are facing right now economically, not just artist, but everyone.  I  have an artist friend, Rich Nelson, who is tremendously talented and has worked very hard to reach his professional objectives.  He has gained national recognition with his art and his "star" just seems to keep on rising.  He had a vision and pursued that vision.  I am so proud of him!  He won't be just sitting under an umbrella waiting for the storm to pass.  He'll keep dancing in the rain and he'll come out of this storm, stronger and better for it - because he has a vision and faith in what he does.

Rich is such an inspiration.  He is generous of spirit and always encouraging.  As I get back on track with my artwork, I hope I can stay focused.  I have not lived up to my favorite quote from Yoda, "Do or do not, there is no try."  Or actually maybe I have, because for a good long while I have not been "doing".  And so, with that, I leave... to "do"... I am off to my studio.


As I have confessed to all of you earlier, I did not produce much these past months, but I did do a painting that I'd like to share with you.  I painted it for my nephew and his new bride for their wedding this past May.  I call it, "Forever".  It's done in acrylic and I tried to stay a little loose in my brushwork.  I don't remember the size because I neglected to make note of it before I gave it to them!  For that matter, I had forgotten to take a photo of it and had to contact my nephew to have him take a photo of it for me.  That tends to be a recurring problem for me: I forget to photograph my artwork!