When I was a kid I drew. And painted. Everywhere. I am born to make things. Kinetic. Creator.
I never thought about where the objects I made would hang. Never cared if they sold. Those concepts never entered my mind. All my life I made art to make it—no choice–more like a compulsion. Last Thursday, I went to the NYC gallery where my painting is on display. Friends and family were with me and that made it more real for me that my work is hanging in NYC. I’ve heard others describe it as a dream they always wanted even from childhood. Odd that it never crossed my mind as being that important although I exhibited a few times in the 80’s because I was invited to do a small show.
Until a few years ago. I turned 49 and was on the upswing to 50 when I made a decision that I would exhibit again. I called it Aurora The Third Act. Aurora is goddess of the dawn and what a dawn this has been these 4 years. I am so pleased to be accepted into NAWA and have work in the annual exhibit. And pleased that I create work that brings pleasure to so many people. Although it can seem like it is about me, the artist, its not. Its about the viewer. You. Its about what you see and how you feel and where it leads you when you view the art I make. Together we make art an experience.
This photo is a picture of my tools and work in front of me. I work at a constant pace on paper and reserve my longer bits of time for larger paintings. The small work gets me through rough patches when time constraints are pushing me to and fro, or space is limited and I am on the go. Much like a knitter takes their work along, I take small paper drawings and pens. This work probably won’t end up in a gallery setting but I make it anyway. I use all my skills to create the best possible work at any given time or using any medium.
Lately, string is pulling me into hours of reverie, inventing images in my mind about what I might make with a crochet hook. I have a painting on an easel at home and one in the studio. Yet I don’t feel inspired to go to work on them. Summer was a series of trips and events that took me from home interspersed with the death of 4 people I know. Their passing has left me feeling very bereft and I think of them several times a day. I can’t see them again and have conversation or ask questions, smile with them, hold their hand. Mortality is rearing its head and I am interested in how that plays out in life and art. Life goes forward. So will the art.
my mind is somewhere between the failure of dadaism so rampantly over-produced today, the success of punk rock, and how Louis felt after Claudia and Madelaine were burned in the fire and impatience for a new day in art.
I see Peace in our future. You may be asking how, in the aftermath of recent bombings, continued wars and atrocities how this can be accomplished. WE will accomplish it. I believe it. John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote lyrics and sung their songs to several generations of people who listened with open ears. Yoko and John are not alone in their desire.
WE will accomplish Peace. It starts with us–with you–with me. Make peace with yourself. Everywhere I look across the web the last few days people are lamenting the suicide death of Robin Williams. Maybe Robin couldn’t make peace with himself. He was living with manic and addictive behaviors. One would think that with the lifestyle and resources he had, help might have been available. I heard several years ago on the radio an interview with a physician that specialized in depression that there is a surgery available but our insurance will not pay for it. Unless one has the resources to pay out of pocket they cannot get the surgery. I don’t know if that would have helped Williams. We are only beginning to understand the brain and neurological science. Would a brain scan have helped him and others?
Find peace within yourself. The inner you, that is seeking reconciliation, let your natural creative spirit come to life. There is tremendous peace in being creative–not just making art. Create a positive business, dinner for friends, gifts for loved ones, a garden, a park in your town, plant trees, allow insects and animals to live, or something that drives you to want to make the world a better place. How many times are we living in dread of others words or actions, certain we are to blame when in reality its not about us, but it is about them. If we have amity in our hearts, souls and life then we might take the time to let the situation come to rest before taking action in anger.
I had an experience with friends that had a large vegetable garden. They had a few rabbits in their gardens. They worked so hard to rid the garden of rabbits and yet it drew more rabbits than ever. Their every waking moment was focused on these rabbits, the babies, the mother rabbits, where the nests were and how to eradicate them was all they focused on. Then their bean crop got severely damaged by disease. Next the tomatoes started to rot. I advised them to stop focusing on the rabbits and let them feed–instead focus on adding another bed or new crops. Fix the soil and work for good in their beautiful patch. As they changed the garden space by the next season the rabbits had moved on somewhat. There were still a few but less and the season after yet less. Nature abhors a vacuum said Spinosa. Perhaps by trying to kill off all the rabbits the system of nature brought more. I cannot prove it but intuitively I think its part of the explanation. If you garden, don’t shut out the animals that need to eat. Make peace in the garden. Give away food. Let them prosper. Nature will balance itself eventually. We often impede nature. I kept bees as a girl and as an adult. Africanized (so called killer) bees are rampant and moving into the southern United States. When it first happened, in a hyper-reactive state of mind, people called for all beekeeping to be abolished in southern states. Laws were passed and honeybee keepers had bees removed. The result? More africanized bees moved up and into territories not being used by honeybees. Another example of nature filling in the vacuum.
Peace grows, like everything we do. Focus on being at peace with yourself, your family, your neighbors and let the ripple create an effect that rocks the world. I am trying to do it and its not a perfect walk. I’m still angry. I still want to shout about injustice of all types. I still yearn for earthly goods. Not to be preachy, but its past the time we have to change. I am searching for tranquility. Still I say this. Create peace. Live peacefully. Focus on unanimity for humankind and our planet. I’m planning a series of paintings that will be about finding serenity and projecting world peace. In the meantime I borrowed a graphic that projects the flags of many nations united in the clearly recognizable sign for peace.
Mailing my card today! I’ll be selecting from the cards I’ve already made and it might be one of the cards in the above photo. here you go Danny Nickerson! For those who wish to participate here is the speed version of Danny’s address. This was on channel 6ABC news and is legit.
I look forward to this event more than most tasks concerning the business of art. Yesterday morning I was able to spend several hours collaborating with my photographer Ken Ek who makes my art look the best it possibly can. We met about 2 years ago and he started photographing my textile art and watercolors. Every time I complete a series the first thing I do is have Ken come into the studio. First I cannot say enough good things about Ken, his work ethic is exemplary and his skill set is varied, he has a great eye for color and finds creative ways to place the work in its setting to show it to best advantage. He is not just a technical wizard but a creative one too.
The new flower series, Bloemen, was done yesterday with a few pieces of miscellany thrown in for good measure. Working with Ken is such an inspiration that I am starting a new series of prints that will be photographed soon and I am planning on having him work on the older prints from my early years as a printmaker. Documenting art is something I don’t take for granted, its one of the most important tasks associated with my business. If you are fortunate enough to be close to KenEk Photography by all means call him soon and make plans to have your work photographed. But where ever you are find a good photographer and have your art documented.
On another note, I also use several online servers to preserve the photos for future reference. I don’t use hard media anymore, but I do have external storage drives that I can back up to if needed. Stay tuned to see the new work photographed properly and my website updated in blooming color.