I See Peace

I See Peace
I See Peace

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.

Handmade Birthday Cards for Cancer

Postcards I've made
Postcards I’ve made

5-YEAR-OLD BOY WITH CANCER HOPES FOR BIRTHDAY CARDS

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.

Danny Nickerson
P.O. Box 212
Foxboro, MA 02035

Photographing Artwork

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.

Brick by brick

“When there is brick wall in front you there are many other ways to get where you want to go.”  One of the best pieces advice given to me over 30 years ago by a good person I worked for. Brick by brick…or not at all? Let others hold the brick wall up, leave the bricks behind, build a wall with a door, follow the other brick road…all the choices before me.

Its Just Talk

Its Just Talk Watercolor, Ink, Papyrus
Its Just Talk
Watercolor, Ink, Papyrus

Regarding Sherlock Holmes and his ignorance of Copernican theory, “What the deuce is [the solar system] to me?” he exclaims to Watson in A Study in Scarlet. “You say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.” And now that he knows that fact? “I shall do my best to forget it,” he promises.

My art is mine, its not inspired by anything in particular or anyone. Simple concept or it should be. Well just try that on in the modern world. There are labels slung at the work, me and the style. Comparisons are made with no regard to my thoughts or feelings. I prefer the enigma that naturally exists in the creation and the process. I don’t intend to create and make statements of any kind. I’m not that pretentious. I wonder who really cares about my opinion…and do I actually care to use my precious work as a tool to provide statements to the public? If you’re a long standing friend we may find ourselves discussing it but otherwise I’m likely to say a little when queried about the art I make.

The reference to Sherlock Holmes? I read Conan Doyle in my youth and the realization of what Holmes referred to in the Copernicus statement stuck with me. What do I need to know–to shape my life as I want it to be….and what do I need to forget? I don’t want to know about the art that came before me or even really of what is being created right now. Keeping it simple, I have little need to know about artists, it impedes my progress, infiltrates my brain and I fight to keep it out. I’ve been told that I’m wrong, that if I had gone to art school or college I would know that I should build on the structure of artist who created before me. Now I have to forget that too! I met Ian Frazier several times and he told me he has had a similar experience. He said the internet contains so much information its difficult to filter when doing research for his writing. I explained my Holmes theory to him and he chuckled and nodded his head.

To all who know me, please stop telling me to change my mind on this subject. I paid dearly to avoid art school. I consider myself an iconoclast and being institutionalized doesn’t work for me. While working low paying full time jobs, I painted during my precious time off. Not having knowledge of art history doesn’t make me not bright. Figuring out processes by experimentation doesn’t make my work unsophisticated. It does make me an outsider for the most part. What I didn’t get by going to college…I struggled, worked hard and experimented a lot. I found out that I am an innovator, a risk taker and improvise on every piece I make. I’m happy with my work and proud of what I do. I am pleased and humbled every time someone acquires a piece. I’m impressed with those who collect my art, as they are an extraordinary group of people.

Boston Beans

Forget the beans. Well maybe not the Pasta Fagiola @ Il panino (which was simply scrumptious). Boston’s scene is incredible. The weather is unbelievable–sitting in the park, at the cafe’s in the North End Italian section and relishing every moment. I’m unstoppable, making art, drawing, sketching and having a blast! People love my work–and ask questions, saying things like “so cool”, or “trippy” or “that is amazing”, peer over my shoulder and want a piece. At this point I barely have anything left to sell…and I have given away a few as gifts: one to the incredibly young bar tender who kept slipping away to catch a glance at the drawing and one to a clerk in the art store who flipped over my drawings. I travelled light so I only had a petite sketch book and iPad to work with. shhhh…it still a little secret (i’m in discussions with several galleries.) The possibilities are intriguing and my expectations were high, but this excellent reception was more than I hoped for. I have one more night of celebration with my closest confidantes. Returning home to be open for the October First Friday – Woohoo!  I can’t wait for that since my studio was closed for 2 months due to vacation schedule.  Banana Factory – First Friday – stop in, see what I have going on or chat or wave hello. See you all soon!

Phantasmagoric or Psychedelic? I say Wild!

Pods 51

Phantasmagoric or Psychedelic?  People are intrigued by my art and ask me if I do psychedelics. I explain: as a child I made art similar to this, less refined because my tools were different: crayons, felt tip pens, construction paper. I adored colors that had impact and vibrated, there was no direction, my mother let us explore and no one told me do or don’t do it this way. So I let the colors come into being together like living objects. Wild!

I continued to make art the same way and did not go to college for art. I disliked school. I did not want to be contained. From the age of 4 I refused to go, plead and begged not to be sent to a place that had the sticky odors of too many people and cafeteria foods. I had little understanding of what we were doing there. The aesthetic was dismal: it was cold and the light was harsh, the windows were too high to see out of, the desks were ugly metal grey-blue legs with beige plastic formica tops that lifted up and were pitted with the marks of the previous students. The rooms were not colorless, worse yet, they were badly colored, sickly shades of greens and tans, dull peaches and obscure reds. I cannot imagine what kind of people engineered such a hideous stinky place. School left an indelible mark on me and is responsible for my becoming an iconoclast. I refused to go to college for art because I knew I would be forced to bend to the will of commercialism.

Creating the art however had all the appeal – I would simply make it – I was the engineer of my visions and dreams. Without the prodding and lecturing of the teachers I would remain free. As an adult in my thirties I finally went to college for computer science. I was old enough at that point to be settled and confident that I would retain my sense of self throughout the process. Later, in my mid-forties I took a few basic art classes. One of my professors championed my own art when he saw my portfolio. That made my decision to forget a degree in art–and I just continued my own methods.

As an artist, I consider myself an outsider, self-taught and making art according to my standard. A Wild Artist is what I call myself. Wildish: free, lush, luxuriant, organic, extravagant, primeval. The underpaintings are turbulent and loose, free of conformity, I paint with my hands and use anything at hand to distribute the color. Then come the layers. The lines of ink, more paint, more, more more. People have said, how can you be an outsider, you are so skilled and the work is so refined. They don’t see the whole process–and I am skilled. Dexterity, spatial skills, innate sense of color and balance. I cannot tell you how or why I know how to create what I do. I don’t actually care. The Art Speaks for itself. The artist is Self-taught. Driven. Compelled to create. Its non-stop–when I am forced by life to do ordinary tasks, drive or do the laundry, I wish I was painting or drawing–and use many spare moments to scratch a few lines. Many who know me, patiently overlook my tendency to draw while we talk or eat dinner. Its not that I am bored at dinner so much as I am compelled to make art. People have asked, do you have a science background. I do not. These images come from the ether, my imagination, my hands and my heart. Its untamed, yet its refined at the same time. I say its Wild!

Hiding in the Petals

Hiding in the Petals
Hiding in the Petals

I am working on the old wooden table from the Log and Stone house today. The windows are open and I am surrounded by the gardens: the birds chippering lingers on the fresh air. The drawing that I am playing with this morning is a flower somewhat like a magnolia flower, although its as folkly abstract as most of my drawings are. I so admired the large waxy magnolia blooms when I lived in North Carolina. I can imagine the little creatures shyly cloistered in the petals and making their home in the tree.

Recently I got a bottle of Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Ink in Violet, or as my friend Cleveland named it Vivacious Violet and a booklet of Strathmore Drawing paper in the 4″ x 6″ size. I thought that I would use the violet ink everyday and complete a series of 24 small drawings. I also got a bottle of green ink. So far, 3 are done and 2 are in the hands of some very special people.

 

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