Monday, January 24, 2011

"People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it's simply necessary to love."
-Claude Monet

I must agree with Monet. Even though I love analyzing and discussing artworks and enjoy critiques, when it comes right down to it I always ask myself, "do I really like it?" When it comes to my own artwork I also know I wouldn't have done it if I didn't care for the subject matter or couldn't relate to it. My truck painting entitled "I think I Can" was one I could easily relate to. I have entered it into the Mathew's Galleries CompeteArt2011 competition. When I saw this truck overloaded and tilting as it made its way over the hills between Joseph and Enterprise, OR I was inspired immediately to follow that truck! It was probably much to the dismay of my husband who was driving behind it for several photographs! However we can't always explain what trips our trigger when we see something we know we just have to paint. The way the sunlight was hitting the tops of the hay bales just right and the curve in the road with light and shadow sweeping down the hillside just lent itself to my excitement of getting home to paint it. Like Claude Monet I just Loved it. Maybe because it touched my inner child, my sense of humor, a lightness of being, or a need to find some joy in the moment. I know it flowed from my inner art soul as I painted it, silly as that may sound. Sometimes I take myself too seriously at the easel and forget to have fun during the process. This particular work helped me do just that. Please note that I would never compare my hay bales to Monet's haystacks (if you haven't seen them, look him up and see how many different versions he painted based on various light sources). I hope he had some fun with those studies too. In my last blog I was letting myself off the hook of perfectionism and now getting in touch with humor and fun. This is looking like a great start to 2011 wouldn't you say? By the way anyone who hasn't visited the show CompeteArt2011 really should get to the Mathew's gallery before Feb 16th to vote for their favorite piece. The prizes for artists are based on the public vote. Very ingenious. There are 75 local artist's works available for sale as well as the Mathew's Galleries' extensive collection of early American Artists, many from our area. A percentage of sales will also benefit FISH of Portland. So make February "Love Art Month" and remember to keep supporting the arts in 2011, we artists enjoy making a living almost as much as making art.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in
That's how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen

Happy New Year! Many people would be surprised I have quoted Leonard Cohen in the spirit of celebration and happiness. At times his works can impart a heavy message. Songs and poetry allow room for individual interpretation just as our visual art does. This verse speaks to me as I begin to look ahead in 2011. When I look back on my past works, not all turned out as I imagined they would when I first set my brush to the canvas. I get frustrated at times, even though intellectually I know I'm learning something from the experience. However, in the spirit of ringing in the New Year, I realize I should be celebrating each time I finish any painting. Why Not? Maybe it isn't perfect, maybe it has a little crack in it but isn't the bright side of that, as Leonard Cohen so brilliantly states, "that's how the light gets in?" Each work has its own uniqueness whether it followed my initial plan or not. The piece shown here is one of several small works (9x8) that a friend commissioned me to do last year. Her request started with a vision; several original oils inlaid on the front of an antique cabinet. We collaborated on subject matter but had no idea how it was all going to come together. One idea led to the next and eventually created something beautiful. I have decided to begin 2011 with that same outlook; taking one idea at a time, one piece at a time, each building upon the other. Not to form a perfect offering but to start ringing some bells with all that I've got. Celebrating the fact that any cracks I see are guiding me along my path. I feel lighter already. Do you hear the bells ringing?