Celebrate for a Cause: New Barn Mural Art with Yoga, Live Music and Wine
Press in Oxford Leader – September 9th
I recently was commissioned to do a large outdoor art piece on a barn at a farm. I love to work big and I love to connect the dots. I am an artist and of all the different ways and mediums I work in, painting comes most deeply from my soul. I have not really painted this way in over five years. When I got the call to see if I knew anyone who would be interested in the creating an art piece on this barn – it was the most timely gift ever. I re-experienced myself in ways I had forgotten and in new ways connecting to nature beings and pushing my fear of heights to a new edge. One of the best parts is that the mural art is outside and how that involved everyone’s energy. For me, it is a great joy to paint and be able to invite people to experience themselves through my process and finished work. My hope is that through what I do someone else will be inspired to “paint their mural”. Each of us is here to put forth in the world what brings us great joy.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to marry that joy with what brings your heart deep pain?
For me, that pain is when people do not have the opportunity and eyes for their own possibility. For that reason, as I share my mural art of flowers and hummingbird (our symbol for joy) I invite you to learn more about the people who bring us fresh cut flowers. We adore flowers for their beauty and ability to bring a smile and lightness to our hearts. I am raising funds for those who work on flower farms to assist in the efforts to empower the workers, who are mostly women, whose hard labor allows us to enjoy cut flowers. Specifically, the funds will go to Ethiopian Growers’Association Gender Division for the Gender & Health Project – “Empowering the Source”, a Floriculture Sustainability Initiative and BSR HER+Project (www.ehpea.org). The USA imports most of its flowers from South America (Colombia and Ecuador being the main producers). From Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia export directly to the USA. Flowers are also exported from The Netherlands to the USA (often these originate in Africa, as the Dutch Flower Auction still sells about 60% of the world’s flower production). To learn more please contact me and I will put you in touch with those leading the effort.
Donations will be accepted at the event on September 12th or via paypal anytime.
Trying something new.
I generally seek to explore what I can do in new areas or new combinations – methodology, mediums, ideas…
It has been a while since I have painted and been in an exhibition (First one on July 10 at North End Studios). I am part of year long series of shows called Detroit: Door of Opportunity – DDOO (see more at http://dmjstudio.com/doors/)
“Doors are a symbol of beginnings, transitions, endings and entrances into new worlds and places. Detroit has always been a place of new beginnings, innovation and trailblazing. It is a city open to new things while treasuring its history. Doors are the perfect medium to tell the Detroit story; its past, its present and it future. This exhibition is Detroit artists, creatively conveying the magnificence of Detroit and all the opportunities that it has had for people in the past, currently and in the future. This is a suggested interpretation. We encourage you to be creative and look forward to your interpretation of the theme.”
So I explore something new for me with my DDOO door. The door is a threshold and my style is about change, the space between and the palpable in the subtle. For this piece there are five ways one can be caught into the threshold. The grain of the door, the text of the quote, the flow of the highlighted poem from the words of the quote, the colored wood stains and the iridescent paint pattern. Each is subtle and requires attention. Photography does not capture the changing nature or the detail. The name is “The Present Moment” and the quote is from Thich Nhat Hanh (a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace):
“The present moment is the the only moment available to us: the door to all moments.” The poem that arises from the repetition of this sentence is:
I was writing about the surface design (patterns for fabric, wallpaper, paper – anything that has a surface) aspect of my work and it came to me that there is something more there than the ‘surface’ concept of decorating. It is essential to each of us to create with what resonates with us – what we find attractive and beautiful – our spaces, places and homes here because it is a representative, living embodiment of each of us.
Space-place-home making is the creative unfolding of the ever evolving emBODYment of Us.
Elevating the consciousness of that we do habitually and naturally to a state where we can see who we are, have been, and are becoming by the extension of the physical environment we create. Trends are not prescriptions of how your place should look but rather suggestions and interpretations of other people’s creative visions. I think they are for us to understand how we are in relation to the context of the time.
It brings the world into harmony to know ourselves so as to live out our uniqueness and what better way than to create our space-place-home from what speaks with our heart and soul. In this way, I see my surface designs and art as thresholds and raw materials for an adventure for those of you that find them beautiful and joyful.
For over a decade now, I have been drawing characters of a tribe of squiggly people in conversations. It is an abstract way to capture the energetics of different interactions – sometimes humorous, sometimes serious and sometimes unintelligible. Most of the time, I wonder about their world and imagine the stories they might be sharing with each other. Below are a two of them, one with a (true?) observation and the other with a snippet of the conversation possibly overheard while eavesdropping. Enjoy…
I have been thinking for a long while how to define an artist and creativity. Especially since I often hear from different people that they feel that they are not creative. I firmly hold that being an artist and the creative ability is not exclusive to a few but rather that it is what we are all born of and into…the only difference is the unique way it manifests in each of us. I have come to the related definitions: An artist embraces uncertainty and the unknown and is in conversation with the world. Creativity is the conversation that navigates the unknown into beautiful being.
I read in The Atlantic (January/February 2015) a very interesting article (The Death of the Artist – and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur) that describes the evolution of the idea of artist in our society. And the important thing for me was that artist and creativity is evolving and is defined by each of us. And can be re-defined for us individually.
“Yet the notion of the artist as a solitary genius—so potent a cultural force, so determinative, still, of the way we think of creativity in general—is decades out of date. So out of date, in fact, that the model that replaced it is itself already out of date. A new paradigm is emerging, and has been since about the turn of the millennium, one that’s in the process of reshaping what artists are: how they work, train, trade, collaborate, think of themselves and are thought of—even what art is—just as the solitary-genius model did two centuries ago.”
(updated post from 2011, as we ponder our new year and past)
From artist Teresita Fernández’ 2013 commencement speech at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts, “On Amnesia, Broken Pottery, and the Inside of a Form”:
“In Japan there is a kind of reverence for the art of mending. In the context of the tea ceremony there is no such thing as failure or success in the way we are accustomed to using those words. A broken bowl would be valued precisely because of the exquisite nature of how it was repaired, a distinctly Japanese tradition of kintsugi, meaning to “to patch with gold”. Often, we try to repair broken things in such a way as to conceal the repair and make it “good as new.” But the tea masters understood that by repairing the broken bowl with the distinct beauty of radiant gold, they could create an alternative to “good as new” and instead employ a “better than new” aesthetic. They understood that a conspicuous, artful repair actually adds value. Because after mending, the bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that post repair were even more special because the bowl could then resemble nothing but itself. Here lies that radical physical transformation from useless to priceless, from failure to success. All of the fumbling and awkward moments you will go through, all of the failed attempts, all of the near misses, all of the spontaneous curiosity will eventually start to steer you in exactly the right direction.”