This painting wasn't originally meant to emulate Marie Antoinette, but the pink and blue background dictated the colour palette and, well...voila! I'm so happy to have taken the beautiful photos of my daughter in her amazing sewing projects as it really has been great for inspiration, especially at a time when I wasn't certain of the direction I wanted to head in my work. These little lapses of creative inspiration are common for me, especially after having committed to a large body of work over an extended period of time. And they are always followed by a great series.
I just realized that I forgot to share that the last of the wildflowers and totem animals are now available on sale online through Etsy with reduced shipping fees. Just in time for Christmas :) The animals were the first of five years of 52 WEEKS projects so they are particularly special to me for that reason, along with the fact that we've lived in areas where wildlife abounds. The wildflowers represent my love of naturopathic healing. I often felt that I would study plants and their medicinal properties if I wasn't a painter as I can't help but stop by every single wildflower on our hikes. As soon as we return to our campsite I always research them and how they were used to make teas and poultices. I think that may be why I love Claire in Outlander so much.
These little samples will be heading to Kelowna with me in the new year as I'll be working with an entire elementary school for a week and wanted to focus on the wildlife that is common to the area - cougar, coyote & bear. As I've been preparing them for packing I began to think about how other artists package their work as I love opening a beautiful package. Whenever I can, I try to package smaller pieces in cellophane bags and the larger pieces I like wrap the edges to protect them, but in both cases I like the patron to be able to view the work when it's received. I also like to include a blank notecard that features my first series of work, my business card and perhaps an artist statement along with a couple of other items like bookmarks or postcards. One of the galleries that represents my large pieces prepares a Certificate of Authenticity and includes a beautiful art magazine that features an article about my work when they deliver and/or hang the piece. I have been concerned about plastics use but I'm uncertain how to reduce it further while still protecting the artwork. Any suggestions? Another thing I read recently was letting a patron know when a piece they own is published or receives some kind of award or recognition. I think that's a lovely idea!
My wall of ladies is growing nicely which makes me very happy. At the same time, I'm still preparing for a few workshops (which I'm looking forward to) and, fortunately for me, still get to enjoy conversations and spending time with my daughters. My eldest is an elementary school teacher and in the past few years has been diagnosed with celiac disease and OCD/ADHD which, we all believe, makes her a better teacher as she really understands those children who struggle. My youngest was recently diagnosed with high functioning autism which has been a huge relief for her as she often wondered why she was so different from others her age. As an adult, this understanding will help her seek out the assistance she needs in future relationships and give her coping mechanisms. It also makes total sense in regards to her absolute focus and creativity which has also been the impetus for this body of work. Both daughters have been told that it was good that they grew up in our household as, though they didn't get extra assistance in school they excelled in any case as we understood their differences and made adjustments for them as they needed them, like taking them out of school for mental health days just because. I'm so grateful and feel really, really lucky to be their mom.
I've been questioning whether or not to remove myself from facebook for a long, long time. I love the community connections I have made on it, being able to support not only the arts community but also my local community, but I disagree with so many of the platform's actions and policies that after a period of deactivating my account, I have decided to remove it altogether. At this point I am still on instagram, a platform of beautiful imagery that really resonates with me, but I wish it had never sold to facebook and was the same as it used to be. I wish that anything considered pornographic or violent in any would be removed entirely and the users blocked. I'm also finding it more difficult to navigate lately but, unlike facebook, I never leave feeling violated or attacked on my personal account in any way but rather feel supported and able to support others. I have found a sense of peace since I went off facebook that has replaced the anxiety I had been experiencing. What a liberating feeling it has been. I know that I need to be informed of what happens in the world, but also know that there are untruths and just plain meanness out there that makes my life much better if I remove myself from it. Finally, I realized that I don't need to know everything, that the world continues on without me, and there is a sense of flow and just allowing things to be that comes with it. And there is a sense of that I will know what I need to when I need to. That's a good feeling.
"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."
With all the workshop prep I've been doing lately I've had a lot of time to think and something I read about recently was Abundance Mentality. It's all about collaboration and how sharing ideas begets new ideas. Rather than working with the fear of having ideas or work copied or stolen, or the reverse belief that we might not have something to contribute, knowing that collaborating and sharing ideas makes connections in our brains so that we get more ideas and experience more success. That old adage that a group or a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I am definitely believer in this as I have experienced it first hand over and over again. It's such a great experience to succeed as a group and to be involved in something that is so much bigger than me. And yet I still need to work in plenty of solitude to let my ideas ruminate. I wonder, does anyone else feel this way?
When I work with children, these are a few tips I like to share. I also find that there are times I need these same reminders myself:
1. Everyone is creative - it just takes practice...like riding a bike.
2. To keep colours vibrant & colourful, don't mix all three Primary (red, yellow, blue) or Secondary colours (orange, green, purple) together.
3. To keep things interesting, use some Warm (colours like the sun - orange, pink, red) and some Cool colours (skies/grass/water - blue, green, purple).
4. When an image does't 'feel' right to you, try looking at it from a different perspective - step back to view it from a distance, turn your drawing or painting upside down, or look at it in a mirror.
5. Use thin layers of colour & let each layer dry in between because mixing all the colours together will make brown.
AIRdirondack Art Project