Yesterday morning I headed into Calgary and spent much of my time wandering the streets of Kensington. First I had a lovely conversation with owner Jonathan while picking up my tea tin from The Naked Leaf (everything smells delicious in there). I selected a grape green tea which tastes heavenly along with a cherry blossom tea chocolate (yum!) and then I meandered over to Kensington Art Supply where I spent much time browsing. I love being surrounded by art supplies and could look at them for hours. I enjoyed the murals and graphitti art on the street and then spent an hour at Higher Ground Cafe where I enjoyed the work of artist Deborah Catton, along with a fabulous matcha tea latte (flavoured with a touch of vanilla - extra yum!), and continued to read a book that I began some time ago which is titled 'Imagine That!' which is about connecting faith & art, something I have struggled with for some time.
Unfortunately traditional faith doesn't tend to support visual arts the way they do music and even drama so I often have felt like a huge part of me is separated, almost amputated whenever I try to become involved in a church. I have learned to accept roles in every other area of my life where I can contribute by utilizing this part of me that is as necessary to me as breath. This is the only area where I don't know how I fit and it makes me sad as spirituality is a huge part of who I am. The author of the book, Manuel Luz, makes many interesting comments in reference to any faith group who might have very strong opinions about how and when art can be considered 'religious' which is why there is such a disconnect between art & faith. But he believes that all of the work created by a spirit-filled person is for and of God and that this connection resonates with others. 'Simply create art that is a true expression of the self. Don't fit someone's formula; create your own. Don't aspire to fame; aspire to authentic self-expression and artistry. Don't seek to 'evangelize'; simply and authentically share your story...We try to be true to who we are, who we are called to be.'
I paint because I enjoy the process, need that deep meditation and prayer that I feel when I paint and am, in fact, lost and sad without it. It gives me a place to pour out my heart and brings me the peace I so desire. I am honoured whenever I am asked to share my work in a public forum whether it is in a facility or in print and whenever someone chooses to spend their hard-earned money to live with a piece of me in their personal space. I am a huge advocate of living authetically which is why no single form or style of work, of sharing the work with others, or combination of any of it fits absolutely every person. There is no marketing scheme that carries success with it. And I dislike marketing as I am just not a saleperson. I love to share with those who would like to be involved with what I do and have found that whenever I do the thing that calls to me, I am filled with peace and wonderful opportunities present themselves. As I think about it, isn't that truly wonderful for each and every one of us?
AIRdirondack Art Project