Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

“Yes, the wind came up–” Mrs. Sharpe began. She paused. “And changed us all,” Petra said softly.” ― Blue Balliett, The Calder Game

Eyes Wide Shut, graphite on paper, A4 (8x10)

Eyes Wide Shut, graphite on paper, A4 (8×10)2015 —

The story Continues….

In my 3 decades as a professional artist, I learned that no one survives on talent alone. It takes sponsors with connections, galleries with connections, and other artist willing to bring you along with them up the ladder, and most importantly it’s all about timing.

I knew nothing of these things in those early days as I was wrapped in the warmth, comfort and magic of the great grandfather mountains of Santa Fe, my illusions were undauntable, my addictions intense; because for me it was all about the paint. I jumped into that rich emulsifying pool of art and swam with the sharks never realizing that what I was painting was unique and would give way to a lifetime of exploration, adventures and more failures and rewards than I could even imagine.

Those first years I rode the western wind which allowed me to define what I would paint giving me my women in robes who took center stage and brought much acclaim as I participated in multiple shows dealing with women in art. My landscapes of Stairs and Awnings brought my first exclusive contact with a gallery. Everything clicked; I was in the right place at the right time with the right stuff. I became a member of a very small group of 5 artists called the Multi-Cultural Artist Group and we painted large murals on the sides of many buildings in Santa Fe. The one on the old Records and Archives Building on Guadalupe St is now considered a local landmark. In addition I was elected to the Board of Directors of the Santa Fe Society of Artists. I began teaching on the side to mostly young and talented teens. My reputation was growing, and it was quietly said I had created a new genre.

Five years in Santa Fe and then we moved to Tijeras, New Mexico. By then I was represented by 2 galleries in Florida, one in Houston and a third small gallery in Albuquerque. My work was too different to be considered “New Mexican” and I rarely sold within the state. Aside from the galleries, I was getting into multiple competitions nationwide taking many awards.

Twelve years later as my work was continually growing and evolving with the times, the west wind changed course bringing a warm southernly breeze that entered the window one cold Thanksgiving and a seed was planted. It was watered by my love for the woman who was my aunt but whom I thought of as a mother, one who came to me and begged a favor.

When I could not say no, another path opened, this one darker. In my Pollyannaness, I did not know at that time it would require every ounce of my heart and soul, every fiber of my being in order to accomplish was was set before me, and to survive the battle to come. My husband would latter say that my whole life was leading up to this point, and was preparing me for the final confrontation with Capitán.

I would not pick up a paintbrush or a pencil for the next five years.

“Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.”―Jean-Paul Sartre, The Words —

Night Lines graphite on paper 8x10

Night Lines
graphite on paper
8×10—-

An after thought…

When I left Galapagos, Ecuador had just raised the number of tourist allowed into the island to 35,000 per year.  The big ships were already arriving and making visitation of nesting sites awkward as the small boats had to wait for all the passengers from the big boats to embark and disembark their passengers.  There were limits on how many people could be on any island at any given time.  Already numerous deaths of animals were occurring due to introduced vegetation or water pollution. Land iguanas were dying with boated bellies, sea-lion and seals were developing eye infections, marine iguanas were dying because the regular green algae was being overtaken by an introduced red algae.. The introduction of foreign vegetate, plant and trees combined with and animals; the continued practice of overfishing decimating many ocean species, the foreign elements replacing the natural ones and the animals are left without defense.  Then there is the human element, the physical slaughter of sea lions for their skin, not to mention other atrocities.  Guides were not adhering strictly to the rules of take nothing, leave only footprints and the inevitable consequence was beginning to show on all the islands.

Today I cannot image how the islands must look and cringe at the thought.  Over 140,000 tourists come to Galapagos every year, over 25,000 people now live on 3 islands, there are 3 airports, and over 4 billion a year is generated in tourist dollars. What was once one plane twice a week is now six planes a day.  The math is quite simple.

The increase of tourist affected all the animals in different ways. The effects of the human population growth can only be stated as an uncontrolled disaster; eventually there will no longer be a Galapagos, just the memory and photographs.

In 2007 the Unesco’s World Heritage Committee finally put the Galapagos Islands on the endangered list not only for the multiple species but also the entire archipelago.  In 2010 it was removed from the list under extreme protest from the International Union for the Conservancy of Nature siting that even though the Ecuadorian Government was making strides, it was not enough to save the islands.  The human population on the islands continues to increase at 8% a year.  The Ecuadorian Park Service rules have so many holes and loopholes, very little can be enforced.

I had become an environmentalist during my years on the islands and when I boarded the plane back to the USA, I left with a heavy heart, knowing that the first generation of guides would probably be the last to hold tight the need to protect the animals.   I was proud to have done my part but sad at the same time, knowing I was leaving a bit of magic, watching the enchantment fade and that nothing there would ever be the same again.

Humans never really learn and are indeed poor stewards of this planet.

 

 

“Reality lies in the greatest enchantment you have ever experienced.”― Hugo von Hofmannsthal

Shadows, 2014, oil on canvas, 76x50 cm(30x20) -

Shadows, 2014, oil on canvas, 76×50 cm(30×20) –

The story continues…….

An overview:

The memories and smells of the Islands rise up and smack me in the face occasionally.  Triggered by some inconsequential, word, sight, smell, it would be as if I was there again in the moment, time traveling back to the land that was apart from time itself.

Anyone who has ever lived on an island knows the feeling, a core memory of belonging to the land, standing still in time as the rest of the world ceases to exist. The memory of Galapagos held no exotic scented flowers or wide white sand beaches, these “Enchanted Islands” as they were known held a course, barren, raw, base memory of salt, sweet rain, baking bread, stale beer, urine, coffee beans drying out on metal rooftops and the unforgettable odor of freshly slaughtered beef in the sun. A memory of ingenuity and strength enabling survival.

Since I was already a permanent resident of Ecuador, and an accredited “Guide”, getting my Colonist card and permission to live on the islands was a simple matter of tons of paperwork accomplished in a miracle of a week.   I took the next available plane out, a TAME airlines DC8 cargo plane delivering supplies to the Ecuadorian Navy who had a long-established base on Baltra Island, a former US base during WWII.  TAME also flew a passenger plane out one a week for tourist.

Baltra Island was nothing more than flat, barren rock with a large shack on the high ground that served as the airport with a runway that could handle jets. Down the high cliffs a large docking area was built for refueling purposes for the Navy and any other boats willing to pay the high price.  Only a few scattered trees struggled to survive on this arid rock amidst the debris of the US base.  The foundations of these remained, the wood having been carried away by local settlers over the years to build their own houses on Santa Cruz or San Cristobal Islands.  Baltra Pine it would be called.

One of the two company boats was anchored at the dock to pick me up and make the 6-hour journey back to Santa Cruz Island.  A 3-mile wide channel separated Baltra and Santa Cruz Islands; but at the time there was no available access from one island to another except by boat,  a 6-10 hour voyage from the Baltra dock, out to ocean, and back to the far end of Santa Cruz Island, safe harbor and town.

The company had also rented me a 2-room house constructed out of lava rock with a detached lavatory connected by a raised walkway.  The house itself was also raised as it was nestled in a grove of mangroves sporting a usable dock. However that dock was only useable at high tide when my house would become an island unto itself.

The first thing I did upon settling in was to remove my shoes.  I would only put them back on once a year when we took the boats back to Guayaquil for a re-fit.  My feet would quickly develop thick calluses enabling me to walk on any surface, including the sharp lava fields.

The mainland travel agency would arrange cruises and inform me what the tourist wanted to see and how many days (or weeks) via Ham radio. (I was HC2WG once I obtained my radio operators license). I would then plan the menu and the itinerary sending the list for both back to the agency.  The tourist would be informed of their itinerary and the ordered food would be shipped out for the cruise on the same plane as the tourist.  There was a cargo freighter that would visit the island once a month or so, bringing canned goods, beer, rice, any vegetable capable of surviving the 10-day trip., building materials, and anything else anyone could buy on the mainland and have shipped out.  We would also receive some basic supplies in this manner but it was costly.   It would take me 4 months of gentle coaxing before I was accepted by the locals thereby giving permission for me to buy locally grown fresh food (eggs, milk, green vegetables, tomatoes, cheese, potatoes, meat, fish, pork) reducing our operating costs.

I would not only be managing the operations/maintenance of the boats and its crew but also serve as guide until both boats were operating, as one boat was still undergoing renovation.

At the time “The Road” as it would come to be known, had not yet been built across the island (enabling a connection between Baltra and Santa Cruz), electricity ran for 4 hours a day, and fresh drinking water was collected from the roofs of individual houses during the rainy season and held in concrete tanks. There were no fresh water wells, even in the misty moisture laden highlands.   (Water filter though the ground and the porous rock to accumulate in  equally porous aquifers that would touched by the sea.)   The main piped water from the town well was brackish, good for toilets and cooking but not much else.  In the center of town near the docks was one bar, one bakery, the port captains office, a small and very dirty hospital with no doctor just a midwife/nurse (usually a doctor would come out every few months for a week), a church, a small tienda (store) selling everything from canned goods to miscellaneous supplies and used items for trade, and the homes of the islands inhabitants. The large bay of Santa Cruz would anchor many fishing boats, sail or powerboat available for hire by tourist to tour the islands and of course the never-ending flow of the traveling cruise yachts headed out across the pacific.  In the highlands where the soil was rich and the climate alluvial, farms flourished, run by immigrants that came from Europe in the late 1930’s.

At the far end of the island was the Darwin station situated in a large bay where the “Beagle” its scientific research boat anchored.  It was populated by a small staff and overrun most of the year with visiting scientist conducting one experiment or another. They had their own generator which enabled them to have what was known as “24 hour magic”.  My house was situated halfway between the center of town and the Station.

A small inlet separated one half of the island from the other, access to which was only by a row-boat, then climbing up rough-hewn steps cut from the lava rock.  This area was known as “the other side” and was inhabited by a fairly large population of German immigrant settlers. Of course from this side, town was also considered “the other side”.

There was only one sand and rock “road” (more like a wide path) that went from town to the highlands and from town out to the Darwin Station. There were a few vehicles on the island, but most belonged to the Darwin Station.

Everyone walked and everyone had a rowboat or speedboat, but most importantly everyone had a good sense of humor, which was key to survival.

Not everyone who came to the islands would stay, they would have difficulty adapting to the harsh conditions the islands imposed.   Only if you were willing to allow the islands to change you, to become enchanted, would the islands give back to you and like the ever evolving resident animals, you would learn to survive to the fullest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I am sailing into the wind and the dark. But I am doing my best to keep my boat steady and my sails full. Arthur Ashe –

Collaborated Dyptich with Naomi Rebouf (top) acrylic on canvas- overall size  30 x 60 x 7 cm (12” x 24” x 3” )

Collaborated diptych with Naomi Rebouf (top) acrylic on canvas overall size 30 x 60 x 7 cm (12” x 24” x 3” )-

The story continues….

 

I have often wondered what  life would have been like if my parents or any family member actually cared enough to push me in a direction instead of just letting me drift and then condemning  the action.  When there was a dilemma I always wished there would be someone who would say “do this”, “try this” or better still “let me help you”, but alas that never came to pass and so I just went with the flow.

That flow led me to accept my sister’s invitation to come back to Ecuador for the holidays. Capitán had not interfered in my life for nearly two years now, busy with his new trophy wife and the potential of more children.  However, fate had other immediate plans and a rush translation project kept me working though the holidays.  It would not be until after my birthday in late January when I boarded a plane for Guayaquil and a 2-week holiday.

It was the rainy season and the invasion of “grillos” a cockroach/cricket hybrid, invaded the city by the millions. Most people had left or were in the process of leaving for the beach and clearer weather; my sister and her family were no exception.

Salinas was not the Miami Beach it is today, back then it was a quite beach town with a few high-rises, many good restaurants and open beach bars serving ceviche and good Pilsner beer. I was siting in one of those bars when I saw her sail into the bay.  My heart skipped a beat and a great longing rose in my soul.  She was a 65-foot ketch, painted white with a single blue stripe and cut the water like knife; I could feel her spirit from the shore.

It was love at first sight and I began to ask around.  Her owner was a retired ex-patriot Russian and the yacht had achieved a bit of fame, as she was the first ferro-concrete sailing vessel to be built in Ecuador and was in Salinas doing trial runs.  Rumor had it she was preparing for a maiden voyage across the Pacific and looking for crew.

Bedazzled, I could not help but stare longingly at the yacht as it sat at anchor and when I could stare no more, I had a friend motor me out and requested permission to come aboard.  Alexander Bell was the Russian Capitan’s name, whether that was real or not was unimportant.  A man in 60’s, this was his life’s dream; we sat and talked for two hours. I finally asked him if I could join the crew. He asked if I knew how to sail, I lied and said yes and I added, “I can cook under any conditions.”  “Then join us at 8am tomorrow”, he said, “and we will see.”

Now I know this may be hard to understand, how as a young girl, hardly ever having put a foot on a moving vessel let alone a sailboat that size, how I could succeed, but I knew what to do and when to do it.  The ship and I bonded that day, she told me everything I needed to know and when it should be done, voices in my head, feelings in my being, visions in my eyes. It was all very magical.

At day’s end we caught a grouper and I cooked, for desert I was given the job.  There would only be 3 of us plus the Captain: John a British engineer, myself and Charlen a coastal Indian marine carpenter who would take his turn at watch and finish some of the final touches on the woodwork as the voyage went along. We would sail for Panama in 2 days as a knockdown cruise.

Without a second thought, I packed my bags, moved on-board and the adventure began.

We sailed the evening of the second day and for the first time in my life I was truly terrified. On engine power only we motored thought the navigation channel to open ocean. There were only the channel lights and compass readings to guide, I had to rely on every available sense and trust Alex’s voice adjusting the course to compensate for antiquated maps.  My heart left my body several times as we slid along side what seemed to be a dark monster of a cargo container vessels before entering the open ocean.

It was only then the sound of other ships, foghorns, lights and moving ghost in the dark disappeared and the silence of the night overwhelmed. I sat at the wheel feeling I had conquered the world, reveling in this exhilarating feeling of slicing almost soundlessly though the swells at a steady 6 knots.  We followed the coast up to Panama for the next 7 days; went though the amazing Panama Canal and anchored at the Balboa Yacht Club on the Caribbean side.

The Yacht club itself was nothing more than a huge wooden building with a covered deck/bar restaurant/seating area, with a view to the entrance of the Canal.  A well-known landmark to boaters and cruising yachts from around the world.  A place where you could find line-handlers to help get your boat though the canal, mechanics, food, drink, showers and served as a port of entry to the country of Panama for many years.

We would anchor here for 3 months. Alex Bell returned to the US to obtain a new refrigeration unit as the one installed in Ecuador ceased to work.  John would be left in charge while he was gone and the new Briggs and Stratton engine would be given a complete overhaul, including the generator and a few other mechanics that acted up during the trip up the coast.  I flew back to the US, quit my job, quit my apartment lease and packed a travel bag of minimal items of clothing and necessities. The remaining clothes and nick-knacks went into two boxes and stored at my Sicilian grandmother’s attic in Galveston.

Three days after my arrival back in Houston I boarded a plane with a one-way ticket to Panama City and my grand adventure began.

 

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ― Douglas Adams

Memory of Water ,oil on canvas, 61x76cm (24x30)

Memory of Water ,oil on canvas, 61x76cm (24×30)

Outside of the bowl now, I am drinking what seems like gallons of water, and I want more.  I sense what the land must feel; every drop of water sucked in and ravished, desperate to quench a deep thirst.

Clouds form, rain falls, the scent of moisture fills the nostrils, but it never reaches the ground. Evaporating in mid-air.  They call it “Verga”.  You can look up, see it, smell it, even taste it on a dry tongue, but it will not touch you.  With 4% and less humidity everything is brown, evergreens have a tan cast to them, the drought here is considered medium, I do not want to think what it would be if severe.  The wind howls, dust rises from the grassless, horse trodden arenas that fill this area of suedo ranchers, and seeps into the tiniest cracks of my house. It swirls across empty land or down dirt roads in huge dust devils filled with grit, small pebbles and pieces of tumbleweeds. My truck trembles when hit.

So very little snow this year, hardly any rain, I think about our well. Others in the area have gone dry, from misuse of water, or drying aquifers.  Water hauling has become big business. We are more fortunate than some, situated in a bowl of the valley on a good aquifer, a deep fault, but I do not think our conserving water makes any dent as the consumption around us increases with more houses, more people, more horses.

The world has become that way, nothing is held sacred, especially respect for the land.  Just 20 years ago there was a law here in New Mexico, that there could only be one house per 5+ acres, because of the shortage of water. But that changed as more and more people left the cities for the countryside and housing was built on 1-acre lots. There was money to be made, people were willing to pay for the hard water brought up from deep aquifers so they could plant grass, plant moisture loving trees and plants as if water was without end. Restaurants, shops, schools, theaters, and all the other accessories of life developed around the new housing to fill the needs of the people. More traffic, more roads, more water.

This year the coyotes are gone, the nights are silent. Is it because of the drought? Because of the great coyote kill off by the macho humans with guns pretending to do a community service in spite of a national outcry? I know not. Because they are gone, the rabbit population has increased three-fold, and with lack of grass, lack of water they are eating anything green they can find, including my tulips and now they are working on the emerging day lilies. I will not plant a garden this year. I will grow some indoor kitty greens to keep the cats from munching on the long leaf plants in the house due to lack of any grass outside.

The owls left the year before and the mice and small rodent population increased. However, my cats are quite busy and happy about that situation.

Our regular bird population is changing. A few are still around but there are new birds coming in to eat at the feeder and drink thirstily at the water bowl.

I see a pattern forming and the best any of us can do is to at least try to do our part in this brave new world of changing climate.

But I know most won’t. Sacrifice is not part of our human nature, much less we concede that everything is connected and there are consequences to our actions.  We, as a species, have become quite self consumed and awareness of anything out side of our safe little cocoon is short-lived and unimportant.  No mater how terrifying, shameful or devastating the incident may be. “Tsk, tsk”, we say, then we go back to protecting ourselves, our individual special interest, and the world moves on as if nothing changed.

So it seems.

One day we will all pay the price, after all nothing comes free.  We have evolved great technology, we have not evolved as a species in many centuries; so the odds of us learning anything from the past, is quite dim.

However, if per chance, one day we do wake up, I will be long dead, knowing I at least tried to do my part.

My thirst will be quenched.

 

“If you fall into a mud hole, check your pockets, you may have caught a fish.” Darrell Royal

Captured Fish, oil on canvas, 77x102 (30x40)

Captured Fish, oil on canvas, 77×102 (30×40)

 

Observations……..

When my painting “Houses of Moon Mesa” was accepted into the Masterworks exhibit, I was astonished and honored at the same time.  Astonished because I had entered it for fun, knowing those that run this organization are realist and what I do is far from that genre. Including the fact that I had been rejected so many times, entering had become a game. Honored because I was recognized.  But then I went to the opening.  The first thing I saw was the best of show award. A large painting worked in pallet knife of a nude woman lying on a sofa in front of large windows. It was supposed to be a realistic play of light and shadows. But the figure was ill-proportioned, some of the shadows so heavy and badly worked they looked like square pieces of lead inserted into the painting.  I figured this person must be a relative of the juror, no one in their right mind would consider this a best of show piece.

I walked away.

There were quite a few very good pieces, some exceptional pieces, lots of awarded work; and the rest: traditional realistic New Mexico landscape and still life in oil, acrylic and watercolor.  As I walked though the two main rooms the effect was rather eclectic. One thing did stand out in my mind, the fact that the only thing I could not see among all the oils and acrylic paintings was my painting.

As I entered the third room off the main entrance where all the watercolors and miniatures were exhibited, there was my painting, stuck near a semi-unlit corner. It looked so very out-of-place surrounded by all the little pastel colored student quality watercolors. Lost, alone, not like anybody else’s work but bravely hanging there for anyone to see.  However, no one was looking at what was obviously considered work that could not be hung anywhere else; they were looking at the well-lit miniatures. I truly felt nothing, just empty.

I sighed and walked away.

The Number 3.

Things do happen in three’s.  So here was mine: definitely being insulted by my former little gallery; the strange and slightly evil encounter with that person without a sign and now this……..messages on the wind…..omens of things to come…coincidences without rhyme or reason, or perhaps the writing on the wall?

So like a little red fish in a big bowl of crystalline water I swim in circles, questioning and looking for answers.

Perhaps there is another message in the stars I have yet to read or understand, perhaps if I close my eyes and click my heels three times…………..But the truth shines quite clear in spite of what my foolish heart would like to believe.  The gold fish hour has arrived, time to stop swimming in circles and figure out how to jump out of the bowl without dying.

 

 

Artless Art

Posted: February 10, 2013 in Art
Tags: , , , , , ,

“The artless are in charge of the arts.” Lance Rodgers

 

work in progress: Moon Threads, oil on canvas 77x92cm (30x36)

work in progress: Moon Threads, oil on canvas 77×92 cm (30×36)

 

The adventure does seem to continue………

I delivered the drawings to the gallery for the two-person show the day before the opening.  The owner and I discussed how they would hang (as usual) and we agreed on the arrangement.

Perhaps you can imagine my horror as I walked into the gallery about 15 minutes before the opening just 24 hours later, and gasped.  All 18 of my drawings and one large painting had been crammed onto two small half-walls. Some of the drawings were upside down or sideways.  I sort of just stood there in partial shock.   The owner walked in and said: “Hi, looks good doesn’t it?”  “You are joking of course,” I responded. “This is not what we agreed upon, there are drawings upside down and sideways, and it’s all thrown onto the wall, crowed together without a thought.”  “Well, it’s as good as it gets, it was a bad day.” He said shrugging his shoulders, “Which ones are upside down?” he smiled?

Had he gone insane overnight? Surely not! Aware that I was purposefully being insulted for what reason I could not fathom, my anger swelled and I could not speak, so I went outside to calm down as people were now filling the gallery.  Twenty minutes into the show I realized there was no price list for my work.  When I advised him and asked if it would not be too much trouble (yes when I get angry I become terribly sarcastic), he said he’d get to it when he had a chance, as he was busy at the moment.  He was chatting up invites of the other artist, a retired Sandia Labs engineer now turned photographer whose work was hung perfectly.  I have nothing against photography, I know quite a few real photographic artists whose work I admire and respect; but these photos were the “same old same old” of the mountains, rocks, pueblos, flowers and animals. Work done a thousand times before with the same classic Ansel Adams effects. Copycat production at best.

Icing on the cake was towards the end of the opening as I was speaking with a very interesting man who just bought one small piece, a book and several note cards. (Yes, in spite of the badly hung wall, I sold work. The photographer did not.)  The gallery owner approached, joined in the conversation and then said, …”What are you going to do next? Women and Guns?  …and what is it with the dead fish in the painting, you really want people to believe a fish can breathe out of water? …you really are weird!…and that dog, what does that mean?”  I smiled at him as one would smile at a deranged idiot and said nothing, I did not want to come off as a Diva and create a scene. Those standing around became uncomfortable and turned away as he continued this deriding monologue. My buyer thanked me and left.

I always knew this was not a “real” gallery, just a little mountain gallery with decent artists. I knew my “career” per se was over; this was just a good place to keep my art alive. Matters not the whys of what transpired that evening, I will probably never know.  But what I do know is that I will removed myself from the gallery at the end of the show.  These days’ people only get once chance with me, my tolerance for the baseness of what our society has become, no matter how much money or power they have, has reached it limits.

Which brought me to a terrible awareness, a question that plagued me for a couple of days then passed.  If I was a good as I think I am would I be in this situation?  Has it all been ego and hubris?  It this the reward of 25 years of hard work, honors and a bit of fame? Then I shook my head, knowing that there are millions of me out there in this world.  I am not unique. Each of us use to be something or somebody, people who had a purpose, a plan, people with ethics and vision, honor and responsibility.  Taken away, destroyed by the greed of others who possessed everything anyone could want and wanted more, eliminating what was left for the rest of us.

A brave new world indeed.

Just to reaffirm once again how the universe works,  a few days later I received notification one of my pieces had been accepted in a notable exhibition where I had never been accepted before:  in Albuquerque.

Then Home Depot called, they found my paperwork, I have a job.

See how amusing life can be? Some doors slam shut while other open quietly……. I am most grateful.

 

 

 

 

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Land Treads, oil on canvas, 77x102 cm (30x40)

Land Treads, oil on canvas, 77×102 cm (30×40)

I think we have lost our innocence. I think we have lost common sense. I think as a society we have peaked.  I think we are becoming as callous as the perpetrators who kill and maim.  I think we are loosing empathy and are heading towards becoming more militaristic……de-evolving into a third world made up of Christian zealots wanting to take us back to the dark ages, radical gun totting, shoot first, ask questions later, idiots spreading unnecessary fear; Corporations spending quadrillions to convert us to their cause, slowly changing the fabric of this country. I think our legislators live in fear of loosing their jobs, fighting for personal agendas rather, than doing what is right for the country as a whole.  Now that the dumbing of America is complete, now that art has become a mediocre pastime, now that we have become one-dimensional nearly incapable of critical thinking, now that technology has eliminated the need for verbal conversations, now that we are more isolated from each other than ever in spite of social networking………. I think we are so very close to the edge of chaos………and out on the parameter are those like me, a small but mighty group going: ayyyyyyeeeeee!!!!.

Ok, now I feel better.

I guess this is all part of the process; everyone carries the seeds of their own destruction, their own Karma, even counties.  If you believe that Newton’s Third Law of Motion applies only to physics you are soooo very wrong.  It applies to everything and everybody! Do a little research and you will find there are no coincidences in this world. Things are happening simultaneously everywhere. We are all so connected it can be frightening, or enlightening. I prefer the latter.

All right I will step down from my visionary soapbox and look at the amusing side of the current reality:

Three weeks ago I was hired by Home Depot!  Whoo Hoo I yelled for the world to hear.  Unfortunately I have also fallen though the cracks once again…..as Home Depot has lost my paperwork and though I exist in name only…they are having trouble making sure I really exist.  Hahahahaha! As if that was something new to my experience in life!  So I will be patient and see if they can find me.

In the meantime, my painting The Red Thread is off to The Armory for the Arts exhibit in Palm Beach Florida.  This weekend my Women and Fish Drawings will be part of a two-person show at the Watermelon Gallery in Cedar Crest and I am busy working on the 4th in the series (number 3 is above: Land Threads).  This series is evolving into something different and I do not know where it is going, but I like it!

AND… like a bit of icing on the cake, I have a drawing student.  Yes one student, it is quite wonderful, I am not as useless as I thought!!!

I also survived another birthday …….so, January was a very interesting month indeed…… I am now ready for the rest of the year!

 

 

 

“I have dined with kings and danced with paupers.” Anonymous

Woman with Fish and Dog
oil on canvas, 112×92 cm (44×36)

In my late twenties I was convinced that there would be no social security by the time I was ready to retire. However, at the time, that did not matter too much as I was also convinced I would be dead by the time I was 35.

Never shy about entering an open door, when I graduated from college I hit the world like a windstorm. I finally settled down a bit in my late 20’s, got married, made use of my education and became an artist; but by then I had already been more places, done more things, had more adventures than most people do in a lifetime.  Nothing was planned. No thinking ahead. Just seeing life as a never-ending adventure, riding whatever wave came my way. When I think about it, I must have gone through time warps to manage fitting so much into so little time.

I am not bragging, just stating facts; and telling you this because of my new continuing awareness. Realizing I am where I am today because of that lifestyle. Spent so much time teetering on the edge of  the cliff, I think I may have spouted permanent roots. So now I am wondering, if I haven’t died already by accident or fault of another, or some earthly disaster, or physical malady, then I am still around for a purpose.  And if part of this purpose is understanding everything or seeing everything with such clarity……..does that mean when there is nothing left to see or learn or do – I will die?

Mind you, I have no fear of death; it would be like moving on to the next adventure. Well we can’t live forever, although I would not mind giving it a try for one or two centuries. I would also like being rich for a few years.  I would like the opportunity to do something really good with a great deal of money. Maybe that is why I am poor!  Hahaha! Anyway, my mind tends to play scenarios with itself as I find new ways to amuse my days.

Last week I received a most marvelous letter from the President of the National Association of Women Artists in New York.  A very old and prestigious organization of which I am proud to be a long-standing member. In the letter, she complimented me on my work, said some pretty wonderful things and added that the organization was honored to have me as a member.  Whew! Took my breath away for a moment, made me feel very fortunate, very humbled, very honored. Never before have I received such a letter.

On another front, the food pantry asked me to come back!  One of their employees lives close to me and has offered to give me a ride into town twice a week and back home again.  Next week I can do something constructive again, even if it is just as a volunteer!  Went into town earlier this week and submitted my application to a few high-end retail stores and a bakery complimenting my existing on-line applications.  With the holiday season coming around, something even temporary, may come into being.  I am hopeful

The new painting above: Woman with Fish and Dog, is a recycled canvas…. I have 6 more that can be painted over without causing me too much agony.  This one is definitely a melding of the fish drawings and Works in Blue. Felt a need to paint one of my women again, even though the market for such work died a slow death with the recession.

I am also working on a new painting for my ongoing Houses series, which I have hopes of one day, before I die, actually having a show with the complete works all together!

The Balloon Fiesta is over, all the tourist have gone home and with them the cold snap.  Indian Summer has settled into the high mountains. The air crisp, dry and clean, the sky an intense blue, the nights cold.  The days seem to quietly flow one into another here as I work in my studio, or sit at the computer with nowhere to go and less to do. I find in my heart, I am dining with kings and dancing with paupers!

Not too shabby…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt to be dangerous.” – Alfred Adler

Invitation for New Zealand Exhibit

I have been experiencing a strange sense of awareness. A feeling of having already experienced things I just learn about or is about to happen.  Not unlike feeling like you’ve reached the end of the internet when every forward you get you’ve seen before.  Like that but different.  Not deja vu, but a future vu!  It sometimes stops me in my tracks and grabs hold of my conscience with a clarity  I really wish I could explain.

It is not helpful in any way I can think of.  It brings no peace, no satisfaction….I just see things with such completeness, coupled with understanding, mixed with fragility….not everything, just somethings, less important things, things of no consequence or better said, no known consequence.

Whatever it is, it just is………perhaps its nothing more than living in the season of lies that have become truths to some and half-truths meant to deceive; of watching the vivid hatefulness of one political party against the other in real-time, on the streets in public places, the never-ending fear mongering.  Whatever happens this election, our divided America will get what it asks for and like anything we ask for, there will be consequences. There always seem to be consequences. Nothing is free, a price must be paid.  Not unlike sacrifices of olden days to appease the gods.

On another front, there is still no job, no job offers, no phone calls, no nothing.  I had to stop my volunteer work in town. The cost of gas had become too much. With money going out and noting coming it, cuts had to be made. I had a choice:  use the $100.00 a month it was costing me to drive into town just to give myself something of value to do twice a week, or put it towards keeping my art alive.  Art won. They did not understand, it was I thought, rather amazing for an organization dealing with the poor. Or perhaps it as simple as: if you don’t act or look poor, how can you be poor?  So many levels of poor, a matter of perception. I am better than some, worse than others.

The two little paintings I sent to New Zealand in the spring will be part of a 4-person exhibit at the Lake House Gallery outside of Auckland the end of this month (see invitation above)!  My saved $100.00 will pay the entry fee and shipping cost for another exhibit I will be part of at the Coral Springs Museum of Art in Florida come November. That will finish off the year.

Priorities.  I will just have to find a way to amuse myself after next week as I send out more resumes and keep my fingers crossed. I am officially out of canvas but still have tons of paper and there are a few canvases that would not be missed if painted over. Being a creative and intuitive person, I am sure that is a goal I can accomplish.  Perhaps I can also figure out my little future visions and what they mean.

Perhaps I’ll even find a job or sell paintings, or find out pigs can really fly! hahahaha!   I am so ready for the grand awakening of consciences that the Mayans predicted!