I spent much of last year studying and evaluating the business side of my art during my course with the Montana Artrepreneur Program. This year I have chosen the word “discovery” as my go to focus for 2017. I will definitely be utilizing that word over and over as I go forward into 2017 with my art and my personal journey.
Thrilling is an understatement of how excited I feel about this year already. Almost one and half years ago my dear friend and fellow artist, Lynn Silbernagel and I wrote proposals to the Carbon County Arts Guild and Depot Gallery. We both love this small art guild and gallery, located a little over an hour from our home base. It’s nestled in the beautiful mountains of Montana and is a hot spot year round for outdoor enthusiasts. The gallery itself is located in an old train depot, making it quaint and rustic. It is rich in the heritage of how we live our lives in Montana. A perfect setting for Montana art.
Our proposals were granted and we were placed on the calendar in June of 2017 to exhibit our work together in the Main Gallery. At the time it seemed like that was forever! But here it is and we are so honored and privileged to have this opportunity to display our works. This means we have a bit of work ahead of us as we create art to fill the Main Gallery. The task at first seemed daunting to me but as I put my mind in the mode to create, ideas starting forming. I experienced a flood of ideas at once and well, that’s not possible to entertain so I began to narrow down and “discover” what my heart was pointing me towards for this exhibit.
Above is a painting, possibly an assemblage if you will, of a symbol or amulet of the hamsa hand. I get a little emotional when I think about how symbols reflect different periods in my life. In childhood there was my first “orange” rabbit foot on a chain that I carefully carried everywhere for protection. I felt safe and comforted at all times with my little rabbit’s foot by my side. This symbol goes back as far as the seventh century BCE, originating in Celtic Europe. And as a talismanic symbol in Africa. A portion of my exhibit in June this year will be a series of paintings/assemblages representing symbolism. I am discovering so much as I research the symbols that followed me throughout my life. As I start this creative process I am struck by how many symbols there are present in our every day life. We relate with emotion to many of these and they give us a voice to express ourselves, such as the peace symbol or the pink ribbon representing hope for breast cancer. I am so ready to discover more about this enormous influence in our lives.
I hope to complete six 8×10 paintings for my Symbol Series to display in June. I will not be posting the series until after the exhibit so stay tuned! And those locals, I hope you find time to stop into the Carbon County Arts Guild and Depot Gallery to view the exhibit this June. There will be an opening reception, date to be announced. What an amazing start to 2017…just full of discovery!
I’ve been off the grid for a few days between Christmas and New Years creating and preparing to embrace 2017. I like to pick a word at the beginning of the year to set the tone for my goal setting. It keeps me somewhat focused as I head into the bliss of a new year. The new year always feels like a new beginning, a fresh start. I like to think of placing all my past years ugliness in a suitcase and setting it out for the man in brown to pick up and take to the land of let it go. That baggage is gone, thank you my wonderful man in brown!
My word for 2016 was Vulnerability. I pretty much killed it with that word. When I stepped into the Montana Artrepreneur Program I placed myself in a very vulnerable position. I knew going into 2016 I would be facing a ton of fears with my art journey. I’m sure that is why I picked the word vulnerability. Many times it felt like I stepped off the edge of a diving board into the deep end of the pool. Coming close to drowning, only to be pulled up and resuscitated by my support team. They do good CPR apparently because I needed their support often in 2016. Towards the end of the year I finally realized that all that time my fear was knocking hard on me, pushing me again and again. That is what vulnerability is about, facing your fears. I struggled endlessly, turmoil in the depth of my soul, until finally I admitted to my peers that I was struggling. At one point I felt I no longer wanted to be an artist. It wasn’t until in November that I told my sister I wasn’t sure I wanted to create. The stress of it all was becoming unbearable at times. She said she could not imagine me ever not painting. Imagine, imagine, again, imagine… I had to chew on fear and spit it out. Damn, she is such a great sister to love me that much. I needed straight forward talk and she is good at that with me. She said a few other personal words I want to keep for myself cause I just love her that much too. There will always be struggles but my heart tells me I’m over most of the fear. To get to this point I needed to be vulnerable, to face my fears, to begin to heal I had to hurt first. It’s a different hurt than a physical injury, sometimes that might be easier. I have the MAP, all my family, all my artist friends and all my personal friends to thank for helping me pack up my baggage this year and send it off to the land of letting go. You are amazing, you know who you are, bless you.
This years word is Discovery. I am so excited about this years word. Can you “imagine” what I will do with that word! My new Zebra painting with paper collage, a new discovery already. Happiness to each of you as you enter a new year and embrace what your world will seek. I pray for our world and the whole of humanity. I still seek peace and harmony. I always have hope and share kindness when I am able. So much of what we have to give is free so please give as often as you can…blessings in 2017.
This is the process for creating the Raven painting. This particular background I had finished last week, allowing some drying time and inspiration! The raven is an important subject, not just to me but also my sister and my two daughters. My father loved birds. He especially enjoyed the raven or crow and felt there was a spiritual connection to him with these birds. When he passed away,
suddenly we began experiencing encounters with ravens, really unusual behavior for these birds. It still happens. It is comforting but occasionally annoying as it feels like he is lecturing! And it may just be our way of feeling like he is watching over us, kind of nice! This painting will be heading out the door next week for sale but in the meantime, I’m going to sit back and enjoy it!
This horse means so much to me. I did this sketch after a trip to Santa Fe last year in October. I came across the sketch while rereading my art journal. I love this sketch because it was drawn without a visual aide such as a photo or picture. It’s been difficult for me to visualize an image in my head and simply sketch it…until this blue horse. I painted two horses after Blue was sketched. Both paintings sold. Horses are a beautiful animal that I love. I will continue to create horses, Blue being my first inspirational vision put to paper. I know the color was influenced by the art in Santa Fe…so much color in the art and environment surrounding that beautiful city. I’ll be going back there one day!
My latest artwork, little yellow canary, titled Spring Canary. Posted it on my Facebook page and it has sold. Makes me smile as I’ve worked so hard on getting my Etsy Shop up and running. My Etsy Shop is under greengrassart. I’ve posted ten items for sale so far. Realizing how many artists are on Etsy, I’m not sure how all of that will develop but I wanted to give it a go. The canary painting was not posted on Etsy. I was able to link my Etsy Shop to my Facebook page. I spent hours setting up the Etsy Shop. I am so amazed at what some artist are achieving, not sure how they do it but admire all their hard work and effort! This little canary inspired by my beautiful little canary that has since flown to bird heaven but was so, so loved by our family! The words on the painting…”Whispering colors of spring”…and I am really looking forward to spring!
My second pony painting. My first piece, very similar to this one, is heading to the west coast as a gift for a friend of my daughter. I’ve enjoyed exploring a different area of mixed-media. Hoping to stretch myself and move a bit outside of my usual hearts, angels, girls, etc. I find that so much of what we experience in our lives influences our creative spirit. My trip to Santa Fe continues to give me inspiration towards new pathways in my art.
After finishing the Little Boys & Dragons art piece I wanted to venture out. My intention was to window shop but I came across these awesome moccasin slip-ons. Sale priced at $5.98! Who can pass that by…so home, taking a break with my feet up, enjoying the fall weather on the deck…in style.
Now that’s inspiring!