Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two Palms in the Sunset

It is Christmas in the Keys, glorious weather, sunny days, pastel clouds and warm breezes. I do not need to stray far from my own backyard to see beauty everywhere. As I pass the sixth holiday in a row without seeing my 19 year old son, I am filled with deep sadness and a sense of powerlessness. With the love, joy and excitement of the holidays the loss of my son stings that much more. In a country in which we hope for justice, I am still overcome by the corruption and injustice of our legal system. As I write this and while I was painting Two Palms in the Sunset simultaneously in Illinois the corruption surrounding their Governor is a constant reminder of how much we need to clean up our government. My painting is clear, the colors I choose are clean and there is no ambiguity as to how I am feeling.There is no deception behind the painting, what you see and how it provokes your feelings is what you get. I painted this with the mind to bring warmth and cheer to my viewer, in a time which is filled with such uncertainty. This painting is done in oils and considered a plein-air painting as it was done on the spot, Two Palms in the Sunset is done on a 20" x 20" Gallery wrapped canvas, price is $399.00

Friday, December 19, 2008

One women's journey through art

I grew up not believing in God, yet I was always searching for some kind of spiritual connection. The variety of designs, beauty and differences in nature did not fit so neatly into the evolutionary theory, though I was a firm believer in that at the time. Even right now as I try to contemplate the amount of species of earth from living corals, to insects, to fish, to mammals to man as an artist the share numbers of differences are mind boggling.
Though I did not believe in God and was taught to look at the world with a logical rational mind, there were incidents that happened which did not fit into that box. Like when I was 16 and felt I was going to die one night and the next morning I awoke in amazement to find myself alive, only to find out a few hours later that my father died in his sleep that night at the young age of 43. Or the time my husband was visiting his family in Venice, Italy and I had this sensation that he was in trouble. I phoned him and he told me that he was having a horrible fight with his father and that one of them had picked up a knife and he desperately needed to speak to me. At the time of that sensation I was 3000 miles away from him.
So I began my journey to find some spiritual connection with the world that would help me to understand and make sense of these feelings that did not fit into a rational world. I noticed that I often felt like a telephone wire that would pick up on many different signals as they passed through my body. Having such a connectedness with humans made be keenly aware of much of the suffering that went on in the world, so I would escape into my paintings. When I paint I go into a sixth dimension in which I can shut off the world around me and hide in a wonderful world of beauty,color and order. Doing my art was the only way to stop all the chatter that I picked up from the outside world it was away of soothing myself and it was a place I could understand and make orderly. Looking back I realize how lucky I was to have this outlet and it has pushed me to be an advocate for making sure children are educated in the arts. I believe if more people tapped into their creative side there would be much less aggression in the world. Our societies have been focusing on the wrong values and look where that has gotten us. If you are a creator it becomes much harder to be a destroyer.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Road from art to justice

At first I did not realize that what I took for granted was actually a gift. I assumed that everyone saw the world as I did, that colors were vivid, and lights and dark shapes danced in front of their eyes, and nature was filled with a zillion colors and designs.

There was never a question of wanting to make art, it was as natural as breathing to me and part of my very existence. Being able to see the world at this heightened sensitivity not only allowed me to see all of it's beauty, but made me very aware of all it's ugliness as well. More importantly not only did I see beauty and ugliness more intensely, but I felt it emotionally and spiritually as well. I grew up being told over and over that I was too sensitive. How does an artist not be sensitive, is there a switch that I could turn off in my personality that would stop this sensitivity and turn off my artistic talent?

I found that this strong sensitivity to the world around me made me question many of the inequities and wrongs in the world. Living in New York at times my senses would become so overwhelmed by the contrast in human existence I saw around me that I would feel physically pained. I began to think I needed to do something, so while I was attending art school I volunteered at the Mental hospital and had the job of bringing the mobile library to patients. This was triggered by having to pass at least one and some times many homeless people whom we referred to as bums at the time, many of them having mental and alcoholic problems.

Most of the time I would surround myself with doing art or viewing art at the local museums and galleries, and I wrapped myself in this world of beauty like a protective blanket from the harsh outside world. It has been a long journey in trying to weave this sensitivity of beauty and ugliness into a meaningful existence, many times the balancing act between the two world has almost caused me to fall into the abyss. This blog will be about that journey so that others can contribute and make a difference in our world

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cloud paintings

My latest series of paintings have been of the clouds of the Keys. When I first moved to South Florida I was not particularly impressed with the landscape, it can be quite flat and boring. Several years ago I moved to Key West and was awestruck by the beauty of the atmosphere caused by being a tiny island surrounded by water, and the luscious and ever changing cloud scapes. I found that no matter how my day went, that if I set aside 15 minutes each evening to view the sunset I would be calmed and reminded how lucky I was to be able to witness such beauty.

As an artist I am very aware of my surroundings and the atrocities that continue to go on in the world, these clouds became my soothing balm at the end of each day. Painting the clouds are very challenging as they are constantly moving, they are made up of air, thus light is passing through them and changing all the time. Clouds have the ability to stir all kinds of emotions from reminding you of your childhood when you spotted bunnies hopping through the sky, to the angry red sunsets that follow on the heels of a hurricane. So instead of painting objects I am attempting to capture feelings and emotions. Take a look and follow my cloud series, hopefully they will make you smile or bring calm to your soul

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Why I paint

I paint because that is what I have always done from the time a crayon was placed in my tiny hands. I paint because I felt predestined to become an artist as if some higher power knew what they wanted me to do, before I could even conceive of such a concept. I paint because it soothes my soul, and because in the midst of what sometimes seems like a horrendous world, I am constantly awestruck by the incredible beauty that surrounds me. I paint because I cannot help myself, and like a junkie I am drawn to see the beauty and then to try and translate that on a two dimensional surface so that I can somehow preserve the moment. I paint because it is my lifeblood, it is my way of describing my calm moments in the virtual storm of intense feelings I experience. I paint because it keeps me sane, keeps me away from drugs and alcohol, keeps me from committing suicide, I paint to survive, it is my life jacket in a sea that wants to take me down. I paint because it lets me connect with people on a level in which no words are needed, and occasionally touches deep within a stranger and makes my existence worth something. I paint because I am overly concerned with the state of the world and it keeps me sane.