Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bringing Vacation to my Art


I've been in the studio this week.  I started out just playing around, getting to know my paints and surfaces again, pondering how to create a distressed and well-worn aesthetic to my work.



When we were on vacation a few weeks ago, I was so inspired in New Orleans and Mexico and Roatan.  I've loved the colors in architecture of New Orleans.  The muted palette resonates with my love for vintage.  And the color combinations make my heart swoon.  When you get up close to many of the buildings in the French Quarter, you can really see the layers and layers of paint on them.  I love it so much.  It just feels like there is a lot of history, right there on the walls, shutters, and iron balustrades.



When we reached Cozumel, I found the same soft earth tones, sunny yellows, weathered terra cottas. And lots of layers.  Yum.  As we walked through the old central district sipping icy cold Sol cervezas from the bottle, I was itchy to recreate this palette in my art journal.



Roatan held the same inspiration for me, while also adding some brighter colors to complement the muted palette.  I took so many photos of buildings, streets, shutters, stairways, fences, doors.  I felt so full and so inspired while we were there.  I wanted to do whatever I could to capture that feeling and keep it with me for our return home.



Back in the studio, I began to add layers of paint in colors subdued from my usual palette.  I've tended towards bright colors in the past, which I love, but the muted shades from our time in the New Orleans and Central America were really calling to me.  So I ratcheted down the saturation of color.  I laid down a layer of paint, rubbed some off, laid down another layer, and kept going until I had layers, colors and textures that made me think "old" and "well-worn".



These are a few works in progress.


It's all a work in progress, as is life.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Re-entry


I've been flitting around the house, the garden, the studio, everywhere lately.  Going 100 mph and getting nowhere.  That's the feeling anyway.  There have been fleeting moments of inspiration and bursts of creativity, action on the to do list, but nothing seems to really get done.

We went on vacation the last week of March.  You know how it is, those days leading up to vacation and all that goes along with them.  Packing, planning, dog to kennel, airport transportation, arrangements, where's my passport? Upon return home on April Fool's Day, I felt recharged, re-energized and ready to rock it.  And I did.  In fits and starts.

At the same time...I feel like I might be in the midst of a significant shift.  That this might just be the reason I can't settle in, move from activity to completion, get something done.

I have an inkling, a vision, albeit not completely clear, a titch fuzzy.  And so I've quieted down in hopes of hearing what is calling me.  It's tricky, because I feel restless, that I should be doing something.  But my heart is telling me to slow down, to sit still, to listen.  As I quiet my mind, as I dream in the pages of my journal, the vision becomes clearer, the inkling more of a call to action.   I'm releasing some stuff, literally and figuratively, making room for something else to come into my world.  Something that fits me better.  Something that will help me grow, as a person, as an artist, as a friend, as an inhabitant of this big blue ball we share.

As I write this, I can't help but wonder, do you really want to read about this, my idiosyncrasies, my loose footing, the flotsam and jetsam of my days, the crazy stuff that rolls around in my pea brain?  Well.  Maybe you do, maybe you don't.  Either way it's okay.  It feels important to get it down.  To let you know where I've been.  I hope you'll stick with me, meet me back in this space from time to time, check in to see where I'm headed.

Ode to Hope
by Pat Mora

Daily hope rises,
  a radiance streaming
into our white, sleepy
  bones.

From a fiery sphere
  light, like love, journeys,
offers the grace we can hear.

Hope rose long ago
  for your great-grandmother
washing her morning dishes.

With her favorite towel,
  cotton, blue and faded,
she dries the cups and saucers.

She plans a special sugary bit
  to feed her family gathering,
like yours.

By a sunny window, eyes closed,
  she sits and places her hand
on your warm head.

She prays for you,
  a face she never knew
but vaguely imagines -
  all promise.

She counts her blessings,
  the expanding ring,
and smiles at the thought of you,
  here, glowing.