Clarity Through Clearity

Empty roomClean living means a lot more than just the way we eat. And, the occasional clean slate may be a very necessary thing.

Last month a gallery that took a LOT of my work for a solo show. They took so many pieces it cleared out both my home studio and my downtown studio, and left the walls bare. I was grateful for the opportunity, and very grateful I make it a habit to work in a series. Because of this habit, there was a  great deal of cohesive work that could be offered to the gallery and I was pleased with the way it was curated.

On a slightly different note, in April I took an Intensive Art Study Seminar  in Taos, New Mexico for 9 days. The instructors worked with us to “find and refine our unique artistic voice.” This endeavor requires some soul searching, serious thought and an ample dose of courage. It was a priceless gift to be given this “permission” by the teachers, who were very successful in their own artistic endeavors. Between the workshop and the bare walls, something interesting happened.

This “clearing” the rooms made room for new ideas, new work and a fresh perspective. As I began to work in the absence of “pre-Taos” pieces staring me down, I found a freeness, a daring, a joy in pushing the boundaries that had previously existed. Due to the empty space, the dynamic of my work changed. I found new energy and the daring to try some new things.  Continue reading “Clarity Through Clearity”

Empty Nest

Parents and Empty NestSometimes I write about art. Sometimes I write about life. Today, I write about my own life.

My parents have come to visit.

Nearly 2 years ago, after living within a 20-mile radius of me my entire, adult life, my parents flew the coop and moved south for the summer…and the winter… and the summer… and the winter. I wrote about their exodus in  “Call of the Wild Hair.”

This fine spring they’ve returned, and for 6 days our family has been enjoying their company. Catching up on stories new and old, laughing and witnessing them bicker over who gets to try to climb out of the back seat of my little sports car. “Do you want to take the SUV?” I offer. “No!” they chirp, “I want to try to get out of it (the sports car) again!” They are finding their agile wings…getting ready to fly south again. Continue reading “Empty Nest”

Much Ado About Much To Do

A lot to doI was exhausted last week and I’m still exhausted. It sounds so trite and whiney and passé….but, its true. Hmmmmmffffff!

I like to believe I’ve learned a few things in my life, one of them being the benefit of balanced living, but when opportunity knocks – you should probably answer the door. And, when you say you’re going to do something, you’d better darned tootin’ do it – especially if you’ve made that commitment to someone else. Between the two, a person ends up…well…busy.

Lucky for me, opportunity’s been beating down my door lately…and for that, I am extremely grateful. Also, lucky for me, some people value whatever “that thing” is I have to offer, so they request assistance from time to time. The challenge becomes how to take advantage of cool things that come my way, while still trying to maintain some semblance of balance. I have to say THIS to balance:

“When you depart from me sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave.”                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                             ~William Shakespeare

Oh, and gratitude…let’s not forget that. Gratitude may (and should) be the MAIN focus of it all.

I’m over-committed; I should be committed. (click to Tweet) Continue reading “Much Ado About Much To Do”

10 Take-Aways From Art Intensive Study Seminar

Door on Ledoux Street
Door on Ledoux Street

I’ve been traveling most of the month of April. It began with a delightful vacation in Mexico and ended with a lifetime experience at ISS Taos. How do you spell eggsosted? (It’s Friday, so it’s okay to click to Tweet). I’ve really left it all on the field, so pardon my lack of typical “flair.”

ISS Taos is an Intensive Study Seminar for artists held in New Mexico. 20 years ago, four teachers created a comprehensive program to help artists find and refine their unique artistic voices. I met artists from all over the world and we spent a total of 9 days together studying art, attending lectures, painting, receiving daily critiques, benefiting from expert guidance and learning “where to go from here.” It was a unique and magical experience. I learned a lot about myself, art, MY art and the other people in the room. Art workshops always offer their own, special gifts. Last week, when I was Deep in the Steep, I promised to share, so here are 10 take-aways from ISS:

1. There’s a huge benefit for showing the utmost respect to every artist you meet as a professional. Treating one another without reserve or judgment creates a priceless learning environment, a safe environment to learn and builds camaraderie. Continue reading “10 Take-Aways From Art Intensive Study Seminar”