Thursday, March 21, 2013

Je Dessine: Letting Go of Perceptions

"Merman" acrylic
Over the Christmas holidays, while my husband was recovering from his hip replacement surgery, I had the thought to try to paint a picture of him at the beach. He is a religious body boarder and you'll see him in his wetsuit in the Northern California waves throughout the year no matter the weather or temperature. The prospect of him going without this ritual for over three months was depressing for him and I understood this need and his deep desire for that source of exercise, meditation, and natural immersion. So in late January, working from a photograph, I started a painting of him standing on the beach with the waves behind him. But I felt stuck trying to duplicate what I saw in front of my eyes. What I perceived in the photograph and translated to the canvas just didn't look or feel right. I mulled over it with with my teacher Sabrina then left. When I came back the next week I started on it again, but still not happy about what I saw. Sabrina then suggested that I start another canvas and try not to think about what I doing as I painted. We put on my favorite composer Eric Satie's music, and I talked to her non-stop about the time I had spent in New Orleans while I chose colors, outlined a shape, laid down paint. This painting is what I did in that two hour session. Although not consciously intentional -- for me it perfectly represents the essence of the man I am married to -- rising up out of the water with seaweed falling off of him and surrounded by the colors that he so loves. I did add the gills though:) I gave it to him on Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

All Her Pretty Horses (Altered Book): "You Have to Open the Door to Let the Horse Out of the Barn"

It's been a long time since I felt the desire to write in this blog. Looking at my last post I see my last entry was dated October 26th, 2012. My personal, creative, and business side has been busy and full so I've been utilizing my Facebook Fan Page -- Kentucky Girl Designs  -- just to keep interested friends updated with my creative output. But for longer posts? I just haven't had the energy. 

I started this blog four years ago to see if I could determine whether or not I really was an artist -- or at the very least a creative person. I had an agonizing need to claim this for myself, but the fears, self-judgement, and self-criticism was so great that I couldn't find my way down the path. I couldn't get out of the barn. I would start something then drop it. I would look externally for validation and if I didn't get it I'd quit. Heck, I would quit anyway. I really didn't need a reason. But somehow I got the gumption to do something about this split. I saw all over the internet art challenges. And I got to thinking, why don't I challenge myself? Let's see if I have what it takes to create something -- anything on a consistent basis. Let's see if I can keep myself pinned down when I get bored, anxious, nauseated, distracted. Let's see if I can create ugly and beautiful. Let's see.

So I started my blog in Jan 25, 2009 to record the exploration of my creative process. And to throw the gauntlet down for myself, I started a personal art challenge of creating one journal page a day. Collage would be my medium. Then I'd scan my pages and post them here. And my goal was to stick with it for one whole year, 365 days. I figured at the end of it I'd know whether I had what it takes to be an artist, a crafts person, a creative.

The good news is that four years later I can say "Yes!" to all of the above. And even though I've stopped doing my everyday pages (I stopped at page 1061) -- or haven't come here to talk about my creative process or struggles -- I am now creating every single day. Yes, my mane still blows in the wind, and I'm loving the freedom I found to express this essential part of myself.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Je Dessine: Goodbye to Russel Means

Goodbye to Russel Means
I started up my drawing/painting lessons again with Sabrina two weeks ago. It was wonderful to just play around with paint and shapes. My challenge is always to get out of my head, my analytical mind and just make marks. Fine tuning can come later -- if I want it to. I drew from Sabrina's photo of a Native American dancer in Santa Fe. Little did I know that the following week the Oglala/Lakota Sioux Russel Means would die. Much to my shame, I never knew about this great American Indian activist until I watched The Last of the Mohicans in 1992. His portrayal of Chingachgook was compelling and riveting.

I wanted to know more about this actor so I purchased his in-your-face autobiography Where White Men Fear to Tread. This is one of those books that opens your eyes. Russel Means was a controversial activist during the 70's. He led the American Indian Movement, was thrown into jail numerous of times and was an all around pain in the ass to officials. He also admits that he made a lot of mistakes in his life. But his heart was in the right place and he brought the plight of modern day American Indians to the public eye in a way that few people have. Hi blatant honesty and his over-the-top actions and good works left a mark on my consciousness. I guess this painting was my prescient goodbye to Indian Activist/Actor Russel Means departure. You can read Huffington Post's obit here . Another one by the San Diego Free Press (along with fellow South Dakotan George McGovern's) here. Be sure to watch the video interview of Means.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Daily Journal Page Challenge -- Day 1046

Daily Journal Page Challenge...Day 1046: When You Realize Depression Has Left You

Daily Journal Page Challenge -- Day 1045

Daily Journal Page Challenge...Day 1045: She Sells Seashells

Daily Journal Page Challenge -- Day 1044

Daily Journal Page Challenge..Day 1044: Punta Mita Beach Bird
Lying on the canopied beach beds at Punta Mita -- these little mynah-type blackbirds would be flitting around looking for food and reveling in the beach air. This photo is a silhouette of one caught by my camera through the muslin.

Daily Journal Page Challenge -- Day1043

Daily Journal Page Challenge...Day1043: Breaking Away 
Separating yourself from a person, place, or situation is never easy. Part of you is always looking back over your shoulder -- until the place you desire to be begins to feel like home, begins to feel a part of you. Then you wonder how did I ever live in that other world? Why couldn't I see? How could I have been so mislead? How could I have been so dense? Then the next step is to be compassionate with that self that lived there -- in that past, in that situation -- to not judge it, to not judge yourself. I think perhaps that's the evolution of consciousness -- that's Truth revealed.