I'm rereading Robert Henri's "The Art Spirit" for the fifth time. I love this book. It reminds me to breathe, to feel, and to express the joy I feel. Henri says the brush leaves a trace of the state of mind of the artist at the moment of contact with the canvas. Aren't we constantly leaving traces of our thoughts and consciousness? Interestingly, the Reggio Emilia educators in Italy (who have shown the world the amazing artwork young children can create) talk about documenting the traces of children's thoughts and ideas to bring visibility to them and to honor their importance. The traces are available, then, to be seen and revisited and built upon. Isn't this creativity?
I had a lovely day today. So many wonderful people visited my studio, including many artists. My friend, and fabulous artist Ursula O'Farrell and her husband, Mike O'Farrell came by. What an inspiration Ursula is to me! I love her work and she is so supportive and encouraging of my work. She is a catalyst for going deeper, pushing further, and taking risks.
A lovely and enchanting artist I met the first weekend, Christianna Hunnicutt, came back and brought an entourage of students and colleagues with her. I had a delightful discussion with these women and was so honored that Christianna came back!
I am increasingly inspired and catalyzed by meeting so many wonderful people at these Open Studios! I think this will further fuel my painting and collage work.
Well, I'm preparing for Open Studios tomorrow and Sunday. I just finished a painting of a girl on a horse, in oil,yesterday. It's quite wet. Can I place it in a frame for the exhibition? I did another painting of a girl and a dog which started out very experimental. I was investigating using the brush more like the Russian painters do, holding the very tip, loading the brush with paint, and using a very fluid, rhythmic movement to mass in the big shapes (Jim Smythe told me about this). I liked the feeling of this, though it felt awkward, at first.
I had a studio visit today from a wonderful artist, Hilary Scardino. Hilary works in watermedia, pastel, and charcoal, as well as mixed media. I visited her studio last weekend and loved and was very moved by her work. Some of it is quite abstract. I seem to love everything she does. She really puts herself into the work and is very experimental. Some of her work is sculptural (nails on board with geometric designs). Our visit was inspiring to me. It's so great to meet a kindred soul.
I just finished the first weekend of Open Studios. I had a great weekend. On Saturday, there were intermittent showers and gigantic, dramatic cumulus clouds. The day started slowly, then crescendoed by late afternoon. Lots of people came by on Sunday. I met so many lovely people and saw old friends, too. A collector from Silicon Valley came over and purchased one of my favorite collages: "One Step After". Four or five people have their eyes on their favorite paintings. Many artists and psychotherapists visited, as well. Paul Figueroa (the executive director of the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz) came by to help me choose a work to donate to the museum's benefit auction "Stars" which is December 6, 2008. He was lovely and kind and brought with him three lovely people who are involved with the museum, as well. Right upon their heels, came a beautiful and wonderful artist, Suzanne McCourt, whom I had met in the spring and who gave me a solo exhibition at her Surf City Coffee house in May. All in all, I had a fantastic weekend.
I always wanted to be an artist. I love the materials of art: the firmness of a hog bristle brush, the creamy thickness of oil paint, the texture of bark paper, the smell of plaster. I love stepping into the mystery of creation; not knowing what is going to happen and being astonished by the image that emerges. I'm drawn to exploring the reaches of the
imagination and the orphaned off parts of the self. I like to see what bubbles up from the unconscious mind.