In late November, I attended a two day workshop on abstract figurative oil painting given by Ursula O'Farrell. Ursula taught us (a group of twelve artists) about working with a premixed palette, which greatly facilitated one's ability to paint quickly from 5 and 15 minute poses! The workshop was so intense, I was literally dripping in sweat by the end of the day (like the guy in "Broadcast News"!). We were definitely in a state of flow, looking up and wondering where the hours went at the end of the day. There was such good energy and creative leaps that several of us want to continue painting together!
I just got the pictures from the Pasadena Pops in July with my sister, Kim Hillis, my daughter, Kimberly, and my dear friend, Christopher Coffin. Christopher is owner of Christopher Coffin Design (http: //www.christophercoffindesign.com) . He is also an art consultant and was the first person to recognize my painting: "Thinking Woman", which is now in a collection in Pasadena. I believe this recognition by Christopher was the catalyst for my decision to exhibit my work. We had a lovely night at "In the Heat of the Night" by the POPS. I especially enjoyed the powerful voice of Nmon Ford (opera trained), piano performance by Daniel Lessner, and the poet raconteurs/balladeers Steve Connell and Sekou Andrews (the Misfit). At the end of the evening, Kimberly and I gave Christopher and Kim each a mermaid/merman art doll I designed and signed.
These are pictures from"Stars" at the MAH. I rode up from Aptos with the amazing painter and my dear friend, Ursula O'Farrell and her husband, Mike. We talked to Peter Orr (President of the Board, MAH) and Paul Figueroa (Director of MAH), who both produced a lovely event.
I ran into a collector of my work , Anne Hayden, and met her husband, Frank. I heard the great story of how they met while skiing, and that they share the same last name from birth!
There were hundreds of people there. Lots of food, wine, music, and great art. Ursula's painting was in the live auction and generated much excitement. It was a lovely night.
A sweet moment: unbidden, a lovely woman walked up and said: "I saw you from behind, and I love your gown" (the gown is compliments of Jen Berry). Thanks, Jen!
I almost didn't go. I knew I had only an hour and a half to paint. It's an hour drive. I told myself: just go , even if only to say "hi" to Brigitte and Marian and Kathyrn. Just go; commune with nature. I went. I was alone for most of the hour and a half. It was heaven. It was total peacefulness. All my friends showed up around 11am, as I was readying to leave.
What did I learn? I'd rather show up and risk disappointment or even "failure" than regret not going for it. In death/dying circles, the message is clear: we tend to regret more the things left unsaid, undone, and that never happened much more than the things done that were "mistakes".
The great improvisational jazz musician Miles Davis said: "there are no mistakes".
I just had an interview in my office with Angela Castellano, a Stanford student, for her project on art and medicine. She said it's like NPR's "Story Core". Angela is interested in the intersection of medicine and the arts. She heard my story in Larry Zaroff's "Women in Medicine" class at Stanford in October. Larry asks me, as well as Amy Kendrick, MD (AIDS specialist) and Wei Zhou, MD (Assoc. Professor, Vascular Surgery at Stanford) to be on a yearly panel to discuss our lives/experiences in medical school, residency, and in life as doctors.
I'll post the recording or transcript when she gets it to me. She has the raw material now and is working on polishing/editing for the final program.
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.