What is art really about?
All art has value. It is the creative process that is so healing and satisfying to the artist and possibly to the viewer.
The greatest value to me is expressing my feelings, emotions, deep realizations and what wants to be expressed during the time of the creation of the artwork. When I create, I find myself in a very contemplative place. It is my intention to connect from my heart and let the artwork be what it wants to be.
“Being Born Once Again” above, is the first in a series I call “As Time Moves” using silk and mixed media. The intention is to express my life experience right now. (* read below how it was created).
A little over 25 years ago, we moved from Milpitas, CA. to Washington State. This art piece, “Setting Down New Roots”, relates to picking up and moving. It was created when I could not make a mess in the house as we got ready to sell. Working in the backyard was the next best option. When I can not create for a period of time, I go a little fritzy. I remember how great it felt to get my hands messy and let whatever emotions wanted to flood through my body and out my hands onto the surface.
It is a mixed media piece with cast paper hand made paper on canvas. The imagery was so fitting for that time. I love accidents in art. The glue I put the original piece on with dripped down looking like roots. It was nothing I planned to have happen. How perfect is that? Sometimes the artwork knows better than we do if we just follow our hearts and let it happen. There really are no accidents!
Now we are back in California after another 25 years and just moved into our 5th house celebrating 50 years of being married. “Born Once Again” symbolizes starting all over again. What I had been doing for around 18 years in the metal, I can no longer do. My press was too heavy to move down, so it has a new owner. The metal was very heavy to move and I only brought small pieces and cut strips to weave again. Not to mention, I always had band aides on my fingers and arms!
What does an artist do when they need to change their method of creating? How does an artist change their artwork after what they have been creating for the galleries is different? Can the people who have collected my metal work start collecting something different?
Life is different here. No more 2 ½ acres to mow! No more driving our garbage can ¾’s of a mile down a gravel road. No more walking on the road not knowing when a bear or other critters will be in the woods waiting to surprise me. We now live in a 55+ community with solar panels, air conditioning, no lawn, a drip watering system in the yard and more. It is a blessing to be closer to our children and grandchildren especially as we become older and have physical challenges. We love our new neighborhood and friends. My studio space is ½ of the two car garage. In Poulsbo, WA I had over 800 square feet. Yes, I was spoiled!
We love our new home and community even though it is a little bit of a challenge to make room to create art. I will be honest with you now. It has been a big adjustment to both my husband and myself. The experience of picking up and moving was stressful. Waiting for our house to be built and living in a rented home created some frustration for me. I found myself a bit depressed. “I go bonkers if I can not do my artwork!” It has been almost 6 months since we left Washington and I am just now getting to the place of trying to find who I am as an artist again. Working in the metal was creative and fun. It was an adventure of creating something different in the world, and financially satisfying. I am starting all over again to build my new career in art. I don’t care how old a person is. If one's heart is calling to be creative, that energy needs to be followed. Today, I feel excited and full of anticipation to what will develop.
I receive images all the time in dreams and meditation. The challenge is to follow those images. Most often the artwork looks very different than the images that intuitively come forth.
My days are filled with playing and experimenting with silk fibers as I listen to my intuition and let it flow. It is a process of accepting the mistakes and learning from what happens. The casting of the silk fibers has not always been successful, but I will figure it out.
For years I have searched for a luminous quality in my artwork. The journey has been one of oil, pastels, watercolors, acrylics and mixed media. The sculptures using copper gave me that luminous look. I loved painting on the copper and other metals. Now it is time to continue the search in other mediums. Working in silk fabrics and silk fibers seems to be the direction my heart is leading me.
“Being Born Once Again” was created with about 5-6 layers of silk fibers. Each layer needs to dry before I lay another down. This can sometimes take days for each layer to dry. I began with weaving sections of red, black and ochre colors with the off white silk. The baby in the tree is paper sculpture. Many years ago I created a mold of this image making around 10 paper baby sculptures. One is in the collection of Roger Brown in Colorado where my husband created a frame that looked like a cradle. Some of the molds went into experimental artwork that did not turn out. Another went into “Setting Down New Roots” as seen above. Now this casting is in “Born Once Again”.
I am so delighted with the results of this new work. The silk is the luminous surface that pleases me. Combining sculpture with the silk gives me the satisfaction I crave of using many different modalities to create a piece of artwork. The paint I use is rusted water, whereas the colored silks are dyed naturally.
For me, this work that is not what some would call “Perfect” but it is perfect to me. My saying is : “There is perfection in imperfection”. It is interesting to me during the process how the artwork has a mind of its own. When I try to take too much control over the art, it just does not work. Then when I follow my intuition and let the “mistakes” be perfect, somehow it seems to work. I love the raw deckle edge with its’ ragged imperfect form. The woven surface with the fiber edge represents how life is an ongoing process. The weaving of life is never done.
Weaving images have always shown up in much of my artwork over 40+ years. It is an expression of how people and events weave in and out of our life experience alone and with others. I love the psychological stream of thoughts as I watch my life and the world around me evolve. As an energy healer, I also weave loving Reiki energies into the artwork. It just adds another dimension to the creation. My hopes are to continue creating art to help shift the world into a more peaceful place.
Today I have 3 more pieces in process in this series “As Time Moves”.
Stay tuned for more to come forth as I work in my garage studio here in Rio Vista, California.
675 Sandpiper Place
Rio Vista, Calif. 94571