The sun is finally out this morning. Right now it is shining down on the creek out my window, turning the white rushing water into a warm yellow color. The frost is melting off the branches. Sunshine in the Pacific North West is rare this time of year. Overcast skies and rain pattering on the roof is the norm. I love January, not only because it is my birth month, but because it is the first month of the year and I am usually bursting at the seams with inspiration. It happens like clock work for me. I spring out of bed every morning and can’t wait to get to the easel.
As I have mentioned previously, I have many projects going at once right now. I am trying to wrap up a commission and get the ball rolling with the Davenport painting, as well as getting ready to teach a class and a workshop.
I like moving forward; However, sometimes I can work day in and day out on a painting, yet somehow I don’t seem to get anywhere. It is easy to make the mistake of thinking that all it takes to make a great painting is showing up and picking up the brush. I believe there is an amazing amount of other factors that are necessary building blocks to bringing a piece to completion; whatever completion means to you.
Happy New Year! I am happy to be here, creating these posts for you. If you have followed along each week so far, thank you for that! If you have popped in briefly only catching one or two, thank you for that as well. What I like about writing these weekly posts, is that it keeps me thinking and learning, while also keeping in touch with you on a regular basis.
The first painting that I am to kick off the new year with, is a piece about a little local history. One of the things I love about Silverton, is the town’s love and respect for it’s History, which they proudly show in their many murals displayed around town. There have been many influential people who have made their positive mark on the world such as an astronaut, a world champion bull rider, a famous actress, and a world famous political cartoonist named Homer Davenport, who I will focus on today.
I have the ideal studio in my imagination. There would be large, tall, north facing windows, high ceilings, and hardwood floors, lots of space, good storage, and a wood stove or fire place. Though I have yet to have all these conditions at once, I have been blessed with a place to work from as far back as I can remember. I have learned to make the best out of whatever space I have, and that the most important thing is to arrange a space that feels inspiring and is always ready for me to get to work.
Experiences make up who we are and ultimately for me, influences the artwork that I make. I had many great experiences this year, and I thought I would break it down for you all, showing some highlights of each month with some behind the scenes pictures of the paintings I’ve created, as well as some of the adventures and experiences that inspired me.
We all have things we want make happen. It can be overwhelming and discouraging to try to manage all of life’s responsibilities while still making time to do the things we love. It is common to look at a really successful artists and think they must have been sprinkled with pixie dust at birth. You might think you could never be that good so why even try? However, the truth is that every great artist once had to learn how to draw, and to persevere. Once momentum is built, creating can seem effortless. However, we all fall off track from time to time and it can be difficult to get back on. I have learned some tricks over the years to overcome this, and I would like to share them with you here.
I had the opportunity to travel to Italy recently through the generosity of the Artist’s Network. Since the weather is turning, I decided to finally write about this trip, in order to revel in the memory of those warm summer days in the dream land that is Tuscany.
I have been thinking a lot this morning about what it would be like to loose everything. My heart aches for the people who lost their homes due to fire recently. It is easy to take for granted the fact that I have a roof over my head and clothes on my back. Everything could so easily vanish in the blink of an eye. I cringe to think about all of the family heirlooms, the precious mementos and family photographs that were lost in the California wildfires.
It makes me look around at the things that matter the most to me, and the things I could live with out. It is amazing to think about how many things I have acquired in just 8 years. In 2010, I packed my youth up in boxes, stored it in my parent’s garage and left to travel cross country with nothing but camping gear and a few paint supplies. I had no intention of moving cross country, only to travel for the summer and come back to all of my things in a few months. I ended up settling in a furnished apartment in down town Seattle with a clean slate. Sure, my mother mailed a few of my things, but mostly all of my worldly possessions fit in a few bags and could be neatly tucked into the trunk of a tiny Mazda.