Monthly Archives: March 2015

Why Make Art?



Why Make Art?

There is that moment when a painting catches your eye, and you pause and smile, your heart filled with joy. The painting has touched you and tapped into a sacred memory. It fills you in a way you cannot explain — and you don’t need to; the painting has done it for you. Bam! That is it right there; that is why I do what I do.

IMG_0147Our memories of time spent with the ones we love are often linked to place. Your grandmother’s summer cottage on the lake, the trip to wine country with your dearest friends, returning to Ethiopia to connect with your child’s birthplace. Yet, it is sometimes the places we have not yet been that touch us most, tapping into something deeper: an inner desire, goal and dream.

I want my art to be beautiful reminders of these sacred journeys, experiences and longings. This is pure joy, expression, and beauty, and this is what my path as an artist is all about. This meaning that is brought to life visually, that does not have words and does not need them.

Mexico: Filling the Creative Well



(Part 2 of my recap of a week in the Boca de Tamatlan artist retreat)

Learn, grow, learn, grow, and then learn and grow. May we never stop seeking. Never stop filling our creative well. When we are 80, may we still be taking classes and stretching ourselves.

Casa de Los Artisas is a magical place to do this. We went snorkeling. We dined on a secluded beach while watching the surf roll in (let me insert here we ate very, very well, always). We discovered a small mountain town that seemed ready-made to film a old Western, and as I recall, a movie was filmed in that enchanted little village. We explored a tequila producer that actually produced raicilla. There were even drumming and salsa lessons on the side. And lots and lots of painting. Creative and spiritual wells are definitely filled up at this place.

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Every day in life we output. We produce. As a full-time artist, I produce art everyday. We cannot keep producing without replenishing our creative wells, or we are running on empty. There are many ways to do this, but that is a subject for another blog post. Today, we will focus on the learning vacation.

Art and travel just go together, and I dare say they are two of the rare things in life you can buy that make you richer — spiritually, that is.

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After a week in Boca de Tomatlan at the Casa de Los Artistas, I am richer in spirit and my creative well is full to the brim.

Every teacher has something different to remind you of or introduce you to. Sterling Edwards, our maestro for this week, was masterful at this. He hit on all those basics that simply can not be ignored, like value studies, simplifying and contrast. Then, he brought in his own voice in art to show us things we may not have thought of, like what can be done with long, narrow brushes and negative shape painting. And a credit card. An old discarded one on paper. Plus, that abstract demonstration I mentioned in my last blog that has me playing in a new and unexpected direction. It has me making time to play. Art is about discovery, and discovery happens in play. I’m playing again, and it feels as good as it did as a child.

I’d love to know: Where do you make time for play? How you fill your creative well and when/where are you booking your next learning vacation?

Until next time, happy learning and growing!