Monthly Archives: March 2017

Philosophy in the Dark, and Other Tales from the Studio

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This past week I was in the dark, literally. I was one of thousands of Michiganders without power due to Wednesday’s wild windstorm. I felt a bit like Dorothy in Kansas.

What resulted was a break down of “Flow.” “Flow,” you ask? Yes. It’s that place when you’re in the groove, allowed to practice art in long uninterrupted hours and the art becomes a conversation you’re very present in.

I cannot tell you I have reached that place where time stands still, and there is nothing but art. I dream about that. I’m always a bit jealous when I meet someone for whom that happens. (Or perhaps better said: I’m happy for them, and remind myself it’s on my list of goals.) But I do hit a groove. And it happens most often when I have long stretches of uninterrupted time to paint. When my schedule is cleared of other “must dos”that are involved with running a business. And I was just hitting that stride with my Goddess series … when the lights went out, literally and figuratively.

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I kept painting until I grew too cold to keep going. And then the electricity stayed out for three days, so the Flow was interrupted.

I’ve been longing to get back in the studio with mounting excitement. I am so eager to get back to it this week. And I’m hoping for Flow. But I want to do more than hope. I want to prepare to get back into the groove.

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I have a theory. I’ve always thought you could control Flow a lot with your mindset. I think you can set yourself up to be so present with your work, casting away any feelings about the results. Because the minute you begin to doubt the outcome, you affect it. The key is to dismiss your inner critic, in the way that a small child beams with pride upon sharing any art project with you. They were so into process that they didn’t think of the outcome, let alone to they judge it.

And all that from a little power outage.

How about you? Are there times you reach Flow? And what helps get you there? I truly appreciate the interaction, and hope to see you on Facebook and Instagram, where you will find me most days!

Women and the Arts

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All you can do is keep on keeping on — and make art!

Neither an optimist nor a pessimist, on many matters I’m a realist, with a tendency towards hope.

Researching the women in history who have gone before me is eye-opening … but I’m also finding that it has a strange effect on me. Learning that to this very day I still make 22% less than my male counterparts, that art created by women makes up only 30% of the art represented in galleries and about 5% of the art in museums — these things make me sad, yes, but also determined. I’m finding myself looking for and focusing more on the light, the hope.

I find myself more determined to continue to make art, to teach art, to talk about art. To encourage other women, and be a champion for the cause of equality across the board. To encourage young girls, to make them see that despite the fact that they do not often see their own gender reflected back at them as they look at history, they still can. Whatever it is: Yes, you can. Across the board: Yes, you can.

I find myself moving forth in life with more energy and excitement. Because when future generations look back on this time in history, I want them to see the women running with the progress we have made. I want them to see that the women of my generation not only rose, but shined. We stood up; we stand up. I see women in my field and across the board doing this, and I celebrate them. I salute them. The grief I felt for the women of art history as I dive into their stories is turning into something else. Fuel maybe, but hope for sure!

Let’s continue the conversation on Facebook and on Instagram!