Loving Kindness

At those moments when I am struggling with a painting, I often comment to my artist husband that painting is hard. In the big scheme of life, however, painting is pure pleasure even when it is not working out.

At those moments when I am struggling with all the small (and a few big) challenges thrown at my family and me this year, I note to myself that you never know what’s going on in a person’s life and we all need to be kind. In the big scheme of life, however, I am happy to be alive and this too shall pass. And this. And this.

Even when we chuck that painting in the bin or personal struggles trip us up, the living is good and painting is still hard!

Evidence from the summer of 2018:

Dry Spell

The temperatures, smells, blooms and pollen of an early summer have arrived with sunshine stretching out into the week. This is the time of year when I am preparing for summer and fall art show submissions, which means not much art gets made. However this year is particularly slow in the “create” mode. It’s been and continues to be a full spring of life’s surprises. I wish I could say they were all welcome.

Something which is welcome is the upcoming Al Frescoes plein air painting show at the Coast Collective, which opens tomorrow (Opening night is Thursday, May 17). Both Andrew and I have 2 pieces in the show. Mine were both painted in Jasper last summer. I rarely get the chance to paint with the group due to my work schedule so I’m grateful they still let me show with them. Andrew helped put the show up yesterday and I’m looking forward to seeing it on Thursday night. I hope to see everyone there!

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Summer Small Works show opens Thursday, June 7. I have 3 of my favourite small character portraits in the show. This is always a great chance to pick up a lovely little piece at a reasonable price. I hope to see you there as well!

 

So, even though it feels like not much has been happening in the studio, the shows are ramping up. Submissions into the Sooke Fine Arts show have been done and I am preparing for what will be submitted into the Sidney Fine Arts show. This is another busy exhibiting summer and I intend to spend the majority of my month-long summer vacation either outside painting en plein air or inside enjoying the studio. Sigh. I can’t wait!

A Small Big Thought

As I was transitioning between work items today and scrolled through Instagram, I came upon this quote:

A childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows. ~ John Betjeman

And it struck me that this is what I aim for when I create my art. I want people to experience a piece of work viscerally rather than intellectually, first. I want people to feel something, recall an experience, remember a moment or mood or smell or taste or event; to make a connection between their own lives and what is represented in that work.

And then it occurred to me that with the death of my dear mother-in-law last month, came a lot of personal reflection on what life is all about. And what we leave behind when we depart. If we don’t have children to carry our genes on, what evidence if any will there be of me even existing on the planet? Is there nothing but memories in people who have known me? (as a wee bit Buddhist then that’s okay with me) After all, isn’t life about the right now rather than the past-tense? Of course there is the art but that is also temporary.

But I really do think I’m okay if what my life is about is making a connection with another and effecting their thoughts, emotions, feelings… if only for a moment. Evidence of life.

Sweet Girl
Sweet Girl, charcoal on Stonehenge paper, 12”x12”