Monday, November 17, 2014

Focus



My studio seems so far away… this is a view from my kitchen window. The long vacation I have taken since my show was delivered leaves a certain lethargy. Again my space is full of stuff having moved more treasures in from a previous residence. Some will be stored, some will be given away, some will be trashed. There is another load coming in sometime in the future. It should be the last of our scattered possessions. Do I really wish to deal with it? Do I really wish to unpack, find the varnish to finish off the paintings to be hung in December? My focus has been on a different kind of creation lately: relationship building. In between the various family activities, which were an absolute blast by the way, I created shelves for the pantry and tucked away loose ends. The bookkeeping is up to date for example. All the appointments I postponed are this week instead of last. More disruption and a perfect excuse for not refocusing. The thing is I have already proved I can work amidst chaos. The excuse does not wash. It comes down to a decision. My tendency is to wait for a block of time. In recent experience that block of time has diminished to one or two hours instead of days. I can get a lot of work done in two hours. I may even find the varnish! Life is good.   

Monday, November 10, 2014

Vernissage



It is totally thrilling when a good number of invited guests actually show up for the opening of a show. The interaction is so much more exciting and fun. There were a lot of people I had not seen in a very long time as well as those who had never been before. Meeting and greeting is one of the skills I enjoy most. It was a pleasure to discuss the process and the ambition of my work. Out of the discussions blossomed a new idea for the resolution of a perennial problem within the completion of my watercolours. I had not found a way to include a few verses from the bible within the image as I do with mixed media. I now have an idea and a new problem. Problems are not always bad things. They are challenges to my imagination. I love challenges. My imagination is ready for another leap in faith and stretching. So good. This all fits in very well with the ambition of my work: to bring light and goodness into a sometimes dark world. Life is so good.   

Monday, November 3, 2014

Preparations



One of the details when preparing for a show is documentation. Professional artists need a way to keep track of what they have done. This means some visual reference, a coding system and somewhere to store the information. Once I have completed a painting I take a photo of it. This does not have to be terribly fancy. As you can see I pin my watercolours to a board which I have prepared with cork backing covered in a neutral gray cloth. The neutral gray helps the camera focus on the painting without distracting tonal values. The lighting comes from full-spectrum bulbs I installed in my studio for general use. I position the tripod in front of the painting so the image fills the lens and I proceed to take a series of shots. My camera, although small, has an automatic as well as a manual capacity. I take four photos at four different settings in both capacities so I end up with eight pictures from which to choose for communications and display. Digital photography is wonderful. So adjustable. Having taken the visual references I transfer them to my computer for cropping and colour tweeking. Occasionally nothing has to be changed… Not often. Where do I store all this? On my computer, in my external hard drive, on my website. I like having eggs in several baskets! Life is good.   

Monday, October 27, 2014

Priorities




Last week my wonderful husband asked me if I wanted to make a quick trip to Grande Prairie over the weekend. I thought about all I need to do before my opening and I said a quick “No”. Then I asked him why and he told me a Celebration of Life was going to be held on Monday with prayers on Sunday night. We left right after church, arriving in Grande Prairie at about five in the afternoon. It gave us time to visit with his sister and her husband before we went to church. There are priorities and then there are priorities. Life is not always within our control. Is it ever? I used to create the illusion I was in control. More and more I relinquish this illusion and surrender to the movement of the Spirit. Relationships take priority in our lives. Learning how to build better relationships is an ongoing process. It means we change our plans to accommodate those near and dear to us. We make an effort to reach out to those who are linked in other ways than family as well. It all makes for a better world. And on the way home I was treated to a delightful display of light that made me want to stop for a couple of hours in several places to capture my inspiration. Our priority was to reach home before dark so we did not stop. I will indulge my creative spirit at another time. Will I meet my deadlines? Of course. All is well and all will be well. Live is good.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Distractions



In my very busy studio I have finally put my tools away. I am beginning to unpack filling the newly made shelves, deciding what to keep and what to throw away, or recycle. It is a distraction. I like order. I like control. I like being able to find what I need when I need it. I am neglecting my priorities. So today I took some time at the computer to make up the invitations for my forthcoming show. I was in a hurry as I wished to print some and deliver a few with the donation of a drawing for a fundraiser this Saturday. When I returned to my computer this afternoon a very diligent soul had informed me I had the address wrong for the venue. Sigh. I drew a breath, cursed and corrected the error. I also resent all the emails and added a few more. I am still not finished. I will hand correct all those I printed before I mail them out. It seems to be a recurring problem. It has been a while since I have formulated the perfect invitation. Perfectionism is a source of dis-ease for me. I have always aspired to be “perfect” as my heavenly father is “perfect”. Tonight I read this kind of perfectionism has more to with compassion than it has to do with flawlessness, a difference between the Hebrew and Greek mentalities. So with that in mind I stood in front of the mirror and compassionately forgave me my limitations. Life is still good.

Two upcoming events:
Star of the North Fundraiser Saturday, 25th October in the Santa Maria Goretti Community Centre 11050 90 St Edmonton at 5:30pm. Tickets are available at reception@starofthenorth.ca

“Invitation: to Life” CAVA 9103 95 Ave Edmonton Friday, 7th November at 7pm. The show runs to the 18th November. www.savacava.com