Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Looking back and looking forward

Looking back:
When I look back at 2014 I can see that it was the worst of times and the best of times. Jay and I spent the first nine months of the year practicing patience, tolerance and perseverance. But, we weathered it together. Our communication has increased tenfold since his January retirement and our relationship has grown into the marriage I always thought was possible. Yay!

I took a leap of faith into another art medium in 2014 and also a leap back by ending the year with a two-person show of my colored pencil work with my friend Kay Dewar. The leap forward was an April workshop with Qiang Huang to explore oil paint. I worked spring and summer on small still life oil paintings resulting in a body of work for a Fall show at State of the Arts Gallery. While working in oil, I took an occasional break to paint in pastel and I am grateful for the winter show of my pastels at Scott Milo Gallery.

Looking forward:
Our new home should be completed in Spring. We are giddy with anticipation. Each step forward is made easy by our builder, Chris Welch of cMac. I continue to be surprised that this is actually happening. We are grateful each and every day.

Some of the interior rooms of the house have been re-purposed. The sun room became Jay's office, then it was going to be my sewing room, now it will be my office freeing up space in my Studio to do some teaching. I'll start off slowly in 2015 by mentoring one artist during the first three months. Mentoring appeals to me partly because of the good experience I had a couple years ago mentoring artist Marie Lyndemere. Then, no teaching over the summer while we work on landscaping but in the Fall, I hope to mentor a few more artists and begin planning a few workshops.

I continue to struggle with balance in my life. I'm most interested in the house but I have found that I feel more "myself" when I paint a little each day and I'm looking forward to exploring acrylics.

I wish each of you a happy and healthy 2015. May all your dreams come true. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Old Treasure Map

The backstory of my Treasure Map: I worked as a hairdresser for four years to support myself through art school. Then I worked as a fashion illustrator until my former husband, Bill, and I had two children and bought a 1902 farmhouse and 13 acres on Vashon Island. We named it Island Farm and Gardens. I worked at K2 Skis, right around the corner from our farm, for sixteen years. I married Jay in 1987 and began to dream of going back to art. In 1989 I began work on my Treasure Map and left K2 in 1990.

I am talking about this now, after a visit from Jay's 31 year old niece. I was reminded what it was like to be young and in a situation that made me feel powerless. And, more recently, old and powerless. When I was young I tried to "push the river" (per Bill). Now that I am older, I have learned to have some patience and how to change MY attitude to take my power back. I am glad to be this age, it is so much easier...I now know that "this too shall pass."

Thanks also for the wisdom and support of our Artist's Critique Group. We began meeting bimonthly in 1995 and will celebrate our 20 year anniversary next year at my new studio.

My recent paintings
Our house progress