A while back, after lunching with a friend in Pacific Grove, I popped into the Pacific Grove Art Center to have a look around. As soon as I walked in, I was captivated by a particular painting. Upon approaching it, I discovered that what I was admiring was a watercolor painting... On canvas! When I got home I immediately fired up my laptop and began a mad Google search to see what I could learn about painting with watercolor on canvas. My search turned up Fredrix Archival Watercolor Canvas at DickBlick.com. This is a fairly new product that allows watercolor paint to be applied to canvas. I immediately ordered several to play with. To my chagrin, these canvases did not behave like paper (duh!) and all my years of painting experience were useless to me. But I was determined to overcome my ignorance and so I set out to teach myself. I began to conduct a series of experiments, from which my current work developed. Those early attempts were bristled with frustration. Yet I persisted and went on to create a series of paintings inspired by the art making process itself, which was laden with emotional vulnerability. Struggle gave was to surrender, and in doing so I was able to access the courage to allow the art to emerge uncensored. I will be exhibiting this new series of paintings on September 28th, in downtown Santa Cruz. For details click here. I hope to see you there!
Even though showing my art inflames my vulnerability, the art seems to insist on having an audience anyway. I can tell it's time to have an art show when I've collected a body of work and the thought of exhibiting it slightly terrifies me. Okay, okay. Who am I kidding? It totally, completely terrifies me. And that is where I find myself with these new abstract paintings I have been creating. I am working with my beloved media, watercolor, but on canvas and with the addition of pen and ink. Some of these pieces are quite large, measuring 24"x36". This is a new direction for my artwork. The vulnerability clearly indicates that it is time to set a date and put on my other hats of curator and gallerist, snap my fingers, and make a huge party happen. So mark you calendars for the evening of September 28th. The art is looking forward to seeing you!
Humans have been making art for tens of thousands of years. Literally. The oldest known cave paintings are about 30,000 years old! (If you are interested in seeing them, check out this spectacular 3D documentary called Cave of Forgotten Dreams.) Clearly, art defines our humanity in the same way that cooking, sport and language does. There is no culture or society that does not produce art. It is a universal human experience. Creating art triggers an endorphin release in the brain, which gives rise to a euphoric feeling and enhanced immune response. The result is similar to eating chocolate, having sex, or exercising. Not only does art making activate a pleasure response, it actually improves health by reducing stress and pain. You can benefit from making art regardless of your ability or skill level. So go ahead, pick up a brush, a pencil, or whatever media attracts you and make some art! It is you human birthright to experience the natural high artists have enjoyed for tens of thousands of years!
Mexico's influence on my work is quite evident in these peacock paintings. I lived in Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico from 1997 to 2001, and continue to make frequent visits exploring this vibrant, beautiful country. Mexico has found its way from my heart into my art. Viva Mexico!
Could you use a little extra mojo to attract and keep the hottie of your dreams? Get schooled by the ultimate king of courtship, master of seduction, and virtuoso of romance, the peacock! The peacock symbolizes beauty, love, and attraction. But don't mistake him for a player. The peacock is pure of heart, loyal and faithful to his partner. He goes to great lengths to woo his heart's desire. According to feng shui, displaying the image of a peacock in the relationship area of your home (especially in the bedroom) encourages a lasting and loving partnership. Instant mojo! How easy is that?
Soul of mine that blazes bright
Fire and passion and heart's delight
Hidden, protected meanwhile plight
Waiting til the time is right
Hoping to overcome the fright
Of this dark and stormy night
That gives way to courage and might
Artist soul so full of light
To her vision she holds tight
No longer fearing critic's bite
She spreads her wings, taking flight
Soaring to a brand new height
Enchanted by this rich birthright
Why do I paint owls? Many of you have posed this question to me, and it has caused me to pause and reflect. Why owls? The way that I arrive at a subject is not a cognitive decision, but rather an organic process that is guided by my soul. It is an inkling, a nudge that moves me in the direction of my subject. So at your prompting, I began to reflect on the symbolic meaning of owls and why they are popping up in my work. What are these owls trying to express? Owls are associated with spiritual and intellectual wisdom, foresight, protection, intuition and transition. These are qualities that I have long been cultivating within myself. It's no wonder, then, that owls have found their way into my paintings.
Hearts. So cheesy, so sticky sweet. I hated that I loved painting them, over and over. I encouraged myself to search for more serious or meaningful subjects, but I felt a nagging urge to paint hearts. One February, with the pretext of Valentine's Day, I let go and fully indulged my desire to paint hearts. It felt amazing! I realized I had no business judging or criticizing what my soul wanted to express. And curiously, I find that people actually like hearts. Why wouldn't they? They are cheerful and jubilant! As an artist, painting hearts is comfort food for my soul. Likely the first symbol I learned to draw as a child and doodled on countless notebooks throughout my school years, the familiar task of drawing them is both soothing and uplifting.