Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Artist's Block

Artist: A practitioner of fine arts, especially a painter, sculptor, or muscian. (Webster' II New Riverside Desk Dictionary) Block: the sudden stopping of a thought process with no immediate seeable cause.(ibid)

Need I say more? Actually, I tried to say much more, days ago but was suddenly assailed with Writer's Block as well. Which is tough for a non-writer. I can not explain the perversity within the human make-up which causes the brain to go numb in the middle of the creative process: however there are those who claim that this phenomenom is indeed a PART of the creative process. I don't buy it. Did not the magnificent Creator himself simply speak the words "Let there be light!" And, lo, there was light. Light as it was intended to be -- pure and perfect -- none of this drawing in and erasing, painting and wiping out, and in the case of one artist I know -- washing the canvas in hot water and scraping off all the paint. No, He just "said..." and there it was. So, maybe I was trying too hard, maybe I should start over, begin anew...Maybe I should become a rock musician instead. That's it! I was never meant to be an artist.

But then suddenly, out of the grayness, out of the sludge, out of the chaos, came a white horse with the answer to all my prayers. (Why is it my answers always seem to come on white horses?) Just this morning, I felt the magnetic pull of a canvas that has been sitting in the studio, patiently waiting for me to pull it together. (No, this isn't the one I scraped off!!) For weeks it has waited, while I puttered and splattered on other things, things much more serious, more important, more perfect. I was actually afraid to finish it because I thought I might ruin it! How is that for a neurotic artist? Today I picked up a paintbrush, dipped it into the paint, and played a little bit. I was transported to another world. No suffering, no frustration, just joy (and a little dancing! You are lucky you weren't there!) For joy, for joy! It may be coming back. I may be a painter again someday!! And I have finally remembered that, though art is hard work, there must be that element of play, the light touch, the joy.

I have titled this tentatively, Arabian Knight.
It is a 16 x 20 and will be for sale on Ebay sometime next week, if it ever dries. Thank you for your patience.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lipizzaners and others

Usually in this blog I post photos of the paintings I have been working on, but that ugly little bug that has been flying around, has landed on me, so I haven't done much quality painting during the last week and a half. I did spend some time on a new oil painting of a White Arabian in radiant lighting. It is almost finished, but I won't show you this one as a work in progress; it might diminish its impact if you see it before every last hair is in place.

However, I do have something to show you. My husband and I went to see a performance by the Lipizzaner Stallions on Sunday afternoon. Seeing these beautiful creatures dancing to classical music was overwhelming. Like a little bit of heaven. I took along a sketchbook knowing that it was unlikely I would get the chance to sketch, but my dear husband took lots of pictures for me.

Here is just one of them:


This is not just about animals performing funny and cute little tricks to entertain humans. It is a joint effort between horse and rider, called "dressage," which refers to perfecting the natural gait with long, patient training and mutual appreciation. The result is a beautiful, touching ballet in which the horse and rider work as one. You will be seeing paintings inspired by this wonderful experience during the next few months.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Live Passionately



Some moments in life are commas, some are periods, and others are question marks. But now and then we are blessed with exclamation points, high drama, when excitement swells and emotions boil or bubble over. When a sunset is not just a sunset but a SUNSET, when a horse is a HORSE! and life is full, vigorous, alive. Whether in joy or in sorrow, you know you are alive, right now, in the moment. The key to real life is finding and living those moments when they come. The key to exceptional living is creating those moments when they can't be found. Live in the moment, whatever it is, and know that you are alive. "Feel" the colors, "see" the music and LIVE! this moment, this day. Nearly all animals do this, at least those who are allowed by their humans. Young children do, too, until the pressures and distractions of becoming like everyone else wash away their joy.

The good news is, you can begin at any time in your life. As it says in Scripture:
Live creatively, friends.......Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own gift.

Galatians 6:1, 4-5, The Message Bible

This passionate horse is painted in Acrylic on stretched, wrapped canvas, 16 x 20 and is listed on eBay this week.