The Golden Mean

In junior high science class, I vaguely remember learning about the Golden Mean, those specific measurements that repeat themselves throughout the natural world. It’s not to be confused with the Golden Rule, which could be the moral equivalent to the Mean. I painted the shell and outer space together to compare and contrast the Golden Mean. One is small and finite and the other is large and infinite. And yet they both start at one point and spiral outwards. At least they do in my mind, where factual science, although interesting fodder for creativity, takes a back seat to my personal mythology and stories that begin with “Maybe” and “I think”. There is so much to learn, it all becomes blurry as time passes.

I lost interest in this painting while painting it, which happens sometimes. I wanted the shell to look crisp, and I couldn’t achieve the results I wanted. Eventually it was deposited in the reject pile to be painted over at a later date. Then we moved and my husband took it out of the pile and hung it up in our new abode. So maybe it is done, as far as the rest of the world is concerned. Nothing more will be added, but at least it won’t be painted over. Acrylic, 24 X 24.

Cacti

They are much more impressive in the wild. I’ve killed every cactus I ever owned. I over water and pay too much attention to them. The one I have now is shriveled and sad-looking. The motto of a cactus is “Be compelling and repelling at the same time.” My approach to this painting is two-fold: Paint everything I see. If painting what I see isn’t possible, then paint a suggestion of it. Acrylic, 18 X 24″.

Thoughts on a Plane

Drawn on an airplane on my way to an exotic place, I could not help but express how my head was literally and figuratively in the clouds. The view out of an airplane window is fantastic, yet forbidden. We are originally land animals, after all. Clouds are fun to paint and draw. They have so many shapes and textures— tibetan tanka swirls, whipped cream, vanilla pudding piles, cottony wisps and bones of deities.
I wish drawing in public were as commonplace as reading. People always want to see what I’m drawing, which is fine for them, but embarrassing for me. No one ever asks what one reads or writes, but drawing in public is a novelty for most. More art should be done on planes to take the eyeballs off me. Or, I should hone my public persona and be more friendly.

Pen and pencil on paper, 7 X 8

Pen and pencil on paper, 7 X 8

 

Florida Dreaming

No more scowling faces. Creating spaces without eyes, faces or people, because after all, sometimes we all just want to be alone in a painting. Here we are in a beach paradise where the sky marches into the ever after and the flora beckons. No one knows what lies beyond, because who does want to know? As long as you are in this painting, you will never see anyone, and that’s what we all need after a long day of customer service. Acrylic on canvas, 41 x 36.

From Nowhere to Know-where

Where am I going?

Hard tellin’.

I do know where I’ve been. I have decided to offer a glimpse of the past with this page called History. It’s a catalog of paintings, drawings, graphics, and other miscellaneous items I’ve done in the past. This material has been dug out of my computer archives, old portfolios from school, and in corners in the basement. Some paintings have been painted over or taken off their stretchers and rolled up. Some are just pages out of a sketchbook and some have been given away.

For years I carried around a stack of paintings and drawings that moved from place to place with me. It ballooned exponentially with things that accumulated with each stay. It grew large enough to cause me to stop creating altogether, not wanting a bigger pile to drag around when it came time to move again. This cessation stemmed from being graduated from art school, yet having no clue how to promote myself as an artist. I suppose poor self-esteem also had plenty to do with it, not to mention the idea that within our culture art is fun, but not essential; a notion I believe many artists internalize. At least in my life, I’ve often wished I could be something more useful, like a doctor or a teacher.

Finally, during a time of personal upheaval, I was faced with moving my stack of artwork once again. In my hapless emotional state, I dragged the stack outside, threw it on the burn pile and set it ablaze. My conclusion was if there was no one to see it, is it really art?  Or, is it simply a stack of marked paper and canvas collecting dust?

Interestingly enough, I just heard of a similar experience on NPR about a successful artist who also burned his entire portfolio, at a time where was financially destitute and had no galleries representing his work. He commented that the act of destroying his work gave him a clean slate and allowed him to move in a more successful direction.

Maybe it’s sad all that work is gone, but I’ve come to the conclusion that holding on to it was getting me nowhere. So often in life, it’s good to clean house. Hanging on doesn’t propel, you have to kick. The old cliche´ about throwing stuff on the wall until it sticks actually rings true. I’m working on some good stuff right now, I’m feeling more confident about making a living as an artist than ever before. What’s different now is that I’ve decided to stop making excuses and avoiding who I am, successful or not. I just want to be an artist, that’s all I ever wanted to be and all I’m ever going to be. If I end up toothless and in the street, never selling a single thing, that’s fine. At least at the end I will know I’ve been true to myself.

I know where I’m going.