Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Drawing My Hands, Personal Revealing

"My Hand - Various Poses"
charcoal pencil on sketch paper

I've been cleaning out my studio, tossing out old creations that don't have much meaning to me anymore. Whatever meaning means, so many levels to that word. Then I found the above drawing in a sketch book and felt an emotional connection oozing out. Aha, meaning! My hands, posed in different ways, all on one piece of paper. Each pose seeming to convey a different message. Artist hands here without the paint remnants under the nails. Nails on this particular day so smooth and well-tended. If I painted or drew my hands now, I know there would be changes. Hands more natural, not so perfectly groomed, perhaps with a few more wrinkle lines drawn in. But no matter how they looked now, I would be content. It's like our aging process, where we say we're proud of every grey hair. We've earned it. So too with other parts of our body. But isn't that what it's all about? To accept changes in all aspects of our life and not resist them. And let the spiritual self, the soul come forward and say "it really doesn't matter. I'll always be with you no matter what happens to the physical self, that outer shell. And then I know that that particular inner voice, which is soft yet authentic, will help me to embrace the cycles of life and see it as an adventure, a learning experience. It made me appreciate my hands even more yesterday as I processed the feelings stirred up. Though it's always fun and intriguing to paint and draw others who pose for us, there is something very personal about recreating images of the whole form or pieces of who we are. And there's something about charcoal pencil, in its stark black and white and shades of grey in between that somehow feels more expressive, at least in this particular image. For that, I am grateful for all the mediums we have at our disposal. They can make a difference in what message we want to convey.

I feel strength coming from this drawing and I take the feeling within myself and breathe it in. Somehow, the extra energy gained will help me as I continue to clean and simplify my domain. I am grateful for the art process for it does sustain me. Even old creations from long ago still have that power to trigger something within me. Does creativity evoke power in you and allow transformation to take place? I invite you to share if you so desire.

Oh and to my art teacher, Dorothy, who I hope is smiling down from the heavens above, I pay you homage here today with one of the drawings I created in your class.... Thank you......

Sunday, October 3, 2010

freezing buns off, but heart was warm

Art fairs are challenging. On the positive side, they are each so unique that one can never get bored. Even being in the same fair year after year is never predictable. The people who exhibit, the people who come to look at one's art, and the weather Gods all change, even if it's just slightly.

Yesterday's art fair had its own logistics to deal with. Six of the exhibitors were on one side of the road (next to Aldi's). The rest of us (the other 5) were on the Jewel side (across the street). There was very little foot traffic as the day wore on. Would it have made any difference if all the exhibitors were on the same side of the street? Hard to say. As it was, the weather was blustery, cold and there were sprinkles off and on (Hey, at least it wasn't snow).

I did sell two small prints to a mother and daughter who enjoyed listening to me describe my art technique. They asked if I'd always been so talented. I said I'd drawn in high school but had drifted off the art path into the business road. In the last three years or so, I've been reborn into the art side of me again. The daughter is an aspiring artist who I encouraged to keep creating. She smiled at me gratefully and seemed more upbeat about her own artistic path. The next onlooker who came by was a young woman, very pregnant, who was expecting her new baby boy in about a month or so. The wind blew some of my prints off the table and she awkwardly yet still skillfully, reached down to pick some of them up. I was amazed at her agility. She liked one of my prints, but didn't have the cash or check on her at the moment. She asked "could I take a photo with my camera phone and show it to my husband? Maybe then I'll come back later with money and buy the print?" I gave her the okay on that but she never came back.

Well, maybe she did come back but we shut down shop around 3:30 or so. All of us on the Jewel side pretty much gave up. Our hands were frozen, our cheeks were frostbit (or so it seemed) and we were tired of our tents being like sails on the sea.Really, outdoor art fairs in October is pushing it. Shoppers coming out of Jewel just seemed to be focused on getting to their cars and not being blown away. Makes sense to me. After dismantling our tent, Frank and I then went across the street to the Aldi side and helped a friend of ours take her tent down. She expressed gratitude. Helping others, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually, always makes my heart happy.

I had no expectations about the fair at all. I just wanted to push myself, exhibit in a new location and keep on getting myself out there. I made a few new friends, got to see the new art center with some wonderful art on display and breathed in some fresh air as well. Another adventure under my belt.

One day at a time.......

Saturday, October 2, 2010

my artwork is hard to toss out

I often wonder at those situations say when a house is burning down and a person has time to get out one or two things. Lots of people say they'd take photos.
Well, my place is not burning down but I am getting rid of lots of things, simplifying for the next abode we go to. Books are precious to me but I have so many. So I'm donating them to my library, which I dearly love to go to. They'll be happy there. Now mind you, I haven't let go of all of my art books. Books on Monet, Matisse, Georgia O'Keefe and several others of my favorites still line my bookshelves, for now anyway.
Clothes, well, clothes fill up my closet and they're outdated, I've outgrown them so time to discard everything but what feels "real" to who I am now. That can be a challenge as I wear many different hats. Don't know about the business side of me, that voice is quite small inside of me. So I'm donating most of them.
Now we come to art. This a tough area to focus on. I have original paintings unmatted, unframed in portfolio cases, I have a number of totes filled with framed pieces and I have lots of prints which I usually sell at art fairs.
Today I was in an art fair and sold two prints. Frank says to the people who wander by "everything must go, make an offer" and people laugh and smile. But he is serious. I have just started selling my originals and put price tags of $600.00 on them. Hm, guess I didn't want to sell them. But now in the last week or so, the price on them is $100.00 and less. Am I dismissing my artistic abilities? I don't think so. I'm just trying to make some money so I can pay bills, continue to make art and just generally stay positive.

Just curious, would you all have the same dilemma as myself if you were in this situation? How would you cope?