Life and Art

Life and Art

I recently had a successful exhibition at the 3rd Street Gallery in Eureka CA. After the show I wanted to take a break to reassess where I was at in my artwork but also to devote some time to my ceramics. The exhibit ended early November and I planned to take a break for a month. Of course I reflected on my desires to make the paintings stronger and clearer. I also wanted to take an on line meditation retreat on Loving Kindness, offered through Tricycle Magazine with Sharon Salzberg as the teacher. In addition, I wanted to do some outside landscape painting, weather permitting.(I have been inspired by nature in my art for years)

I don’t know if it was because of the material I am studying or just life- but I again was/am consumed with thinking about Afro American history, my family, my accomplishments, Black individual accomplishments, Black exclusion, the horror of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism. Racism which still manifests today with police shootings, discrimination, the incarceration of so many Black men, poverty and gun violence.  Besides collecting Pinterest images of  paintings ,ceramics, recipes,etc.; I also collected images of lynchings of black men and women, as well as derogatory commercial images of Black people.

How to make sense of all of this while also wanting to deepen my meditation practice, work in the studio again, and make a difference to someone suffering.

I can be kind, be compassionate, give of myself to others in need, be aware that we all suffer from the transitory. Nothing is permanent, remind myself that we all as humans suffer from loss; declining health, death of a loved ones, not feeling safe, aging, etc. This is what connects us-we are all passing through life, while it’s changing, trying to make meaningful choices, and finding love for ourselves and our families and friends.

After a month passed I started going to the studio to paint again.It is unlikely that my work will end racism, but it is possible, for those who get to see them, that they will reflect my desire to be an aware, compassionate, generous human being. Maybe that will contribute to making the world a better place.

IMG_2507 3rd Street Gallery exhibition 3rd Street Gallery

 

Encaustic Painting

Encaustic Painting

I have been doing encaustics off and on for almost 15 years. I began that journey after taking a workshop in San Francisco at BookArts offered by R & F paints. What I love about encaustics is the particular experience the translucency of the wax offers. I also like the  physicality of the medium. The fact that it dries immediately its a blessing and is also sometimes frustrating. Since my initial experience working with wax I have attempted to create that depth of translucency when working with acrylics with the assortment of mediums available. Also the acrylic painting doesn’t require all the paraphernalia of encaustics such as hot plate, exhaust fan, propane torch or heat gun, etc.

IMG_1902

June painting

End of July Encaustic

 

 

 

 

Exhibition at Sewell Gallery

Exhibition at Sewell Gallery

After my opening at the Sewell Gallery I was wondering how to make it more meaningful. It would have been great to sell more paintings, but that is out of my control. I make the paintings as best I can, and I felt good about them. They looked great hanging in the space.  The owner and the staff at the gallery were fantastic. It is a real pleasure to work with such professionals. Seeing them up I can see potential as to where I would like to focus for future paintings. But the question of how to make the opening as meaningful as the process of creating the painting still remains. Of course when I do artwork you want to share it with my community of fellow artists and supporters. Perhaps that is sufficient in and of itself. Taking the perspective from Buddhist practice maybe I should have no expectations and just be aware of the experience, and maybe enjoy that I have had this opportunity.

Sewell announcement