"Los Tulipanes"

"Los Tulipanes"
48 X 48, oil on panel

Monday, October 28, 2013

How long did it take you to paint that?

So often when others view my art they ask, "How long did that take you?"  I know they are referring to the amount of time I had a brush in my hand, but for me, it’s not just the time at the easel, but rather the living, the experience, the textures, the hopes, the vistas, the valleys that all culminate in that moment.  The painting I worked on yesterday may have been on my easel for a week, but it took me decades, a culmination of everything else I have ever created, of every flower I have stopped to admire, of every conversation, every sunrise I have witnessed, every sunset that has bathed me in its glow.  That painting combines every experience, all the decisions I have made, my doubts, my successes.

Me and my sweet baby getting this painting started.

But the thing that is so important and so unique to the times that I express myself in paint is that here, in my paintings, I am holding the brush.  I choose the paint, I choose the process, I choose the surface.  I choose what to share, what to obscure, what to leave vulnerable and what to polish.  I take my experiences and put them there to share in the way that feels very appropriate for me, and that brings me fulfillment and challenge and true happiness and that is why I paint.  It is in my paint that I feel myself emerging, reflecting who I really am, and who I am striving to become, in all aspects of my life.

I painted this painting in my garage during the warmest months of the year.  The evenings brought cooler temperatures and friendly visits from neighbors and new friends stopping by to check on the progress.

Painting feeds me and brings me balance.  The experience of painting is an exhilarating process for me.  It is a process of doubting, questioning, crying, joy, triumph, discovery, elation, and finally peace with it all.  For me that process alone is worth it all, but how much sweeter the reward becomes when I can share it, when someone sees my work and time stops, even if only for a second, and they say, "I like it; it makes me feel happy".  Then my joy is full, and I feel blessed to able to be the giver of that gift.

Here is the finished painting hanging in my exhibit in The Springville Museum of Art.

Friday, October 18, 2013

a rose from my great aunt

After her husband passed away, my great aunt kept the last roses he had given her. Though wilted and most of the petals had fallen off, she kept then because they were his last gift. She selected a withered rose with the most petals and offered it to me. Two more petals fell off. I declined because I realized the sentimentality it represented. Again, she insisted. At home I gently set the withered rose on my drawing table. I wasn't sure what to do. Then I understood- I must paint it because it represented the love of her husband. Flowers give peace, comfort, and love. I named my daughter after my aunt because of her treasured influence. (This painting is part of my exhibit currently on display in The Springville Museum of Art)