This is a new work that I've recently finished entitled Birdsnest. I often explore things in nature and I've been exploring and processing the concept of Home in much of my work lately. I often watch and take photos of birds on my hikes and while I was finishing this painting, there was a bird gathering twigs outside my window to build a nest. She would come, sort through twigs, pick up some, find some better ones, drop what she had and pick up the new ones and once she had gathered as much as she could carry, she would fly up to the top of a tall tree and disappear from my vision. Pretty soon she would be back to gather more twigs. I can only imagine what her nest is looking like after all of her painstaking, meticulous work. All of that diving down into the chaos of twigs, dried up, dead leaves, fallen pine needles, bark dust and dirt to pick up raw material that makes an intricate, elegant and practical home. We often think of birds nests as works of art and our own homes can be designed and decorated to be works of art as well. I think for us artists, our homes must reflect something of our aesthetic to truly be our homes.
I just scanned and posted this whole art journal. I've worked on it since 2014 and it's still a bit of a work in progress. There are a few pages I haven't quite finished yet so I'll add to those later. Just click on the photo above to go directly to the page that the book is on and you can scroll through the slideshow. I wanted to add these now so that I have some documentation of my work and also the progression of my work. These pages are also a good example for those interested in taking my art journaling classes and workshops (I have a summer camp for teens and an adult workshop as well coming up in June! Check out the Classes/Workshops page for more information or contact me).
I promised in my last post to show pictures of what I called Nature's Collages that I saw at Bodega Bay the other day. Typically, I'm looking around and up, but when I looked down, I was amazed. At first glance, it just looked like a bunch of debris washed up on the shore. But when I looked again, I was amazed at how much these looked like collages. If you look closely there is so much detail: dried seaweed, sticks, driftwood, shells, feathers, pepples, seaglass, little bits of this and that. Here are some more:
Yesterday we had a lovely afternoon at Bodega Bay. When we got to the beach, the first thing I noticed were these amazing sculptures made from the driftwood all over the sand. I don't know who made them, but I thought they were incredible. Take a look:
Aren't they amazing? I'm so inspired and encouraged when I see creativity in action like this! In the next post, I'll show you some amazing "collages" made by the waves.
These two works started out in a similar vein and were born as twins. They express a brokenness; a frayed feeling and foggy state that one can experience during illness. One's own or a loved one's.
Having spent a lot of time unlearning what I learned, I would say that this quote applies to more than just artists, but that probably artistic-minded people, generally speaking, have the curiosity and tenacity it takes to dip into that deep, mysterious well, unravel everything they know in order to come out with something more truthful to themselves; that is knowledge of who they are.
In my work, I frequently explore the concepts home. After much uprooting and too many moves, the physical relocations were starting to inspire emotional and psychological uprootings. I was left untethered; unmoored, and I started wondering what Home really meant to me. In exploring the concepts of home, I realized that I had to explore my personal identity as well, which was simultaneously being uprooted as well.
My observations are that we construct and create our homes based on who and what we have learned growing up. But who we truly are may or may not completely match up to the collective value system and identity from which we came. Often, something will happen in life that will challenge our responses and tightly held beliefs about our identity. Unless we are willing unravel and untangle all of those ideas and ideals we learned, we can never know ourselves and perhaps it is in the knowing of ourselves that we come to understand our home as well.
A new 8X8 piece that I recently showed at the Petaluma Arts Center as part of the Members Show. I have several more 8X8's in the works and one that is almost finished. I shooting to finish that one this weekend.
I've been experimenting with canvas board as of late and I am really loving it! It works especially well for my collage paintings. These three are 14 X 18, acrylic, paper and ink. The second two, I added some simple text in photoshop. I love the simplicity of the third one and the color scheme is rocking my world right now. I love bright, saturated colors but this soft color scheme feels very calming to me right now. I'm thinking of turning a couple of these into cards and prints.