The other night my husband, my girls, and I were in the truck heading down a dark winding road in our little mountain world out here when a couple of massive bull elk wandered out in front of us. We were going pretty slowly and didn’t come anywhere close to hitting them. We just stopped and looked at them while they just stopped and looked at them. It was spine tingling. They were so big, so beautiful. Their antlers were huge! They began to move out of the road. One walked through an opening in the fence, probably the same opening they had come through in the first place. The other seemed to have forgotten where they had come through and couldn’t find it again. He walked back and forth along a portion of the fence for a moment and then decided not to bother with openings. He reared into the air and leaped magnificently, breathtakingly over the fence in a stunning, awe-inspiring bound. It was astounding to watch. It was like momentarily entering into another realm of existence, one that we humans can only watch from a distance. The silent grace, beauty, and strength that is a casual thing to that amazing animal inspires me. I am grateful that they allowed us to witness their world for just a moment. It was a good night.
Archive for the ‘musings’ Category
I just got back from a really nice walk with my family. The evening was warm for February so we bundled the kids into the stroller and headed out. The sky was so beautiful. The mountains just outside of town had big misty clouds resting on them so their tops faded from site. It was so blue out. Everything looked blue. All the houses looked so warm and cozy and all the world around them was an endless blue magical land of mystery. The air was crisp but not cold. It was quiet. Not too quiet, nice quiet. The kids enjoyed themselves, Lola had a great time, and Mark and I enjoyed the exercise, the scenery, and each other. It was a good walk.
This is a new fantasy piece I recently completed. To me it symbolizes the freedom you feel when you can just leave the world behind. There are so many things to worry about every day. There are so many things to do, so many bills to pay, so many stresses and concerns. It feels so good sometimes to just forget them all. Forget about what people think of you, what money you owe to stupid people, what you haven’t gotten done, what you screwed up on. It feels wonderful to let your mind just rest in quiet contemplation of magnificent things. It feels amazing to wonder at the beauty and intricacies of creation. It is so freeing to think about how big and endless the universe is and how much there is that we just don’t know yet. Life is so much more than the mundaneness of daily tasks. In fact, if you can keep that perspective, daily tasks become a lot less mundane. It’s kind of interesting how that works.
My daughter and I went walking today. Well, I’d actually call it more of a wander than a walk. We sort of wandered out the front door and wandered around the yard a bit. We found 2 sticks, one just right for me and one just right for her. We started drawing in the dirt that the gophers in our yard had dug up. We would draw in a pile and then wander to the next. Then we noticed the dirt outside the front gate and climbed the gate to draw in it. Then we began to wander down the road a bit following patches of dirt, drawing as we went. When we got in front of the neighbors house we noticed the long uncut grass blowing in the wind. Beautiful old trees creaked and swayed. We saw that they had 2 dogs in the backyard. We stopped for a bit and said hi to the dogs. They seemed friendly. Then my husband came out with the baby and started walking towards us. The baby had woken from her nap and was crying for mommy. We turned and started walking back towards daddy and the baby. It was a good wander.
Lately I’ve been experimenting and playing around with different mediums. I’ve done some things with acrylic paint and a few water color paintings. I enjoy these very much but I have to say, colored pencil is still my favorite! I can do SO much with colored pencils. I feel totally in control and totally free to be creative in whatever way suits the moment.
I love to mix colored pencils with turpenoid. Turpenoid basically turns the pencils into paint and I have so much fun working the colors around on the paper (I use bristol board). I can blend them and smear them, just do awesome stuff. I can fill in huge chunks of paper with color really fast, like in seconds. Areas that without turpenoid used to take me hours!
The thing I like best about colored pencils though is that I’ve been using them for so long that I feel like I can really express myself with them now. They feel so natural in my hand. When I haven’t drawn in awhile I just crave it, like chocolate or exercise. It really is fun for me. As soon as I get it photographed I’ll post my latest colored pencil painting. I had a lot of fun with it!
I like to feel the warmth of the sun on my face.
I like to stand in the wind and feel the pull of the horizon.
I like to watch bumblebees gather pollen from wildflowers.
I like to feel sweat trickle down my temples as I push myself to run even faster.
I like to discover secrets that hide around the bends of mountain trails.
I like to make babies smile.
I like the smell of lilacs.
I like the sound of rain.
I like the color of the eastern sky at sunset.
I like Hershey’s chocolate.
I like the way it feels to walk barefoot in cool grass.
I like drums.
I like to wash my hair in ice cold river water.
I like to hold kittens.
I like to hear eagles scream.
I like to wear dresses on Sunday.
I like to sleep under the stars.
I like to rollerblade.
I like to laugh until tears come.
I like to sit around a campfire and watch for shooting stars.
What do you like?
I graduated from college with a degree in business. When I encounter a problem in life, I like to find a solution systematically. I enjoy mathematics. When I want to draw something, I pick up a ruler. Being a draftsman for a time was the closest I ever came to artistic expression. I was told in college that if I want to write, I had best stick to technical stuff. So, for me to offer opinions on creative endeavor is beyond my purview. However, I do have a couple of thoughts I’d like to talk about.
I am moved by good art and good music. I can’t help it, there is something about some forms of art and some forms of music that really have an effect on my soul. Let me give you a couple of examples.
A couple of weeks ago I was following the comments of my niece on Facebook. She was talking about how much she misses her husband who is a soldier and away from home for very long periods of time. At the time that I was reading about this, she was having troubles with managing her home and taking care of her young children and such. She was really missing him and so were his children.
Then earlier this week, I was in the process of working on this blog site for Maria. It is one of my duties to build the content for Maria’s galleries we are showing to the world. One of the paintings I was posting is the one entitled “The Soldiers Father”. This is an award winning painting that has given Maria quite a bit of notoriety. I personally have always enjoyed this work. From my left brained, layman point of view, I like how realistic it looks and I think the eyes are particularly well done. I can’t seem to find anything that isn’t technically correct. So, I can see why she always gets great reviews on this work.
However, when I was posting this painting to the blog, something new happened to me. I had stopped for a moment to check on the quality of the graphic and was looking into his eyes. Suddenly I was no longer thinking about the merits of the painting. I became transfixed on the feelings I could see in his eyes and also in his facial expression. I suddenly could feel the loneliness of my niece and her children. From there, I could feel the anxiety of a father who does not know if his son will survive while being in harms way. Then I looked deeper. Now, beyond the fear and concern, I could see patriotism and the love and caring of a proud father, mother, wife, husband, child or friend. The knowledge that those who remain behind are strong and concerned and fearful. I will never see “The Soldiers Eyes” with only my left brain again.
Interestingly, I had another incident yesterday that touched me deeper than my normal left brain approach to life. It was tax day. Since I don’t get a refund, I waited until yesterday afternoon to post my returns. For the benefit of U.S. history buffs, my own little Boston Tea party if you will. It was a dreary, snowy, wet and cold day. Totally appropriate for tax day. Anyway, as I was returning home, a particular song came up on my CD player. It is a tune written by Chas Hathaway, another member of our family and company. The name of the tune is “Rain”. My goodness, talk about an appropriate tune for a stormy day.
The phenomena that I experienced was startling. Rather than dragging me deeper into the doldrums, I found myself looking at the world with keener interest. Since this tune takes you through subtle nuances of emotion associated with a stormy day, suddenly, instead of seeing dull gray pastures and wet shiny roads, I was driving through a wonderland of nature being nourished by life giving moisture that gave me a feeling of exhilaration and excitement. I was happy to be alive and a part of the experience. It completely changed my outlook for the day. My good spirits lasted the rest of the day. Just like “The Soldiers Father” and my left brain eyes, I will never hear Chas’ tune “Rain” with the same left brain ears again.
I am still a left brained person, just not quite the same one that I was before.
Someone once told me that realism isn’t art. The artist is just copying what’s already there and is therefore not expressing themselves. I’ve heard this a lot since then and I would just like to take a moment to tell you how I feel.
I express myself through realism. Many artists express themselves beautifully through abstract or impressionistic work but I don’t. I feel unfulfilled when I attempt these styles. I love realism. It’s hard to do. It’s labor intensive and takes hundreds of hours of my life. My back aches at the end of the day but when I see what I’ve accomplished I smile.
Realism allows me to share with the world my love for people, for nature, for animals, for life. It allows me to say what I don’t know how to say with words. If you want to know how I feel about mankind, look into the eyes of The Soldier’s Father. If you want to know why I can’t bring myself to harm even a fly look at the Little Red Squirrel and see the little paws and eyes and ears that took so many hours of my life. See what I see when I look at the almost magically beautiful world around me. This is who I am. This is how I experience life and realism allows me to share that with you. I am filled with gratitude and wonder that I have been given the opportunity to experience life and I hope my art speaks this to you.
Sometimes I feel like I can fly. When I’m out alone in a beautiful field of grass or at the top of a great mountain that I just spent hours climbing I feel like I could just spread my arms and soar to the clouds.
Maybe I do fly. When I’m running down the mountain as fast as I can go I swear I’m flying. It’s like I don’t even have feet, like I’m just part of the wind. Ya, maybe I do fly. Cool.
Fingers of light spread over the eastern horizon and I am running. Air fills my lungs as I pull the earth beneath my pounding feet. The mountain before me gazes down through eyes that have witnessed the ages and I feel it’s earthy surface move with the rithm of my stride. I am home. I am running with my brother the wind. I breath his life into my own and I am made strong. The fingers of eastern light follow me. I glance back and know that they will win. They always do. The sparkling rays glide over the grassy slope warming the ground and drinking the morning dew. They pause for but a moment to caress my back then fly passed me with effortless speed. I smile and slow to a walk. I am no match for the sun. Anyway, winning was never the point.