Bobbing Along

A Lifetime of Stories: collected, painted, shared.

Artwork

As with most artists, my work has certainly evolved over the years. In college, as an art major, I felt immediately at home once I was introduced to abstract expressionism in spite of the fact that representational drawing was my strength. Indeed, skillful drawing, in my opinion, is the basis for any visual art form. The stronger the drawing skills, the better the eye-hand coordination, and the easier it is to reproduce not only what you see in front of you but also what you see within. This skill is crucial no matter what the creative style.

Abstract art in any form is not always appreciated. It is difficult for many to understand what is being shown. I remember a conversation with another traveller on a tour my husband and I took in southern France. We had been studying the art of major 20th Century painters who had spent time working in Nice and surrounding areas. On this tour, our mornings were spent in a conference room in the company of art historians who led us through the explosion of creativity, beginning with Impressionism and eventually discussing Cubism and Abstraction. The afternoons were then spent visiting museums and studios that held the works of the artist or movement studied.

As we concluded our discussion of Cubism on one particular morning, my fellow traveller, a lovely lady from North Carolina, sighed with frustration. “I just don’t get it” she said in her gentle southern accent. “I just don’t understand this stuff. It’s nothing like I would ever see in nature.” She said this to no one in particular but I happened to be near enough to hear her. And I felt compelled to explain that indeed she could find such fragmentation, such imagery, in nature. “Have you ever looked at your reflection in a broken mirror or in rippling water?” I asked.

Her eyes lit up. That proverbial lightbulb began to glow. She grinned from ear to ear. “You’re right!” she exclaimed. “I just never looked at it that way!”

My journey has not always been within the realm of abstract art. Living in this rather provincial town since the early ’70s and spending most of my energies on raising my family, it was difficult for me to battle the strong, local forces of representational art. There is nothing wrong with realism. Nothing at all. Nothing wrong with still life or landscape or portrait. And doing whatever I could through those years to feed my creative soul was as necessary as gasping for air. So I did many, many a still life, some landscapes, a few portraits. But my heart was always somewhere else.

It took years for me to summon the fortitude to paint whatever the hell I wanted to paint. It took years to realize, completely, that it just didn’t matter what anyone else thought. I had to express myself. In my way. And, apparently, in my own time.

So I returned to my creative roots. I returned to the abstract.

I explain to those who question that decision (and there have been more than a few) that representational painting is painting from the outside in. Painting in the abstract is painting from the inside out. Both valid. Both creative. Both art.

As I post images of my paintings, it had been my intent to post in chronological order–giving viewers the opportunity to see the growth and development. That, however, hasn’t happened so my intent now is to post the work as it strikes my fancy.

Many of my paintings have their own story relative to the time and place, events and emotions. Since this blog is about stories too, I feel compelled to share those stories as I post those particular works.

This, however, brings a conflict of its own. There are many artists who prefer to let the viewer (you) take whatever he wishes from the image he sees. Indeed, one of my favorite artists, Lee Bontecou, titled every work she has created “Untitled”. As much as I adore her work (and also her artistic evolution), it frustrates me to not be given any clue as to where her heart or her mind was when she created a piece. It is her choice, of course, and I respect that.

I have decided to give you, the viewer, the option to know what I was thinking, what my heart was saying, what my gut was feeling as I created a particular piece. Each painting I post that has such a story will be followed with a link to that story.

It is your choice to read…or not. Your choice.

If you choose to read the stories you might be surprised to find that you “just never looked at it that way.”

And that’s okay.

In the Eyes of the Beholder, I Suppose…

I enjoy Facebook. I really do. I don’t post often and if I do, my posts more often than not are about family. My family. Friends I consider to be family. Grandchildren. And, yes, the occasional diatribe about the Toddler-in-Chief currently residing in the White House. Sigh. Moving on… Having recently spent time enjoying an […]

Aloft

  Aloft 2009 Oil on Linen, with beads 46″ x 50″ To read more about this painting, click here.

Salad Bar Tango

Ahem… Artwork. It’s been a long time comin’. There are reasons for the delay—valid ones, really. Other than sloth even, though sloth was a good part of it. I had initially considered working my way from the early days and early works toward the more recent. I found that to be a lot of work. […]