Immersion

   I've always felt that life doesn't happen in the studio - life enters the studio with you and re-animates itself through your brushstrokes in all sorts of exciting transformational ways. Which begs the question; how's life outside the studio? 

  This winter I spent six glorious weeks in Dixon NM painting every. I had never stayed there before ( other than one quick visit last year ) and it was a great way to feel life fresh and in the present. Interestingly enough, the emotional momentum behind our political climate - in the present - entered the studio with me, and it was hard to ignore.

Empty my cup

 There is an old story about a student who seeks out a great master to learn. When he finds the master he says " I want to learn all that you know!", and then proceeds to tell the master all he has achieved and learned so far. As he continues to talk the master pours the student a cup of tea, fills the cup and still pours as the tea is spilling out, overflowing all over the table.

     How can you learn when your cup is already so full?

I am in Dixon, New Mexico for a month doing a private artist in residence and am painting every day. My intention is to try and source my inspirations through the voice of my soul.

But first I have to empty my cup - oh my God, the hardest task of all.

Steps

   The first time my mother drove us down to Mykonos, it was essentially the same journey as going to Corfu; over the mountains in Switzerland, across the top of Italy, through the length of Yugoslavia and into Greece. To reach the island of Mykonos in 1964 you took a supply boat from Athens loaded with chickens, goats and miscellaneous produce. There’s were hardly any other foreigners on the island at that time and only one car which was the local taxi.  Commuting was done by small donkeys or on foot.

      My mother rented an isolated farm house at the top of the hill overlooking the small town of Mykonos – no electricity and water had to be hauled daily from a well. Every morning two sisters had to walk into town to pick up fresh bread and the other two sisters would walk to a local farmhouse to buy  feta cheese. I always enjoyed the walk downhill into town, but if I'd known about hitch hiking I would have readily thrown out my thumb to a passing donkey on the way back up.

  After breakfast the we would walk 45 minutes to the other side of the island to a beach called Psaroo where we would spend the day. Being only 6 years old that walk was long; the distant ocean always seemed so far. The walk back at the end of the day was even harder and so hot. I became very familiar with the dusty rock walls along the dirt road, the ancient olive trees, the fig trees and simply putting one step in front of the other.

     One step in front of the other…

Blind curves

The first road trip I remember as a child was in 1962 when I was 4. My mother packed us four girls along with the dog, into our Borgward station wagon, and set off for the island of Corfu in Greece.

   The trip would take several days, we carried food and slept in the car. Our path took us through Yugoslavia, which at that time was a totalitarian state with a communist government. Many roads were unpaved and cars were few.

   As we were coming though the heavily wooded countryside, a young boy tending cows got excited by the sound of an approaching car and ran towards the road to spectate. His cows innocently trotted after him, right up to the road and to our horror, right into our oncoming path. The unavoidable impact badly bruised one cow and took out both our headlights.

   I remember the shock and confusion on the poor boys face and my mothers rage with the lamentable and unsolvable situation.  She briefly spoke with some approaching men, but given language barriers and the predicament that Yugoslavian authorities might not be on the side of a single nomadic woman with four daughters, she decided to hightail it for the Greek border.     

   And yes, three hours of that journey were made in the dark with no headlights by finding and following a vehicle ahead of us.

 

     Sometimes when I’m painting, I come around a metaphorical curve unsure of an impending impact.  There’s a moment of adrenaline, a loss of control, a state of being fully in the moment. The difference, thankfully, is that I’m not in the back of a car bracing to bruise a cow. The difference is that I can breathe out …slowly…and awaken to new perspective and new possibilities. 

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Letting go

Beginning when I was very young, I was forced to spend many days in the far back of a station wagon, traveling with my older sisters and younger brother through various European countries. My single mom was always at the steering wheel, whereas my view was always out the back window, noticing all the places we had not stopped disappear over the horizon. The sensation was of being caught up in an uncontrollable vortex, which created a good degree of anxiety and anticipation in me as to where we were going and when would we get there - sometimes days later. As a result,, I spent my time inventing stories, my imagination grew and visions spilled out to soothe my nerves and carry my mind away.

 And so I began drawing to illustrate my stories. I drew and drew. I drew myself into other places, into other things, sometimes into other families, and always into other emotional experiences. I drew constantly.

 This is how I became an artist.

 The intention of this blog is to invite you into a world where imagination, Soul and Spirit, past and present, human experiences and emotions all become the rich ingredients for a personal expression through art. I hope to be as transparent as possible and to wear my heart on my sleeve. I also truly hope to inspire others to explore their own expression with the desire of having a deeper connection to celebrating their unique human experience. Creativity is our birthright.

 " Your vision will become clear only when you look inside your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams: who looks inside, awakens." Carl G Jung

Welcome to my new portfolio webpage!

I've recently redesigned my webpage to be a little more modern, I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know if you have any feedback or input regarding the layout and structure. And look forward to some blog posts of my most current works and experiences! You can also visit me on the Facebook! Xoxox