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Flamboyant Tree flowers and seed pods (Chapala, Mexico), 9 x 12 inches oil pastels on paper. I started this before ‘Deciduous Forest’, posted previously, so finished it while the resist medium dried.
Fields of Flax
Rowley, Alberta Canada, 12 x 16 inches watercolors on paper and digital painting, preliminary study for larger acrylics painting
Big Leaf Maple, near Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island, BC (Canada) 12Hx 16W inches watercolors on 140 lb 100% cotton paper
“It does not matter how much you see, it matters if you appreciate what you see”
Fintan Fox, 9 yrs old. Below, an angel fish drawn after snorkeling in Figi
I recently had the pleasure of conversations with nine year old Fintan Fox, the son of a good friend whom I had not seen for over 35 years. My friend Julie and her son, Fintan, both created blogs about their extensive travels beginning in England where they live, to Russia last August, then through China, Thailand, Cambodia, to Australia, Figi, and now through western North America. They are on the last leg of their year-long trip around the world, stopping to visit us in Oregon on their way to Canada.
This drawing is one of Fintan’s blog entries, an Angel fish drawn after seeing some while snorkeling in Figi. So impressive! With a minimum of information, the style is bold and confident… simple, yet accurate. Similarly, he writes with matter-of-fact wisdom, and surprisingly well-thought-through opinions. Wow, nine year-olds can be great sources of inspiration. My friends’ blogs are a bit behind since they’ve hardly stopped anywhere long enough at a place that has internet access, but do check them out anyway!
Tree fern shadows cast across garden rocks in Chapala, Mexico
I’ve been in Mexico for the past two weeks, so I’ll be contributing more images to the True Colors website (www.trucolors.info), created in 2007 as tribute to the colorful landscapes and cultures here. Developed separately from the other chapters of nikkiartwork.com, True Colors is considered as one complete and independent project. I’ve posted a few more of the recent pieces in this series on nikkiphotography.com
Adapt “1a: to make suitable or fit (as for a particular use, purpose, or situation) 2: to adjust oneself to particular conditions or ways: bring oneself or especially one’s acts, behaviour, or mental state into harmony with changed conditions or environment.”
Art “1b(1): skill in the adaptation of things in the natural world to the uses of human life … 2d: systematic application of knowledge or skill in effecting a desired result … and to production according to aesthetic principles…” (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary).
Art is all about adaptation – of materials to circumstances, to changes in initial plans and set expectations, and staying open to the serendipity of the inevitable unknown in order to recognize opportunities when they unfold as mistakes. A painting goes through alternating stages of chaos and resolve, of full-on confident energy intermittent with periods of reservation and study. One never knows when the process will be finished, and sometimes great efforts result in nothing great to show.
Adapting to life changes is very much like painting. The materials are different, but seeing it that way, moving personal and professional life to another part of the world does not seem so disruptive. That “life imitates art and art imitates life” never quite made sense to me until now. It’s about seeing the picture as a whole while manipulating sections of it, without getting so involved in the details that, ironically, the focus is lost.
All the travel last year was rejuvenating. By the time Fall arrived I was good and ready to apply those experiences to some dedicated painting when, during September my husband accepted a job in Oregon. As folks who know us know, he moved there in October while I stayed behind. With all this attention to house-duty, I’ve been feeling anxious about not being able to maintain all my career commitments during this transition. After not posting any new art on this blog for about six weeks, it’s important to my reputation as a professional that clients and associates (past, present and future) know that I have not stopped working; only have briefly been working on something else.
I’m looking forward to the drive from Texas to Oregon; one phase completed and another beginning. Regardless of location, ideas and inspirations are infinite, always available and uninterrupted in the grand scheme of things. Best of all, these things are portable! You can take the girl away from the art, but you can’t take the art away from the girl!
Saying that change is good sounds cliche, but here’s how I think it works: change pushes us into discomfort, which in turn pushes us to seek innovative ways out in order to regain comfort. In that sense, discomfort is motivating and progressive. Now that I think of it, too much comfort can be uncomfortable! When one set of dilemmas is resolved we instinctually go searching for more. Life and Art are a soul’s song and dance.
Above: Basil roots and stems garden sculpture entitled “Song and Dance”
When I’m back in Dallas blogging regularly again, these photos will be posted on the photography website. An unplanned extra trip from Alberta to Ottawa; in Ontario a second time, means I won’t be back until the first week of Sept. Here are a few photos I took on the shores of Lake Superior just east of Wawa, ON.
Home from Singapore for a few days, and having to go north to pack up the Dancing With Trees exhibition, I drove up to Ontario first so I could see my sons in Canada before Christmas. At night in the fields and trees from Tennessee to Michegan there are stars and fireflies in the trees – so magical! Until I can express it in paint (and I must!), here is a quick photoshop impression.
Turmeric, 9 x 12 inches graphite on paper
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. The rhizomes are a rich golden yellow, and the plant is used as a food coloring and flavoring agent, in dyes and traditional eastern cosmetics, and is an important ingredient in curry powder. Native to India, it is grown widely in the tropical areas of Asia. The blossoms are about 14 inches across, seen at the Botanic Gardens, Singapore.
Treasures 03: Time, 9 x 12 inches graphite on paper
Find the clocks and watches set to these times 10:40, 8:05, 7:10, 8:20, 9:00, 2:25, 1:25, and 7:50« Previous Entries