Pushing the Envelope in Unprecedented Times
If there’s beauty and inspiration to be found these days, I believe it’s in the necessity to be open to change. The key elements that will mark this era forever have forced us to adapt, to evolve, to innovate, and motivate from where we’ve been before individually and collectively. We simply haven’t been able to do anything the way we used to. Change is an inevitable reality of life. It’s what we do with it that matters.
For my art, these past 10 months have been powerful, positive, and not surprisingly productive. I say not surprisingly because I have painted almost every day since the Pandemic hit and adapted my life to being largely sequestered at home and in my studio – the Milk Barn. The Milk Barn is a sacred place for me where my mind is quiet and my heart at ease. It is here where I am watching my art evolve in technique and expression. Soft pastel sticks in hand gliding across sanded paper is an exquisite experience, an intimate dance, in which I feel no longer the painter but the paint, not the words but the music, stillness and motion, color and composition co-existing in a flow of balance and harmony. I am deeply grateful.
I find great peace and inspiration in the studio and the space that my art and its infinite possibilities create. My senses are engaged and my mind and eyes seek with curiosity that which might appear in my painting process that I didn’t expect or count on. Vastly different from how I worked in the past, my plans at the onset of a new painting are looser, more poised for the unexpected. Because of this new approach, my reactions are more spontaneous, light, and free. There’s healing in that.
In the silver lining of this year a gift of immeasurable value has been the chance to learn from teachers in the comfort of my own home. No bus, train, plane, or road trip required to learn from masters. In their teachings, I am finding endless opportunities to grow and in their hearts, a great love for what they do reigniting my own passion daily. Teachers like Marla Baggetta, Gail Sibley, and Karen Margulis generously and continually share what they have discovered and developed in their own artistic process. Whether through video tutorials, live streaming, on-line courses, blogs, or newsletters, I am fortified to dig deeper to cultivate the brilliance of me. I don’t use the word ‘brilliance’ referring to something egoic but rather to that which shines, illuminates the path, warms the heart, and brings a true sense of peace. That is, in the end, essentially what I am going for in my art; the cultivation of a glowing, shimmering atmosphere of love, hope, and faith.
2021 is a big year for me, one in which I will retire from a career I have loved for 25 years – that of teaching dance. I have taught dance and directed the dance component of the performing arts department for Amherst Regional Schools all these years. The memories of dancing, laughing and finding inspiration on the dance floor with students of many ages will be forever dear to me. As of July, I will be placing my feet on the path of my art career. I hope you will join me on this journey. I have big plans and I’d love you to be a part of them. Please let me know why you’re on my contact list and what you like or what inspires you about my art and designs. I appreciate any and all feedback.
I hope for the best of everything for you and yours in this new year. May you be healthy, inspired, and adapting in ways that bring a renewed sense of you to all you do.
*Image shown is a recent pastel painting titled 'November Morning on the Connecticut River'.