On a recent European trip, I had an opportunity to visit the Louvre. My group quickly went upstairs to view the Mona Lisa painting. I stood close enough to her to inspect the lady’s eyes. I always try to get some information from art… She looks at her audience with eyes that seem to see. The painting gives life to her eyes in smooth, seamless realistic strokes. She lives behind these painted eyes. I admire the technique. I look carefully at the drawing and painting. I want to gain information for my own drawings from what I see. Of course, I don’t suggest a skill as deep as this artist’s but I am inspired to try to mimic what I see. I am moved to develop my skills.
At the Speed Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, there is a Van Gogh painting. Typically it is a portrait of an unsmiling, middle-aged woman, dressed in dark clothing. She sits up straight backed with her hands crossed on her lap. As an artist, I stood close to the painting and examined her hands. Her hands were crossed with her fingers resting gently on top. The knuckles, the nails, the bent thumbs show a life-like artistry that I look at for instruction. I look for ways to copy what the artist has done. I am inspired to try to develop my technique.
Artists paint in tents for months during the season in Phoenix. It is a joy to meander through their exhibits and watch them work in oils, watercolor and metals. Their paintings always inspire me to go home and work. I see a pictures of a rock-covered river bottom. I want to go home and paint water… and maybe, rocks!
To the casual eye, art can be enjoyed by simply viewing, but as an artist, I always am stirred to go further – not just looking, but practicing and developing my artistic skills.
~ Elin Bates
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
~ From the Birds (based on Book of Ecclesiastes)
I’ve been ruminating on this Blog post for several weeks. Ideas have been floating around in my mind connecting my artwork to what I feel, observe and enjoy. One of the pieces that I worked on is called ‘Seasons’ (16×20 in Colored Pencil). And it’s really been an expression of my life over the last few years.
When I started this art piece a little over 2 years ago I worked on it because I was inspired by the life cycle of sunflowers. The sunflowers at full bloom were HUGE and glorious. However what really intrigued me was when they started dying. They were bent over from the weight of the flower, though their leaves still grew upward. The shapes of the dying petals reaching up for a last glimpse of light and others fell downward into the quietness of rest; which was beautiful in it’s own dramatic way. In my art illustration I tired to capture the abstract feeling of the change in seasons.
Little did I know at the time, I was expressing the season that I would soon experience on a deep and personal level.
Within a short time I unexpectedly lost my mother who was my closest confidante. In the same season within a year I became as they say an “empty-nester.” All of our kids moved on and out of the house.
Currently as I work on my kid’s portraits I’m working through all my mixed feelings of being in the season of ‘empty nest’. Through each stroke of my pencil there may be a thought, a feeling or a memory. It’s truly therapeutic.
I’m grateful to the other artists I’ve met over the last several years who are such an inspiration. Through this art community, I’ve made such good friends, been challenged to see more deeply by artist Helen Rowles and have artistically expressed the things that are difficult to verbalize. ~ Christina
This November will be our third year for our community art show. However it’s really more than an art show. It’s a collaboration of creative people who are working together to bring more visibility to the visual arts in our community and also to share the work that they create.
Each year we have a fundraiser for chosen charities and our goal is to make a difference through donations and to bring visibility to their causes.
Last year we raised monies for Operation Welcome Home and Sunshine Acres Children’s Home. Making a difference in the community through artwork, our fund raising generated raffle prizes, sponsor gifts, and artists’ art-card donations is truly rewarding.
If you would like to be part of this show as either an Artist or a Sponsor please contact us for more info here.
A Look Back
Artists from 2015 Show
One of our marketing materials from the show.
Art Show 2015
Art Show 2014
Marketing for each Artist – shown from 2014 show.
The Artists all have a unique style!
Am I good enough?
Does this statement or thought hold you back? It does me.
“When I am good enough, I will…”
• Do more artwork
• Show my artwork to others
• Participate in an art show
• Not be anxious to put myself ‘out there’
• Insert your statement here
Self-doubt is one of the dark places for artists. The inner critic takes over and tells you “who do you think you are?” “Look at your work compared to their work – they are better “, “insert your critical comment here”.
It will never be the right time and sometimes we don’t feel good or ready enough. At least I don’t. You have to take the risk, stop listening to your inner critic and give yourself permission to go to new places with your art, even if you don’t feel ready. I don’t think any creative person ever feels truly ready to step out and be seen.
Stepping out can feel so vulnerable when art is so personal.
Will you give me permission? As a child, did you show your work to a parent or peer and look for validation? “You’re a good artist”, “Wow, you’re talented”, “You should become an artist.”
Validation is good; however if you’re not finding the validation that you need from others, don’t let it hold you back.
It’s time to stop asking for permission. Give yourself permission and you will become empowered.
Beyond judgments. As you let go of self-doubt, comparisons and approval seeking, you can begin to move beyond the feelings of judgment. Self-judgment, self-doubt and the fear of not being good enough are deep pits that keep creativity stifled.
The What Ifs. But what if no one likes my work? What if they judge me? What if they gossip? What if I’m rejected?
We need to face the worry head on. Stop focusing on the fear and focus on the process of doing the work and the self-discovery it brings.
If you’re doing what truly makes you happy, the reward will be so much more than the fear of what if.
What if you go to new places as an artist and new doors open to adventures you’ve never dreamed of? What if you find the peace of mind and self-expression that art brings? It’s all worth it.
Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished?
Yes; work never begun.
“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”
Looking back to our 2015 GENERATIONS ART SHOW, we do so with a sense of accomplishment, it is with passion, persistence and emotional strength that art is created and then taken a step further to be shared. One of the greatest ego boosts is related to that which one accomplishes, it is the doing. Calling ourselves artist matters to each of us but what is paramount is doing our art and doing the art show, this doing enhances our self-worth. You, our visitors contributed to this boost, this sense of accomplishment, thank you.
There is a favored quote, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”, by Thomas Merton. In a small but significant way we find ourselves and lose ourselves by creating our art, by doing art. With a desire to capture our inner world of joy and struggle, we drew a piece of ourselves. You were a part of our visual story, as you glanced across our art pieces, we aspire that your impression is that as artists, we pour our soul into doing art. By doing last year’s show, we hope you came with curiosity, to understand, to empathize, and to be transported into our journey of finding ourselves and losing ourselves.
Our fund raising efforts from just 9 artists generated monies to donate to both Operation Welcome Home and Sunshine Acres Children’s Home. Making a difference in the community through artwork, our fund raising generated raffle prizes, sponsor gifts, and artists’ art-card donations. This year, we have 20 artists and a larger goal to accomplish for fund raising. Through our art, we strive to bring visibility to what we care about and contribute to our communities.
Over 300 hundred delightful and supportive visitors on a beautiful Arizona Saturday came to the GENERATIONS ART SHOW at the Art Intersections Gallery in Gilbert. The best part are the contacts we made with each other, the people to people connections. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on!” We pass this creativity amongst our collective of artists and, with some of this creativity, we strive to connect with you, to pass it on to you.
Looking forward to our efforts again this year culminating in doing an art show, to share our creations with you; our families, friends and larger community, donate to charity, connect with each other and build esteem along the way. We will be doing our next GENERATIONS ll ART SHOW in Nov 2016.
“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” Kurt Vonnegut