An Artist's Quest

Posts tagged “mixed media art

Still Life


I have been busy, I feel like I’m always busy – I am in perpetual motion and while I proport to be an artist not enough of my time is spent making art. By far I spend more time promoting my art workshops, designing new workshops, writing about new techniques, and teaching than I do making. I am forever in an internal conversation about the balance of teaching and making. I do enjoy both and to be frank I couldn’t make a living on just the art – people hunger to open up their creative hearts and I love to help them through my workshops. But sometimes I want to make for the making, not because I’m going to teach a workshop and I need a sample, not because I’m going to write a magazine article and need to pitch an idea – just make. So, this week despite an anvils weight of anxiety about all the things I need to do for an upcoming workshop and art sale, despite the fact that there are always contacts I should be making and connections I should be deepening, and despite the absolute mess in my studio, despite all this I chose to make. And what do you suppose I chose to paint? A still life. What a wonderful term – Still Life.

Stillnoun -deep silence and calm; stillness – Synonyms quietness, silence, stillness, hush, soundlessness, noiselessness, calmness, calm, tranquility, peace, peacefulness, peace and quiet, serenity

Lifenoun – the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death – Synonyms existence, being, living, animation, aliveness, entity, sentience, creation

What an interesting parring – perhaps that is why artists are drawn to create a still life. Something in the tug between stillness and animation the juxtaposition of tranquility and change. A still life is capturing a quiet moment in the act of changing. The fruit will wither the flower fade the moment in between is caught up in the still life.

Unbeknownst to me – in the chaos of my week, my month, my year – still life called. Despite that fact that I didn’t have time for making this week, I didn’t have room for making this week- still life called. I’m so glad it did and I’m so glad I listened. The making of these two paintings calmed me, readied me, revived me. The stillness in the action brought me back into my body and breath and made me ready for this weekend’s teaching – this month’s selling and showing.

I give thanks to the universe for showing me this perfect persimmon, this fecund pomegranate and whispering in my ear to stop, to make and observe this quiet, abundant moment – to allow and honor – Still Life.



Ode to Crow

A page from my Mixed Media Mindfulness journal- using acrylic paint, pencil, crow photos printed on Grafix adhesive transparency- and of course my recent favorite a bit of Colortool spray paint

A page from my Mixed Media Mindfulness journal- using acrylic paint, pencil, crow photos printed on Grafix adhesive transparency- and of course my recent favorite a bit of Colortool spray paint

I came upon a dead crow the other day while walking my dog. At the scene there were no feathers strewn about no sign of a struggle so maybe it was just this crow’s time. I kept thinking about that crow and its kind, about crow life and community, crow work and pleasure. Where I live crows have found a niche, they forage and hunt, they crack walnuts and acorns by dropping them on the road from high up in trees- I’ve seen this myself- clever critters. They heckle and pester the birds of prey like the hawk and owl that live in the trees near by. At dusk they seem to gather together in community in a big oak tree between us and the dairy next door, later they fly off to roost for the night somewhere else, our oak tree seems more like stopping by the pub after work to chat with friends. I don’t really know much about a crows life but I do know that anytime I’m asked what superpower I’d want if I had one I always say flight – and whenever I ponder a next life, if there is a next life to be had, I think please let me be a bird. And not a humming bird (too busy) not a woodpecker (hard headed) I don’t think eagle or even hawk is in my future (too noble) –  although the crow is much maligned, I think a crow would suit me fine- clever and social, a little bit pesky, but interesting and a fine flyer defiantly a fine flyer. So if the universe is listening I wouldn’t mind seeing for myself how to get there as the crow flies!