Tag Archives: artist statement

What are you so angry about?

I usually like to keep my posts about the art, but I recently had an epiphany and felt the need to share. I have been angry most of my adult life. Not that I ran around angry all the time, but it was always there, boiling just beneath the surface. I always blamed it on other people and their behavior. My ex, my family, people in traffic, etc, etc.

Since 2007, I’ve been on a search for inner peace. It’s been a long decade of reading tons of self help books, learning to meditate daily, creating art from my soul and self care. I’ve lost several friends along the way. Mainly because they weren’t comfortable with my changes and the fact that I was now standing up for myself. They didn’t like the “healthy” Paula.

I once had a shaman tell me that some people are like rocks in a backpack. Sometimes on the trail of life, we have to empty the rocks out of our backpack so we can lighten our load and be happy. Let’s just say my backpack was HEAVY with rocks. Not just people, but situations, memories and regrets. However, even after I dropped the rocks on the side of the trail, the anger was still there.

It’s been a long road and I finally feel like I’m moving on to the next decade of my life. The epiphany happened recently, after watching a video on facebook, of all places! Here’s the link: I highly recommend you WATCH this video!
https://www.facebook.com/comedien.voix.doublage/videos/10206832718043784/?hc_ref=OTHER&pnref=story

After I watched it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s so crazy obvious to me now! I have been angry at my 15 year old self for DECADES! I have been mad at myself for all the stupid choices I made, for not just saying NO to that 17 year old boy who got me pregnant. First of all, NO to sex, and then later, NO to marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, everything that happened in my life HAD to happen. If not, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That said, I’ve been carrying this anger around all this time. All the resentment for how my life “could’ve” been or “should’ve” been.

It is what it is.

How can I still be angry at that young girl who was just looking for love and attention? I can’t. The fire has been extinguished. The anger is now sadness. Not a depressed sadness, but a melancholy sadness for all the anger I inflicted on my family and friends and everyone around me.

BUT, it’s OK! I finally GET IT! Now I move on to forgiveness. I have often wondered why, after forgiving literally EVERYONE who ever did me wrong, why was I STILL angry? It’s time to forgive myself. It’s time to tell that 15 year old girl that still lives within me, you’re ok, you’re loved, you’re FORGIVEN.

I will leave you with a work in progress, “The Best of Everything”.

"The Best of Everything", acrylic on 12" vinyl record, work in progress

“The Best of Everything”, acrylic on 12″ vinyl record, work in progress

What to do with old Vinyl?

Wall of records, 1 of 4!

Wall of records, 1 of 4!

For the love of God, don’t ever paint on a priceless vinyl record! Check that stuff out BEFORE you paint on a record worth lots of money! I don’t have to worry about that. I ONLY paint on records that I or anyone else for that matter should NEVER listen to ever again! lol. Seriously though. I have blogged before about my dad’s record collection. I inherited it 9 years ago when my dad passed away. There were originally over 40,000 vinyl disks. In the 9 years since the first move of records to our house, we have moved said records another 7-8 times, at least. Last year, we sold a big bulk of the collection. 30,000 45 single records. We didn’t get near what I would think they were worth, but they did take the ENTIRE 45 collection. It was quite the load off, seriously, those things are NOT light! They are bulky and heavy and only have two songs per record! We never listened to them. We like albums. We are now going through the albums (about 8,000) to see what we will listen to and what we will never listen to. Everything gets at least one full listen, unless it’s REALLY bad! There is always the GONG option if either Aaron or I feel the need to stop the torture. Long story short, THOSE are the records I paint on!

vinyl record painting in progress

vinyl record painting in progress

I’m currently working on a new vinyl record painting. Actually, I’m working on a group of them for my show at the Sierra Club in August. This one is getting very close to finished. Recycled art is my favorite. It’s guilt free. It’s a dilemma I face as an artist. I am very conscious of my carbon footprint on the planet. I do what I can. I make recycled art whenever I have the chance, from my recycled vinyl paintings, to recycled guitar art and painting over old paintings. I guess I overcompensate in my life by not having a lot of other stuff. I often joke that I could easily live in a tiny house, as long as my studio is separate and LARGE.

Talking about a Visual Medium

Me with my piece, "Find Your Shine", at the Opening Reception at the NM Cancer Center Gallery with a Cause.

Me with my piece, “Find Your Shine”, at the Opening Reception at the NM Cancer Center Gallery with a Cause.

Talking isn’t my strong point. Some may disagree with that. Let me clarify, talking about MY ART isn’t my strong point. There is good reason for this. When I paint, or think about painting, it’s not done with words, it’s done with pictures. I visualize a painting before I paint it. I don’t write about it or talk about it, I just paint it. Putting those visual images into words isn’t easy. I’m a self taught artist. I didn’t go to art school. I was never taught HOW to talk about art. I don’t know the language. All I know are my feelings when I paint and I’ve never been really good at expressing my feelings either.

This inadequacy doesn’t show up for me until I’m at an opening reception for my art. This was the case this past Sunday afternoon at the Opening for the “Artists on the Rise” show at the NM Cancer Center Gallery. Someone asked for “my thoughts” on one of my pieces and I kind of froze. I’m embarrassed to say, I was at a complete loss for words. I THINK I pulled it off though. I said something about that particular piece being my favorite and how the spiral in the middle is how I start all of my paintings like a meditation. Needless to say, I NEED to work on this! I guess it’s time to either memorize my artist’s statement or write something up that I can memorize so it doesn’t sound like a memorized artist statement.

Question for my artist friends, how do you deal with talking about your art?

Photo of all the artists in the show, plus the curator, and directors of the NMCCG, Gallery with a Cause.

Photo of most of the artists in the show, plus the curator, and directors of the NMCCG, Gallery with a Cause. I’m in the back row, 5th from the left.

 

Pile O’ Paintings

Canvas ready to paint!

Canvas ready to paint!

I’m ready to get some painting done! I have one painting started and 3 more black gesso canvases ready to start. It’s always a bit exciting and a bit intimidating to have a bunch of fresh canvas to paint on. I know these will be a continuation of my painting video series. Each painting is made to go along with a song from our Sunlight CD, “Life is Good”. They will be more of the time lapse painting videos. Stay tuned for updates, I’m hoping to get started either today or Thursday.

Today, I’ve been busy getting my new paintings posted on Etsy and here on the website. Check out ‘Canvas Paintings’ in the Portfolio menu above. (Or click the link) The page has now been completely updated. This is my 2017 portfolio! I’m excited because it’s been a while since I’ve had my paintings page up to date! There are 4 that were worked on and added to a bit more. I’m really happy with how much more ‘finished’ they are now. I still have one other painting to finish up. Hoping to get to that sometime soon too.

Shambala, the painting above, was one that I painted last year? I think it was 2016! The original painting on this canvas was painted in 2003. It never sold so I decided to paint over it. Rather than painting over the entire thing, I left traces of the old painting there, peeking through. The four yellow strips coming out from the mandala are the windows to the older painting. All I added was the yellow wash over the old marks. This was symbolic to me because the new painting has risen from the ashes of the old. Bringing two time periods of my art together in one painting. The older painting was not centered but the new painting is more like a true mandala. Centered and symmetrical. It relates to my personal life because I do feel more centered in my life now than I did in 2003. My style has emerged now, while in 2003 I was still searching for a style all my own. I like painting over older works because I feel more environmentally responsible. Recycling is very important to me. Why not paint over something that is no longer relevant?

 

Work in Progress

"Go with the Flow", work in progress, 16x16" oil on canvas

“Go with the Flow”, work in progress, 16×16″ oil on canvas

More work on finishing up a painting I THOUGHT was done. I’m actually really glad I decided to put a little more work into it. Still have some work to do on this one, but it’s close. When I first started painting in my spiral abstract style (2002), I made the backgrounds VERY detailed with lots of little circles, spirals, lines and shapes. Somewhere along the way I strayed away from all the detail, mainly because it is VERY time consuming. Sometimes, time is needed! This painting has changed completely. I am so grateful for the honest critique I recently received. It was a huge turning point for my art. Watch out world, here I come!

Haha. I wish I was THAT confident! I am working on it anyway. Seriously though, after 26 years of making and selling my art, I think I’m getting SO close to my own unique style, now a finished style. For someone with zero patience, this is a great moment! It seems like I’ve been floundering around for so long. It feels good to have the feeling of accomplishing what I set out to do so many years ago. I can remember being afraid to even TRY painting. I started with a pencil and a brush was incredibly intimidating. If only I could go back in time and tell my younger self “it’s all about the journey, don’t be in such a rush! Contentment will eventually come if you keep working at it”. I can’t do that, obviously, so if you are a young artist reading this, listen. I’m talking to you! 😉

I am no where near perfect! What would be the fun of coming to my studio everyday? It is true what they say about it taking 10,000 hours to master any skill. It feels like I finally crested the ridge of a huge mountain and 10,000 hours is right ahead of me at the bottom of the hill. Downhill from here folks! Funny thing is, I know way better than that! This feeling will pass like everything else. Good, bad, indifferent, everything passes. Meanwhile, I will enjoy the feeling while it lasts.

People Who Inspire Me: Scott White

Scott White is a phenomenal furniture maker based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I first met Scott when we represented Scott’s work in our gallery. I had seen his work around town for at least a couple years before we opened Chroma Gallery and when I started filling our huge 4,500 square foot space, I knew Scott’s furniture would complement the art perfectly.

Once I met Scott, what struck me immediately was his positive outlook on life. Like Aaron and I, he had experiences similar to ours with serendipity, and he knew he was following his heart by making things with his hands. This is what first struck me and still inspires me about Scott. He is living his soul purpose.

Scott uses recycled metal and wood in his craft, as well as plywood and other woods. His chairs are just plain gorgeous and comfortable to sit in. Though he doesn’t like to consider himself an artist, his furniture is sculpture and therefore, Art with a capital A!

Scott’s Statement about his Craft:

In the current environment where ‘disposable’ is practically shoved down people’s throats, my longing is to make objects that will outlive the owner. This culture needs to revive the art of craft wherein the pieces that reside in your space will effect you even when you aren’t physically there. They possess the energy of the maker where the hand touches everything and they think about every line. My technique has evolved predominantly, to that of sculpture, where the object appears to come out of a single piece of wood. I collaborate with the material and rarely make sketches, paying attention and sensing how the form will resolve. The process is conscious and deliberate.

Paula: If you had the power to change one thing in this world, what would it be and how would you change it?

Scott: I have the power to change many things in this world simply by opening my mouth…..or opening a door. Many have said “you’ll never make a difference,” but to those I say, “wait”. One never knows what a kind word or even gesture will do for someone else. I think we are all here to plant seeds…

Plywood chair by Scott White

Plywood chair

Paula: What or who inspires you?

Scott: People who are passionately authentic inspire me. Those who are willing to be vulnerable….anomalies in a culture that stresses uniformity.

Paula: Who has had the biggest influence on your craft?

Scott: In the realm of furniture, George Nakashima and Sam Maloof are my go-to people. I lean towards George’s aesthetic…….. “luscious utility”. I came across Sam years ago before I started building furniture and he was etched in my mind from day 1. He once told a story about the mailman being all worried that his mail contained some bills, knowing Sam and Freda, Sam’s wife, were struggling. Others include Rebecca Solnit, a force of nature who eloquently talks about real change. The natural world is huge for me….not that I get out a lot but to see the genius everywhere is invigorating.

Paula: What do you want your art legacy to be?

Scott:  I don’t use the word ‘artist’ to describe myself. That’s such an ethereal word and employed by a lot of people (on the outside) who deem what is or isn’t ‘art’. I make objects yet wouldn’t even go as far as to call myself ‘maker’. That said, I hope my ‘legacy’ is that I helped more than I hindered, and that I’m remembered occasionally.

Three Tiered Round Table, Mahogany by Scott White

Three Tiered Round Table, Mahogany.

Creativity: “Shining Your Light”

Aaron and I took Friday and Monday off to make this past weekend a long one. I guess I should say we took the days off from our studios. We worked our butts off at the house! We are currently getting our house ready to sell. This past weekend was focused on yard work and filling a big hole in the back yard where our root cellar used to be. Hauling wheelbarrows full of dirt from the front yard to the back corner of the back yard was exhausting! We moved just over a ton of dirt on Saturday morning. Plus I weeded the front yard while Aaron was picking up the load of dirt. These things used to be so much easier in our younger years! We spent yesterday taking the poor neglected puppies for a hike in the Sandias. It was a good 3 hour hike!

Shining Your Light 10 x 8" original oil painting on canvas

So, back to my regularly scheduled blog post! Thursday afternoon I finished the painting I posted about in my last post. “Shining Your Light” is about lighting up yours and others lives with your own inner light. We all have it, that inner light that shines through us when we smile or show love to someone. There may be turmoil in our lives, but if we can remember to shine our light, the turmoil will subside and the joy will shine through!

"Awakening", 48 x 48" oil painting on canvas, Artist's collection

“Awakening”, 48 x 48″ oil painting on canvas, Artist’s collection

This little painting was inspired by a large painting I did many years ago. “Awakening” hangs on the wall in my bedroom. It’s the first thing I see every morning when I wake up. It’s a 48 x 48″ painting that will most likely never be sold. It will stay a part of my own personal collection.

The reason? I painted this painting at a very difficult time in my life, yet at the same time, it was a time of huge growth and discovery for me. It was almost a year after my dad passed away, 2009. At the time I painted it I was reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth. In the book he talks about “awakening”. Which is where the title of this painting came from. I’ve since read it a couple more times. It’s one of those deeply spiritual books that I like to read over and over because of it’s truth. Awakening is basically when you get to that point in life where you realized you are a spiritual being having a human experience and not the other way around.

My dad’s death was the catalyst for my own awakening. I finally KNEW deep down inside that there IS something after death. Death is not the end of our spirit, it is the end of our physical body’s existence here in the physical plane.

Last week, I woke up and looked at “Awakening” and realized how far I have come since I painted it and how much my art has changed. I felt that I hadn’t completely explored the ideas in this painting and I needed to revisit them again. Not always easy to do 7 years later, but beneficial just the same. I may just stay on this narrow, winding path for a few more paintings. Who knows what will come of it! Stay tuned…