The Moon Belongs to Everyone – 16×16/acrylic on board/SOLD
My heart is drawn to fantasy. Sometimes it is the only way I know to tell the truth. Truth is the ring I am reaching for in all my artistic endeavors. As a painter, I am drawn to exaggeration. I exaggerate the way light dances around on 3-dimensional objects. I love that exaggeration is in my tool chest. It makes doing art much easier, more fun. Today, I have been thinking about layers. In my work: acrylic, oil, paper, or words, I use layering consistently. If one layer doesn’t say what I want it to, I add more layers until the piece begins to tell the truth.
I come by my love for fantasy naturally. It is part of my temperament. It held me in its embrace during my earliest years. My childhood was quite lonely, but hardly unpleasant as I was guided into reading and making up stories and songs and creative play. It has been my friend during my adult years as well. When I was told I needed open-heart surgery to replace a congenitally flawed aortic valve a few years ago, my son brought me a set of fantasy books to read during the tense days of determining exactly what could be done for my heart. My doctors informed me of how grave my situation was. I had let it go far too long. There were scary moments, but I also had many engaging and enjoyable moments of reading. I was grateful for my son’s gift. Writing and sharing what I write is my most recent medium. I am seeing, in the patience and true stories, borrowed moments from my own reality. I am hoping these moments of fantasy can be of use to someone else as well. My writing will continue to hold a great deal of “story telling”. But, when I am moved to tell a little of the truth behind it, I won’t hold back. I promise.
REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE – 18×26 – acrylic on board/Sold
How do we get introduced to ourselves? How do we identify the gifts in us that make us who we really are? We try very hard to stuff ourselves into places where there is no fit. Often we do this to make someone else happy. In John Bunyan’s book – “Pilgrim’s Progress”- the traveler leaves his path, is locked in a prison, nearly loses all hope, and gives up to be a prisoner forever until he remembers a key was placed in his pocket at the beginning of his journey. He tries the key, opens the door and is released, rejoining his path. He had forgotten: The means for unlocking his prison was in his pocket the whole time. What have we forgotten? What valuable gifts do we carry within us? How can we find them and use them? These are good questions to ask. I am convinced we all have keys in forgotten places. But, how do we find them? I don’t have a formula answer for this question, but I know some things about my own journey. Art has been for me a key. It has been the entry for new spaces into my inner landscape. The meditative discipline of painting or writing has shaped me in very real ways. Several years ago, I worked in a restaurant to help with family finances. If you have ever done that kind of work, you will understand how stressful it can be. I didn’t mind working, but being away from my children during the day was depressing. As a light changed and I turned onto the road towards work, I asked: “Is this all there is”? The answer was immediate. I looked down at my chest and saw a huge many facetted diamond inside me. It was so bright I could only glance, It was there! An inaudible voice said inside me: “Isn’t this enough?” A few months later, I began the art journey. All this makes me wonder if our life’s most important quest is to remember who we are.
PERSEVERANCE (25X31 – paper on board)
Your message has found me, just as a note in a bottle thrown into the waves finds its destination! I have believed in you for a long time, possibly my whole life. Now that I know your voice and that your thoughts are turned toward me, how can I ever change my course?
Being True is a monumental task. True’s ability to bond is nearly miraculous. When you consider how selfish we all can be. Finding True in this world is almost too much to hope for…but…faith is where the search begins. To trust someone. To trust another, feels like home. I have trusted you for a long, long time. This is the journey. To actually make it a life’s work! To not give up the search! I think, sometimes, my own assignment was to find “True” within myself. If we find Him inside, we will recognize Him in another. “The kingdom of God is within you”. Here is something to meditate on, to ponder when we wake in the middle of the night. What is this kingdom? Does the seed of this eternal place take up residence within us? If so, Fear is not welcome here. I know now how those disciples long ago asked the question: Are you the one? Are you real?
Courage, then…to Love and be Loved, to know and be known, to live in this trust. True, I am turned toward You with all my heart. You are my destination and my journey. I believe in You.
P.S. I have the sense I am about to embark on the biggest adventure of my life!!!
THE BICYCLE MAN (Giclee on Canvas – 20×16 or 30×24)
My friend, the bicycle man, came all the way from the Dordogne River Valley to Tennessee with me. I have had a love affair with him for years. His French attitude toward American tourists has never stopped me from loving him. His blue coveralls, his sandals, his shrug when I indicated a desire to photograph him, still make me laugh. It’s like that when love is involved. You see everything in Love’s light.
Because this painting is a part of my inner furniture, he is deeply personal to me. He carries with him both sorrows and joys. This mender of bicycles and I spoke the same language when we met, though we did not understand a word the other said. In all the hours of painting him, in each application of color, are embedded my thoughts, my prayers, my gratitude, my hope – hope for more light and love, a keen desire to keep going farther up and farther into truth.
These emotions are as real as the sun and moon. They are however, more mysterious. Where does friendship come from? I don’t know. It just appears.
LISTENING FOR YOUR VOICE – Paper on Board/32×40
Patience had the dream again. For a long time she has seen Him in her dreams. She goes through her days meditating on His smile, His laughter, His touch. She sees His eyes light up when He sees her. She has never known anything like this…now she knows. She will never be the same again. His name is True. He is sunlight, water, air, and more…He tastes of honey. She looks for Him wherever she goes. On this day, she finds evidence of Him. He has left a note in a small opening of one of the trees she walks by daily. Today her eyes are drawn to sunlight dancing on a bit of paper. Patience’s story of True begins here…
Her hands shook as she opened his message…
My dreams of you, my desires for you, have given me faith that you are real. I know you are a living, breathing person who somehow also longs for me. I don’t know where my assurance comes from, but it is as solid as my name. I am True. You are real! My longing is like a beacon in a dark night. I TRUST you will see me and find a way to respond. I will not give up this quest…ever. My sweet, darling friend, I long for you. My need is to touch your face with my eyes. I long to hear your voice, to run my fingers through your hair. I love your mouth, your kisses, your sweet fragrance. I love your laughter. I admire you for how you love, for your devotion to truth. I have known you for a very long time. At first though, it was hard to believe you were real. I know now, you are not a fantasy. In my nights, you pull me to yourself as the moon pulls the tide. In my days, you are the sun holding me tightly in your orbit. Because of you, I am safe.
True is a teacher. He has taught me so much about enjoying every moment and working consistently at building my dreams. I am really grateful for his patience and his steadiness. This is what Trust feels like.