Monday, November 21, 2011

Winter Decorating

Okay, first snow of the season.  Thanksgiving is upon us.  Time to think of ways to make the home cozy and bright.  Here are two shots of my latest seasonal updates:
Pear gourd glows day and night, brightening the armoire.

I love these LED branches that are battery operated on a timer.


Check out this treasury for some fresh ideas.  Think snowmen, red and green, acorns, and Christmas banners!  Decorating ideas from etsy artisans

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Treasury of Art

Art Treasury :   a sample of the wonderful artists on etsy.  This treasury was created by Elizabeth Welker http://www.etsy.com/shop/5thDimensionStudios?ref=pr_shop_more.  Take a look, enjoy, and if so inclined, comment.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Polka dots are in!

Have you noticed!  Polka dots are back!  I've always loved them.  Here's why:  they add punch but keep it simple.  Here are two examples from this day of mine.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Autumn Brings Changes in Schedule

When it's nice outside, I fight the urge to sit down at my sewing machine and have some fun with fabric.  We've already had our first frost, and are in a rainy, gray (read gloomy) patch of weather, so now I can go  upstairs to my sewing room with knowledge that I am not missing a thing in the outside world.  I like to take an occasional sewing class too, to learn something new, be exposed to new projects and ideas. 
Here's my latest creation, a neck purse, which I made featuring cat fabric.  The one I made for myself uses oriental fabrics.  I know I will use the purse when I travel.  It is an attractive, handy spot for passport, credit card, some folding bills.  I also think I'll use it for the occasional outdoor art show or festival that I like to attend.  What is extra special about this neck purse is that I made the cording too, on my handy-dandy little serger.  It matches the fabric exactly and feels soft and gentle on the skin.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Artful Living

Being an artist means living a beautiful life.  Art making is not all about paintings, sculpture, or photos.  Sometimes art making is jelly from the yard's plum trees and grape vines.  The color alone is enough to send me off into heaven.  The taste, well the taste is brimming with fat sweet Concord grapes and plump red plums waiting to burst out of their skin.  Put them together and apply them to home made buttermilk pancakes, and we are living a life fit for royalty.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What is different about the first picture from the second? Can you spot my changes?

After

Before
The answer:  I wasn't happy with the contrast between the flowers and the background.  I went in with a diluted Titan Buff and softened the background so that the flowers stand out.  I also added dimensional elements to a few of the flowers.

Do you think I improved this piece of mixed media artwork? 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Staying Balanced

I can't remember the exact day, but one day late last summer I realized something:  I was over-committed and not only had I signed up for more than I could handle, I was not enjoying running from "hurry-up-and-get-this-done" so I could do "the-next-thing", but my whole life felt out of whack.  Call me obsessive compulsive if you like, but I like it best when my house is somewhat orderly and clean.  I like to sit down to eat my own cooking and not have to leap up and go on to the next task at hand. I also like to open closets and not be overwhelmed by what I see.  If I want to bake some cracked wheat berry bread, I want my schedule to allow me to do so. 

What I decided on that day in late summer was that I would fulfill my commitments, but learn from my zeal to be fully engaged as an artist.  I vowed to be mindful of what I signed up for in the future, and as time permitted, dig myself out of my hole. 

I made my To-Do List in January.  Yesterday I crossed off the last item. 

Some of the items on my list were not simple.  Reformatting two books so I could publish them on various book sites as ebooks took months of work.  I finished a quilt I gave as a gift.  Some were one day projects, like wash and wax my living room and dining room floor.  In the meantime, life kept flowing by, and I kept working on getting caught up. 

Voila!  The list is done; my life is manageable once again, and I am one happy woman.  Until I forget the lesson learned, I am going to continue living a life in balance:  work a little, play a little, do nothing a little, socialize a little, cook a little, and enjoy every second of this precious life.  I don't have to do it all, nor do I have to do it right now.  I'm going to do what I can, what I love, and live in the moment.
Nothing better than a finished To-Do List

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gallery Open Friday and Saturday, Sale on Cards

50% off, only $5 for box of four different Wisconsin trees, winter, spring, summer and fall
Swallow Nest Art Gallery is open Friday, June 17 from 11 to 4 PM and Saturday, from 10 to 3 PM. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Making Paper Beads

Part of day's work

Step One-cut paper into strips, triangle shaped.

I made some one inch beads.  Make one inch marks on one edge, turn the paper over, start one-half inch from that edge, mark one inch ticks, then connect the lines.

I use PVA glue.

Roll the strips on wooden skewer or knitting needle.

Apply glue on the tail and wrap around.

Once the beads have dried, varnish with matte or gloss varnish.  My drying rack is shown in photo #1, a board with straight nails pounded in rows.



I like to have a supply of beads available for embellishments on future projects.  Possible uses are in mixed media projects, on cloth banners, to add to knitted purses, and even jewelry.  They're fun to make and once you get into a rhythm, the work goes quickly.  It's fascinating to see a magazine page of photos become an interesting design on a bead.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Studio Windows Work as Mini-Greenhouse

My cool studio located in the former milk house still retains the original windows that tilt in so the rain can't get in.  They face south and are absolutely great for starting seeds in the spring.  Here's my egg plant, an Italian variety that produces small fruits.  I transplanted them to the garden this morning.  I can hardly wait to try them in some new eggplant recipes.  If you have a good one, please send it my way!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Talented Wisconsin Artists

I am constantly wowed by the talent in my home state.  I'd like to share a few of the artists with you.

Faith Ann Originals from Milwaukee and Appleton often uses my favorite shade of green.  I go wild with joy when I see that soft shade of green.  I reminds me of Chinese celadon pottery.  Here is a link to Faith Ann's store:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/FaithAnnOriginals

There's a shade of blue I also adore, and funny thing, I found it on a clutch from another Wisconsin artisan.  Here's that link:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/74688626/madeline-pleated-clutch-with-removable.  Pieces By Jen hails from Janesville, WI, and she loves to sew.  Check it out.  You might just need a new purse.

I'm thinking about buying this unique sunflower necklace.  It's sort of retro--got to love retro--and calls to me.  http://www.etsy.com/listing/45613354/picnic-day-vintage-button-necklace.  
Whimsy House has lots more cool jewelry.  Working from Middleton-Madison, I could hop on the freeway and be there in three hours.

Do check these out.  I'll be posting more ideas in the next few days. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Today's Studio Time Project

I am working on a series of bird cards cut from lino block.  This one features a wren.  A wren signifies joy; that's why I chose the wren, plus they are cute as can be.  I've also done the swallow.  Swallows signify good fortune.  I believe they symbolize good fortune because they return year after year.  We think we are lucky to have a barn full of swallows.  They keep our insect population in check and are thrilling and fun to watch as they dive and swoop in the farm yard.

I envision four birds in the series to make a set.  I am enjoying the process so much I may end up making more.  Today I used easy cut lino block, a pink plastic material.  It is easier to cut than linoleum block and easier to turn to make details pop and well as make lines. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wearing Two Hats

Tribute to Louis Armstrong for you jazz lovers.
This card is called "My Father's Blessing"
I've written since childhood and people know me "as a writer" so no one was more surprised than I when I bloomed into a visual artist.  Interestingly, none of my friends were!  "We always knew you were an artist too" is what they said.  At first, I kept the two artistic expressions separate, but now I find I am integrating the two more and more.  A quick and easy way for me to do this is to make poem cards, my art with one of my poems.  Here are two examples for you to enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

swallownest art studio: Swallow Nest Art Gallery Opens

swallownest art studio: Swallow Nest Art Gallery Opens

Swallow Nest Art Gallery Opens




Main Gallery

Main Gallery
I wrote a blog post last week while working on clean up and set up in my gallery.  I became distracted by the task so I never posted it.  Today I opened the gallery.  Weather here was gray, dreary, cold, and wind from the north which blows right in the door and chills the room, ruffles the displays, and reminds me that I am fortunate to have a nice toasty home only a few hundred feet away.   It wasn’t the kind of spring day to entice visitors.  Nonetheless, I sat at my table in the gallery and enjoyed the gallery and myself.  I decided that beauty is still beauty whether any one but me sees it or not.  It’s beautiful in my gallery even when I am not there.  Here’s what I wrote last week:

I'm getting ready to open my art gallery for the summer.  My gallery is unique, located in the hayloft of a hundred year old barn.  It makes a beautiful gallery in a warm spring, sunny summer, and colorful autumn but this year Wisconsin has not enjoyed an early spring, or really much spring at all.  I dragged my feet about clean up and set up.  When it's 46 degrees and rainy, the hayloft is cold and dreary. 
Limited edition of cows
Today however is sunny and temperatures are climbing into the mid-sixties.  So, I'm getting started on cleaning.  When I close in the fall, I cover all display furniture with old sheets, take in all my art for storage in the house.  To open, I take off the old sheets, wash them, hang them on the line, and wash down all the furniture.  The biggest job is vacuuming.  I vacuum every square inch of the floor, and some of the walls and joists.  Then I enlist my husband's help to transport all the art back to the barn.  Then the fun begins as I select just the right spot to hang each piece of art.
            As I worked this morning, I reminded myself to have a joyful heart.  I am setting up a sacred space.  I believe art and making art takes me as close to the sacred as I can get short of death.  I was also pondering my journey to this point in time where I have this wonderful gallery that I can fill with my joyful creations. 
More displays
            Once upon a time, I milked cows and fed them in this barn.  One of my jobs was to traipse up to the hayloft and throw down hay bales and fresh bedding.  The transformation of the hayloft into an art gallery was not an easy or obvious change.  That it came about at all is a testament to the workings of a higher power in my life.  It is also a testament to my spirit.  I have never let life get me down.  If I fall down, I pick myself up, dust myself off, and set off again.  And so I did when I found myself alone on a 240-acre farm.  I decided failure was not an option.  I liked living here and I was here to stay.  A dozen years later, I enjoy a happy marriage and my wonderful farm.  The gallery and art studio are icing on the cake.
            Of course, casual visitors don’t know my story.  They don’t need to know every twist and turn in my life.  Yet, when they step in, the reaction is the same.  A little bit of surprise.  A little bit of awe.  A little bit of joy.  They may have intended to hurry through, stopping only out of curiosity, but once inside, they forget that intention.  When they leave, I see they are a little more refreshed, a little more aware of beauty.  And that is a beautiful thing.  That is their gift back to me.
           

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tell (Paint) Your Truth


This post is a little later because I was busy attending the annual Writers Conference at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.  As some of you already know, I was first a writer before I discovered I was also a visual artist.  I continue to pursue both artistic modes of expression with enthusiasm and vigor.  This was my seventh attendance at this long-running conference.  2011 was the 42nd annual.  In my opinion, it was one of the best.

No matter if you are a visual artist or a writer, what applies to one art also applies to the other.  For instance, Loida Perez said, "Write what interests you.  It will interest your readers.  You can rest assured there's an audience out there with the same concerns."
Passion Garden by Candace Hennekens
You can apply that truth to painting.  Instead of write, substitute the word "Paint." 

Another speaker was Maxine Hong Kingston, the most anthologized writer in America today.  Of Chinese-American ancestry, she has spent her life promoting peace through her writing.  She said, "Tell the truth and so make peace."   

Again, simply by substituting the word "paint", there is another truth that pertains to visual art.

America is a great nation but very commercial.  As artists, we must remember we will only find success by staying true to who we are, what interests us, what are passions are.  Sharing our truth sets us free.  And our truth just may set someone else free as well.  We may never know the true impact of what we have said, what we have painted, what we have written so we have to trust that authenticity makes us true artists not cranks pretending.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Follow Your Passion


            Consumers of art respond to the maker's passion.  That is why there are books, poems, songs, and paintings that take on a life of their own, outside of discovery by critics that deem a work "good."  Because I am also a writer, I know things about books that many do not, that, for instance, a best seller is a best seller before it's even written.  The reason that is so is because publishers budget advertising and promotion to back the author's work.  Alas, the average books sells 2,500 copies.  Publishers make money on their bestsellers.  Readers on the other hand know what they like and if they read something original and fresh, they recommend it to their reading friends.  No matter how many books are published, readers are always looking for something good to read. What I love about the digital age is that the old gates and doors that gave entry to writers, painters, poets, singers, and dancers can now be opened by anyone with a computer. 
            Now back to passion.  I am passionate about art.  What I usually say is that I love making art but that is shorthand for I am passionate about art.  I sleep, drink, eat, and think about art, literature, poetry, painting, and even music, although I have not a drop of musical talent.  I see around me thousands of ideas to make into paintings and poems.  I've learned to be selective, that I can't make them all, or write them all.  I select ideas I feel an artistic urgency to create. 
            About five years ago, I saw a description for a poetry contest that had as its theme "anything about a car."  Out of my subconscious came a first line, "My '63 Plymouth Belvidere was already old but it ran".  It was not just a thought but a driving need to write that line down and see the poetry that followed.  I sat down at my computer and a few minutes later I had a poem called "My '63 Plymouth Belvidere".  There were decades of pent-up passion in that poem.  Even though I'd written a ground-breaking book on healing from domestic violence (Healing Your Life:  Recovery from Domestic Abuse), that sold thousands and thousands of copies in every U.S. state and several foreign countries, there was much I'd left unsaid.  I rewrote the poem, but not much.  I had been given the poem in one piece.  When I submitted it to the contest, I won.  Someone who read it and liked it included my poem in an essay about poetry being relevant.  Before I knew it, the poem was popping up all over, including a website for a publisher specializing in books on abuse.  My poem, so close to the bone, so authentic, so passionate, took on a life of its own.  I couldn't call it back, only follow it on its journey.  Ultimately I ended up reading it to an audience of more than five hundred in Madison, WI.  After the first line, the audience became so still I could have heard a pin drop.  As I read the poem, and looked into the audience, I understood for the first time how powerful words are but not just words, passionate words.
            Whatever your medium, art, poetry, music, architecture, or fashion design, aim to tap into your passion.  Don't second guess what people will buy.  Tap into your feelings and dig down into your emotions and create something that funnels those out into the world.  That is the key that unlocks your artistry for the rest of the world to enjoy.  Sooner or later, that artistry will be discovered and appreciated. 
            Before I leave you, I'll give you the poem I discussed in this blog posting.

My ’63 Plymouth Belvidere

by
Candace A. Hennekens

In 1978, that ’63 Plymouth Belvidere
was already old but it ran.  Your mother
had gifted the car to me on her death bed.
Two years later, I drove away, the back seat
piled with clothes, our daughter in her car seat.
I forgot shoes, winter coats.
You mailed those and anything else
you could find that was mine
in an enormous box--my grandmother’s wall vase,

college papers, cut crystal, all mixed up.
I vomited in my mother’s basement toilet,
knowing you had touched all my things.
The night we escaped, I decapitated a goose
on some dark country road; the state patrol
ticketed me for speeding.  I pulled into my
mother’s driveway, my eyes dilated, panting,
reeling, like a prisoner released after a long sentence.
My mother touched your hand prints on my neck

and wept.  The Belvidere had a 318 engine.
I knew how to change oil, replace spark plugs.
I pushed buttons on the dash to make her go.
Painted bright yellow I never drove anonymously.
Sometimes I search for that car in the classifieds.
If I find her, I’ll buy her back, restore her
to mint condition, and keep her as a memorial
to my freedom that all these years later
is still precious, a gift from your mother to me.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Artistic Role Models


 Because art purchases are very personal decisions, I can't imagine trying to market myself without an artist's statement.  When I wrote my first Artist's Statement, one of the questions I asked was who do I admire as an artist? At the top of my list are three names.  You'll recognize them but you may wonder why I have a musician and writer mixed in with an artist.  My top three are Bob Dylan, Henry Miller, and Georgia O'Keeffe. 
"Cure for the Common Sweet Tooth", a joyous experimentation
Bob Dylan paints and even has had shows but when I chose him as an artistic role model I didn't know about his art.  I chose him because he did not allow his fans to define his music.  He followed his own artistic vision even when his fans booed him for doing so.  Georgia O'Keeffe became a role model when I discovered her work.  I have since read her published letters to friends and biographies about her.  What I got from her is her independence and courage to carve out a life that met her needs.  Henry Miller was a controversial writer.  It is not his writings that flaunted censorship that drew me to him but rather his writing about creating art.  He was a watercolorist and he painted with childish glee.  He let passion overtake him and simply loved painting.
            My rules about art are simple.  I feel free to do whatever I want, however I want, whenever I want.  Now that is complete freedom!  If I love doing it, then I should do it.  If I don't, then I shouldn't.  I've combined qualities from all of my role models into my passion and pleasure for making art. 
            I'm not through finding role models.  There are some local artists I greatly admire.  Patricia Mayhew Hamm from Chetek, WI, is one of them. (www.facebook.com/artistic.innovations )I have taken three classes from her.  She is free and easy when she paints.  She combines symbols with abstract images.  She has greatly influenced my love of experimenting with technique not to mention that her classes were the most fun I have ever had in an art class. 
Another role model that is emerging for me is Michael Jackson.  When MJ was at his artistic peak, I didn't have time to sit back and enjoy him, I was busy working and raising my family but now I have time to watch DVD's of his performances.  In the DVD "This Is It" made after his death, he speaks to the cast and crew after rehearsals have finished before the tour --which never happened because of his death--and says, "Relax and enjoy yourself.  This is supposed to be a great adventure."  I loved that.  I am going to be reading and watching more of MJ in the future (not to mention my love of his clothing style, but that's another story).
"Three Zinnias"  I created a series of zinnia paintings using watercolors and thread stitching.  It was great fun to play with my favorite flower.
            I think it is important to think about who you love and why and how you want to be.  Of course, you're not going to be exactly like role model, you're going to put your own special spin on your work, but it's nice to have guideposts. 
            I'm loving every minute of my art career.  I decided when I began painting and discovered the magic and power of painting that I could do just that.  I could love it, love it, love it.  I didn't have to be serious.  I didn't have to paint a certain way.  I could move freely through mediums and style.  I put in my time being responsible in corporate America.  I worked very hard to be a good mother to my two beautiful daughters.  Now is my time.  I am going to have as much fun making art as I possibly can.  Each of my role models gave me a piece of that philosophy.  Much to my surprise, I've learned that when I paint with all of my heart and soul, totally immersed in the pleasure, people respond.  I no longer own many of those pieces that came from that place of light.  Someone else has them in their home and hopefully they are soaking up all that energy as they look at my art. 
"Sumac"  Here I played with a real sumac leaf.  I also used thread stitching.
I hope you take the time to figure out whom your role model are.  It is a powerful tool to help you find the path that is right for you.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Favorite Henry Miller Quotes

"It is up to each of us to discover the rules of the game."  Henry Miller, Paint as You Like and Die Happy

"It doesn't matter what route one travels--every route brings you eventually to the goal.  All roads lead to Heaven is the Chinese proberb.  If one accepted that fully, one would get there so much more quickly.  One should not be worrying about the degree of 'sucess' obtained by each and every effort, but only concentrate on maintaining the vision, keeping it pure and steady." Henry Miller, The Waters Reglitterized

Friday, March 11, 2011

How to engage creativity


 I began making art eleven years ago, following the promptings of my mother who was an artist in the last part of her life.  Both my daughters painted with her when they were young.  Truthfully, I thought that they were talented artists but did not feel that I was or could be a visual artist.  I pursued sewing and various crafts and of course, writing.  My artistic drive was with words.  I wrote professionally as well as in my spare time. 

When my mother told me that she thought I was an artist, I laughed.  But she persisted so I bought some watercolors, brushes and paper and went to her house one day for my first lesson.  As soon as I applied luscious Winston and Newton pigments to the delicious creamy white Arches paper, I was hooked.  It was like a bolt of electricity shooting through my entire body.  Then I joined a watercolor group, took lessons, and began to advance.  Back in those days, I either painted from a photograph I'd taken or a scene I liked from my environment.  I worried and fretted when I painted.  A very loud voice repeatedly told me that I was not good.  However, now and then, I would lose myself in the process.  I would get so caught up in capturing the feelings behind the image that I would forget myself.

For a little while, I would just paint, not thinking about what I was doing so much as letting myself do whatever my eyes and hands wanted to do.  The more I painted, the more that began to happen.  As I began to migrate towards my own artistic vision, turning away from purely realistic to more abstract renderings, and then moving into mixed media, I began to cultivate certain aspects of the process of making art.  I began to select subject matter that I loved.  I played, experimented, and listened to my own intuition.  My inner critic was still talking to me, like some foul-mouthed heckler on the sidelines, trying to ruin my fun, but I was ignoring that heckler and sometimes telling the nasty fellow to go away and leave me alone.  The more I worked everyday in my art studio (by then I had confiscated a very nice little building on my farm, the former milk house, as my domain), the more ideas I had.  I learned to fertilize the fields of my mind by maintaining a fairly regular schedule. This phenomenon I had already experienced in my writing.  Inspiration comes from perspiration. 
How to be An Artist


Today what I love most about being an artist is that each time I sit down to work, I feel like I am going on a great adventure, one that is surely going to give me great happiness and joy and a good time as well as a surprise or two or three.  Whether or not the piece of art I create is a masterpiece is beside the point.  I am there for the feeling of being in tune with the universe, flowing into it so to speak, with my inner vision of something I want to make.  Usually I can't even see that inner vision all that clearly.  It's a feeling in my fingertips, almost like an itch to play the piano.  It's a glimmer in my eye.  It's a reflection in my soul.  All I know is that I need to go to my studio and play awhile and see what comes out.  I don't hear anything in the outside world around me.  Often I play music on my ipod, and I get lost in the music.  I don't feel hungry, I don't feel tired, I don't feel worried or unhappy.  I am hovering in the air above the piece of paper, acting and reacting to what is coming out.  This feeling of flow is so intense that to sustain it for more than a couple of hours is difficult.

Repeatedly following this road map has allowed me to develop great trust in the process I use to make art.  It's not that I feel invincible or pompous about the final produce.  No, I remain humble.  But I do believe that whatever I created was produced from a deep creative center and because of that, I trust that I made the best I possibly could.

Maybe you don't work the way I do, and that's okay.  Everyone is different.  I have a tendency to live very deep inside myself.  It's not something I choose to be.  I was made that way.  But no matter how you make your art, I do believe that art making should be a joyous, affirming experience.  Go for it as much as you can, as much as your life and your responsibilities allow.   Silence your inner critic and instead let your inner child come out to play. 

In my artistic opinion, the point of art is process.  Each creation changes the artist.  Doing what you love, working no matter what, and learning to trust your inner eye strengthens your core being.  Art  from that kind of experience is authentic, truthful, and real.  Art springing from authenticity changes the world. 


Friday, March 4, 2011

No Mistakes in Art

I call this mixed media piece "Don Quixote."  I used a watercolor that didn't quite work out as the base, applied pattern tissues, melted crayon, bees wax, charcoal, and applied pieces of other watercolors to the melted wax.  One of my gallery visitors viewed this piece and told me that it was brilliant.  I merely smiled and thanked her.  But later I did tell her the story of how it came to be (when she was relating to me how she couldn't write a good poem).  "Don Quixote" would not have come into being if the watercolor was successful.  The fact that I wasn't happy with the watercolor was the inspiration for what came after it. 

So did the watercolor really fail?  No, emphatically no.  What happened was that it migrated into an even better piece.  I let myself go with creative flow. 

I think failure comes about when you have an idea in your head and won't let it go even when something else appears.  Art is a process.  Remaining open to process is full of thrills, delights, risks, and rewards. 

I've found the same to be true of writing.  My idea of how a poem is going to go is often usurped by how the poem goes.  Suddenly it's like a river that has changed its path.  When you learn to follow the process, let go of your expectations and open yourself to possibilities, then I believe art starts to happen. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Frightening Power of a Blank Sheet of Paper

     There it sits, a blank piece of paper.  Taunting.  Daring us.  It seems to sneer, "Defile me with imperfect marks and I'll seek revenge."  You can hear its voice, singing like school kids at the playground..."Na na na na na."  Singing loudly.  We cover our ears, but we still hear it.
     I ask you, why is this so? 
     It is so, isn't it?  A blank piece of paper holds great power over the artist.  Here's my theory.  We tremble in the presence of emptiness.  We tremble from fear.  A void needs to be filled but we have it in our heads that filling emptiness requires perfection.  Who among us is perfect?  What is perfect anyway?  Why do we think this?
      We have it in our heads that the first mark and all succeeding marks we put down must be perfect.  We seem to think all great art began that way.   
     Oh, if we only knew the truth.  All art is built up from nothing, from imperfection, from mistakes, from revision.  It is wiped out, and the artist begins again.  It is corrected and revised and the artist follows a slightly different tact.
     We have been imagining our great piece of art for days, weeks, months, or years.  Now the moment has come and we have to make a decision.  What will be the first mark?  How will I make the picture I want to make?
      This is what I know.  Simply begin.  Paper can be crumpled and tossed.  Paintings can be ripped up or painted over.  Begin, and say, "It's nothing but a blank piece of paper."

Friday, January 28, 2011

I invite you to visit amazon.com where my books, including an e-book, are for sale. Some of my art is available for viewing on etsy at www.swallownest.etsy.com. As you can see I have multiple talents. I need to write just as much as I need to make art.

Swallow Nest Art Gallery Collection on Etsy