One: Bits

bits, neomosaic, semiabstract, mixed media
Almost done

Bits and pieces make up my working day. I steal minutes, hours , morning, noon and night. Consequently, I am finishing a few things. In the midst of all the bustle I remember my life is not mine. When all is said and done, the doing comes in a distant second to the way we treat those around us.

My biggest fan

Admittedly, my remembering comes after I have chewed out my husband for coming home too soon. Poor fellow. Especially since his only fault is his excitement about sharing his latest encounter or achievement and there are many. So, I apologise; he forgives me and we move on. Breathe.

Putting things together

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have noticed my progress with the preparations for my workshops which begin in just over a week. While I was preparing examples for the students to see how the results of their efforts might look, I discovered I had forgotten how easy it is to use certain techniques. One really cannot make a mistake. And if one does, just add some more bits. On occasion, when I read my instructions, I redo the example. For sure, the cards do not need to look a certain way. However, I am trying to use up some leftover paper from other projects. I dislike waste.

Painting progress

neomosaic, bits, semiabstract, mixed media
Making progress

Progress reigns in the painting department as well. I think I have finished one. Sitting on the floor, it waits for approval. The second sitting. I changed a few things from the first sit. Looking at the available canvases in my studio I decided to prepare another two with molding paste as the four I am working with are coming along nicely. My anxiety to finish has something to do with April. Probably since I did not get any done in April.

More examples

Not everything I do has to do with art. Well, not directly. Bookkeeping for example. Stealing bits and pieces of time is the best way to keep up. Combined with a deadline (the statement date), the work is ready with much less stress when tax season arrives. Another bit among the bits, was a webinar. I listened attentively to the changes Facebook and Instagram are making to their programs. Important stuff. It looks like I will need to spend money. Sigh. Put up my new sign and filled in as receptionist for the VASA show on Thursday too.

Doing things in bits

Doing things in bits seems to work for me. Following an intense session with my paintbrush I need a break. Hanging new paintings in my gallery, preparing new canvases, counting materials for a workshop, stealing time all contributes to a job well done. Life is good.

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One: Showing is essential

showing is essential, gallery, neomosaic, semiabstract, mixed media
One end of my gallery space

Showing is essential in our profession as artists. Some venues concentrate on the show rather than the selling. Professional salespeople are found in commercial galleries rather than artist run collectives. Often the artist must take on the role of salesperson as well. The advantage is less commission paid. The disadvantage is reduced studio time.

Choice of venues

showing is essential, gallery, neomosaic, semiabstract, mixed media
Other end

Up to this point in my career (that’s right! It is not a hobby…) my show place of choice has been artist collectives and various open walls attached to local businesses. I do sell some. My profession, however, is not sales. Lately I have felt a desire to reach beyond my comfort zone and join the ranks of paid artists, that is the realm of a steady sales income.

Approaching galleries

showing is essential, gallery, neomosaic, semiabstract, mixed media
Latest work

First on the list is revamping my website. The current mode of thought when approaching galleries is to send a brief introductory email with an attached example of work directing the powers that be toward a fuller experience in the form of a website. I have not reworked my website in quite a while. I have trouble keeping it up to date.

Other income

 neomosaic, semiabstract, mixed media
Four more coming

Living in the land of reality I realize a connection to a gallery may not be the answer even if it does manifest. Hence my energies are directed towards other income generating endeavours such as commission work or teaching. Lately, I have been quizzing other artists about how they run their classes with the view to keeping it simple. I have been classically trained and it is a lot of work for which I have no time.

Showing is essential

Time is of the essence. Showing my work consumes more of this precious commodity these days as I am accepted more frequently into all kinds of different locations, sometimes from one end of the province to the other–just a matter of say fifteen hundred kilometers or more. As a result, my productivity needs maintaining to meet the demand. Just showing, however, fills my storage and not my coffers.

Continuous adventure

I have perhaps found a way to reduce the storage by loaning some work for an extended period to institutions such as long-term care. Showing is essential still and my work is always on display in my own gallery though it accommodates fewer pieces and occupies more space. All in all, this adventure will keep me occupied for some time to come. Life is good.

Events

Don’t miss out on all the happenings and current shows. Find out more here.

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One: Bridges

bridges, neomosaic, blog, cocreation, forgiveness
Some chasms are deep

Bridges come in all sizes. Some span chasms carved by rivers. Others are temporary over puddles. The most important ones are built with love.

From embankments to puddles

bridges, neomosaic, blog, cocreation, forgiveness,
Snowy path

Two weeks can make an enormous difference. Just two weeks ago the path to my studio curved its way through embankments of snow. On Friday water blocked my path. As I gazed into the depth of liquid, I estimated the distance. Definitely too deep for my shoes. I chose the bank of snow to my left and proceeded to the studio door. Unbeknown to me, someone was watching through the kitchen window.

Building bridges

bridges, neomosaic, blog, cocreation, forgiveness
More water than snow

My oldest daughter is often over at our place. She is a talented young woman with bright ideas and very good with her hands. Watching me struggle through the snow in my less than adequate attire, she donned her boots and looked for a solution to the problem while I worked in the comfort of my haven. Taking some slats from old oak barrels destined for the firepit she formed two temporary bridges. Apparently, my path needs rebuilding this summer.

Relationships require bridges

bridges, neomosaic, blog, cocreation, forgiveness
Two bridges

Relationships often require bridges as well. My daughter excels in this arena too. She has found ways to repair several relationships in our family. Generously donating her time and her skills she forges new possibilities in what seem like impossible situations. Everything she builds is built with love.

Forgiveness is key

One of the key elements to building heart bridges is forgiveness. Once we make the decision to forgive, the way is clear to proceed with patience, kindness and perseverance. Holding onto grudges or demanding punitive justice only blocks any attempt at restoration. We all make mistakes. And we may take offense when none is intended, depending on our mood of the day.

Space and time

Another key element is space. Not everyone is open to repair work. Allowing the other space to mature or mellow offers a gift of time. In some cases, it takes a lifetime. Patience is required. Occasional olive branches test the waters. Love makes bridges possible. 

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One: Moment

moment, exhibitions, DEVENIR, neomosaic, collaboration
Discussing the principles of art

When it comes to openings, being in the moment is crucial. Every visitor is important. The ambiance is the property of the artist or artists involved. We set the stage, create the space in which to share ideas, listen and pick up on new opportunities to form relationships.

DEVENIR in Stony Plain

moment, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, mixed media, neomosaic
Contemplating

Saturday afternoon DEVENIR opened their installation “Devenir” in the Multicultural Heritage Museum in Stony Plain. Bitterly cold, the day turned on the sun and lit up the beautiful room in which we had hung our mobiles and paintings. Those who braved the weather thoroughly enjoyed discovering the idea behind our presentation and stayed to chat at length. One person whipped out his phone and shared our invitation on his links, encouraging people to drop in.

In the moment

moment, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, mixed media, neomosaic
Exciting!

Being in the moment means forgetting about everything else on the schedule and focusing on the person or persons before me. Focus is the key. Fortunately, I do not find this part difficult. I love talking to strangers and entering forbidden conversations. To do this my aim is to create a safe space. Time is short so this has to be done quickly. Not everyone is open. Fear of offending or fear of judgement shuts down many fascinating conversations. Pity.

Follow-up

Relationships also require follow-up. Not so easy. As I step away from the moment, everything else on my schedule floods back with a vengeance, something like the incoming tide in a narrow inlet and I find myself submerged.

moment, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, mixed media, neomosaic
A lovely space

The next five minutes

Again, I turn to the moment. In these five minutes I can place a reminder on my computer for later if I cannot do the task immediately. Priority is given to the immediate. Although relax time is also an essential ingredient in the elixir of well-being, it may be wise to plan it more precisely rather than relying on feelings or lack of inspiration. Movies take a lot of time for example. I love watching movies. Perhaps limiting this fun thing to once or twice per week would be more profitable than every evening…

Take a little time to breathe

This present moment contains all the opportunity of a lifetime. Used wisely it can profit anyone willing to put in the effort. Effort is required to choose priorities, to organize, to let go of what may be less useful. Take a little time to breathe. Be thankful for the blue sky and sunshine, they may not be there tomorrow.

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One: Diversity

diversity, mixed media, semi-abstract, drips and drops, co-creation
Working with diversity

Diversity in abundance is the hallmark of this planet, this universe. Yet, as a human race, we tend to want uniformity. We want to reduce the wanton abandon around us to something we can control and understand. We have no faith in anything but ourselves and our human capacities.

Diversity is key

As an artist I struggle with this tendency, placing trees all the same size and equidistant from each other. Without the wanton abandon of drips and drops moving among the traces of texture, my work would look very ordered and way less interesting. Diversity in shape and colour is much easier to manage when I allow myself to co-create.

Part of daily routine

Part of my daily routine is scripture reading. I use a form of Lectio Divina which is a method of meditation. Reading the passages, I seek the message for me today and I try to apply it to my world. Recently, I reread  the Nunc Dimittis for the millionth time, and I burst into tears.

Now , Master, you are letting your servant go in peace as you promised, for my eyes have seen the salvation which you have made ready in the sight of the nations: a light of revelation to the gentiles and glory for your people Israel. Luke 2:29-32 New Jerusalem Bible

Christianity has twisted Christ’s teachings into a meritology club promising salvation for those who belong. The blinding light of revelation has been reduced to an ember, darkened by our misunderstanding and unwillingness to welcome the other. And the glory of Israel is lost in genocide, reducing diversity to something we can control and understand. How utterly sad.

A benevolent universe

 If we could embrace the teaching of incarnation, God becoming man and thus declaring all creation good, we would begin to see the connectedness, the interdependence of everyone and everything in all of the universe. In fact, the more we reduce diversity, the less likely we will survive. Co-creation is so much healthier. It does demand our trust and willingness to be open.

Science unblocking the way

diversity, drips and drops, chaos, mixed media, semi-abstract
Looking good

We live in exciting times. Change is threatening to many yet there is nothing to fear. Science delving into the mysteries of the universe has come to the same conclusion: diversity is essential. In the meantime, I will keep painting in what looks like chaos. I will endeavour to love well and treat the diversity of creation with respect and patience. All is well and life is good.

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