Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blogging, Art and Networking

I know, I know, I said I wanted to blog more often. Well I'm working on it. We did go away for a few days to Paso Robles, another one of California's wonderful wine country regions. And we spent some hours walking on the trails along the coastline at Moonstone Beach. But with the mobility of electronic devices travel may no longer be an excuse not too blog. Though too much food and wine might suffice.

Well I'm back now and ready to talk about art and all that.

Frank and I attended a meeting of the Temecula Valley Art League last night and my discussion with the current President of the organization prompted this blog post. It's related to networking and publicity.

The TVAL monthly meetings are a lovely blend of pot luck dinner, business meeting and artist demonstration. When we moved to California from New York I researched several arenas for networking with artists and the Temecula Valley Art League came up. We've only been to two meetings so far and just became official members but already I see the potential. Not only for networking with local artists but also as a way for me to get involved in something that I feel passionate about. Besides art making I am very passionate about promoting the arts, especially for children.

TVAL is presently looking for new board members and that announcement prompted me to talk to the President and find out how I could volunteer my services. Aside from taking on some responsibilities for doing tasks the organization needs to be done I also want to brainstorm ways that I can offer new skills and services to the league. They need a new publicity person and I might take that on if I can do enough research about how to go about it. I want to promote art for everyone not just promote my own art making which is more of a personal hobby than a profession.

I'm taking it on, along with other clubs or groups that sound interesting and I hope this blog will also be a forum to publicize events and happenings at the art league here in beautiful Temecula.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Why a Marriage between Poetry and Art?

Many might ask why I choose to marry art with poetry. There are two answers to that question. The simple answer is that I needed a way to combine my two favorite creative outlets. For a long time I struggled between wanting to make art and wanting to write. Being a very black or white person I operated under the false assumption that I could do one or the other but not both. Having little creative time back in those years of full time work I felt that doing both well was an impossibility since I could barely find time to one or the other. If I was writing it was in slivers of early morning, or late at night when my brain could barely function. I needed all the time I could muster to get any worthwhile writing accomplished. There was no room for art.

Yet, art kept singing her siren song, luring me into the deep waters of mixed media and art journaling. It was a lovely place to drown except I kept feeling I needed to be more focused and responsible about my writing. After all a novel doesn't get written in snippets of time. It could take years just to create a first draft.

But then poetry came tiptoeing back into my life. From the time I was a little girl I loved reading and writing poetry and who can't write a short poem in a few corners of the day? So I immersed myself in reading poetry again and began to write more poems. I took a few online poetry classes and started sending poems out to literary journals. But still here was my muse tossing paintbrushes at me and smearing bright colored paints into my thoughts.

And then came the "aha" moment!

Sitting in a garden at the art museum I began to see art journals and canvases that married my poems with art. How the words could swirl through a design or sit humble but strong as an element on the page. I had found the answer to my creative dilemma. I could write poems and make art and put the two together and never worry again about where to put my creative focus.

And that is the simple answer--just finding a way to enjoy my two creative loves at the same time.

The more complicated answer is that art and poetry are a spiritual practice for me and giving up either one was like praying to a demi-god. It just didn't fulfill my need for spiritual connection. In order to embrace my feelings for spirituality I needed to enjoy both art and poetry.

That longer explanation for this marriage of poetry and art is for another blog post. And definitely some more art to show you.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Turning Poems into Art

be still
be silent
for your heart
and soul
to sing

As words swirl across the page in blue ink I can't help but imagine what they would look like incorporated into a piece of art. I've made attempts in the past to add my own poems to my art work and some of them have actually turned out okay. One problem is that I use different styles and I need to refine my style so my work will become familiar.

In the image above I worked out something in my art journal in hopes of getting as style down that I like. I believe working out the plan in my journal before committing to canvas will be a big help.

For this page I used Fresco Finish chalk paint applied with a brayer and added a few stamped designs to bring more interest to the background. For the focal images I stamped them onto various mulberry papers and cut them out. Once adhered with gel medium I used bush markers to add shadows and highlights. I printed the poem on mulberry paper too and attached it with gel medium. I was happy with it mostly for the colors. Even though my paintings have become more bold and bright, when creating art for my poems I prefer softer muted tones.

I was happy with it so I did it again on a canvas.

This time I printed the poem on deli paper and I believe in the future I will use deli paper to print all the poems and to stamp the images as well.

I feel challenged to create a series of poem-art canvases for an exhibit in May. I like the idea and this will give me two different art modes for exhibiting. My bold and bright abstract paintings and these softer pieces with poetry and art. The particular canvas above is 8x8 inches which I like but I ended up buying a bunch of 10 x 10 inch canvases that were on sale at Michaels so I will use those for the exhibit.

So much going on in my mind right now about poetry and art so hopefully that will encourage me to post more often on this blog. 

Have a bright and poetic day.