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Artists: We are the fortunate ones, no?

   “Home Away From Home”
Carol A. More

If you’ve been anxious like I have of late, you know that the human spirit is beyond strong. Sleepless nights worrying over our country, our world, our very lifeblood…all sometimes too much to bear. If you know me, I don’t watch the “news” and haven’t had “TV” in years. I never believed what I was watching anyway and my very gut convinced me I was being manipulated. I am responsible of course and have dived into a search for news that isn’t politicized (good luck!) and this led me to follow wise people who have for the most part been ignored; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder (viewpoint with some laughs), Dr. Shelby Steele, anything on the Hoover Institution’s YouTube channel and The Epoch Times. Side note: I selected an article I would have read based on its headlines – last week it was news about the Kenosha Riots and read it on the Associated Press’ website. THEN, I selected the same news headline on The Epoch Times and compared the two articles. All I can say is we have ALL been manipulated as we slept at switch if we are getting our news from ONE news site (the big 6 are owned by the same conglomerate!). There are other non-partisan sites I’ve checked as well and while the world seems to be crumbling beneath our feet, we owe it to our families, our country, the world…to become objectively informed in order to make decisions. Oh, and when I struggle to make sense of it all…I practice the art of gratitude. Michael and I suddenly yell “GRATITUDE” and the other has 5 secs to yell out something they are grateful for. We never search long for things we are grateful for! So blessed. I digress….sorry….

Juried Shows

And, I’ve become a bit braver entering art shows and it’s paying (well, not exactly ‘paying’) off! My collage was invited into our local New Bern gallery’s (Bank of the Arts) Juried Show last month. I was thrilled to hear there were 600+ entries, 112 local entries and only 26 of those locals accepted (we have LOADS of talented artists retired here and many are vocal about saying collage isn’t really art, so….). Mine was one! It was such an honor and even though the ‘reception’ had to be COVID approved and Michael didn’t go, I did visit the afternoon before the event to see how it looked hanging over what appeared to be the restroom door (struggling not to be a Debbie Downer here).  https://www.cravenarts.org/current-exhibits.html

 

Me trying to divert your attention from the bathroom door below in the Bank of the Arts Gallery in historic New Bern, NC. My first LOCAL juried show entry!

ONLINE CLASSES!

As artists, when the we get dog-piled, we have a safe place to reboot, don’t we? We tap into our creative gifts and make art! And that’s what I’ve been doing y’all.  Staying at home (confession: we are not taking any chances with our health and staying at home and wearing masks when we grocery shop) is our location of choice. And making lots and lots of art. I’ve finally given myself permission to take online art classes. Self-taught (sort of – after all, studying someone’s art closely and replicating it, IS a form of formal study, right?) but wanting to hone my skills and technique, I bought a few lessons. My most recent – and this is a HUGE undertaking and because I spent the buck, I’m bound to get my money’s worth, is from Misty Mawn. I’ve always loved her ethereal figures, especially the ones surrounded in misty white fog. I signed up for her “30” class. What that means is 30 lessons in 30 days and each session is to only take 30 minutes. OMG. Understatement. Each lesson includes different types of medium although she recommends primary colors so one becomes a bit more skilled at mixing. I made it to lesson 13 and I’m still in the game. But 30 minutes?! Lord help us all. LMK if you’ve ever tried this. I have some hot messes and I may someday share them with you. For example I have lovely monochromatic image of some rock guitarist who looks like the progeny of Michael Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and an alien. I’ve also found myself wanting to cheat a bit (what does this say about me?!) and backing up the timer 10, 15 or 60 minutes so I can continue to work on it. Kinda defeats the purpose of moving quickly, doesn’t it? OK, here are a few of the earlier ones – you asked so no laughing!

 

This little hippie check was gessoed over so many times, I lost count. Eyes too wide, alien features, paw hands, incorrect shading….finally I just ‘called it’ and this is the result. Confession: DAYS and DAYS of looking, mixing, gesso-ing out, repainting, changing, OMG.
Nope, doesn’t even come close to resembling the reference pic. Could have used 4-5 more hours though. Confession: 73 minutes – the dress was complicated!
Matisse-like, huh? Again, shading and shadowing kicked. my. ass. Confession: 42 minutes.

There. I’ve come clean with you.

Self-Study Continues

And then, there’s my visual study of anything Michael Cutlip has done.  So complicated, so whimsical, so collage, so fun!  And…I’ve perfected a secret transfer technique which so far, is NO FAIL. No more hand sanitizer, no more waiting for medium gel to dry, no more rubbing until my fingers bleed. I finally get it!

Studying Michael Cutlip collage/mixed media work. Having so much fun and using up loads of my vintage wallpaper collection, too. And finally, this bird looks like a bird … because I did not draw it!

Published!

And the quarterly publication of my work in both Stampington Press’ Art Journaling and Somerset Studio (a jumbo-sized accordion 3D book featuring all the homes I’ve lived in) We need to support these inspirational and incredibly professional magazines more than ever. If you haven’t subscribed or picked one of their quarterly issues, think about having to learn about art ONLY from the internet. I’m so not ready for that. There’s nothing like holding a magazine in-hand or propping it up in your studio, following one of their technique articles or trying your hand at new skills.

Next post…please don’t hold your breath (you may already know I struggle posting regularly) but I am excited to tell you about a collaboration with a fabric, paper artist friend, Bobbie Wilson of Tucson. We met through email when I saw an article published on her ‘fishbone’ book, which was stunningly marvelous. This post is getting a bit long and novel-ish. Wishes for your wellness both mind, body and spirit, my friends! XOXO -Carol

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Artists: We are the fortunate ones, no?

  1. Congratulations on getting your work juried in, it is such a buzz when it happens! I have not been accepted in the last four comps I have entered, but am getting better at accepting and moving on (which is hard to do, but we have to have faith that maybe next time …) I agree about the news, we get two different newspapers (online) daily, from both sides of the political divide and the comparison is always interesting and informative, it gives a balance, although I know we (the public) still do get manipulated. I love your boat image, it is wonderfully enigmatic and atmospheric.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, sincerely, Anna. And having your work not accepted by those last four comps (of course, I feel they are making a big fat mistake!) means the work just wasn’t “invited” by the jury — not “appreciated”. As human beings, they probably have an idea of what the show will look like. Tough to sort out as an artist, don’t you think? Once I submitted a deeply emotional collage mixed media piece for me (“Last Breath” depicting the room where my mother took her last breath even including a cardinal in the bush outside her window) for consideration to an annual show I’d never NOT been invited to and when it was ‘declined’, it was like going through the grieving process all over again! I still bristle when I think of that rejection and I’m certain the jurors haven’t given it a second thought. I learned a lesson there. Next subject: Yes to being manipulated by any and all news but we can keep searching for the truth! Maybe it’s not too late. What a world. Wishing you good health and blessed creative energy. Thanks for your support and inspiration, too. I appreciate you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The ‘decline’ for your work that was SO personal must have been particularly painful. Its hard to imagine that something that touches you so deeply doesn’t touch others in the same way. As you say, a lesson learned. Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me! And yes, keep creating!

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