Ready to Ride into 2019

Januaries come and go, and like many, many other people, I make promises and resolutions hopefully to get to a better place in the new year.

This year I made the usual “promises.” I will stick to my diet and work on keeping my diabetes to low levels. I will work on being and staying healthy. This means continuing not to indulge in sweets, too many carbs, or margaritas (keep the pounds off). 

A lot of us make these resolutions to get us back on track.  Sometimes they work, and sometimes by the third week into it they dissolve away.

Determination is the key word here.

This year is different for me. One of my issues is to stick to a regimen of working on my craft daily. (I always have but I want to do more.)  I continue to paint, sculpt, and create work.  There are shows I must create new pieces for, but there is also work I need to do to develop my personal style and to grow. 

I feel that drawing is the backbone of all visual genres. With that said, I draw and sketch and keep diaries of things that interest me and could possibly pop up in my bigger works. I never throw anything away, and I keep all for future inspiration.

Whenever I travel I bring sketch books and journals to keep track of places and things that interest me (along with a camera for documentation).  You never know when that perfect subject matter might pop up.

In keeping my new year promises,  procrastination is not acceptable.  I have a sizable work space, stocked with all the materials I need, a great sound system to put me in the right mood, and lastly a place where I can be free with my applications and inspirations.  I call this my “manic and emotional” ride.

And as I go into 2019, I’ve already started on it again, and am anxious to see where it takes me creatively, professionally, and personally.

CREATE at Marion County Library

CREATE is a yearly event held at the Marion County Library. It’s a day of creative arts featuring the work of local high school students. This year’s celebration took place on Saturday, November 10, at the library’s main headquarters in Ocala, Florida. I had the honor to serve as a judge for the visual arts competition. Some of this year’s entrants demonstrated impressive maturity in their work, showcasing strong visual talents in people so young. All of these young artists should be proud of their achievements.

Being a judge for this event proved both a challenge and a visual stimulant for me. It opened my eyes to possible new directions and themes for my own art. It also brought back to mind media I once had used but had placed on the back burner. One is never too old to learn, and it’s exciting when we learn from young people: youth + creative input = exciting new works.

In my opinion, drawing is the “backbone” of all creative visual expressions. It all starts with a line! If you can’t draw properly, how in the world can you paint with oil or acrylics? Drawing took center stage at this year’s CREATE competition, with many unique and polished pieces that showed attention to detail in the finished results. Some would be worthy of consideration in future juried competitions.

I also loved the creative use of materials this year. One piece, which depicted a bridge scene clearly set in Paris, had a background that glowed with a subtle aura and gave this small painting a strong, highly desirable light-and-dark drama. At first glance I thought the artist had used day-glow paint until I got up close and personal and realized she had positioned battery-operated mini-lights behind her painting to produce this effect. She didn’t puncture the canvas, but rather had the lights rest behind it, producing a most desirable and unusual effect. Her ingenuity and use of materials impressed me, and certainly pushed the “creative” buttons in my head.

Another artist designed a tableau that featured a garden figure clad in roses and looked almost as if it was coming out of a planter. Installation and three-dimensional art are a big part of my own creative expression, and this piece was right up my alley. The detail and use of materials was spot on. I think this young person could have a career in the arts; she definitely has talent, imagination, and vision.

Three-dimensional “installations” take into account the environment in which the piece is set. They often incorporate re-purposed materials that add nuance to the overall display. Visual settings like this are rare, mainly because most people think of art as something you hang on a wall. When an artist takes into account materials, placement, and over-all impact, it makes an interesting and unique statement. We need more of this.

I commend these students. My Saturday morning was filled with new ideas, new directions, and new talents. Congratulations to all. You ARE the future of our art world.

Beat & Path

Beat & Path, my newest collection of works, will be featured at my solo exhibit at The Brick City Center for the Arts, Ocala, Florida throughout December.

The concept for this show came about because I try to march to my own drum and avoid the beaten path. I create works in a multiple media, often mixed together, and I don’t like to be cornered by just one style, media or approach. 

As an artist, I like to develop my message in various surfaces and media, mainly water-based pigments. (watercolor, acrylic) with the addition of colored pencil, oil pastel, dry pastel, and graphite.

I challenge myself not to do the same thing over and over again. That’s just too easy.  I like the challenges of mixing methods, styles, and genres.

In this show particularly, I was drawn to natural images played out with color, texture, and style not usually associated with a basic landscape or still life.

My subject matter centers around nature, social issues, and sustainability, occasionally with tongue-in-cheek.  The combination of media and surfaces drives my development of a particular piece.

My works range in size, but recently I’ve been going really big.  I want to capture an entire scene or statement and go for the “wow” factor.

This show offers small accent and mid-size pieces under glass as well as larger framed canvases. I feel a variety of sizes and shapes make for an dynamic display, almost like storytelling.

I’m also showing a few three-dimensional pieces made from re-cycled mannequin forms. These are probably may favorites because I used something not usually associated with fine art and gave it my own twist.

I hope you join me on my “Beat & Path” and that my pieces make you smile, think, or ponder.


PS The opening reception for Beat & Path is Friday, December 7, from 5 to 7 pm. Brick City Center for the Arts. 23 S.W. Broadway, Ocala, Florida 34471. We’ll have live entertainment and light refreshments. Please join us if you can.