Three things I would like to share about me surround the FINEART AMERICA TONY AWARD (pictured above) as vehicle for having “completed the interface” of my Greater Life Vision in these areas: GRATITUDE, HEALING, DREAMS.
THANK YOU so much, Ms. Shores and Tony Murray for reenlivening theFAA Tony Award II. As the current January 2020 holder of this beautiful sculpture-award, I am so aware of the many lessons it has and continues to teach me. Were I younger, I might be egoically attached; however, at this time in my aesthetic, it carries more of a “lifetime achievement“ flavor. I am drawn to its symbolic fashioning of mixed elements: plastic, metals and laminated wood with a heArt chamber that contains a weighted scroll, which I was privileged to sign. There is a symbolic, alchemical, LIVE ENERGY from this mix which defines my role as “steward” of this honor within a global, timeless, fluid chain of artists before and thereafter…and for this brief moment in linear time, “my spark” twinkles in this greater Light journey. It has inspired my three glazes of the five universal shapes’ study, first to pay homage to the amazing watercolorist, Maria Hunt who nominated me, then to give gratitude to ALL artists who are in this chain and finally to announce my brief stewardship on this infinite journey of Art. Perhaps Meister Eckhart said it best: “If you have but one prayer, let it be Thank You”.
Winning the FAA Tony Award and being given this opportunity to showcase some of my life aesthetic has given me the HEALING vehicle to complete the interface between not being able to satisfy my dad’s request at completing his “Creative Gradient” manuscript in his lofty language of quantum physics but by finishing it through my own language of art.
This being a landmark year for me in celebrating both anniversaries of my birth and my marriage has occasioned many thoughts and questions regarding my life purpose and legacy. Now, “i am” hopefully….lightly, …softly heard within I AM and for reasons too difficult to further elucidate, I am so humbly grateful.
My DREAM of becoming a journalist-illustrator began at age 12 as a freshman in high school. I was a school reporter, Art Editor and co-creator/developer of “Imprints” cultural Magazine for which three of us gathered student artwork, poetry, short stories from the 6,000 student body collective and took to the nearby technical school to paper select, print, colate and distribute. Fueled by enthusiasm, I walked myself into our local Holyoke Transcript-Telegram newspaper and asked for an interview with the managing editor…after school. I must have seemed a curiosity with such brash determination; however, it landed me an assignment, a deadline, and regular printings for two years before achieving my byline, Youth Reporter status and eventual FULL PAGE AD of my BACK TO SCHOOL fashion layout article and ‘70s design sketches. I was monthly youth critic for local Plays at Stage West Theatre, West Springfield, MA and was selected to accompany the managing editor to Canada for the Annual Journalism Convention; however, I was not allowed to attend. Different times…one honored and did not question let alone disobey parental discretion. And so, my journalistic ambitions were thwarted …only to be reimagined thru Fineart America, uploading my Artwork and writing my description tabs, and now this INTERVIEW where I am given the unique distinction of being on both sides of the “story”.
In closing, I cannot think of a more fitting conclusion to this marvelous opportunity than to leave you with a quotation from the first woman of record in the English language, an Anchoress, Lady Julian of Norwich who penned in her “Shewings”: “All is well, and all will be well and in all manner of things, all will be well.”
Thanks so much for your kindness,
Laurel Adams is a New England born watercolorist and formally trained mixed media artist who now resides in Danville, Kentucky. A former multi-galleried artist and teacher, her credits include: Springfield Museum of Art Exhibit, Private Featured Artist Showings, Exhibit Judge 2008, Tewksbury Art Society Juried Watercolorist, Stage set Designer, three year Historic Red Mill ‘The Haunted’ Fundraising Effort designer and Painter.
She has also taught creative expression in organizations from Girl Scouts of America to Senior Centers and Nursing Home patrons as well as at Visions Gallery, NJ, private classes and contemplative and spiritual women’s retreats.
Her current aesthetic palette embraces natures giftings through the fluid media of primarily watercolour, acrylic and Indian ink; however, her early work reflected a love of chiaroscuro through soft charcoals and hard graphite sketches.
When did you first become interested in art?
My earliest childhood recollections emerge from behind the magnifying glass, my Aunt Jill’s default babysitting tool. There were playmates: Light, Shadows, Darkness Colour…MAGIC!!
Whether alone or together with her, I was encouraged to ‘explore’ the ordinary life gifts of: Patterns, Processes, from the Great Paradox.
Amazing expeditions were organized to the worlds of: Ferny frosted windowpanes, Diamonded dew dropped spiderwebs, swampy Skunk cabbaged cities or talcum Sanded rivulet bedded babbling brook banks to name a few. There, on my grandparents acreage where Aunty lived, emerged carefully manicured floral beds and vegetable gardens, meadowy hills for winter sledding, a babbling brook for barefooted splashing and wild berry bushes ripe for picking. Fringing this microcosm were thickly forested spaces for exotic lady slipper, trillium and fiddle fern study. A budding aesthetic named and claimed her world as “Laurelland”.
It took many years of classical training and formal education, life successes and ‘busy-nesses’, travels and achievings before the ordinary, great life gifts of Pattern, Process and Paradox came around full circle for the Big Re-Reveal. It is my wish that you enjoy Beauty as my gift to you.
What style of art do you use most?
I have heard it said that the Chinese definition of Art lies: “somewhere between reality and a dream.” That cusp is where I feel most comfortable self-defining; however, if I had to limit myself to a style it would be, “Impressionism”.
My artistic education began around four years old, visiting museums and art exhibits with my dad where I was raised, in Massachusetts. I was introduced to all examples of art from gilt 11th century triptychs thru classical masters to my beloved impressionist masters: Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir and Cezanne (being my favorites). Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts routinely hosted International exhibits from private collections on world tour and that was a frequent “Saturday ride”. The primary fascination was THEN, and still is now, …LIGHT!
Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?
Most certainly!! When on weekends at my grandparents home, my Aunt Jill encouraged my expansive expressions from behind the magnifying glass. She always had a “project” at hand with different media to “go exploring”. I was “fearless”, to use the vernacular of today. And then…began the “teaching”…and grade structures and perfectionism…and Fear along with Discipline..best and worst of times.
Most of my high school thru early college work was in Graphite, soft charcoal, Indian ink and some soft pastel. On that foundation was developed Strong detail bones. That Portfolio was probably my most technically exacting, precise and Beloved; it garnered all manner of awards, museum exhibition…and it was destroyed by water when I was 20.
My second portfolio of oil and acrylic paintings and some charcoal and inkworks garnered a fully paid semester scholarship to the Sorbonne (which I was not permitted to accept); this portfolio was stored at my future mother-in-law’s home in her finished basement and was also destroyed by water.
Those closely timed events in tandem with a college professor’s casual comment that I did not “have what it takes to become a professional artist” silenced my dialogue with The Flow within me for some twenty (20) years. During that time, however, I both excelled at a lucrative business career which left me creatively depleted and chose to leave that to advance my husband’s corporate aspirations.
The burgeoning friendship with my now best friend of 25+ years began with several casual questions including: “So, what do you do?” I answered: I am an artist. I was an artist with no portfolio. My first return to what is now my current portfolio (almost 500 images on FAA) began with a migraine headache, a 1:30 a.m. retrieval of my dad’s bottle of Higgins Indian Ink and twenty years of repressed creativity which FLOWed onto that high rag content typewriter paper which I tossed across the tea table to her over our morning cuppa. It was good…I KNEW it!
She sat silent for an uncomfortable pause before speaking: “This is BEAUTIful!…how DARE you?”
“How Dare you have this talent, this God given gift and not express it?”
Yes, only a true friend could speak that authentically and elicit my truthful and humble response…I began to paint in a medium that was once considered “A lesser medium”, watercolour. Serious painters mastered oil…even acrylic was deemed to be a lesser medium then.
What made you chose that medium?
Great seagueway into this question…”Fear” made my choice of medium to watercolour. You see, I had heard it was the most difficult to “ control” and I had achieved my life successes until that point by Type A behaviors. Well, my friend’s command invitation to return to artwork didn’t carry a grade, an award, a sales tag. That wasn’t my primary motivation. This time it was Love. I truly surrendered the notion of “DOing” art and instead, I fell in love with the Dance of the Light Flow…and BEcame one with The Art.
I “consented” to the imperfect bleeds, the dried vs. wet paper looks…transitioned from 90lb. or 140lb. to 300lb paper and explored different presses and textures…I gave my expectations to IT and IT took…me, UNdid…me, and … I learned to paint the negative spaces to offer the Light.
I still go there when led; that is how the lace appeared in my watercolour, “Friends of a feather” and how the cobwebs emerged in my Colour Pencil piece, “ Twin Hammocks”. (See picture below…I cannot resist.) and perhaps you SEE why I am so captivated by “glorious tangles”? They take my breath away…
I seem to carry the flow of “watercolour” into other media as well, only noticing it when I step back to look and SEE it. Even other artists commenting on my activity stream are often confused and I smile in knowing the reason why. To this day, IT begins as an artist call to PLEASE come, Play, Dance…and I sit with the medium, choose a single Colour by fancy of the moment, and I become fluid with The Flow and when I stop to gaze upon the first glaze, I am most often surprised where I am led.
What medium do I use and what makes me chose that medium?
Oh dear, until last year, my choice of medium was determined by either: EXTERNAL ( if I were doing a commission piece/gift for another) or INTERNAL (if I were painting for sheer JOY of my aesthetic because “i am” beauty within Beauty) motivators.
Since 2018 which presented a very difficult health picture for me, I am left with residuals, among them increased toxicity levels to both acrylics and resins in glazing compounds; therefore, the medium now chooses…me. EVERYthing happens for a reason. These health limitations gifted me with: two amazing mentors and FAA friends: Watercolorist, Conni Schaftenaar, whose personal tips and Masa paper tutorial (in her “Apple Blossoms in Spring” description tab) led me to a new FAA mixed media playmate/friend and Colour Pencil Master, Sarah Batalka, whose kind responses and helpful tips with her knowledge of wax Prismacolor vs. oil based Faber-Castell pencils guided me forward to former skills with oil pastels, now with less toxic residue.
Do your ideas come from life or imagination? How do you choose your images and colours?
And so, these questions are synergistic for me and require a “ deep dive” into Laurelland.
(I hope you don’t mind that I combined them.)
Are you familiar with the book/movie, “What the..Bleep..do we Know?”
Well, imagine growing up in that Quantum spaciousness with a Mensan-genius father who rode the razor’s edge between sanity and post traumatic experiences of WWII/Korea while writing his “Creative Gradient” manuscript before I reached the age of ten; he taught me: appreciation for higher wisdom, the Arts, Classical music and literature; he played the violin, took me to museums, astronomy labs and Shakespearean outdoor Theatre at Tanglewood located in the foothills of the Berkshires in Massachusetts where I was raised. Mix in a generous dose of mystical weekend magic with my Aunt Jill’s magnifying glass forays, Nature explorations into woods, meadows, gardens and artistic after-projects, and from THAT early childhood backdrop arises my answer to those questions.
Life fuels my imagination which, in turn, manifests my life. In the EXTRAordinariness of ordinary life events, I SEE …and I am very Aware of Patterns (Light and Darkness, Form and Formlessness)…I Accept and surrender to Process (mindfulness meditation/ contemplation) and I have learned that co-creative Action (my consent to pick up the brush/pencil and move pigment and invite the Flow) stems from the creative tension within Paradox. I am reminded: “Look within!…The secret is inside you.” Hui-neng.
So yes…Life is imagination which fuels life…which is richly or softly coloured, shadowed, fogged in twilight or darkly glowing in moonlight… Do you SEE the patterns emerging? and the Process unfolding in glimpses, minutes, hours, days? And the paradoxical Flow of Light-Love-Energy dancing thru form and formlessness to colour myriad expressions of my daily heArt? And colour choices?…perhaps William Blake said it best: “Colors are the wounds of light.”
My wounds take me to Nature and so the One Colour that is prevalent in my work is “purple”, the colour of Divinity and Royalty, of Mystery and Magic…the bracket colour of both edges of the rainbow…the container for the wounds of Light. For me, the “purple arms” that hug and contain both primary colours, into the secondary ones and most intimately into the golden treasure of Interior Light are perhaps most soothing to my wounds and I delight in the various undertones within the colour, Purple!
That is how my art happens for the most part.
Less often, ideas, images, colours come from photograph references which serve as detail studies.
Do you work in a studio?
Actually, I am fortunate to have two studio spaces, which I carefully planned while overseeing the build of our current home. The photograph below is a detail of the wooden drafting table Mary’s husband, Joe, customized for me when painting in watercolour, which I do mostly flat or with a very slight angle. It holds my tube choices for that work and a supply of odds and ends like gloves, sticks, etc.
As one might discern from the angled wall space, the bump out has three windows with adjustable blinds for light control.
To the image’s right (my seated left) is a purple dunas granite remnant topped, portable, open-artist cabinet our carpenter made me from the remaining ash board and bubinga trim remnants of my closet. It’s design was meant to accommodate the six-student Art-Tea watercolour classes I offered twice weekly for the first three years post build; it held the bone China teacups and dessert plates on the top shelf, art supplies on the middle and lower shelves and a variety of watercolour full sheets in differing weights and textures in the slide ins. The design easily allowed changeover to my personal studio space when I discontinued the classes shortly after my husband’s early return/retirement.
It has become my Tea curio-studio for painting or mixed media undertakings.
I recently re-imagined my personal reading and meditation Glider Rocker chair space into a mini-art space for Colour Pencil rendering. YES! While setting my TV to Itzhak Perlman radio, I draw and rock at the same time..:-) perhaps that is why I can never seem to draw a straight line? Ha! Traditional Pencil Holders were too burdensome to work with and so, I found a “purple“ cell phone hanging pouch on-line and repurposed it from a teacher’s back-to-school must have into an artist-with-Fibro MUST HAVE!
My husband found perfectly sized S hooks to fit beneath the lip of Ma Adams’ vintage doughboy from which hang the colour pencils by Colour Group; I like to think she still drops by to check on my artwork development. My view is of tree fringed meadowland across the way and my beloved Maple and Pine trees in the foreground. It is perhaps one of my most Peaceful spaces and the site of where 80% of my artwork takes place in diminutive 5×7 spaces of 400 series Colouring paper. Along the back wall are both my Art closet for personal framing and craft/hobby supplies and two portable wooden foldout display holders which house my completed artwork. (See below)
Who is your favourite artist?
Oh dear! Have you noticed Three (3) is my number?..:-) If I may dodge the limitations of that definite answer?…My artistic eye has always: GAZED admiringly upon the Italian, Michangelo because he tirelessly sought to free marble block of its glorious sculpted souls within, FLIRTED shamelessly with the Frenchman, Monet because he, like I, could NOT resist the Light reflections off of and in water or petals of beautiful flowers (especially the fleur de lis, my favorite) and he cultivated les beaux jardins, however, RESTS steadfastly upon the moonlit alabaster-skinned nymphs in ivory flowered gardens and lingers on the marbled glow of shaded terraces to tryst in the Magic of the Night with the American neoclassic Artist-Illustrator, Maxfield Parrish!! No worries, my husband knows..! One of Rick’s first gifts to me was a glorious book of Parrish’s work with photographs that met its watery demise with my work.
When indulging in Low Tea at the famed St. Regis Hotel, NYC, the Maître d’ hovered over Mary and I as our husbands had gone to the adjacent bar which boasted the “Ye Ole King Cole“ mural by Maxfield Parrish. When we boldly entered the bar after Tea, he lingered at the doorway and overheard my gushing over the mural. To my delight, he ushered us up a seldom used stairwell for a private viewing and photograph with a smaller Parrish ORIGINAL. I was BLOWN AWAY! My husband beamed with pride at the successful day he gave us all that day!..in celebration of my birthday and our friends having flown in to NJ to celebrate ME! Yes,…it would have to be MAXFIELD PARRISH!
What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?
The images I submitted are my favorites in differing media: acrylics, watercolour, colour pencil, Indian ink, Masa Paper, mixed media; however, “My Darshan” is the painting I would take if my home were burning!! This is an excerpt from my description tab:
“This is perhaps my most intimate posting to date. While I have long known that the Flow of co-creative Energy is the fuel and I simply consent to hold the brush and enjoy the view, this piece happened in one gliding, graceful glazing series after a deep meditation…this is intensely personal and the details of its meaning are mine.”
If one is familiar with spiritual metaphor, it will give you glimpses of my joy.
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
Ahhh, at one time not so long ago, I would have been able to tell you with great accuracy… remember my professional career? Since my motivation for co-creating artwork has changed over the last decade and one half, I now enter no-time when I grasp a Pencil or brush. Whether an evening “artist date” takes three or six hours to complete a painting, I don’t really pay attention…I LOVE IT; elements of timing melt into…moment and Light.
On average, it takes one to two evenings for my Colour Pencil 5×7 pieces and several weeks for the 11x14s, especially for works I love to call “My Glorious Tangles”! (See “Garden Party”).
For watercolours, that involves weeks of afternoon sessions of around four hours each, plus paint setup and it depends on many more variables, texture, paper/press/type poundage (90/140/300) …technique: wet-on-wet or dry on wet or dry on dry…and it most always involves a mix of those techniques…and drying… I don’t like to force the dry times and manipulate the pool/bleed formations, personal preference. I also do NOT use frisket (also called masking fluid) which allows an artist to save white spaces and more quickly develop backgrounds but which leaves edges and/or removal colour blurs which I do not like in my personal work.
I don’t put myself on a time clock anymore.
See “ Daisy Dazzle”. This took several weeks of daily session but see the Light and translucencies?…ah! I LIVE for these glimpses! It was a gift to my best friend who LOVES meadow grasses and daisies, just as do I! Thank goodness, I get to visit it every summer!
How well do you take criticism?
Having been classically trained with baseline requirements of four semesters of advanced Art History and a semester course in “Criticism”, I would have once cheekily answered: “Very well, thank you…I maintained 4.0 averages in my double majors and double minors.” We would, as a matter of course, be regularly required to assess our own and others’ compliance with the eight elements of Art using the four steps of Criticism. That was a long time ago.
I suspect, however, you are referring to others’ personal, critical opinions? The answer that comes to mind is: “I take all manner of criticism, both complimentary and non-complimentary, with humility”. Why humility? I have heard many amazing definitions of that word but the one that applies to me and my art is: “I am neither above nor below anyone”. The motivation for my artwork is to be integral with my self as beauty within Beauty. I regularly note in my description tabs that the compliments belong to the Flow and I only hold the brush or pencil. As such, I really am no longer attached to “my” artwork for the critical praise or dissatisfactions. I am the conduit not the Source.
What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?
I used to get “ blocks” when under significant stress for which I had no resources or tools before I learned how to live my life either above or below chronic pain levels, (whether physical, emotional or spiritual pain). The sources of my blocks, as I remember, were soulful losses: of enthusiasm and gratitude, perhaps even depression resultant from my disconnection from Beauty. Socrates noted: “There are two great tragedies in life: To get one’s heart’s desire and to not.” Do you believe in coincidences? Neither do I. A “serendipitous” book entitled “Beauty”, authored by the late great poet, John O’Donohue was gifted me on my 50th birthday and I devoured it as validation for what I had once glimpsed, lost and was then on the threshold of deeply embodying.
I overcame these losses by making a Conscious choice to realign my life with a personal, newly contemplated understanding of my connection to the Universal Ground of Being thru the Perrennial Tradition of Wisdom found in major Traditions. This choice included my “ consenting” to twice daily “abidings” (or mindfulness meditations) within my self that invited a deeper connection to my Greater Self; afterwhich, I was led to my easel. I know now that the artistic and spiritual aspects of my life are within a Flow that feeds the other. The image I see to more aptly describe it is the horizontal eight or infinity symbol.
I truly no longer know see them as separate;…art, for me, is simply the answer to my ongoing…prayer.
I can only attest to my own experience which poses an opposite “problem”- an overflowing abundance of EXTRAordinary- ordinary glimpses which I desire to behold deeply and visually transmit for sharing with others. It has been over a decade since I have felt a “block”.
How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?
I am …paused…on the first glazing and I sign the work, then take and store the glaze/image; this usually happens twice for virtual paintings which are entombed beneath the finished glaze. Most often, details for the third image remain as the Original Artwork. Of interest is that the interim glaze is most often what gets the popular comments and like/Favs while the finished product will win a “juried” contest. My “Northeastern Light” and it’s completed glaze, “Birches in New England” come to mind, the former garnering three times the views/exposure while the latter won an honorable mention “Free quarter sheet Ad” in the soon to be released WINTER 2020, Quarterly Haywain Magazine Contest.
No, many times it is NOT easy to walk away, especially if one is doing a painting either on commission or as gift for a friend. That is how the “Birches in New England” over developed, how “Mary’s Meadow”( see earlier paintings) got out of control, how the early under-glazing to Mary’s Meadow had a contemplative friend in tears for “Come to the Well” for which I gave her permission to make a Giclée and I signed to her delight. There are many such stories in my FAA portfolio descriptions.
Addressing my personal, inspired paintings, I face problems of overworking for other reasons…I SO love the Process sometimes, I don’t want IT to stop. Saving the glazes virtually helps here as well. And so, my efforts to stem this include setting an hour long timer to which I stretch, walk to clean brushes and refill my water glass, all in an effort to break the spell! Sometimes it works…and sometimes not…back to Socrates and the Muse and The Fates!
Have you had exhibits in galleries?
Yes, from 2006-2009, I was galleried in Visions Gallery, downtown Clinton, NJ. Within several months of invitation, An Artist Feature showcasing 34 of my watercolour paintings was held, complete with wine/cheese/hors d’œuvres for community interest/purchase. Thereafter, I had the good fortune to be requested to teach twice-weekly Quarterly evening watercolour-Tea classes; the classes were on a sign-up /then closed group basis in which I offered a a fifteen minute tea and sweet treat break, mid two hour sessions to small groups of 4-7 artists and Graphic designers. “Movement thru fear” was my class venue and I taught follow-on private classes thereafter until our move back to KY, and for three years in KY.
I likewise hosted two Artist Features at Visions Gallery in 2007/8 for my Students’ artwork where I had a modest “artwork presence”. I taught in 5×7 which was an easier vehicle to teach movement thru fear and also easier for supplies’ transport. We exhibited on folded three set Japanese panels for display…it was SPECTACULAR!
During that 2006-2009 timeframe, I was also galleried in KY at The Speckled Egg and Maple Tree Galleries. Regular flights to visit my best friend allowed for ease of monthly changeovers until the increasing demands caused by my mom-in-law’s decline became my priority.
I have been exhibited notably since age 19 at the Springfield Museum of Arts, MA and later at multiple juried exhibits, most notably Prallsville Mills and Tewksbury Historic Society, have painted/exhibited REAL TIME murals, my first around age 12-13 for the Downtown Holyoke Arts on Main Street and in 2006-2008 for “The Haunted“ fundraising effort for the historic Old Mill, Clinton , NJ. I have also painted stage sets for local High School Theatre productions, my favorite being “Beauty and the Beast”.
Collage of “The Haunted”, painting full sized wall panels.
Have you any exhibits in galleries planned for the future?
No exhibits; however, I have an invitation to speak in February, 2020 about how to join FAA at a local “Gathering Artist Group” pursuant to the honor of stewarding The FAA Tony Award. They want to view a representative sampling of my work as well; however, it is not a formal exhibit.
What are you currently working on?
I recently uploaded two vintage paper cut images I freehanded when I was 14 years old as a Christmas gift to my mémère and pépère for their bathroom. The diptych was significantly degraded as my Aunt had rubber cement glued the lacy construction paper cutouts onto cardboard backing, not exactly acid-free!-Ha! Well, my husband scanned them and I cut one out again to relief onto a partially glazed acrylic canvas I will not be finishing since my toxin problems. This inspired a current revitalized idea for some mixed media on black canvas which I had purchased for an acrylic “en noire” series last year. No use lamenting; as I said earlier, EVERYthing happens for a reason. I don’t want to prematurely spill the beans for my vision yet…I am still gathering supplies. Do I have your curiosity piqued? Great! You, along with readers of this interview, will have to check out my portfolio in February/March 2020!!
What are your plans for the future?
To keep channeling Beauty thru “the Flow” in ever new, vibrant, authentic images, to keep promoting my and others work thru contests, to continue outreach to (new or insecure) artists to help them move thru FEAR with kindness and encouragement!
To LIVE life fully in the Light!
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I didn’t have any positive or “best” advice given to me as an artist, EXTERNALLY from the “world”…until,….”my best friend” both labeled and mirrored my “beauty” of artistic expression and connected it as emanating from the Source of Beauty. In retrospect, it is thru her admonishment, that she pointed me to the relational INTERNAL choice to explore: journey to self, to my GREATER SELF, and to other people; I have since discovered this admonishment was the Metaphor to that which I now know is simply another definition of: Humility.
What advice would you give new artists?
I no longer give advice; I will, however, share from my experience, strength and hope.
BE fearless, MOVE THRU fear! I asked it (Fear) what it had to teach me; then …I remained with it long enough to be undone and refashioned by it! I observed the “teaching” of art for what it is…the disciplined DOings of technique! Yes, I practice, Practice, PRACTICED IN my SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE…then, STEPPED AWAY for whatever time it took not to default to it ( in my case twenty years). When, in the past, I defaulted (as with my second portfolio that is where I stayed…) for me, it stunted my enthusiasm, authenticity, my fearlessness to take risks! Perhaps that is why it was destroyed? ( NO coincidences! I SEE that now and am ever grateful for its having been the metaphor for my Phoenix.) Art without risk is, in my experience, simply plagiarism. As I said earlier: I “Detach” from others’ opinion out of love for my relationship with The Muse which will always draw me into The Flow.
As I said, I was classically trained for four years…they helped with technique and developmental history of various “Popular tendencies“ called Epochs, Periods or Movements…, critiqued me and and others; then, I helped myself by entering the dance with Inspiration (or the Flow) and BEcoming an artist under private tutelage of The Artist. I am still a practicing student!! I have also devoured philosophy, guided visual meditative, spiritual and contemplative practices which invited me deeper into Light…and, my work is sculpted… around Light!
What do you do to market your work?
I joined fineartamerica.com on 2/7/19 because it offered the Largest Online Virtual Gallery which understood that artists traditionally wanted to produce art and were not interested in marketing their work…YES! This spoke my language and it also gave me access to product art for my and other artists’ works. I could send personal gifts to my friends, decorate with coordinating accent pieces and so could my existing and potential future clientele. AND, so could the rest of the WORLD!
Regarding my original art, I no longer have the stamina (for reasons previously mentioned) to consistently produce Larger Pieces for traditional marketing strategies; and so, I now freely hand out my small 2×3 or 3×4 printed bookmarks with an inspirational or uplifting quotation on the back for handout whenever I go to the store or library or…etc. If people like my work, after this small gesture, they ask for my card or enter my phone number in their cellphone and I get commission pieces or they come by to search thru my two sizes/prices of matted originals archivally bagged to go. Only in small town living!…but THIS makes my heArt sing!
Do you use social networking in your day to day life?
Fineartamerica is the closest thing to social media I engage in. Where do people find the time? I LIVE a creative LIFE!! I leave the “talking or texting” to others.
On any given day: 7:00 to 7:30am, I exercise, check FAA, do “wakeup yogurt time” with my husband and Pom, Leo (now HE has 2,000+ friends on his Spa groomers Facebook site, ha!)…prepare Proper tea for two with my BFF/meditate 40, prepare lunch, perform significant/sq.ft.household duties, visit the art room to Play, prepare a home cooked dinner, exercise, fulfill phone outreach commitments, meditate 40, draw in Colour pencil, fold daily laundry, fulfill 2 to 3 hrs/FAA promotion thru activity streaming, contest management, personal art uploading/description writing, group uploading, and then …at 12 midnight-midnight thirty, crawl into bed. So, when does one DO social media?
Are you available for work (commissions)?
Yes, interested parties may contact me thru Fine Art America
Have you got hobbies?
YES! I am also an EDIBLE ARTIST – I am a home-gourmet cook with a flair for presentation- oh, the corporate entertaining days and events’ plannings! I also co-plan and hostess Elegant THEMED FORMAL TEAS! Such FUN!..visit my FAA portfolio, collections tab! My Friend Mary and I are already planning Valentine’s Tea! ( see one of my favorites below, An Artist Tea).
FAA COLLECTIONS, “An Artist’s Tea”, Edible Art series. Yes, the top tier offered Valrohna ganached strawberries; mid tier black bottomed brownies and baklava, and a cookie assortment below…Russian Teacakes and cherry bar wedges…ALL HOMEMADE with Love!
I am a SELECTIVE GARDENER…Indoors, I love exotics orchids, prayer plants, schefflera and Norfolk pine. I also tend the many floral surprises of glorious cut roses my husband buys me, just because! Outdoors, I designed “the wall” courtyard for my fresh herbs to the left of the courtyard and the annuals and bird bath as frontal viewing for Mary and my daily tea before meditation.
I also CROCHET …last project included 100+ snowflake ornaments for a Heritage Hospice memorial ceremony, comforting families who had lost loved ones within the year.
I have also made crewel embroidery art pieces, lace handkerchiefs and doilies, and vintage baby sweater sets (yikes, I am dating myself now)
During my career days, my husband and I became avid “travelers at sea” and my hobby as CRUISE PLANNER was to engage our travel agent with impossible details she and I would work to make possible. Oh, it was such fun! That was perhaps my most memorable hobby!
Where are you based?
I currently reside (with my husband and Pomeranian, Leo) in Danville, KY, a quaint town which features a Change of Four Seasons, a big community heArt and deep cultural roots. At the heart of downtown past boutiques and small restaurants, lies Centre College and it’s Norton Centre which attracts Off broadway touring, International concert venues like the world famous Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Russian Symphony Orchestra and has been selected as site to host several National political Conventions. It also offers an alternative slower paced lifestyle while still affording proximity to more Metropolitan choices in dining, health and Events in the greater Lexington and Louisville cities of horse racing and Kentucky Derby fame.
VOTED AMONG THE TOP 10 BEST CITIES TO LIVE IN AMERICA, ABC 2014, Danville continually seems to find itself in the highest percentile for many benchmarks, including mine.
MUSIC CHOSEN BY LAUREL
Vaughn Williams, The Lark Ascending
Anne Sophie Mutter…Meditation on Thaïs
The Moody Blues, Days of Future Passed – The Evening