In living a rich life, each day should have some form of charity which uplifts the spirit and fills the heart. I have loved taking images of the magnificent creatures of the San Diego zoo for many years and each year try to donate images of these glorious animals to the zoo for their annual fund raising event, an auction which usually occurs each June. This year I again donated two images, one that had been donated previously, entitled “Ancient Memories” of a female elephant with a tear glistening in her eye and a new image of the two rhino half brothers napping, appropriately entitled “Naptime”. In the photo you will see Sara Shapiro handing the prints to Kim Harvey-Imig, San Diego Zoo Development Coordinator.
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“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” John Wooden
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein
Perhaps this is an appropriate quote as we near the end of 2010…each year I try and take stock of what I’ve accomplished as an artist, how my life has unfolded, what I liked about what I did in the past year and what I wished I had done, reserving little space in my ‘stock taking’ for regret as I learned early in my life to choose not to live with regrets, but take some risks, and calculated chances and go with them!
This year I became more selective in the submissions I made to galleries, and “calls for art”, was more focused on creating a coherent body of work, and balanced that with fewer select workshops, and more conceptualization of what I wanted to create.
As always, I submitted to show at Sonnenberg Gardens in August, Clothesline at the Memorial Art Gallery in September, and Artist Row at the Rochester Public Market. In all these venues I had rich experiences seeing loyal clients, and meeting new folks interested in my work.
I was awarded the Best of Show in Photography at Artist Row, a great way to end the summer showing of my work in a booth format! I also showed with the DRAW gals at Artist Row, our booths adjoining….very fulfilling to display work with friends and colleagues side-by-side. And in the fall several of us in DRAW donated our work to the Rochester Public Library for circulation.
In November I was asked to speak at the Chili Art Group, an active group of diverse artists. In preparing for that talk, I took the opportunity as a prelude to year end assessing, where I was as an artist. I looked at how, and if, my goals were being achieved. In thinking about the creative process and the commonalities we face as artists, I became clearer about the process for myself, which became a gift for me. Having spent seven years listening to speakers for M.E.C.A. (Monday Evening Creative Arts), I was amazed at how difficult it was for me to articulate MY process. The questions raised during the evening were poignant and this stands as another one of the highlights of my year.
I will sadly miss attending the DRAW Show: “Parallel Perspectives” at Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester January 7, 2011 but am already working on a series to present in a gallery in 2011. These images were created, and the idea was developed at a workshop in Peters Valley with photographer, Laurie Klein last summer. It promises to engage me in some deep post production work.
So today, as the year ends, as Albert Einstein proclaims, I commit to learn from yesterday, I hopefully, live for today, and in looking forward to tomorrow, I hope….And I never stop asking questions, the questions that inspire and motivate me to explore…..
What have you learned from yesterday? Do you live for today? And do you hope for tomorrow? What are the questions you ask? Do they inspire and motivate you to explore your creative self? What will you discover and create in the coming year?
Early morning with a brilliant sun rising….warm glow to the horizon, oranges, pinks and coral, glowing in a pale blue sky……yee-haa, a good day to be alive! A day filled with inspiration, following days of gray skies and dormant plant life, stick trees pushing against a drab horizon and snow covered hillocks…Makes one want to pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep…Today is a great day to paint, en plain air, as although it is chilly and crisp, not brutally cold. I am not a landscape painter or photographer, but never stop loving the beauty of a good landscape, one filled with deep three dimensional horizons, color, interesting trees, mountains….my spirit soars…let the adventure begin!
The “boys”, Mo & Sammy, wish everyone a day today like they experience every day of their precious lives; good food, a walk, a few naps, a few treats, good company, and their ‘family’ to love and cherish them!
Wherever you are, whatever you believe, (or don’t believe), namaste, & have a wonderful holiday and a healthy and happy new year! Many blessings,
I look out into the snowy white, stick, stark trees with black leaf bags blowing wildly in the wind…the bags look like crows, wings flapping crazily. It is a landscape I am familiar with and yet it never ceases to amaze me in its barren structure. I try to imagine the life beyond it’s desolation but long for sun, and something to break the landscape with color, or something that resembles an organic living process. This landscape saddens me, reminds me of death, and loss and with a sick feeling I realize what I am losing. My friend slips away and this heightened awareness plunges me into the landscape I dread, one of stick, stark trees, and black crows flailing their wings in desperation…..what would a painting or image of loss look like? Would there be any color to break up the landscape of the canvas, of my soul? Would there be “life” to this canvas? Would there be movement? How would the ‘dance’ look like as my mentor, Steve Carpenter explains, when he refers to the process the artist uses in placing paint on the canvas or the way a photographer uses the camera to capture the life, the essence of the image? What do you think this image of loss would be like?
This is the perfect quote for me today because for me in great art, music, dance, there is always a tremendous joy, but in the greatness, not only the overwhelming passion, but a melancholy of sorts…Take Leonard Cohens song, “Hallelujah” sung by Alexandre Burke. I cannot listen to this song without not only singing it, but feeling such deep passion and an overwhelming sadness, melancholy, that my spirit soars… There are times in my life where the passion is almost uncontainable. What memories do you have of times like this? These memories can be touchstones for creating art and giving voice to one’s passions.
Lunching with a friend yesterday, we revisited a theme which never ceases to intrigue…what is art? We have this continuing dialogue in our never ending contemplation of art as our passion and our love of sharing our artistic process with each other. But admittedly I know no more now that I did when I began this artistic journey a decade ago, although some issues become clearer as the journey unfolds. We agreed that the actual artistic results, the painting, drawing, sculpture, photographic image etc., or what he refers to as “artifacts” are merely by products, and that it is the ‘process’ which reigns supreme! It is in the discovery of that, the ‘process’, where the real satisfaction comes, the exploration of a subject, a theme, an idea…it is in the pursuit of that idea and all it’s attendant ‘stuff’ that we ‘solve’ some mystery which intrigues us, which compels us to consider and investigate.
So the question remains…what is art? Who decides what it is? My friend asks, is it art only if the artist is ‘collected’, as so many folks popularly agree? Is it art if the work is critiqued only by a recognized critic or revered by a group? Does that mean if you continue your artistic process and never show your art, exhibit in galleries, and produce in a vacuum, then it isn’t art?
We arrive at few possibilities and no conclusions, but what is inspirational for me is that we continue to have the discussion at all; the pondering of “defining art” and our agreed upon irrelevance of the final “product” or “artifacts” is what compels.
Can’t wait until our next time together to pry into the qualities of art, and travel again to explore what we think it is….
Here I sit , snowstorm raging, in yards of wool, bundled in a coffee shop with whiteouts in my vision in the windows ,where toasty and warm, I ponder the whiteness of the snow, the negative space it creates in the landscape and it’s pure and desolate nature. One of the fiercest storms this season, it shows no signs of letting up but the restrictions it imposes to “not do”, but “be”, staying in and off the roads, helps one contemplate inner visions, dreams, and allows the sub conscious to quietly visualize and create new directions and possibilities for new work. I know this is a truth within the creative process….be still and the vision emerges…it is only on days when the weather imposes the boundaries, that I am reminded of this and am content to simply “be”….
I had the chance these past few weeks to explore a unique little floral shop in Rochester (151 Park Avenue, in the back) which debuted this summer. You think you’re in southern California with the bright colors and airy feel. StacyKFloral is so much more that flowers. The walls are hung with delightful art work, there is an assortment of colorful and funky gift items, air plants artfully arranged in glass balls, a collection of Mary Francis purses, floral decorations for the home, and of course, flowers galore! Stacy’s arrangements are exotic and dramatic as I sent friends one for a gallery opening this fall. Just what artists, photographers and folks with a highly developed visual sense love; color, design composition, line….hmm, yummy….
Stacy is a hip gal who has a sense of style and a funky shop; she offers what no other florist in the area does. She now carries some of my 6″x6″ ceramic tile images as well as some photographic images printed on gallery wrapped canvas. Visit this season and delight in her shop…and let me know what you find!
Anything I might say about gratitude this week would be a cliche…it’s all been said before. I have heard that not only might you be grateful for what you have but perhaps, what you haven’t. Now there’s a thought to ponder! Gratitude is the readiness to show appreciation…so now count the people, things, experiences, which you are grateful for, and I suspect this accounting will be long and fruitful. For we are usually not aware of all the wonderful aspects of our lives, but often the little barbs, glitches, which take up so much space in our awareness but are really trivial in the end. Today I will be in the process of such a grateful accounting and of course, this will include family, friends, our beloved dogs, my mare, and good health!
I have also been thinking what gratitude would look like visually. Would colors be harmonious? Would the composition be pleasing to the eye, symmetrical? Asymmetrical? What emotions would a work of art with the subject matter gratitude look like? What does music sound like when grateful? Is there dissonance or only harmony? Is the key always a major one? These are some things you might want to explore when thinking about gratitude in the arts, and when accounting for you own ‘thanksgiving’….
May you have a blessed and grateful Thanksgiving…Kate