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I feel like this year we skipped Spring? This collage I created in January sitting at my desk looking out into my back yard, with my toes on the heater. It was cold and I was looking forward to seeing the little signs of Spring. By March we already had record high tempartures in the 70’s and now 80’s here in April. Even my youngest daughter feels that something is out of balance. She said to me the other day: “If it is this hot now mommy, what is summer going to be like?” I’m not sure…
But here is my token to Spring however brief it was this year.

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Often I start a painting with a certain idea, and it sort of evolves into something different, letting go and letting it happen is the most important lesson I’ve learned as an artist. Here another peek at my work in progress……

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I’m always so excited when I start a new painting….here’s a peek…

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I had to share this photo. I just love seeing my three beautiful girls with my belly casts in the background. I made one for each of them, knowing that one day they would become part of an exhibit.

The four years after becoming a mom, I barely did any art. I sketched every now and then and that was about it.  Here are a couple of those quick sketches capturing moments, like gestures.

        
With two young ones, there really wasn’t much time for art, except coloring with them.  I made sure they always had crayons and paper available, and I enjoyed seeing the girls fall in love with colors, and the motion of their hand holding the crayon. They were all about process, not product, although they did like to see their art hung up on the fridge.

The girls inspired the artist in me, in a way that no college class or workshop ever has. The pure joy they colored with, rubbed off on me and soon I was coloring along with them, on scrap pieces of paper and in coloring books.

Having studied art in college I had become so focused on the end result that I had forgotten to enjoy the process. My girls helped me find that joy.

With the pregancy of my third daughter, I started to paint again.

I set up my easel in a little corner in our dinning area, where I could back up far from my paintings to get a good look at it from a distance (I like to work big) and I set out my paint brushes and a basket for all my paint. I had always loved to paint with oil and discovered a waterbased oil paint that did not have all the toxic fumes, but that same buttery feel to paint with.  So when my babies napped I painted.

I painted for about two hours a day, and the result was the series on motherhood; pregancy, birth and the nurturing of my three little girls. Caring for and nurturing my girls was an all encompassing task for a while, but with great rewards; not only did my daughters remind me to paint with joy and pure color, they inpsired a whole new series of work based on the amazing experience of becoming a mother.

My first motherhood painting was Giving Birth which I painted at the end of my pregnancy with my youngest daughter. It is a very personal and intimate portrayal of the experience of birth. I wanted to convey the feeling of this incredible strength that came over me, from a place hidden deep within. There is pain but also beauty and elation.

This exhibit was a dream of mine for several years. Working with the local nonprofit BirthSmart the first obstacle was finding a space that was receptive to having a show as intimate as this. When I approached Caole Lowry at Planet Earth she welcomed the idea with open arms. Caole Lowry owns and operates Planet Earth & the 4 Directions Gallery here in Grand Junction where she sells vintage and curious items from around the world, as well as provides an alternative space to show art.
If you are local and would like to come and check out the show, it will be open for the First Friday Art Hop tomorrow night, and the show will be up until April 17th.  Please feel free to leave us comments about the show here or in our guest book at the gallery.

Thank you BirthSmart, Planet Earth & the 4 Directions Gallery, as well as the artists who contributed and helped with the exhibit.

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  “Ode to a Cottonwood”

  “Ode to a Weeping Willow”

    “Golden Aspens”

      “Morning Blush”

 

    “Storm brewing over the Palisade”

  “The Old Tree”

I have been painting trees since I was a little girl and grew up next to a green lush forrest in Denmark.  There were birch, beech, elm, oak, and a thick carpet of leaves turning to mulch.  I remember that smell and now as an adult I love turning over my leaf piles and adding this richness to my garden.   Nature is so simple and yet so complex, so fragile, yet resilient.   There’s magic in trees.  A friend told mine recently: “you capture the essence of trees in your painting!”

Here’s a poem that was published in “The Tree That Time Built” and written by Karen I. Shragg

Think like a Tree

Soak up the sun

Affirm life’s magic

Be graceful in the wind

Stand tall after a storm

Feel refreshed after it rains

Grow strong without notice

Be prepared for each season

Provide shelter to strangers

Hang tough through cold spells

Emerge renewed at first sign of spring

Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky

Be still long enough

to hear your own leaves rustling.

 

 

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Today I taught three 4th grade classes about R.C. Gorman today.  R.C. Gorman was a Navajo artist who was born in 1931 and died in 2005. What I really enjoyed teaching the students about him was that he became very successful during his life. Often we think of artists as starving, but R.C. Gorman became very wealthy making art and drove a Mercedes and had an olympic-sized pool.  He became the first navajo artist to own gallery in Taos, New Mexico. He had very famous fans such as Jimmy Carter, Arnold Swarzerneger, and Jackie Onassis. The fact that he was born in a hogan with no running water or electricity and having no manufactured toys only led him to create things with his own hands at an early age. I find him to be a great inspiration to all the students, but especially so to the native American students.

http://rcgormangallery.com/

 

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The beauty monday morning was breathtaking.   Everything was damp and steaming. It was not raining, at least not here in the valley, but the clouds were hanging heavy and thick around Mount Garfield.  I was so inpsired, every few steps I had to stop and take photos of something wildly beautiful unfolding.  I thought I’d share the photos with you here…





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I’m really excited for the member’s show at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts. The exhibit opens with a reception this friday night and the exhibit will run until the 24th of February. I’m always so excited to see all the artwork. Last year there were over 400 entries! This year Camille, the curator, told me she has all the galleries reserved for the show, so there is room for even more? I can’t wait!

See you there for the reception Friday, February 3, 7 – 9 p.m. or peek in there during normal gallery hours before February 24th to see what creative minds have been up to here in the valley.

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I friend of mine introduced me to the idea of creating a collage for the things, feelings, adventure, color and people that I want to attract in my life.

It has become a New Years Collage and this is my third year creating one. I hang mine up so that I can look at it while I brush my teeth. and it serves as a affirmation of the good things I want to attract.

I read an article recently that said you should create this kind of collage and then hide it away and only then will the good things come to you because you are not thinking about it.

I think the opposite is true for me it helps me to look at the collage to remind myself of the things I’m hoping to attract and it helps me stay more focused.

Here is the one I made for this year….

New Years Collage

It’s a visual goal-settting project if you will.  Give it a try. 
 
All you need is a good pile of magazines, a glue stick, and a large piece of drawing paper.
 
 Thumb through the magazines absent-mindedly and pull out any images that speak to you.  
 
 Then on the large piece of drawing paper start laying out the images and arranging them. 
 
A lot of times I end up arranging them by color.   I like to lay out all the images before I glue any of them down, but sometimes I still decide to move some images after I already glued them, then I just use a sharp knife to free the image and move it to where I want it.
 
Last hang where you will see it often. 
 
Have fun and let me know how turned out.

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Being from Denmark I follow a lot of the traditions I grew up with. I create a wreath every year of juniper that I trim off our trees in the backyard. The wire base I have been reusing for 10 years now and the ribbon I found at Michael’s, it is a hemp and red ribbon that seems very natural and rustic. I think that is the theme I’m going for: Natural and rustic. 

Reindeer plant holder helps bring some greenery to the front step… 

A glance at our tree….

We decorate our tree with a lot of homemade ornaments. 

I really enjoy teaching my girls, nieces and newphews how to make the paper stars.  You can see one in the upper corner of the photo above and a close up below.  I’ve been thinking about doing a post on how to make those little stars.  Are you interested?  Let me know in the comments….

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