June 2, 2023
As summer approaches, I wish you the best of the season and realize one half of 2023 is nearly over. Events in our world move quickly-
It’s not just how our lives have changed, but how changed our lives are!
How are we to approach everyday tasks?
For me, this year has been a flurry of activity (which seemed like great plans last year after the pause of 2020 - 2021). Now, I long for an old-fashioned summertime with quiet to reflect and enjoy nature, vacations and family.
Celebrate the arts, but give yourself permission to unplug a bit.
Gardens everywhere need extra attention after an unusually wet season.
And as I think of gardens, I realize each of our social circles are somewhat like a garden bed, needing an individualized approach and unique tending. As a painter - gardens have been a favorite theme. Many famous artists gardened and painted their gardens! So with these thoughts, I shall enjoy each task—whether it’s painting, clearing out the studio, weeding, trimming or planting new flowers…each with the hope of creating beauty in the small world around me!
I believe we are meant to live in a smaller universe.
I love meeting new people, but small circles yield close communication and intimacy. We can grow garden(s) of relationships as well as flowers or vegetables. Gardens of humankind.
Variety is important – ages, places of origin, interests—but gathering for a purpose can be rewarding…to discuss a book, painting, new skills, community goals.
As the chaos of the world becomes louder, I seek soft, strong voices. And literally, the garden! The desert can be a challenge. When I first moved here as a young twenty-something, I imagined an English garden. Over the years I have learned what thrives. Recently I was stunned to find an iris bulb in dramatic full bloom! Like a new grandparent, I shared photos of my lovely white iris!
Gardens have nurtured art makers for centuries. Leonardo painted the annunciation, the angel giving the news to Mary, with an Italian-looking garden in the background. Colorful gardens maintained by Claude Monet, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Winston Churchill, Joaquin Sorolla, Emil Nolde, Pierre Bonnard, Beatrix Potter, Gustave Caillebotte, and modern garden painter Kate Corbett Winder have served as inspiration.
Below are a FEW from this list. Claude Monet's Garden at Giverny (my 2019 photos of the bridge and the pond with boater), Frida Kahlo's garden and Casa Azul, Georgia O'Keeffe's home/garden in Abiquiu NM, Winston Churchill's painting of his grounds at Chartwell, a garden scene by Joaquin Sorolla, Pierre Bonnard's Grande salle à manger dans le jardin, and new discovery, British painter and gardener, Kate Corbett Winder - Willow and Herb.
JANUARY – JUNE 2023 Events in Review
Photos: At Dialog Group Show January - 29 Palms Art Gallery, Paint and Sip Fundraiser Class - 29 Palms Art Gallery participants, Desert Plein Air Association Workshop demo, Desert Driven – Solo Exhibit February and March at Pilates & Arts, participant at Cactus Mart Morning Workshop, participant work at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve Class, me with my portrait by Snake Jagger in the High Desert Icons exhibit at JTAG (Joshua Tree Art Gallery), and donation for the Save Furstwurld Fundraiser
Good Feelings: the serendipity of having my painting in a major film. I am pleased to have my artwork appear in “You Hurt My Feelings” a quirky, poignant, fun film which is getting great reviews! Director/writer Nicole Holofcener is an art collector and lover. The film is full of art. A number of years ago, Nicole bought my painting of our daughter and kitty at the 29 Palms Inn. She approached me last year about using the work in her new film; I was stunned! My painting appears in the last scene! (I had to keep mum on this for a year!)
My Bookshelf: The day after I heard about Katie Hessel’s new comprehensive history, The Story of Art Without Men, I downloaded an auditory copy. Doesn’t every young woman ask why women artists were not included in the history of art? During high school, I explored this subject and remember a notable Linda Nochlin article in Artnews in the 70s. Hessel’s new book is fascinating, and I am eager to receive my hard copy full of color photos.
I will be adding a few more original pieces to my Etsy shop: French Press & Mojave Inspiration. My most recent muse has been the beautiful Cactus Mart and Purple Agave Gallery in Morongo Valley, CA where I show my work and occasionally teach a class. I am planning a Cactus Mart greeting card series soon.
I will return to Paris and travel to Florence for a writing retreat with painter/author Erin Gafill later in the year – expecting major inspiration!
So, who knows what the 2nd half of 2023 will bring! Painting, traveling, visiting family. I’d love to hear about your plans, favorite art exhibitions, books and garden ideas.
Wishing you summertime peace. And remember...dreaming is free!
Inspired by all of you,
Photo Credit: Stacey Dilley
January 2024 marks 6 years of blogging about creativity, well-being and encouragement. Thank you to the many who have visited my website! I welcome comments and questions.
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