Hiking on the High View Trail at Black Rock Campground
As I compose this post, so much is swirling in my head:
The power of words
The importance of our messages
Reaching out to those in need
The newness of spring
The striking contrast of my life to the pain felt in Ukraine
This has been an amazing month. In mid-March I held an auction donating all of the proceeds of three paintings to Reach Global Ukrainian Refugee Fund. I was pleased and touched by the generosity of donors! I am planning a second event soon, and currently 20% of the earnings from my Sunflower cards at my Etsy shop or sold locally are going the refugee fund as well.
It IS spring…
“Spring" sometimes refers to democracy movements…striving to create the newness and beauty of spring. Will this be possible for those in Ukraine and its surrounding nations – just trying to survive the current brutal attacks? We so desperately hope so.
As artists, we strive toward beauty – or message.
Writers and poets know the power of words. So do politicians. As children, we are encouraged to ignore cruel words. Yet,they leave can leave long lasting wounds. Indelible images of horror do not dissipate quickly.
The power of image and metaphor in the hands of a masterful artist, photographer, journalist…can make the world a better place. I applaud photojournalists who are currently telling truth in their work. I have long admired the work of photojournalist, Lynsey Addario, who is now covering the events in Ukraine.
As we hear the war news and consider its effects on our own world, we often say, “Oh I am fine. I am not in Ukraine.” But are we?
Each part affects the whole. The stress felt in my back is the result of so many factors. Each of us is certainly put together differently, (remember Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences?) but we all need peace of mind, health, relationships and creative pursuits. While parts of our world are in turmoil, how do we keep our own garden vibrant?
I found this in my journal from two year ago, at the onset of Covid:
Part of me is determined to continue my France journal, and the other part asks - oh my gosh - people are suffering so…does it matter?
Mind, body, spirit and soul are connected. Every aspect affects our creative life. For me, reading my bible, poetry, inspirational travel journals, watching short creative video clips of friends watercoloring, walking and gardening has kept me grounded. Spirit connects us with God, and our soul is where we express our passions.
If you can be creative in some way – cooking, sewing, dancing, painting, remember how important it is for your emotions and spirit!
Our spring has been blustery – but our desert is green, by Mojave standards! Last week, I taught a Desert Institute workshop in Joshua Tree National Park, and although strong winds blew our plein air class indoors—we had a lovely day. Participants always inspire me! I will be teaching a morning painting workshop at Cactus Mart in Morongo Valley May 7th. There may a spot left. If interested see details here.
Teaching the Desert Institute Class "Capturing Joshua Tree with Acrylics" April 16th
On that note, what is on my easel?
I, too, am a complicated amalgam.
The desert - my environment
Memories of places, people - the ocean, Carmel, France, England, family friends, strangers
Human figures – a fascination since I was a child.
I need to tend my own garden—my creative, intellectual, physical, spiritual garden alive and vibrant with color. And that is how we feed others… by sharing and feeding.
As we grieve for Ukraine and make efforts to help, I encourage you to nourish your creative spirit! Strengthen your capacity to share that joy with family, friends and even those on the other side of the globe.
1 29 Palms Oasis - paintings donated to education program at the 29 Palms Art Gallery; 2 "Joshua Tree Sunrise" in Southwest Art; 3 A friend caught me during Zoom group; 4 Cactus Mart - site of May 7th morning class; 5 "Joshua Tree Sunrise" sold the week the magazine came out-serendipity; 6 Cards at European Bistro - Il Sogno "The Dream" - Palm Desert
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This January 2023 marks 5 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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