Greetings! This is my place for art and thinking. The images I find out in the world and close to home are sometimes put here. I like to smile and hence like to find images that are smileworthy. I'm also a bit melancholy sometimes and hence you might find images of solitude and loneliness.
I went to the VMFA last week to see the Natural Bridge exhibit before it closed on August 1. Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of the Natural Bridge and encouraged artists from Europe to come to America to paint the bridge and Niagara Falls, two of his favorite places. I enjoyed the paintings and the history of the natural formation. Despite the heat, which wasn't as bad as in previous days, I walked around the grounds for a bit. I was impressed by the way they'd use the sweeping landscape and made small areas of retreat available throughout the campus. The images below are about those spaces.
I also did a walkabout in the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Fascinating place with lots of stuff. I will have to go back because I only had a short time to walkabout. They are also constructing new parts of the museum and I look forward to seeing the changes.
Between those two places is a white blockhouse building surrounded by orange tape, orange cones, and "No Trespassing" signs. Turns out the building is the headquarters for an organization that venerates "The Lost Cause," the KKK, and believes that most enslaved people were happy. Sad. Really sad. Here comes the hate mail.
I went out today for what Julia Cameron would call an "artistic date," that is, a date with myself with something artistically themed. I chose to walkabout in Lewis Ginter Gardens. It's really a beautiful place with wonderful gardens and some great designs. The conservatory is fascinating not only for the plants that it houses but for the unique structure which has the commanding position on the property. I cut my walkabout short because of the extreme heat but will go back again soon. There is a lot to see.
Today is my cousin Rene's birthday, she lives in Southern California, a place I enjoy visiting and where I'd like to visit again. After the pandemic. And probably not by plane.
As much as I love Southern Cal that love is not for the surfing or sailing or swimming. No...I am not a fan of walking in the sand and certainly not of chumming for ocean sea creatures with my body. But I am a huge fan of the sight, sound, and smell of the ocean and love to sit or walk along the high bluffs above the beaches. When the ocean crashes onto the beach my senses are filled with the power and immensity of that joining. This image of the San Clemente Pier was taken from Casa Romantica Cultural Center & Gardens sitting on a cliff high above the beach. Perfect.
I hope Rene has a great day.
I've been having a conversation with myself about creativity...specifically, MY creativity. Not for one second do I believe such conversations are unique to me, I understand that this issue is common. Like other creatives, I spend quite a bit of time searching for my muse, listening to podcasts, reading books, etc., so I know that my creative state of mind is pretty much the norm. Sometimes I'd like to blame creative stasis on my ADHD, my age, my curmudgeonous, or some other part of me, but that's just a cop out. This is just the "norm," a part of the creative process.
I've told myself that creativity is a fluid process, a tidal river that isn't routine or regular. I've answered myself by describing some endpoints or conclusions about my creativity...no, endpoints is the wrong word. I've discovered describable boundaries in my creativity. I'll circle back to them in a paragraph or two.
Currently, my craft is most influenced by David duChemin, George Nobechi, Michael Kenna, and Cole Thompson. Their work and their creative energies are the desert rain drops on my suppressed story. Listening to their talks and studying their works (sorry, Cole) reconnect my creative spirit with my reluctant doing self.
I make things selfishly, to lift up my own joy and happiness. The story or the poem or the image or the print is not what rings my bell but rather the bell ringing happens during the process of the making. Consequently, I'm anxious about trapping myself in a creative "La Brea Tar Pit" or echo chamber where I might be captured into doing the same things over and over and over again. By emphasizing the process instead of the end I may not change my boundaries, but I have made them softer, more accessible, and less restrictive.
After all of that, "Where am I now?" Well, for today, anyway? First, selling stuff has never been important but has been a bit of a nagging presence with the thought that to be successful I should sell stuff. I'm over that. I no longer need to maintain a FB store or stress about hate mail I receive or insensitive nationalistic, racist comments sent to me in response to an image or comment I post. I will keep my personal FB page and post images and stories. I will continue to enter gallery juried exhibitions. I appreciate when others enjoy my work and exhibitions provide another channel for that in addition to this seldom viewed website. But, I am a terrible procrastinator. Hmmmm, that's not right...I'm a GREAT procrastinator! I love to put things off. Gallery exhibition deadlines are very helpful to keep me on track and paying attention.
So what's changed? Not much really. Suspending my business FB account on Aug 1 is the only real thing. I have a slightly better handle on the creative me. And I am pretty sure I will continue having creative conversations with myself. I'm not a great listener, but I'm learning.
The fences around the Capitol building were recently taken down and I thought a visit might be appropriate since I had some extra time between medical appointments. All did seem normal, or at least what I remembered as normal. Of course, the drama inside the building hasn't really changed...the symbol of our democracy is just a place where dysfunction is the business of the people.
The ninety mile drive home took me four hours. Imagine.