Saturday, June 28, 2014

YES! The Artist Speaks

From a reception for local donors to The New Vision Heron Mural:

I’d like to begin with one word, because that is how this project and everything associated with it began.  It’s a small word, but a beautiful and powerful word:  YES! 

When we say “Yes” individually, doors open and change begins.  Being in agreement with an idea, a statement, or proposal means that it goes forward with our blessing. 

When Lee Whaley said, “Yes, I will pursue having the heron mural redone”, the idea went forward in strength; blessed with her skill and experience.  And look where we are! 

When I said, “Yes, I will do the mural”, it opened up 3 years of experience:  From research and design to committee approval, online crowd source fundraising, and fabrication;  Then press coverage as well as getting to write my own guest blog article.  It meant mounting an accompanying exhibit, not to mention reconnecting with my past…everything made possible by one word. 

It’s one word, but it has needed many voices. 

When we collectively say, “Yes”, WE create opportunity.  WE empower those who are asking to make something happen—WE are in agreement with the happening of an idea, and are instrumental in its formation, it’s becoming a reality. 

“Yes” extends our world.  It expands our reality.  It creates possibility.  It unleashes the power to get results.  It represents a decision, a course of action, and a responsibility.  

The responsibility to honor those who agree to support, because now your sound judgment goes on display—the responsibility to verify your support AS SOUND JUDGEMENT.  

Thank you for your support.  Thank you for your affirmation.  Thank you for YOUR vision. 

When you drive by your mural think about this.  Think “YES” for your town, your downtown, and for what might present itself next.  Now you’ve got some experience with the power of your support.  It’s the power of your choice, your voice, your vote. 

You gave me an opportunity by saying “Yes”, and now we stand together with a new vision-- in a new vision.  Thank you for your confidence…it has been a soul changing experience.

Additionally, here's a link to a guest blog post I was invited to write for Artsy Shark about public speaking for artists:

Getting ReStarted in the Studio

Starting Over.
So it’s been awhile, maybe more than a while since you were in the studio.  You’ve gotten used to not making artwork.  You’ve been filling the time but the nagging thoughts don’t leave you…. 

START SMALL.  Baby steps, right?  Not 18” x 24”, not 11” x 14”, I mean small.  Tiny.  I used 3” x 5” file cards when I restarted, but you could cut that in half. 

START FAST.  This is low impact, low risk, and low investment.  This is production time.  Don’t get bogged down in details.  Fill the space and move on.  Do another.  Do five.  Let them be awful.  They’re miniscule anyway—who cares!?

START NOW.  Use what you have.  I had file cards.  If all you have is 11” x 14 paper, then cut it smaller.  Let that be a part of your process.  Don’t cut up tomorrow’s pieces today; let yourself have a place to start when you get back into the studio tomorrow.  I had to prime the next days 3” x 5” cards at the end of the session so that I didn’t bog down waiting for it to dry the next day.  It became a wind down activity as well as a wind up activity. 

I did 5 cards a night for many nights.  For many nights they were not good.  Don't allow yourself to be discouraged.  You're not looking for masterpieces or to put together an exhibition.  All you're doing is starting over in the studio.

These 5 little paintings took an hour to produce each night.  Eventually they would become models for larger works.

They became the start of a body of work which has been in production for 25 years. 

Do you have a restarting story or strategy?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Wedding toast, November 2, 2013

Joe and Laura,
I love your story and tell it regularly.  Modern love in the Facebook age, a couple of crazy kids from the seventies….and as I know you’ve told everyone:  who knew, at 15 years old, what such a future would hold? 
But who would want to? 
Would anyone have taken the road they chose, if they knew where it would lead?
 Wouldn’t we just sit and wait for that destination, and then miss it, because we’d never even begun our own journey?  The joy of life is the intersections of our paths, whether those crossing trails are professional, personal or our eventual partners.

As we join forces, the road becomes wider:  busier, with more notable destinations.  Education, Career, Family…and then we take an exit, perhaps without even signaling; sometimes slamming on the brakes to the curses of those around us.  Sometimes reading the signs and getting into the turn lane, signaling to everyone our intentions.
We pull off and then wonder, “Hmmm…is this the right road?  I don’t see any sign…did you see a sign?”  Some may stop and ask directions, some will retrace their steps and return back to the previous road, some will forge on whether certain or not of the turn they’ve taken.
And some…some, without question or hesitation hit the gas.
Guess who we are toasting today?  Full speed ahead, to Joe and Laura!