Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Bridge from the Past

I don't think I can really forget the past work I have done and focus on "New Work" completely. Having made art for so long I do believe that everything I have done in the past is part of what I am doing now. It is true in art as it is in life. Every decision, every experience we have all goes into our Today. I began my career as a potter in 1972 and I believe that work carried it's spirit into my painting and sculpting and my jewelry design. It is all connected. Different medium, still the path of following the thread.
As I worked to settle and find a new life here I went to my old friend, pastel. Several years ago I had a run of working exclusively with the medium. I taught, wrote an article for Pastel International Magazine and exhibited the work. It was a productive time. As is my way, I switched to oil suddenly and spent 12 years learning how to put down paint with a brush. I didnt touch a pastel during that time.  I can only serve one master at a time and oil paint was a harsh master. Painting in oil has always been like a troubled marriage. I kept at it a long time and it was difficult for me. It was always hard!
So, when I arrived here alone and compromised physically and emotionally I needed comfort and most importantly--- I couldn't handle any more struggle in my life.  I just didnt have the energy. My fatigue was so severe that I could barely get into the studio let alone struggle! I wasnt even sure I could make art again. Or, let me say, art that had strength and meaning for me. As it turned out pastel was the soft and kind partner that I needed. It was comfortable and familiar.  It was like an old friend. It didn't make demands, just offered some peace and enjoyment. Ahhh-- It was good. I could only work for short periods of time and with pastel I could stop at any moment, and know that at least, I did some work.
The most important thing I learned from that first year working here was ----- I love to draw! I love to hold the medium in my hand! My hand likes to move freely and it has its own energy, like a dance! Bottom Line-- I love making lines and marks.  I had forgotten. It nourished me and helped to bring me back to myself. And, the interesting thing was how different the paintings were from those that I did all those years ago. Like life, our work grows and evolves and has a life of
its' own.  
"Garden Dance", 1998

"The Hidden Spring" 2014
The first painting in a new world


  1. Amazing comparison in the two images. Really enjoyed this post.

  2. Yes, what an interesting contrast. (Does the mist soften and smooth the delineations? Your interior scape melding with the outer?)

    Makes me think of (an excerpt from) the poem, "Monet Refuses the Operation" by Lisel Mueller:

    "I tell you it has taken me all my life
    to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
    to soften and blur and finally banish
    the edges you regret I don’t see,
    to learn that the line I called the horizon
    does not exist and sky and water,
    so long apart, are the same state of being."

  3. That is fantastic Kris! Thank you for posting it.