Monday, August 31, 2020

Double Deer 2019

I know for me, as an artist, 2020 has been crazy, as it has been for all of us, artists or not.  I was due to have an exhibit in April at Candela Gallery in Richmond, Virginia.  When I was making my plane and hotel reservations in February, Gordon Stettinius, the owner of the gallery, and I talked about my flight, and this virus that seemed to be going around.  Neither of us was really concerned, and from the opening I was going to go to West Palm Beach in Florida to the Norton Museum, to teach a week long workshop.  Meanwhile, my husband, Robert Wilson and I, had a show together at the UNM Hospital which opened in mid February, and almost simultaneously we prepared for another exhibit in Tucson with Etherton Gallery, to open in March, Go Figure.  We loaded up the truck and Bob drove his sculptures and my paintings to the Gallery to be ready for the opening on March 17.  The next day the country shut down.  My show with Candela was cancelled, as was the workshop.  The show was up at Etherton, but the gallery was closed, and our show at UNMH was, of course, totally off limits to anyone but patients and staff. All my workshops were cancelled through the end of December.  I felt as if I had two lives that I was living:  the one that I had planned for but never happened and the real one where everything had constricted and drawn in on itself.

Candela Gallery is going to go ahead with my show with them, Primitive Visions, and there will be a real opening, although, of course, I won't be there(they plan on publishing a small catalog of work in the show as a way to reach out to people). We got our work back from the Hospital a few weeks ago, and Etherton Gallery has extended our exhibit into the fall--TBA. So things are limping along, but in a brave, who knows what the heck is going to happen sort of way. One the one hand I feel badly, but on the other, I know that this is just the price we are all having to pay for the strange calamity that has befallen the world--and of course knowing that it could have been so much worse.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Two Rabbits Fighting 2020

 Edwin Fisher, a professor of health behavior at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ... worries about depression, suicide rates and marital problems — things that are currently at heightened rates because of the pandemic.Huffpost 8/6/2020

It's a harsh, contentious, post covid world.  I've been called a bigot and a racist by strangers for seemingly non bigot and non racist events.  I've gotten into strange tussles with close friends, which all seem to spring from some sort of twisted covid related issue.  When I'm out in public, I'm always looking for the "Karen" in the crowd, the person wearing their mask around their chin, or not wearing one at all.  When I see that person, I'm outraged(although I never say anything). And that doesn't come anywhere near approaching what is happening on a national level. Most of us, our screens in front of us, watch in horror as we see people attack each other and burn and loot buildings, while deadly shootings seem to be the order of the day. These cottontail rabbits, that I see on a daily basis, seemingly so harmless and gentle, but, like us, there's most probably trouble brewing under those big eyes and that fluffy fur.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Supplicant 2017

 Supplicant:  someone who prays or entreats humbly

The year 2020 has rocketed out of control. It seems to be a storm of awful things happening, from the global pandemic, to civil unrest, to trying to make sense of a leader who appears, for all intents and purposes, to just simply be evil.  And then personally, a number of close friends have had frightening things happen to them, really bad things. When I did this painting three years ago I wasn't sure of exactly what the painting was saying, just that it was an important piece for me.  But now, in the midst of all of this, I'm starting to understand: giving up control of thinking we are in control, and asking, or praying for understanding, whatever that means. I think the piece is about turning over to a greater power because, really, what else can we do?

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Stretching 2020

I come from a long line of stiff people. To combat this, for the past four or five years I'd been taking "senior yoga", an hour class that met at the senior center every Wednesday morning at 8:15.  It was mostly woman, most of us from the 50's up, with a few men and, infrequently, a young person(always a woman ) coming along with her mother. The price was right($5 per class) and it was a ten minute bike ride from my house, which was my favorite part of the experience. At times the class would be jam packed, and I'd have to fight for a place for my mat, people turning their eyes away so they wouldn't have to move.  I didn't really like it, and I never seemed to get more limber or more flexible. I would watch the minutes pass on the clock on the wall with agonizing slowness.  Then covid came, and the class was cancelled.  Compelled to at least not get any stiffer, I started doing yoga online at home. I could put in the amount of time I wanted to spend doing the class(30 minutes), and how much shivasana(5 minutes). And now, with the magic of the internet,  I often manage to "forget" that it's yoga day, and I still watch the minutes plod along once I force myself to get going.  But, as my daughter says, it's not really cheating if you bend your legs a little. Or, as in my case, a lot.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Riding Lesson 2020

Teaching is a big part of my life. In my practice as a studio artist, I'm mostly alone, so teaching gives me a way to be with people. I have the ability to see and understand, at whatever level my students are at, what they need and I feel connected and close to the people I work with in ways we don't normally get to be. My ego seems to shrink to next to nothing, and without that old ego bobbing up and getting in the way, incredible things often happen with my students, not always, but more often then not.  I often feel as if I have mind-melded with them, and can see exactly where they need to go because of it.

With Covid 19, my teaching is on hold. All workshops and classes have been cancelled this spring and into the summer.  In September of 2020 Anderson Ranch is going to try using our class as a test to see if it’s possible to teach with face coverings and social distancing.  It's still not for sure if we will have enough students, and I think we are all nervous about the outcome. I don't know if we will all be able to stay on the horse and ride, or if distancing  and the uncomfortableness of wearing a face mask will cause us to all slide off, landing in the dirt and dust on the ground as the horse takes off.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Blessing 2020

At a very tender age, I went into intense negotiations with my parents:  I would give up my bottle if I could have a pair of cowboy boots. Next were horseback riding lessons starting from the age of four. By about age six, our family moved to a house in the country where we could have horses and since my mother had kept a horse every summer in Colorado when she was a girl, she always made it a priority that I would have a horse as well.  I started with Rio Grande, graduated to Hondo Bay, then a neighbor's horse, Charm, then a gift from another neighbor of Rebb, a retired race horse.  So I put in my 10,000 hours (as Malcolm Gladwell says), and was as comfortable on a horse as any person could be.  My horses were my best friends as well as being my main mode of transportation.  I spent most of my time alone with them, and that's what carried me into those other worlds where my imagination and my curiosity could rule the day.  But, as I got older and had children of my own, my life moved me away from horses and I went on without them.

This winter I met a lovely woman who had a horse that needed riding, "Stormy", a young gray gelding.  What started out as a casual offer to ride, has now turned into a consistent, regular part of my life, not to mention that, like the teenager I once was, I have fallen head over heels in love with this lovely, goofy, sweet, and talented guy. That world has reopened up for me, and I find myself learning about horses in new ways, understanding how they work with the brain of an adult as opposed to one of a child--entire new philosophies have emerged about how to treat and train horses.  But mostly, I find that I take a huge amount of  pleasure and joy from, once again, having a horse in my life.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Man Jumping From a Roof 1999

Life is very strange in this epoch of Covid 19.  Most of the country has been locked down--sheltering in place--for the last two months of March and April.  When one does have to go out, one has to be careful not to breathe another person's possibly infected out breath, so we practice "social distancing" and we wear masks.  We can't see each others faces because we should be wearing those masks, but when we are outside, exercising, we don't have to be as careful with our masks, we just can't get close to anyone and we become very anxious when a stranger comes too close. The country is torn politically, with the democrats being good mask wearers and social distancers, the republicans, not so much. Everything seems normal, but terribly not.  Same air, same TV programs, same food, same relationships with people but a constant stream of information coming in about the horrors of the disease, the deaths and the terrible economic toll.  We witness shaming behaviors from others, and we ourselves want to shame those that aren't taking precautions, while at the same time people go out of their way to be open, friendly, and encouraging. It seems crazily, bleakly hopeless, but still, we seem to be muddling through it, just hoping that we will land, somehow, on our feet.