Revisiting Old “Friends”

I had the privilege of teaching a workshop on Meditative Drawing last week as part of my job facilitating the Strolls for Well-Being at the Bloedel Reserve. What fun it is to share with others something that has brought me joy and freedom! This kind of drawing involves no stress or comparison; it’s simply an exercise in observation, linking eye-to-hand and directly encountering nature. Strolling in the Bloedel Reserve re-ignited my desire to draw, and eventually led me back to painting.

As I prepare to teach Intuitive Ink Painting at Rancho La Puerta in February, 2019, I have reached back into my college portfolio and rediscovered some artwork from undergraduate days. I see these pieces so differently now than I did then, with far less criticism and more appreciation.

In college, the critique process crippled my joy and freedom in making art. Coming back to painting and drawing through an intuitive process (taught by Flora Bowley in her book, “Brave Intuitive Painting” and Bloom True classes) has untied the knots that kept me from enjoying my own work. There is still a lurking tendency to perfectionism, but I am also able to see the good, and (as Flora taught us) to “work with what’s working.” In that spirit, here are a few of my college pieces, which I’ve not shown since the early 1980s.

It’s lovely to be able to see these with new, appreciative eyes. I like them far better now than I did back then!

How long has it been since you’ve looked back on your early work? Is it time to revisit some of your “old friends” and view them with a fresh perspective?

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Teaching Art in Mexico: Rancho La Puerta, 2019

I’m delighted to be teaching a class on Intuitive Ink Painting in February, 2019 at Rancho La Puerta, a wellness retreat and spa in Tecate, Baja California (Mexico). This award-winning resort was founded in 1940 by the Szekely family and has been led by the family ever since. My mother and I discovered the Rancho several years ago at the suggestion of a friend (thank you, Jan McLaughlin!). We didn’t yet know that what seemed like a one-time luxury is actually health-care, in the form of preventive and restorative self-care.

Each year that we have had the privilege of sharing a week at the Ranch, Mom and I have returned home restored, refreshed, having learned new things and met fascinating people. There always seems to be a little magic at Rancho, whether it is a healing insight, meeting someone you will never forget, de-stressing, having a life-changing conversation, trying something new that you wouldn’t do at home (daily yoga, crystal bowl therapy, waking up to hike at sunrise, spin class, cardio drumming, falling asleep on a beautiful lounge beside a swimming pool, making a prayer arrow, hiking to the organic farm to meet the producers, to name just a few). Before we leave the Ranch, we always sign up for another week the following year. We often meet people who have been staying annually for a decade or more; they come with friends, with family members, or on their own. It’s a welcoming place that embraces everyone.

I’m looking forward to teaching one of my favorite things to Rancho La Puerta’s guests during the week of February 16-22, 2019: Intuitive Ink Painting, using ink-filled brush pens and water. I will have a variety of mixed media materials to share, and each day, we’ll make easy, fun, travel-friendly projects, suitable for both beginners and experienced artists. I hope you’ll follow the link below and check out the class on the Rancho La Puerta website. Have a look around the website, too; the accommodations are beautiful and there is a wide range of choices, the food is organic and delicious, and the options for activities  are varied and extensive. There’s truly something for everyone. I hope to see you there!

Intuitive Ink Painting at Rancho La Puerta

Happy December Sale

Happy December! In honor of the first anniversary of the Gallery at Savage Plants, all of my artwork in the Gallery will be on sale this month.

Framed ink paintings will be 50% off (you read that correctly), while paintings on canvas will be 15% off. Just bring the tag with the painting into the gift shop, and they will apply your discount at checkout. There is so much beautiful merchandise available in the gift shop, too!

Here is a sample of some of the art in the Gallery, as of today; the sale will be on from December 1-31, so please don’t miss out! Happy shopping!

Andrew Wyeth at SAM

Yesterday, I took the ferry over to Seattle to meet my friend Ginny for a trip to the Seattle Art Museum. It’s just a few blocks from the ferry dock, so an easy walk up and back.

After a quick bite of brunch at Homegrown, we entered the peaceful atmosphere of SAM. Upon arriving at the 4th floor gallery, we encountered a docent leading a large group. Though we might have learned a lot from tagging along, we chose to go in the opposite direction. This caused us to discover Wyeth’s work in the reverse order of his life, and it was fascinating.

I have never been a fan of his muted palette nor choice of subject matter, but this exhibit was a revelation in several ways. Wyeth was the son of a famous, commercially successful and extremely talented illustrator, Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth. He was taught by (apprenticed to) N.C. While I far prefer his father’s work to Andrew’s, reading about their intertwined lives gave me much to consider about their differences, as well as the people, places and life experiences that shaped them.

It was a thrill to be able to study the brush work from inches away. No reproduction – however fine – can capture the actual color and energy of brush strokes and pencil marks. Many of the details in his paintings are rendered so finely that they are the size of a single human hair. His patience must have been truly phenomenal. 

I came away with a new insight into his obsessions, and an appreciation for the bits of color and light which he allowed himself to sparingly include in his later work. It was not an uplifting exhibit, but it was illuminating.

If you are looking for art for your home, visit Redbubble today and use the coupon code NEWHOME25 to get 25% off!

Andrew Wyeth at SAM

Yesterday, I took the ferry over to Seattle to meet my friend Ginny for a trip to the Seattle Art Museum. It’s just a few blocks from the ferry dock, so an easy walk up and back.

After a quick bite of brunch at Homegrown, we entered the peaceful atmosphere of SAM. Upon arriving at the 4th floor gallery, we encountered a docent leading a large group. Though we might have learned a lot from tagging along, we chose to go in the opposite direction. This caused us to discover Wyeth’s work in the reverse order of his life, and it was fascinating.

I have never been a fan of his muted palette nor choice of subject matter, but this exhibit was a revelation in several ways. Wyeth was the son of a famous, commercially successful and extremely talented illustrator, Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth. He was taught by (apprenticed to) N.C. While I far prefer his father’s work to Andrew’s, reading about their intertwined lives gave me much to consider about their differences, as well as the people, places and life experiences that shaped them.

It was a thrill to be able to study the brush work from inches away. No reproduction – however fine – can capture the actual color and energy of brush strokes and pencil marks. Many of the details in his paintings are rendered so finely that they are the size of a single human hair. His patience must have been truly phenomenal. 

I came away with a new insight into his obsessions, and an appreciation for the bits of color and light which he allowed himself to sparingly include in his later work. It was not an uplifting exhibit, but it was illuminating.

If you are looking for art for your home, visit Redbubble today and use the coupon code NEWHOME25 to get 25% off!