Archives for the month of: April, 2010

I recently got a call from my dear friend and fellow artist, Hap.  He is longtime friends with MANUEL and his family.  For those of you who do not know who MANUEL is, let me help jog your memory.  If you have ever seen a picture of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart, The Beatles, Elton John, Sonny and Cher, The Jackson 5, and really any country singer and various presidents and actors then you have seen MANUEL’s art.  He is the legendary Rhinestone Rembrandt.  He has turned ordinary clothing into art by dressing some of the most influential people in the world.  Well, every year he throws himself a huge birthday bash and Hap called to tell me that I was invited to paint live at this years party!  This is one of those moments when I almost fell silent with joy.  MANUEL has made clothes for artists Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.  To be able to paint something special for this man warms my heart.  I respect his artistic vision and originality.  He’s part of my artistic ancestry and I am thrilled to paint something special for him…and yes, you better believe there will be some rhinestones in this painting! 🙂

Pictures are copyright of Manuel American Designs.

Namaste.  If you have never heard this word before be prepared for it to rock your world.  It simply means, ” I honor the God I see in you that is also in me.”  Since first being introduced to this word while I was in India, it has followed me around in the most haunting but life giving sort of way.  How amazing is it that when you interact with another human, nature, or even art, that you take a moment to honor God.  The warm weather seems to be giving birth to warm conversations.  It’s not even noon yet and I have had four authentic conversations of substance; two of which had myself and the other in tears, one that reminded me of my social responsibility, and one with a friend on the other side of the world. I have often said that the more senses you use in an experience, the more likely you are to remember it and possibly be changed by it.  This was reiterated to me again today but in a new way.  Conversations that are genuine and not merely surface level have the power to tap into multiple emotions and even senses.  When your heart and your mind and your body (ya’ll know I’m a hugger) interact with someone else it’s intensely powerful.    So many new truths were revealed to me today through these four friends and I can only pray that I act responsibly with it.  That is the catch you could say.  Authentically engaging in your community requires responsibility on your part.  Others have heard me talk about this before also…I like to refer to it as the responsibility of the revelation.  Oh I could talk about this forever…Enough said, let me introduce you to some of the wonderful people I sat with today.

 This morning I met Patsy.  She is three times my age but we are kindred spirits in every way.  She recently was at Alive Hospice for a week as her mother was dying.  This happened to be the same week that I had an art installment hanging there.  These were her words, “I think I’m crazy because I cannot stop looking at your paintings.  When I would visit my mother I would just walk the hallway and touch all of your pieces.  I am OCD and usually love straight lines and colors that match but with your art I don’t care about that anymore.  I feel like I’m standing right there in the picture.”  I was moved in such a deep way when she told me about walking the hallway just touching my paintings.  I can envision the entire moment.  It is namaste.  Something in her was pausing and honoring that same thing in the paintings.  It’s almost like meeting a long lost friend.  Oh it moves me to tears to even type that!  We spent the morning together over coffee and visiting my studio.  Patsy shared stories of her husbands two war deployments, raising three boys on her own, various surgeries, her current job with the sex crimes division of law enforcement, and the joys and sorrows of being a grandparent.  In the end, Patsy chose this painting.  It’s the opposite of everything her life has stood for thus far, but it perfectly represents where she is now and where she is headed.  I’m so honored to have met this wonderful woman. 

I have made a new friend at my local coffee shop, Ugly Mugs.  Ian.  He has a wonderfully creative idea for an art show.  I am thankful and honored that he is letting my brain run wild with ways to see it come to fruition.  It’s not often that I meet people who seem to see art the way that I do.  Art isn’t so much about the final product, but about the process and it’s interaction with community.  This is why I’m so excited to help him with this project.  Though the time has not come to share it with the rest of the world yet, I can tell you that it embraces my idea of the multisensory experiential art.  Art is powerful and when that power is used as an invitation to interact with the world more authentically…this is where the transcendent happens.  You know those moments where you know something sacred is happening and you want to treasure it and honor it before life’s business moves you to the next task?  That’s what this project is to me.  I see God in it.  It’s namaste.

So to the lovely people who made my morning so bright…

Namaste Patsy.    Namaste Ian.    Namaste Suzanne.    Namaste Megha. 

(I’ll share my next painting adventure with you all tonight.  Don’t worry, i did not forget my promise!)

So before we look forward at some of my new and crazy exciting projects, I’d be amiss not to share some past ones with you.  The performance painting aspect of my business has been slow to grow, and really not something that I have sought out.  Opportunities have arisen and I said yes without question.  They have pushed me out of my comfort zone and caused me to grow as an artist and woman in every way.  There is always something risky and vulnerable about putting your art into the world for others to judge, but creating it in front of them adds an entire new level to that riskiness.  It’s grown to be something I am addicted to though.  There is a feeling when I’m painting on stage that is so authentically NOW and in the moment that it’s amazing.  Though some may think I’m crazy, I have the most amazing prayers while I’m painting.  It’s one of the few times where the whole world seems to disappear and the room is silent with just myself, God, and my paintbrush.  Here are a few past projects:

In December I painted at The Mercy Lounge for Fringe Magazines Holiday Concert.  Jeremy Lister and Andrew Belle headlined.  It was a fantastic experience and exhausting!  I painted for 2.5 hours and used some new techniques and really detailed paper cut outs that I had made the week prior.

This January I had the opportunity to paint for a group of 2000 college students in Panama City, FL.  They gather once a year for a conference called Gulf Coast Getaway.  I enjoyed spending the weekend with the students and met some amazingly creative people.  This was the first time that I painted on stage without a live band with me.  Talk about crazy.  I only had 20-25 minutes to paint an entire picture.  It was madness and absolutely incredible!

So I was going to share my newest adventure tonight…but I shall wait for tomorrow.  Be excited!!  I am!