M E M O R I E S and some N E W things . . .

•July 16, 2020 • 6 Comments

Sharing excerpts from a Facebook post written five years ago as I flew home from a NIADA Conference. Who knew how my thoughts would be so true for this new now …

 

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” … Dear Tulip … 

Things never stay the same …

It has all changed …

And so we must also c h a n g e …

And discover … fresh and refreshed inspiration with our work and for our audiences on a more connected and personal level.”

 

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 … Rabbits follow Wind …

” … personally I am not afraid of change and once decided, embrace it … even when I do not know what that embrace will look or feel like … “

 

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 … Rooks on a Roll …

 

” I often wonder about the path before me, and have discovered this contemplation to be a huge part of the process, of heading down that path …

 

… this new place and way of being and doing has left me knowing that things will transform naturally if we let our set structures go … “

 

………………………. and so, in my present tense ……………. we have ………………………….. !

 

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… The Arrival …

On this day, July 16, 2020, I am teaching live on ZOOM, the new planet of virtual classrooms. I am nervous, challenged and as much as I can be, prepared.

My work is ready, I have taught myself how to make and edit videos and I pre-filmed the demonstration so the timing would work smoothly for my students, whom I will see images of in little boxes on my screen.

If I share a room with students, I am in my experience and element; but heading into a ZOOM platform with settings and numbers (and my slight dyslexia and low level anxiety kicking in) I cannot see or think what to do … looks like someone in a  p a n i c  to me.

Ahh life at 62.

So much experience, now unnecessary.  This way of working is all new to many of us and still, I am here, ready to give it a try and ready show up to my meeting from here, my studio, on this new jumping off platform, a planet of virtual classrooms.

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So, I leave this screen and sit in front of another to teach my first ZOOM session. With support from the young community I am encountering, I will be o k a y …

… what I remember distinctly lovely Kami Lunsford (who was trying to train and assist me while I was in so unsettled in this new place) saying,

” … I’ve got you. “

I love that phrase, reminds me that support and kindness is timeless and ageless.

Nerves and all … here I go ….

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P A R T O N E : THe LIttle ONes . . .

•May 6, 2020 • 2 Comments

click on an image to start the slide show . . . .

C H A R A C T E R

L I F E

 

M U L T I     M E D I A    P R I N T S

 

completing works for sale . . .

•May 5, 2020 • Leave a Comment

 

Waterlands

Normally I have made my figures and then used them for my paintings … but this winter I found I was drawn to paint rather than sculpt.

It had lots to do with my hands in aftershock from the treatments, the ends of fingers splitting and nails peeling, side effects of chemo. A brush was more manageable and I could lose myself into canvas and layers of paint.

In this time emerged a sadness I could not quite understand. I had responded perfectly to the treatments, my cancer was literally gone and the work of prevention had all been followed through, where was this sorrow coming from . . .

Now that there are several months behind me I can look back and understand some of it was my hands. They and I now live with pain throughout my body that I carry even in my sleep.

It is my new reality, something I now manage rather than overcome. Perhaps the wrapping that I do around my larger forms has found deeper symbolism with this pain and entangling of it in life and time well traveled . It certainly resounds for me today.

I am still not back to my figures but find myself painting around them while they sit quite still “watching me” wondering what I will want to ask of them.

There are big canvas birds I began when we opened our gallery two years ago. As I paint a canvas I put one up on the table and dribble and run brushes over it and wait for their spirits to emerge. And for mine.

During the gallery season, it seemed impossible to work in a disciplined fashion, too many things pulled and called every day but the plan was that winters would be free to spend working on art.

Little did I dream that the gallery would open for just one season and that fall I would begin a whole new journey with breast cancer.

I managed with the help of my husband, gallery mates and friends and, in little bursts, I did create some new work.

Facing cancer re configures your priorities and in the fall we decided to move to the old building we had bought for studios and storage. We felt it was the right time to simplify our lives.

The imagined time for working meant creatively, the new living space was our challenge and the studios would wait.

Story continues and mid-January I made it through the glass doors we had built between the apartment and our work spaces. Things were piled high and I found myself shrinking from “overwhelm” as I took in the mountain of accumulated materials we, two life-long artists, had managed to accumulate and felt the need to hold on to …

S i g h …

Winter into early spring brought the new reality of Corona Virus and life brought all of us into a time of accepting and the new discipline of living six feet from one another.

We found ourselves having to close our gallery as the coming summer and tourist season that affords us this privilege was not going to be strong or perhaps, even happen. After a long winter of bills and rent it seemed crazy to hold on. SO much work had gone into creating this place and in a blink it was no longer an entity. Amazing how fragile our livelihoods proved to be.

so … all of that was considered carefully and then all of the “gallery stuff” had to be unloaded into spaces already overflowing.

I have named us “Accidental Hoarders” and have quite a lot of things that remain in the car which drives about with me until I find the strength to begin sorting and shifting once again. If you need a display case or perhaps a plinth let me know and I will stop by and unload one for you, ha ha !

So, there has not been the peaceful time of working I had imagined and there is no brilliant new studio I can write proudly about but we keep working steadily away and one day it will simply be there.

Meantime, working in the front corner is a good thing for me. It takes me out of my overwhelm and lets me emotionally release some of the energy I find keeping me company these days.

so … a long story as usual but one to express that these paintings are part of this time I have just rambled on and on about :)

In the next post I will set the finished ones into separate galleries for simplicity, labelled with size, materials and prices. It will bring some sense of accomplishment to these many months (years) of transition.

p.s. I do hope to soon write about the peace and fulfillment  I found while making and finishing some new imaginative friends.

Imagine with me :)

yours truly, K a t e .

 

 

HERE’S to W O R K I N G again !

•April 7, 2020 • 2 Comments

 

OPEN BLOOM acrylic on canvas

CREATING SPRING  acrylic on canvas

 

This was part of a series of Amaryllis paintings I did to combat winter isolation and work on my climb back to heath. It all began with a bulb kit from the superstore that, once it began to flower, showed six huge blooms on two stocks.   I am crazy for these flowers as they take me back to my winters in Mexico when these beauties seemed to surround us on door steps, porches and balconies and the wonderful spring garden show at Juarez Park in early February.

 

BLOOMA AND OTHER STORIES : diptych 24 x 36 and 24 x 30 acrylic on canvas

BLOOMS AND OTHER STORIES   acrylic on canvas  dyptich

 

Personally, Amaryllis truly represent time out from winter and helped me to find my soon to be “new blooms”.

The paintings pushed themselves out of me as I wrestled with some dark days and the emotional journey that came with this time, my paint brushes not caring where they were or how things happened just happy to move and join into a dance that was needed and allowed myself to be outside my routines.

 

STAGES OF BLOOMING  :  acrylic on canvas

 

I am doing exponentially better every day now but trying my best not to minimize or forget too quickly what I have walked and experienced…

 

HIDDEN MEANINGS : acrylic on canvas with cobbler’s nails

 

The journey of cancer is sobering and I did my best to walk within it rather than above it…does that make sense??
I am often confounded by the depth of it…

BLOOMING SOFTLY : acrylic on canvas with gold leaf background

 

In early February I was so happy to return to our printmaking group here in Mahone Bay after more than a year of absence. I did several sweet little lino cuts of ” Amaryllis” to complete this blooming series …  they are linoleum printed as intaglio (kind of a reverse lino print) then coloured with acrylic washes and gold leaf.

 

 

thank you to all of you for writing to me last time I posted, it meant a lot and has me determined to continue to post as I re-enter my creative life full time. Please know I am doing well, being real is a strong place for me …

Now, with this strange state of new living, I am so grateful for being past the treatment/hospital sessions and feel somehow prepared for this time after having had this cautious year of cleanliness and isolation …

now, I hope to create new work from a new mental state and space …

Stay tucked in (has become my new normal) and please remember,

DON’T POSTPONE JOY as it can be found in the most simple places . . . .

 

 

Another New Beginning . . .

•March 16, 2020 • 14 Comments

CHAPTER 22

BREAST CANCER 2019-2020

I am finished the drug part of this journey !    It has been a very long year and a half yet, time has slipped by in a blink, both sides now somehow . . .

 

My last herceptin treatment was last Tuesday and I can honestly say that I feel stronger just knowing there are no more knockdowns coming from treatments.

 

I will have final visits with my oncologist and surgeon to finish me up but it is now  my time to take back the lead in my life.

 

For the past three months I have been facing the emotional state of realizing everything and nothing has changed, perhaps the most demanding and difficult part of this time. Good news is the process is underway for returning to normal life and balance…

I plan do it slowly and let myself taste day to day “newness” whenever I can

I have made a promise to myself not to dump in the stress piles I am famous for.  I have learned, in this dark time, this is one of my creative methods for preventing feelings from registering. This is new to my awareness and brings light into the dark spaces of the depression I fell into at the finish of my radiation treatments .

Lots to learn and lots to appreciate. The day came when I took an old canvas and worked out my emotions with a brush. My hands and their brush extensions came alive with the emotions that had pushed up to the surface during the treatments in the room I called “the coffin” : a cement fortress room where they did our radiation sessions. This strange cross shape cut into the ceiling tile where the light came through became a symbolic part of the sessions for me.

An “x” was often there in my work, but to recognize it during these treatments, it became something that I held on to as I laid on the table. One day, as I walked through an icy rainstorm to the cancer center, I found a black cross made of felt in a puddle on the road. As I am known to do I picked it up and carried it with me as a gift of the symbol I had chosen. A confirmation.

Some of my new learning has been how to let out the rather large emotions inside me when I need to . . . and the paintbrush and a canvas are wonderful vehicles for that. Also, I am learning to hum when I want to interrupt my spiral . . . new tricks for this old pony.

 

All part of this rather significant chapter in my life story.

 

Sorry to have been so unable to write, there are so many reasons to be quiet at times, especially when life turns upside down.

It feels good to begin to write and post again as we all are on high alert for ourselves and our loved ones on this planet with this virus.

It seems just as I was ready to begin to travel again the world is coming to a standstill, so we will travel to one another via the keys.

 

sending love from my space into yours

Love to hear from any or all of you,

Kate~