8.04.2019

Seeds of Joy

At the beginning of this year, I chose JOY as my word for 2019. At the time, it felt a little cliche', but I kept coming back to it. In January I said, "Hearing my daughters laugh is one of my favorite things. Of course, it cannot be all joy all the time, but I live for sharing joy with the people I love. We have to have trust and patience that joy will come."

Fast forward 7 months later... In a few weeks, our oldest daughter goes off to college. During this bittersweet time, I choose joy. I worry and fret, but then realize, this is a joyful time. It's her time, but also it's my time to enjoy some of the rewards of having an adult child. 

And apparently, it is time to open an artist cooperative gallery. I came in on the tail end of the planning stages, but just last week in a huge leap, three other artists and I opened a gallery in our town. It is called Studio 176, and it is truly a joyful space! My recent Seeds of Joy, 8" painted collage panels, now hang in Studio 176, as well as other recent work by three artists that I admire and respect. 

The title Seeds of Joy comes from my list, Why do I make Art? The first list item, "To plant the seeds of joy, hope, and my truth." And new to the line-up, actual almonds (sealed with a finish), Lake Superior stones, and air-dry clay assemblages on wood panels. I've had the sculpture itch and wanted to include actual seeds, so we'll see where that may lead. As I said in January, "Joy is the opposite of my least favorite words: greed, hate, shame, hopelessness, fear, cynicism, and despair... Joy is an antidote." Making art is a hopeful state of being. At times making and selling art is a struggle, but I been doing this long enough to know that these seeds that will sow joy.

Seeds of Joy panels, top left (acrylic paint & my wallpaper designs)

Arc-Nest panels, air-dry clay & Lake Superior stone
Arc-Nest panels, air-dry clay & Lake Superior stone

Arc-Nest panels, air-dry clay & Lake Superior stone




Why do I make Art?

In July during an art retreat at the Grand Marais Art Colony with Minnesota artist and mentor Lynn Speaker, we were asked to answer the question "Why do I make Art?" Recently, artist Ursula von Rydingsvard answered this question with honesty and candor; her straight-forward answers filled a gallery wall at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. this summer.
https://knight-hennessy.stanford.edu/program/inside-khs/why-do-i-make-art

So, that got us thinking. Over a few days of making art and walking around beautiful Grand Marais, Minnesota, here are my answers.

Why do I make art?
  • To plant the seeds of joy, hope, and my truth
  • To make connections and meaning
  • To connect to other people
  • To simultaneously lose and find myself
  • To step into the unknown without a plan, and simply trust
  • To show my daughters (and students, and others) what it looks like to live the life I want to live
  • To be a nicer, healthier version of myself, because I really do start to get irritated and then physically sick if I don't make art
  • To be open, listen and keep learning
  • To be free and make my own rules
  • To have something of my own, and then share it
  • To destroy, recycle, and build into something new
  • To fail, try again, and face fear
  • To touch and leave an imprint