Several hundred years BC, Chinese farmers threw some green bamboo on their campfire. It sparked and exploded.
The farmers thought that if all the commotion surprised them – it would surely surprise and scare away any evil spirits that would do their crops harm. Thus the tradition began of setting off fireworks to wish for prosperity and to celebrate special occasions.
This piece of art is my wish for prosperity of spirit (symbolized by the butterfly) for my community, country and the earth.
At the end of May 2011, I had a booth at the Sierra Festival of the Arts in downtown Grass Valley. An area of interest or ‘hobby’ of mine is watching how people interact with the art and artists around them.
A delightful observation was the young children who would make a ‘bee line’ from across the street to come see my brightly colored flowers and sea creatures. I also enjoyed the perplexed expressions on the adult faces as they wondered what they were seeing. Not a photograph and not a painting. “What IS that?” they would say.
My explanation is that it is both and neither. I call it ‘Transformative Art.’ All of my work is created on the computer. Just like a painter, every aspect involves a brush stroke…accomplished with a Wacom tablet and Stylus pen. Using my extensive ‘pallet’ of technology skills and program knowledge, each piece goes through an involved ‘transformation’ process until it is complete.
I think that color has its own language of feelings based in a place where there are no words. When we look at colors, we have pure and immediate reactions to them.
The subjects that I choose must have a color component that I can work with or create – usually elements of the natural world. I take liberties with them….often combining unlikely items for desired lines, designs or hues.
My work is bold and alive. It is one manifestation of the song of my soul at this point in time.
Much conscious and subconscious thought went into how and where to begin this project. It was not until I was nearing the finish of this art piece (when I have the feeling that I am ready to sign my name…) that those seemingly random thoughts whirling around inside my head gelled into a cohesive form.
It took seven years for Butter Lettuce of Yuma to ‘see the light.’ That long between when I first captured it, until I felt that I had the skills to adequately express it visually. Seven years ago, I was in Yuma, AZ – in the winter, living a drastically different life from the one I am now living – driving through abundant farm lands on a day with a moody sky. Suddenly, upon seeing those straight rows of butter lettuce flipping by my window, I HAD to capture that scene at that moment.
I love the illusion of straight crop rows looking like the spokes of a wheel when you pass by them with speed. A case where our eyes and brain perceive something different from what actually exists. I think our souls do something similar…whispering to us in quiet ways….pointers for possibilities that lie on the path ahead.
I have learned to pay attention to those times when action is required without prior knowledge or understanding as to the “why’s” of the situation. That moment was one of those…
For over a decade, I have had the privilege and pleasure of working in an art related business. Portrait photography. Had anyone asked me to describe myself in all that time, I would have said that I was a business person – first – in a job that allowed for a high level of creativity. Over this last winter, that perception of myself shifted. Although all of those descriptors still remain true….now I say, “I am an artist” first.
This blog will be the the story of a journey with an undetermined destination guided by the whispers of inspiration.