Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, March 18, 2018

"I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music." -- George Eliot

Monday, March 12, 2018

Artmaking and Environment: Relocating to Santa Fe

This past Saturday night we attended a retirement celebration for our friend Sam. It was a most enjoyable evening, with much laughter and good wishes for a man who is clearly loved and respected by his colleagues, church family and a wide circle of friends. Hubs and I are both very happy for Sam and his wife Molly: now that Sam has retired, he and Molly are relocating to the home of their dreams in Santa Fe, New Mexico. So the occasion was also something of a farewell party.

Santa Fe is a magnet for artists, photographers, writers, musicians and other creatives. The area's spectacular scenery and the town's art-centric vibe make it a highly desirable place for immersing oneself in whatever art form holds one's interest. For Sam, a gifted photographer, it's a longed for chance to devote himself more fully to self expression with a camera. For Molly, a wonderfully talented textile and collage artist as well as a sought after workshop instructor, it's an opportunity to expand her artistic horizons even further.

New Mexico's spectacular landscape has inspired artists for centuries.    ©2018 Lynn Edwards

In Santa Fe, simply to breathe the air is to be influenced by all things artistic. It's impossible to come away from there without a heightened appreciation for art in some form or another. Santa Fe is a place where artwork graces everything from trash cans and public restrooms to million dollar masterpieces in the area's proliferation of art galleries. In Santa Fe art permeates every aspect of life.

For those of us living in places that are not nearly so art-focused, a visit to Santa Fe is sure to send one's creative impulses into overdrive. When Hubs and I vacation there, I find sleep to be impossible. After a day of exploring, my head is filled with color combinations, ideas, images and inspirations whose details I try to capture in a notebook but, like a fast moving slide show, am unable to chronicle adequately. For non-resident artists, a trip to Santa Fe can so overwhelm the senses that it's impossible to process everything one sees and experiences. I've never used drugs, but I suspect the Santa Fe experience could be described as -- artistically speaking -- like a drug high in which everything becomes so much more impactful and fascinating that one doesn't want it to end.

This decorative garden gate is typical of gates found throughout Santa Fe. ©2018 Lynn Edwards

Molly and Sam are on the threshold of a whole new life, filled with creative potential, in one of the most pro-art destinations in America. I know they're going to be wildly happy there. In their new home, the grandeur of mountains and sunsets painting the high desert terrain in stunning colors will be an endless source of pleasure as well as inspiration.  

At some point after settling in, the wide eyed wonder artists initially experience in Santa Fe probably gives way to a calmer view, but to live and make art there will always be an extraordinary experience for those artists who become residents. Our friends Molly and Sam are fortunate indeed to be joining them, and although we will miss them dearly, we're genuinely delighted for them at the same time.

"Retiring" is another word for new beginnings. As they leave the familiar and embark upon this exciting new chapter in their lives, we can hardly wait to see what happens when every day for Sam and Molly is touched by Santa Fe's magic. However it manifests, it's bound to be amazing and extraordinary!

Text and images ©2018 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, March 11, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, March 11, 2018

"A poor original is better than a good imitation." -- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Thought for Sunday, March 4, 2018

"A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind." -- Eugene Ionesco

Friday, March 2, 2018

Synchronicity and Painting

Sometimes events unfold in ways that can only be described as synchronicity. Such was the case with one of my latest paintings, Blood Moon Rising.

Blood Moon Rising, 10x10x.75" acrylic and ink on paper on cradled wood panel    ©2018 Lynn Edwards

I was so immersed in painting this, I was only barely aware of last month's news coverage of the Supermoon and concurrent partial lunar eclipse. Here in the Atlanta area, we were told by forecasters that it would be necessary to have an unobstructed view of the sky to the northwest in the pre-dawn hours to be able to see this phenomenon, said to occur only once every hundred years.

The painting was 99% finished when I locked up the studio and headed down to the house that evening. All it needed was my signature and varnish. Still, I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that it lacked something. I tend to be too much of a perfectionist, so I told myself to be content with it, let it go, and proceed to something else. Those were my thoughts as I fell asleep around midnight.

Shortly after 5:30 a.m. I was awakened by a bright light filtering in through the blinds in the bedroom. A very light sleeper, it doesn't take much to wake me up. In this case, it was this strange orange-tinted light shining directly in my face. Wondering if our neighbor's house was on fire, I opened the blinds. The neighbor's house was dark and appeared to be just fine. The light was coming from the largest moon I had ever seen. But the color of the moon was even more startling. If you're an artist who works in acrylic, you'll understand when I say it was Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold with a touch of Transparent Red Iron Oxide.

I couldn't take my eyes off that enormous moon. It was the most amazing sight -- the color of fire!. I had a perfect view of it, and as I watched the moon draw closer to the horizon, almost imperceptibly at first, a shadow began to slide across the face of it as the partial eclipse began. Minutes later, the moon slipped below the horizon and completely out of sight. I felt so lucky to have seen this once in a lifetime event, and awed by the extraordinarily beautiful thing I had just witnessed.

And then I realized what my painting needed. Originally I had painted its moon white with a hint of yellow -- like it usually appears when it's full and riding high in the heavens. But that wasn't what the painting wanted. As soon as the sun rose I was back in the studio, mixing up a glaze of Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and Transparent Red Iron Oxide. When I brushed the glaze onto the moon in the painting, it was transformed into a tiny replica of the moon I had seen just hours earlier - a full moon the color of flame, referred to throughout the ages as the Blood Moon. Not surprisingly, the painting almost titled itself: Blood Moon Rising. Rising because that's when the energy of the moon is at its most powerful, according to ancient wisdom. And because witnessing this very rare and magnificent phenomenon was a powerful and deeply spiritual experience for me.

Text and photo ©2018 Lynn Edwards