Artists Avenue is a new segment in our webpage for local artists to share their passions and concerns, whether serious or humorous in hopes of opening a dialogue with the community and fostering the growth of the arts in the region. The opinions shared by the artists are not necessarily those of The Art Avenue or The Art Avenue Gallery. This will be a monthly column and if you would like to contribute to our blog, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that in Webster’s dictionary there are 8 different meanings for ‘art’? For example: “High quality of conception or execution as found in works of beauty” or “esthetic value”. Art has allowed the human race to communicate through imagery, without words and often without obvious meanings. Art has manifested itself in every culture so much so that human evolution is often defined by the objects produced during every defined era of our walk on this planet. Humans turn to art to understand themselves, to discuss history and to define moments or feelings. From the expressions of cave drawings to computer designed pixelation, art has been a way to communicate ideas and trends.
I have been and continue to study art forms and work on my art skills. After beginning my foray into the art world 15 years ago, the last 12 I have felt art touch my soul to become the passion that guides my steps in life.
This presentation is an ode to divine femininity manifest in everyday activities and conversely the lack thereof. An unmade bed, a native woman walking in the middle of a street on a rainy day, an African grandmother and a young African female, a Jewess; manifestations of the simplicity and profundity of the ‘everyday’ female. As I prepared for this show my appreciation of the ‘divine feminine’ and that of my own femininity grew exponentially.
I very much hope that when people see the show, some of my perception of the feminine experience is projected and captured; that the vibrancy of color touches one’s, heart. Painting, drawing, sculpting, and most other visual art are subjective. Therefore, each person will assimilate from the collection an experience that is there for them based on their unique life experiences and culture. In a sincere and forthright way, I am just exposing my heart.
It is the work of the artist to present a piece of art that manifests simply that which it is. Conclusions are left to the spectator (to speculate).
The body of work that is presented is of a singular vision of subject that strongly resonates within me. At the same time, it is my profound mission that the observer’s mind and heart draw a ‘gestalt’ that is free and distinct from the artist. Science and common sense have proven women to be more emotionally receptive, though we each have a masculine and feminine aspect with a spectrum of feelings ranging from compassion to jealousy. My desire is to show those human traits within the context of the ‘Yin’. Yin representing the capacity to be receptive. Yin tends to be ‘giving’ oriented rather than self-oriented. Yin is balanced by the male energy, yang. To take care of others one needs to be taken care of too!
I focused my efforts on the femininity because in many parts of today’s world yin is a secondary thought when not totally ignored. The dominant yin of women allows for the adaptation to the stages of life, preparing them for the procreation. Yin also gives them the ability to overcome obstacles and is more powerful. Yin is not passive, manipulative, or even slightly dishonorable. Yin is magnetic, healing, enlivening, calming our yang while enjoying its protection.
These are my thoughts.
What’s your truth?
“Just don’t get” abstract art? Try this…
Ignore your DNA.
Is that even possible? “Ignore” may be wrong word. Let’s say… be aware of your human nature, and don’t let it cheat you with a cheap experience. If you find yourself picking out a bird and a fire truck in the brushstrokes of an abstract painting, your DNA is probably messing with you. Humans are wired to look for the leopard hiding in the bushes for the sake of our own survival. You can’t make that go away, but you can move past it. Abstract art asks us to shut down that impulse and experience the art differently. That’s why it makes so many people uncomfortable. Instead of inspecting for forms, try following the brushstrokes with your eyes. Try figuring out how the painter was feeling while they were painting.
An abstract painting is not a 2D representation of a thing. It’s an object in its own right. It should have presence, and that presence is something you can feel and enjoy. I think one hallmark of a wonderful abstract painting is that — when it’s moved from its usual place — you deeply feel its absence.
Abstract painters don’t get a comforting “how to paint a teacup in five easy steps” instruction booklet. (Sometimes we really, really wish we did.) Every single painting is uncharted territory, and you better (wo)man up. Every brushstroke you make can narrow your possibilities or make it all go wrong — or turn out to be thrillingly right. (Actually, this is true of all paintings.) There is no comfort zone of “this goes there.” We long for a path, but we’re rebellious enough to cling to chaos. So we each tend to make ourselves a process, a way of working that will lead us through the murk. See if you can figure out how a painting evolved. Artists tend to use their beloved processes over and over. Look for clues. Remember, a process can be about removing colors or elements just as much as adding them. See if you can figure it out, then ask the artist. When you find out everything he or she did to get to that final piece, you might have to take it home with you.
I strive to create balance, as an artist, in the pieces that I create. The balance that inspires my work is rooted in the idea of the sacred feminine, as I’ve begun to realize, from the Virgen de Guadalupe to the illuminations of Hildegard von Bingen. But what led me to this realization?
The sacred feminine is a concept akin to the Asian Ying Yang. It is those qualities female in all of us, males included. This feminine principle is a connection to the natural world, to Earth, and ultimately to all realms being the source of life, balance, and love in the universe that we inhabit, spiritually and physically. The sacred feminine reminds us to remember our interconnections, our oneness with the universe. We are not separate from creation and therefore each other.
Hildegard von Bingen’s “viriditas” is a great example, meaning literally “greening power” or the power of life that animates the universe. In her “Egg of the Universe” illumination we see the universe in a womb (the womb of God for her). There is not a differentiation here between male and female but a cosmology that tells us that we are all one, we are all connected.
The Virgen de Guadalupe is another example of the sacred feminine. In the Mexican tradition she appeared to Juan Diego on indigenous ruins, ruins of the mother deity. The concept of the earthly mother, Hildegard’s viriditas, is inspired by the sacred feminine with indigenous roots. The former becomes the latter and finds expression still as one and the same. It is this connection to the world around us, to the fecundity of the earth, that unites both the male and female, the ying and the yang.
As I look back and around and become aware of the images that are important to my art it occurs to me that the sacred feminine permeates. Balance is inspired by consciously recognizing this principle, and when I get lucky, flowing the subconscious of the sacred feminine to imbue my work with the power of that principle.