Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Muse Slips In On the Line in a Poem

Spirit of Poetry
Acrylic on Paper, 10" by 8"
I sometimes hear the question, "Where do you get your ideas for your paintings?" And my answer is as varied as my themes: the season, my mood, experiences, what I've been reading.  My formative years did not include television; we listened to radio programs, and read constantly.  Both of those entertainments require active imagination, and provide good training for seeing things in your mind.  There are some passages in books, and epecially poems that are so alive and present that all I have to do is edit what I'm seeing.  Which point of view do I want to use?
One of my favorite poets is Catherine DeVinck.  She entered my life in the 1980's when a friend gave me a collection of her poems entitled A Time to Gather.  My husband and I used one of her poems at our wedding.  And lately I've been envisioning a number of paintings as a result of rereading her work.
This painting was inspired by her poem in the section The Spirit of Poetry.  I think I could paint a whole series on this one section alone, it is so full of gorgeous imagery.  I encourage you to look for her books - there are many of them still available.
Where do you find your muse?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bumps in the Road

Harvest Goddess - egg tempera on gessoed stone

You may have noticed that I've been absent here, after a flurry of postings in February.  The Thing a Day Challenge was so much fun and I got a lot of work done that felt really satisfying.  And then March - no challenge, the usual family colds, sore throats, school closings requiring more babysitting hours from me, and my creativity seemed to slow down.
One of the biggest bumps turned out to be the confirmation that several of my standing stones had been stolen from a shop where I have my work.
I had first noticed two missing back in December, but was told that some things had been moved around, put in the window, etc.  The manager said she'd look carefully through everything.  I had thought about taking them to shows in the fall, but never got over there to remove them; still I said I'd look through my things to make sure I didn't have the one.  I didn't.

Flame Madonna - egg tempera on gessoed stone
We couldn't figure out how anyone would take them - they're heavy, not something little you can slip in your pocket.  And the fact that two of them were missing seemed odd.  But with winter coats and bundles, it wouldn't be too difficult to remove them. 
There are no security devices in the store.  And being a friendly community, the people who work in it might not be that vigilant.
Then in March, when I was back at the shop, I found that a third one was gone.  Now we knew for sure that someone was focussing their energies on taking these stones.  I was sick  I felt stalked, violated.  Any time I tried to paint I experienced grieving.  I debated pulling out of the store.  The manager said she'd move my things closer to the counter. There are plans to install security cameras.   I still don't feel safe and am not sure whether I'll stay there - but I do like the store and the group of people.
I'm trying to put this behind me.  There may not be anything I can do to recover these particular stones.  But I can take a cue from the rebirthing of this spring season around me and watch to see what might come forth.

P.S.  the images of the first two are so poor because I had to crop them out of booth shots - I'd never gotten around to taking individual pictures of them, somehow.
Contemplative - egg tempera on gessoed stone