Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zimbabwe Artists Project

I am honored to be involved in ZAP, the Zimbabwe Artists Project. Tomorrow night marks the opening reception of the exhibit. This will be a great show for a great cause!!!! In conjunction with First Fridays in inner southeast Portland, please join us for the opening reception, Friday, August 1st, 5-9PM. Please stop by if you can to see some amazing art work. The work is very uplifting and very affordable if you are looking for a gift for a special someone (maybe yourself!) The reception will include not only amazing artwork done by some fabulous artists, but the festivities will also include music featuring a seven piece Marimba Band courtesy of Wood Vibrations !

Zimbabwe Artists Project is a non-profit organization committed to assisting women in Zimbabwe in their quest for economic self-reliance. These artists from rural eastern Zimbabwe create beautiful and affordable art, including paintings on boards, appliques, paintings on fabric, and embroideries. You can view an incredibly inspirational short film about the artists on their website as well.

Their work will be on exhibited through the main floor gallery space at the Olympic Mills Commerce Center for the month of August.

Zimbabwe Artists Project
Olympic Mills Commerce Center
107 SE Washington Street, Suite 162
Portland, OR 97214

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Blooms- The Lessons I have learned

I recently came across this amazing piece written by Pearl S. Buck. It so beautifully describes how I feel and how I was feeling when I allowed my creativity to be smothered by my hand injury. I felt victimized and angry! I now have learned many lessons this long year and a half have taught me. These lessons were available all along, but as the Buddhist saying goes, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear". I have to quote James Taylor. I finally "looked up from my life". I see the great blessings in the volunteer work I have so passionately become involved in. I see that sculpting and creating are my life, but only part of it. There is room for more. I feel so much more purposeful in my life and less guilty about feeling self absorbed when I was only sculpting. I constantly looked for the greater purpose in my sculpting. My world has expanded and I feel richer for the experience of my hand injury. I have also learned to ask for help, and am still at a beginner's mind when it comes to listening to my body and pacing myself. I am getting better! I would not welcome the injury if I had a choice, but I am embracing the lessons it has brought to my life. Now let me share this poignant Buck piece that I so deeply relate to:

"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To her, a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create-so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, her very breath is cut off from her. She must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency she is not really alive unless she is creating"~Pearl S. Buck

I feel grateful to slowly be creating again!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Spiritual Magic of Creation

When I was creating my sculpture at Hummingbird Studios, I did not remember bringing reference images. My sculpture kept appearing to have an Asian face although I was attempting a Caucasian woman. I kept fighting it and suddenly it was apparent that the serene and peaceful demeanor of the sculpture read as something much more, something with a higher presence. Once I accepted that, things became clear to me. The only face that I had packed with me long before my trip, one which I had forgotten to look at in the studio for reference, was that of a Buddha. In addition the book I chose to bring on this trip was The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama! Once I surrendered to the sculpture, things began to magically fall into place. It was even suggested to me that she resembled Kuan Yin, the Buddhist Goddess of Protection and Compassion. Kuan Yin is who first brought me into my house in Portland since she is the sentinel on my front lawn. I also surround myself with images and statues of her throughout my home. I have been exploring the path of Buddhism lately and how it fits into my life, so I guess this is in me in a more spiritual cellular level. It seems to rise to the surface through my fingers without me being conscious of it. It continues to amaze me that our subconscious is so aware of things before our consciousness catches up. Therein lies the magic, the mystery, the spiritual aspect of creation for me!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Weekend at Hummingbird Studios

Last weekend I had a great opportunity to take a sculpting workshop at Leslie Lee and Dennis Meiners wonderful self constructed Hummingbird residence/studio/gallery,made out of straw bale/adobe , in Jacksonville, Oregon. We managed to remain relatively comfortable studying with Beverly Mayeri despite the almost 100 degree temperatures. Thanks goodness for adobe! This was basically my first attempt at sculpting since my wrist surgery 3 1/2 months ago so I entered into this weekend with a natural sense of trepidation. We worked on understanding the human head which was quite a challenge for me to "see" realistically rather than "imagine" what a head feels like in my mind. I know once I practice this technique I will be able to create my own balance between realism that is very cerebral and abstract which for me is a meditation. This is my first try in progress.Don't judge it too harshly yet as I will show you the magical outcome and share the story check back!