Tuesday, October 29, 2013

“Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness"

The recent tragic and brutal death of Harley Lawrence in Berwick, Nova Scotia was very disturbing to say the least , made my heart ache and sick. It wasn't only because it was Harley. I did not know the man. But, because I have known many like him as a worker with troubled youth at risk, post-psychiatric patients, mentally challenged folks and working with both adult and young offenders.

 I understand with first handed experience, these struggles, after seeing my late father, brother and husband throughout the years, suffer with addiction, mental illness and living on the street.

This kind of tragedy, sad to say, does not surprise me. It often makes me feel helpless, and sorrowful because of the kind of society and world we live in. The harrowing trials that so many marginalized folks experience, falling through the cracks within a broken system and government that seems to heartlessly chew and spit people out, especially if you don't have the wherewith all to advocate for yourself or no one to give you hope.

I am blessed to have a faith in a God of my understanding, that gives me many reasons to be hopeful, and filled with gratitude for everyday. Art and creativity from a young age, always was my great tool I used throughout life, enabling me to cope. It was truly my therapy and gave me solace, when I felt the world chaotically falling apart within and all around me. It is often difficult to know how to express this in tangible words. I intuitively knew art helped me, in ways I didn't understand, but I knew it worked. As I grew older I came to understand why, though I still can't explain it succinctly.

This article from the book by I found yesterday originally posted via Agora Gallery blog update via a post from a great site, Brain Pickings, featured the book Art As Therapy by Philosopher Alain de Botton, and Art Historian John Armstrong who wrote about, the 7 Psychological Functions of Art.

After feelings of frustration and sadness yesterday, I intently searched for something, anything related to how art and creativity can shine a light in the darkness. I found it waiting for me in my inbox. It made me feel excited, good and affirmed, because it  puts it all together for me, why I am an artist, and why art is so essential to life. I know art can't solve all the woes of this life in our troubled world but it, certainly can make a difference if we are honestly willing to keep our hearts, and our minds open to the healing powers of art and creativity.

Rest In Peace Harley Lawrence


Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed

I was saddened to hear Lou Reed had died. He was one of a kind. I think the passing of an era really.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Artists Dying of Exposure

Here's something I've been thinking about a lot lately.
 I read this morning in the NY Times Sunday Review, a very poignant article, by Tim Kreider expressing much of how I feel about doing work for nothing, in particularly I am referring to creative work.
I love this. I'll file it for future reference to use next time some one expects art work free gratis.

"Thanks very much for your compliments on my [writing/illustration/whatever thing you do]. I’m flattered by your invitation to [do whatever it is they want you to do for nothing]. But [thing you do] is work, it takes time, it’s how I make my living, and in this economy I can’t afford to do it for free. I’m sorry to decline, but thanks again, sincerely, for your kind words about my work."

The NY Times article lead me to find out learn about Kevin Boggs and  Sonia Davis Gutierrez, head of the CEAG.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Photography Portraits of Brandon Stanton

I heard some time ago about this photographer Brandon Stanton, and heard about him again today. Fabulous artist and fellow human, of New York. Here is his blog, Humans of New York.

                                              Brandon, Humans of New York

Monday, October 21, 2013


 I've been slow in getting to my blog posts lately, as I've had some computer technical difficulties, been very busy and haven't found much to blog about as of late. It does make me feel good to know I've accomplished my four hundredth post, as of today.

Summer is long over. I have to accept that. Every year it's always the same ; can't believe it's gone, can't believe it's coming; Winter that is.

I recently wrote my thoughts about my simultaneous feelings of joy and sadness surrounding this season of Fall.

Autumn is bitter sweet
First such beauty
Then so bleak

 I think most people experience this. It has been a particularly stunning Autumn with the trees a cacophony in a glorious pallet of colours. Suddenly it's over, and bleakness ensues! Blaaa gak!

Since September I've been involved with numerous activities, have a list of yard chores to do, trying to get ready for the coming Winter, and especially with the seemingly unending "woodin" to do. And so I haven't had much time or inclination to get art done. I have been in the planning stage of a series of new work. I will be starting preliminary drawings shortly. Shortly, being the operative word, I need keep, at the forefront of my mind. In the Fall, I have the nagging feeling I'm always falling short, and can't get enough done.

The coming change in season is the time for me to draw close to that still quiet voice, and take an inventory, when the earth appears to be asleep and even dying. In actual fact it is transforming, and I hope I am involved always in that same kind of transformative process.

Living in the North West Territories for three years, I know, and understand what cabin fever is. This state requires a concerted conscious effort to get out, and participate in healthy social activity. I need to reach out to others, and get outside of my comfort zone. I've found myself doing this over the past few months, and it's helped me to feel less disconnected and in that funk with myself.

 My recent involvement in playing and singing again, at our local Open Mic nights, has given me a renewed sense of self, fulfillment and fun, in being part of a community and fellowship, brought together through music, and it certainly can be a great healing activity for many.

Yesterday an artist friend and I attended an art event in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. The event was " Art in The Hall", which is sponsored by The Parrsboro Band Association. This was the second art event I participated in this year. Over the Summer I attended "Art In The Park".

 This community and cultural event brought together several artists within the area of Cumberland County. Some folks I had met in the past, and others I sure enjoyed meeting for the first time. It was a wonderful opportunity to feel a part of a rich creative, diverse and talented group of fellow artists, in a supportive, encouraging environment, along with meeting the public who came and it was great fun!


                        Wishing you all great transformation along life's journey!