Friday, December 26, 2008

Dakota Sunshine

What could be more lovely and uplifting during this cold, snowy time than a happy, smiling sunflower?

During late summer in North Dakota, the vast fields of blooming sunflowers make everyone smile. The first time I saw one of those fields, I had to stop the car, get out and stand up on the doorframe to look out as far as I could see... it was just like a sea of sunshine!!! The yellow was so intense it made me feel like I was bathed in sunbeams. I never forgot it, and some years later began a series of paintings (that continues to this day) of the sunflower in its glory. They are all titled "Dakota Sunshine" and have brightened the lives of many smiling people.

This painting with a bit of purple sky is available framed (11" x 14") at Junk Yard Chic, a fabulous shop filled with gifts, art, home accessories, and all sorts of whimsical, magical surprises in Bismarck, North Dakota. If this one is sold, they have more in other colors! Or if you want one with your state's name on it just email Ann Andre at Junk Yard Chic, or call her at 719-223-3784, or email me at

Anyway, a bit of the sunflower sunshine is good for all of us at this time of year... helps us remember that spring and the warm blooming weather will return. I think we can better enjoy this time of rest, reflection and renewal, knowing that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Creating and Sharing

Well, I can hardly believe that a whole month has passed since I finally posted for the second time on this blog. I love to write in addition to creating visual art. So why am I not writing, and writing all the time? That's a difficult question and may be similar to the question: Why am I not creating art all the time? Do I let life get in the way a little too much and let it keep me from the solitary chore that is painting?

What is it that keeps me from my acknowledged desire for and certainly a kind of longing for more time spent in artistic endeavors? It's true that my creativity easily and often blossoms in many other ways: like problem-solving in everyday life; recognizing connections between many disparate things; knowing how this will lead to that; seeing through, beyond, into so many things, people, situations. These are things that do not always require much solitary time. Or is all of that also an important part of the creative process and not to be put off or denigrated in any way? I do know that time and energy spent on solitary creative endeavors often brings me and many others much joy. And that result is also precious to me, but not always enough to inspire me to my work.

Suddenly last week, when I read the following words in a beautiful new tourism publication from Telluride by the Poet Laureate of San Miguel County, Colorado, I felt a stirring, a sense that she could just as easily be speaking about visual art and maybe many, or even most, other kinds of creative endeavors:

While the creation is solitary,
the dance is the sharing of the words.

-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Rosemerry has, I think, explained it all quite well in these few words. Although much of the creative process is rather solitary, it is the sharing after (or sometimes even during) the creative process that makes it come alive... makes it dance... makes it really and truly real. I love that part, the sharing and dancing, just as much as the creating. Her words have inspired me anew to make a more concerted effort to find the solitary time I need to create, so that the excitement and joy and connections of the dance can happen more and more often.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Finally, time to start talking....

It isn't like I haven't been talking, talking about art, and making art....

I just haven't gotten around to coming here to do it! But after looking at so many wonderful blogs, I decided I better get started.

The acrylic painting above is called STARSHINE. It is about 4"x6". I will be putting many more angels on here, a few cats, some landscapes and still lifes, and who knows what else.

In the meantime, check out my friend Coni Grant's blog that has fabulous plein air paintings, great discussions on art, links to other great art blogs and some of my recent work also. She teaches an oil painting class that I attend. We learn a lot and have lots of laughs every week!

And my friend Judith Hovde, who is a world-class calligrapher, great photographer and wonderful writer also has a blog that makes me smile, is charming and always has something new. We have been making art together and having fun for more than 20 years!