THE ART OF SEEING
Happy, Happy New Year from artCentral!
2020—a brand new year is begun and a new decade, too. May we all be blessed with the art of seeing all that enriches our lives—love and inspiration, truth and beauty. May we enjoy the gift of clear and focused visioning for the promises and possibilities just beginning to unfold.
During artCentral’s winter break I am entering my new year by taking time to be an artist in my studio, at my easel, painting. What satisfaction to have completed commissioned paintings and puppy portraits to be given as gifts! What joy and fulfilling pleasure to make the painting I will contribute to artCentral’s first 2020 exhibition.
The exhibition theme of HEART & SOUL has been an inspiration to me. The lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s “Boogie Street” have served as inspiration, as well:
“So come, my friends, be not afraid. We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made; in love we disappear.”
I’ve pondered what heart and soul and love are for me. They all for me are Lasyrenn (“La-si-ren”), my siren. In Haiti she is the patron spirit of artists and musicians.
Many of you already know my husband David and I are training Lasyrenn, our Australian Shepherd, to be a therapy dog who will give emotional support. Eager to learn and acquire new skills, at two years old she is showing great promise and terrific progress.
Lasyrenn captured my heart and touched my soul the first moment I gathered her in my arms. She was lightly dappled with colors of amber and chestnut, as though softly stroked with a brush. Among her rowdy litter of nine blissfully tumbling and frolicking in a muddy enclosure, she was the only one sitting demurely apart, watching her sisters and brothers.
The still, pristine serenity of this tiny fluff ball of fur seemed to call out to me, “Take me home before I become all mud-covered, too.” I did. Picked her up. Took her home and fell deeply, deeply in love with my wee studio companion who’s growing up to be smart and sensitive, eager to learn, feisty and energetic, too.
Truly beautiful to behold, Lasyrenn is my favorite photographic subject. At last I have chosen an image from among so very many. This one especially honors her quiet, soft beauty. She’s resting in David’s reading chair waiting for him to come home at the end of the day. Light from a large salon window is falling softly across her back, highlighting one side of her face and the tufting above her ears. She is still and serene in her waiting as she looks directly at me.
First I make a sketch from Lasyrenn’s photograph. Then I explode the drawing to fill the 11”x13” picture plane of an acid-free, gesso-prepped museum board. I spread out the tubes of acrylic pigments I’ve chosen for my minimalist, muted palette of dusty hues. I lay down Lasyrenn’s contours with lightly painted lines of raw umber.
I begin to add pigment. First I paint her eyes, for they are the windows to her soul. They show her true feelings and reveal her emotions. As soon as I’ve painted her eyes, all else follows and flows gracefully, easily. I am pleased. I have practiced my art of seeing. I have found love and inspiration, truth and beauty.
Will you come see and celebrate my love and Lasyrenn, with me? Come enjoy your own art of seeing love and inspiration, truth and beauty in all the wonderful JRAC art that will fill the galleries of Hyde House, upstairs and down, in February and March. The Opening Reception for HEART & SOUL is Friday, February 7, 2019, 6:00-8:00 p.m. The public is invited. Admission is free. For more information call (417) 358-4404 or visit www.artcentralcarthage.org online.