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May it be an UP day! k

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Life imitating Art? or is Art imitating Life? and HOW

 On the heels of 'Labor Day' finished up a painting on Labor Day, that's inspiration for came back on the 26 of August.  This the little post it note written to self that day in Journal:

The painting was all done except for the bee, that well... isn't all that easy to come by.  The fact that this one came to me by way of the bee keeper that also supplied the honey was so more appropriate than they knew.  This bee stung him in the ankle the morning he brought it to me and died.  What does this have to do with Art and Painting?  What we do with our gifts and talents the point, no pun intended.
My Last Post Titled "What New Florida Plein Air Collectors Look Like" In it introduced you to Gary and Suzanne, and also the plein air activities in the area, to show you two ways of collecting.  As a Patron or a Painter, plus how to grow your artist career in both of these with the help of teaching tools made available.  All linked at that post.  Just a few days after that post, called Gary to share some good news with him.  Suzanne answered his phone, not uncommon for a husband and wife at all. So shared with her the good news that Jane Chapin (artist added to their new collection) visited my studio and brought a gift for them; a personalized copy of her book "Land Of The Free"and I had it for them at the studio.
Suzanne shared 'how wonderful, thank you, the timing is perfect'  She going on to share Gary had a bit of a set back, and this was a perfect time for him to have Jane's book to look at. Gary, through no fault of any, while undergoing an emergency risky procedure a blood vessel bled, long story short... Gary, who just a few days ago helped me carry artwork and hang it in their new home, is paralyzed on his left side.  Their life changed dramatically.  And after Suzanne visited me the next day to pick up her book, I included a gift of my own with it.  Wish had the original, would have given it to them, had a fine art canvas giclee of a painting, that was the first painting painted after a year of NOT painting.  Frankly a heartbreaking year, and painting just touched the heart a little more than could be bared at the time.  Only by invitation was I brought to painting again to participate in a national small works show.  I was so honored to be asked, simply had to paint.  Had no idea, what it would be, simply knew had to. Do believe that was exactly why the gallery owners asked me to participate too. Friends, knew I needed to get back to painting. I did. The name of the painting painted;
"When Darkness Comes... Look To The Light" Sold the night of their opening.
When Darkness Comes... Look To The Light by K Hitt Copyrighted
   When shared this with Suzanne at her visit to the studio the day after the call, she said something that left me speechless.  Our collecting your Plein Air Paintings and that day you came to our new home to hang them, is our last 'good memory', of 'good times' 'Looking at your paintings will always be able to take us to that place'  My eyes water again, even as i just type it here! Called her and asked her if ok that shared the continuation of their story in my life as an artist.  She said of course.  For it is a fine line here... but the heart of the affairs at hand are the purpose to this sharing.  A sharing that is a call to all of us as artist to remember the choices that we always have before us.  For inevitably Lemons, Blues, Darkness... is going to be a part of our today's.  To say that this has been a doozy of a few weeks is an understatement. Things coming in threes, we will leave the 'what' to that, Family, Work, Affairs of Life slamming on through. Though Perspective was in line before this event... it became hugely illuminated as realized their was NO coincidence in meeting this couple, and there was no coincidence in the still life prompted to paint. From the post it note to gathering of items for the still life, then a thumbnail... set up in the studio, my new mini Strada, plein air easel.  With the idea this painting was going to be an afternoon alla prima one.  Well Life didn't get that memo, after many an interruption... replaced lemon... blueberries held on, out of just wanting to get it done, signed it before the bee was added.  Giving up on the idea of being able to gather one in time.
Right after doing that received another phone call, bee delivery was on order after all! On all days, Labor Day.  Reminding me tenfold of exactly what it is we labor for.  I don't know if our art imitates life, or life imitates our art... perhaps you do.  I do know our Art does matter.  Why we do what we do... always the question at hand in a manor that we check our fruits, so to speak.  Out and out tragedies in this life happen, as do the mountain top experiences.  They all matter and play a role in what we do.  Art matters to enable JOY to abound by telling the story with beauty from ashes, or mountaintop experiences.  No matter your level, it is to be shared to the best of your ability! We may be an unknown in the art world persay, but we are never a nobody.  Your story, and your art matters to someone. Paint On, as the golfer say's play through, we are equipped to do the same.

Why was this little bee so significant? It resting on the burlap, under the 'Airing The Laundry ' Plein Air Oil on my 'fresh of the easel wall' at the studio, juxtaposition with the Honey, represents the two choices we always have to make in this life, as an artist, and as a person. Live imitating Art, or Art imitating life? Life imitating a bee's life.  For you see, when a bee stings, it hurts a LOT!
The pain resides though. 
A bee's life has two choices, 
use its God given gifts to either:
pollinate and make honey
or sting and die  
Those little seemingly insignificant details in the choices of all served in a day, in reality could rise up and make significant life changing details in an others.  
The name of the still life that was inspired to paint:  
"Artist Studio Life, With Lemon & Blues Choices" 

This Artist hopes to always add Honey when the option is given.  A new friend echoed with this as we talked, “Little people continue with petty things.  Don’t let them get you down. Be big, be bold, be courageous, and be loving.  God put you here to do great things.  Listen to His call.  And be loving toward them as well”
 Yup-- ADD HONEY whenever the option presents itself!  Is that our Art imitating Life, or Life imitating Art-- 
God only knows that answer perhaps.  
Here are some of the steps along the way of completing this little painting... a still life inspired from life. First played with the still life, and tried to gather together the appropriate elements. Note my heart rock, also on the fresh off the easel wall next to the painting painted from the exact location on the Merced River, which is where that rock was found. Brought it back with me to the studio.  It was like the rock spoke and said "You will love painting here" so I did. And still do. That little painting to the right of it, the painting from there outside of Yosemite.  Also added specifically to the backdrop for the still life "Airing The Laundry" still life from the the Plein air journey that is also a part of my exhibit coming on 27 February 2015, an exhibit culminating from a solo five month journey in my Tahoe, cris crossing the USA to grow and pursue passion as an Artist. An exhibit that is two and a half years in the making before the long ago planned opening night. Save the date, and  look for my Plein Air Magazines sponsored news coming in the next issue! HUGE leap! 
Anyways back to these details, next,
once the elements were aligned, did a thumbnail composition check .
This Thumbnail, literally that, in scale, and almost abstract in composition.  If you look closely though, all of the key elements are there.  Once had this set up, took out a favorite, Mini Strada Plein Air Easel and set it up too in my studio, in position to go with the thumbnail. The goal was to apply all learned in these past two years, painting plein air, Museum exhibits visited, and use the new found growth in the studio too.  Though a professional artist when the journey began, goal again to grow as an artist now that was able to concentrate solely on my art after raising three children as a single parent remains a continual process.  As it is for us all.  We should never stop growing as an artist, and we should never try resting in our successes in a painting by replicating it.  Every painting is a new journey, and new lesson to learn, no matter what your level of expertise.  If you don't challenge yourself anew every day, what good is that???   Yes, you thought this was 'just a still life'... that too is the point. As worked through the details of the week, on top of the details of this painting, much more than anticipated met me along the way.  It was the perspective applied at the time, and it was what enhanced the process.  If you didn't read this blog, you may not have even notice the little bee down in the corner. I even signed it thinking could leave it out, since it didn't seem was going to make it in time for this painting.

To hear that you are the honey added to the eyes of two that were dealt a real lemon that was trying to make them sing the blues… leaves you with water in your eyes, and speechless.
Also something that aligns with every circumstance currently going on in life; it is all a matter of perspective.
Yes, “When Darkness Comes… Look To The Light” Add Honey, and don't waste your life using your stinger.  Its fruitless. 
and may it be an UP day! K
also known as Karen Ann, An Original Hitt.  Another example of when you are born with a name like Hitt, you quickly learn how to keep things in a positive light!