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May it be an UP day! k

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What Do YOU want to be remembered for?...

What do you want to be remembered for?
"Breaking In" Plein Air Painted & Sold At Plein Air Texas 2017

That, the question posed of me about 4 months ago.  Now that we are well into February, many are well into their New Year Resolution or for that matter the giving up of it. No 'new year' resolution was made here.  Looking up Resolution: a firm decision to do or not do something.  That is how it was defined. Resolution, led me back to the question asked of me earlier in the year.

What do you want to be remembered for?

So, when recently asked this; They were asking me in regards to my relation to the Art World and how i paint in it, and what i have to share with others from there.  Not as a resolution, a purpose, or a why.  After much pondering – trying to narrow the subject down to that ‘what’ it became abundantly clear – THAT – didn’t  cover enough possibility in itself. Not in a haughty way, but in a boundless view kind of way.

This heart, is the heart of an encourager.  Therefore, THAT is what ‘i’ want to be remembered for.  So, how is this translated into a manner that gives back to my contribution to the art world? One of my first National Illustration Assignments was to Illustrate "Believe" "Hope" & "Love" and to find the scripture passage to accompany each one.  This, my first job as a single mom with my artwork as simply sought to move it from the secular to the Christian market.  With hope and prayer, to simply work, in a manner that I could work around my new single parent of three position, and somehow do so with what I went to college to do, paint. Somehow, completely unsolicited and unplanned, I actually met the VP of one of the Largest Makers of Inspirational Gifts worldwide. At the time, I had no idea who he was, I could simply tell that he knew about the market and could offer wise counsel on how to work in it too. So I asked them for their expertise and recommendations on how to work in this field.  From that chance meeting he asked me to send him samples of my artwork. That I did. From that mailing came the illustration assignment. No, there are no coincidences in this life.
       This painting, left, is a painting titled "Believe" and was a part of that original assignment.  The Scripture added on it as pictured here, was added after the Sandy Hook Shooting... there are no words for the horror of that senseless tragedy. Nor do I pretend to know the answer to fix the need to find a way to end the senseless tragedies. Evil remains evil and hell bent, Good remains Good, and heavenly bound.  I do not EVER seek to talk politics or religion, or do I ever want to offend anyone. I simply seek to reflect the inspirations inspired to paint.  
     Yesterday marks the passing of one of the greatest evangelist that ever walked this earth, Billy Graham.  His life marked an eternal difference for countless lives.  There may never be another as he.  We ALL have different gifts and talents and our own way of reaching out with them in a manor that they hopefully will serve a useful purpose, and not be buried in the sand.    
 Many who know me, know that ‘i’ have great faith. By the way, that has nothing to do with religion.  Faith in Religion won't save anyone. As Billy Graham eloquently with great convictions could easily share, it is only by faith in Jesus Christ.  That is my great faith.  Not in religion.  It in fact is the opposite of that perhaps too. It simply is a way of seeing, believing, walking – and yes—stepping out, and even LEAP where called for.  This heart knows a Spirit for which “ALL things are possible…” Its an absolute Truth.  There truly is a peace beyond understanding in the faith walk. 
another of the those early illustrations

Not in a head in the clouds blind to reality way – in a matter of fact, by faith trusting and knowing ‘Good are Gods plan for you, to prosper you and to give you a future and a hope – memory paraphrasing a beloved passage. In this way of 'seeing' it is the drive to also find a way to see a good somewhere in all before me. Be it a circumstance, place, person... etc. etc.

               Yes, in the reality of living life out loud— There are indeed times in every life that we may ask the 'why?' and/or  'How ?' can this possibly work together for the good?  There is many a  circumstance forcing us to ask ourselves, where on earth can there possibly be a 'good' in this? Such questions are perhaps in fact asked – sometimes daily.  Asking, does NOT mean one has doubt by the way – it shows one believing, trusting and asking in a manner that especially calls on ‘faith’.
               In answer to the question ‘what do you want to be remembered for?’ I am not sure how it is applied in the art world, but it is what  I seek to do in this life in general too, not only in the art world-  what I want to be remembered for is to be one that is an encourager – is my reply. To be an Encourager, especially to the underdog.
"Rising Down The I.C.W." available Hughes Gallery.
               My family is known for their Physics and Math majors—pragmatic absolutes guide their minds and way.  When over the years they referred to me as the ‘artist’ in the family.  It was almost like a sigh, as they said it.  They meant or mean no offense –they just don’t ‘see’ the same as I do?  I don’t know what it is.  Because um, ‘i’ don’t see the same as they do perhaps is also true. BUT, good is always able to be seen, in all that each of us do, with our different gifts, and different eyes.

 With my head in the clouds, I seek to understand how the light wraps around them at different hours of the day.  They display fascinating Physics indeed! So “See!” we are ALL the same!  What do i want to be remembered for?  For being an encourager to the underdog!  The under appreciated, the under accepted, the under utilized, the under funded, the underdog. To be one to encourage others to keep the faith and to press on to take hold of ALL that they were created to do. We do not need to measure ourselves against others, we simply need to follow our passions and apply our gifts and talents to the very best of our ability.  To learn and apply all that we are able to, with our calling.  To learn how to not allow fear to bury their gifts or talents in the sand, so to speak.  It may be very intimidating stepping out in faith, to apply an inspiration.  Rejection may even be the replies.  It is not who you are though.  Keep working.  Keep striving to be the best that you can be.  Because, the truth that remains, is that by faith, and in truth, ALL things are possible… Godspeed. Press on!  Also, share, reflect, enable... yes, encourage others too.
Slices Of Red Awakenings-IX

These two paintings reflect the effects of light on the sky... before the sun rises.  Many know that this Artists favorite time of the day, is in the Light before the Dawn.  The colors are always at their brightest there, perhaps because also, just before the dawn is the darkest and coldest hour too. Therefore, that is when the effects of light, make the most effect. In that simple profound truth, perhaps lies the heart of this ones heart- that hopes to be remembered as an Encourager.

Have Dock...Will Peer- Acrylic
New Fruits
As an Artist, i do not only paint the sky; or the the landscape, or in plein air, many also know my work as a portrait painter, more specifically a children's portrait painter.  In reality, after receiving my awesome new 'eyes' - it has taken some adjusting to my new miraculous vision to adjust it back to the portraits.  "Have Dock... Will Peer" (pictured to the right) illustrates my love of capturing the genuine actions of children.  Give them a dock, they will run to the furthest edge of it as possible, just to see how far they can reach and see what they can see.  Another favorite portrait subject is a father with their children, especially holding their baby.  So many paint mother and child, a beloved subject by this artist too indeed, but there is a uniqueness to capturing a father holding their young one. They quite frankly hold a baby differently than a mom.  They explore with a little one differently too.  This 'New Fruits' inspired by Mary Cassatt's 'Child Picking Fruit' took me years to
"At That Moment..."
finally complete.  Many inspirations make their mark on an Artist's minds eye, long before they are painted.  The inspiration remains as the time to paint it materializes.  That was indeed the case with this other painting painted for my church.  Inspired probably 20 years earlier, the time, the models, the how to - not yet defined.  Simply the inspiration.  Inspirational Gifts and Illustrations was my work before the Plein Air, and before the Portraits too.  It is still a beloved subject, and assuredly slants all that i see.  This Painting, 'At That Moment...' Literally illustrated the Word in
Matthew's Gospel at 3:16-17. It is actually not illustrating the baptism of Jesus, it is the Trinity as shared in the passage. Something NONE with human eyes have seen.  The Word itself simply illustrated as it was inspired to do.  It was something getting models for this inspiration.  Most look at you sideways if you ask them to model for such a scene.  Pastor Matt and dear friend Mike, gladly hopped in the gulf for me to model.  This painting inspired more than this painting it turns out.  Just as this scripture illustrated marked the beginning of Jesus' earthly ministry, it marked the beginning of a new season in this Artist's life too.
This month just so happens to mark the month I was given an extraordinary gift; that gift was given to me five years ago now.  It also marks the month that I had the solo exhibit culminating from the gift, three years ago.  Ironically rejection and faith the foundation of both.
     Completely unsolicited and out of the blue, a student of many years believed in my ability as an artist, that difficult circumstances and the side effect finances didn't afford me extra opportunities to pursue.  There were seasons in this time, where riding my bike was not only a joy and form of exercise, it saved funds in order to purchase paint for paintings vs gasoline for my trusty steed of a Tahoe. I learned years ago to never count my blessings as curses.  Being within two to three miles of most my activities, made being able to ride my bike a true blessing. A series of domino effects of difficult circumstances left me even forced out of my home because of black mold and the repairs around it.  "At That Moment..." was painted during this time, staying in this friend/students home. And then as the repairs continued another friends home too. After the second home, I saw a scene that I longed to paint, but I couldn't do it.  Not because of ability because of means.  The view inspired had to be painted large, "Boundless" the inspiration.  In trying to keep the 'full story' to a paragraph, the gift given literally felt like a miracle.  The giver, wanted to remain anonymous, and they simply desired I be given opportunity to be a National Artist, like they felt my abilities but not means afforded.  I shared that one doesn't just 'become' a National Artist.  So the season was birthed to Grow as an Artist to meet this next season in my life. Gifted, and now with an empty nest.  It was
time to paint, and paint, and paint.  Some of you may know this, some may not, this turned into even more than any of us imagined.  The gift, substantial, not endless, and yes limited.  Therefore I raised gas money by working with my beloved community and pairing up with a local business to host a raffle night of three paintings.  Raffle tickets could be applied to the painting they like the most. In brief, armed with faith, a miraculous gift, funds for gas, I put a plan into motion...
     Not even I could have imagined all the places it would take me.  5 years since that gift.  3 years since the Solo Exhibit. Grace, Love, Fellowship tour turns out to be a journey for life, not just the solo 5 months, 21,000 plus miles cris-crossing the USA visiting every major Art Exhibit possible along with Art Events, along with National Landmarks and Parks, camping all along the way.  Basically living out of my 'Trusty Steed' of a Tahoe.  Also, "At That Moment..." was not just one painting of the illustration for Matthew 3:16-17 All of it intertwined together in an exceedingly more than could have hoped for imagined way...
 Today, this artist has leaped out to embrace this next season in life with every opportunity as it was presented.  There is much work to do, and paintings inspired to paint from the people met, and miles traveled.  Here is one of the most recent studio works.  First Snows First Light (right)

   It all leads to what hope to be remembered the most for, as an Encourager to the Underdog.  This month marks two significant events in this Artist's life.  Meeting my very own living "Isabella" in a longtime friend and student, and being encouraged to leap... There is much thanks on this artists heart for the opportunities blessed to pursue, and may continue to pursue.  Who have you encouraged today?  In it all, it is not about ourselves, it is about applying our God Given Gifts in a manor that they may multiply and glorify our Creator, who by grace and love gave us the opportunity to press on, to take hold of all that they took hold of us for.  Billy Graham, is one that touched countless lives with his calling to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We all have different gifts.  How are you sharing your calling?  How are you building another up?  How are you saying  thanks for the opportunities you have been given? How do you want to be remembered? Take the leap, take the chance, work hard with your own hands...   I am no one special, with any great talent above anyone else'.  I remain thankful to have the opportunity to paint full time.  It is something that this artist will never take for granted.  Many miles have been traveled, many years of study have been applied, and there is always room to grow.  A beloved quote by Michelangelo spoken at 87 years of age; "I am still learning" Hopefully each and every one of us is doing exactly that...   
Moon Pies Recently Sold at the Hughes Gallery
See more of my work at:
  • An Original Hitt - Fine Art & Atelier -- is the Artist's true working art studio on the island of Venice.  It does open its doors for a few special occasions, and yes appointments are welcomed too.   
  • Venice Art Walks are the 1st Thursday of the Month January through April, 5 to 8 pm to support the communities working arts. The Trolley stops here! 
  • Studio Doors will also be opened during the weekend of The Downtown Art Classic on Saturday March 3rd 9:30-5:30 and Sunday March 4th 1:30-5:30 Come on by and see how the artwork gets done.