Everything heats up in March!

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The temperatures are not the only thing heating up in Arizona this time of year. Tens of thousands of people trying to forget about old man winter head here seeking out the sun.

The golf courses are buzzing, fans cheering at baseball games, and the cacti are just pining for the opportunity to burst open. In Chicago this was my favorite time of year and it remains the same here as well.

As the days get longer here, we are given the gift of more time to look into the skies and witness the sunlight as it plays on the clouds and mountains; until it’s tired of playing and then it lights the sky on fire as it goes to bed after the long day.

The colors in those evening skies will soon be popping up all over the desert and I cannot wait. Until then, wishing you all a speedy floral filled March!


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SOLD!
Sunday Hijinx was recently sold to John and Beverly, who were my very first art collector…at age 4  😍  when I was creating work at Jack and Jill preschool. Mom and Dad needed to replace prints that they had in their kitchen after buying some neutral furniture. Their terra cotta accent wall and verdant green quartz counters screamed for this to be in their kitchen. Thrilled to be able to visit it often in their beautiful home. Thank you for the continual encouragement and support!


Strelitzia 12 Website

SOLD!
Strelitzia III was recently sold at the Desert Foothills Library show for the Sonoran Arts League’s Art in Public Places. Thank you to David and Deborah for being the newest purchaser of my artwork. It’s always the most exciting day when a piece of what I love to do gets purchased. The show runs until March 21st at The Desert Foothills Library,  38443 N Schoolhouse Rd., Cave Creek, Arizona


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Meet Loladenium…she is 20″ x 20″ oil on canvas. I continue to find my way through the desert palette and finding my expressive voice with the new flora and fauna. My inspiration for her are these amazing plants here called Adeniums, or Desert Roses. They feature a large bulbous caudex, half exposed above the soil, that retains enough water to supply the plant during drought seasons. In total view it looks much like a bonsai plant as the branches are minimal in leaves, pushing all its energy to the tips where the leaves and flowers populate. This one in particular is a double bloomer. They are often grown in pots and produce the most stunning tropical blooms.

 

Sonoran skills…

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…it is gold and rust and sandy with a little pink and both warm and cool greens. The light vacillates between super bright sunlight to hazy upper clouds soft light to orange kissing sunset light. You can see grey in the oddest locations and in shadows browns of the Midwest become blacks in the desert. As an artist, it’s a brand new palette and I’m loving the challenge.

The flowers, while not as varied as other places, are exclamation points to all the greenery. The bright papery bougainvillea can be seen from very far away while the Peruvian apple cacti require an early morning viewing before they close up just after sunrise.

The thing that surprises me the very most here in the desert? How green it is all year long. It may not be green that we walk upon or lay on or roll around on….but instead the green reaches up to the sun. In that it teaches us to sway when things get windy, be planted where you are, bloom all year long, and always reach for the sky!

I am excited to focus on a new body of work while I also return to my beloved dahlias that I am not finished with. Oh, and I’m so happy to still be doing commission work and donated paintings for great causes!

Cheers!

The same difference + why blogs are good for the authors…

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Well, we moved…hmmm…moved seems too inadequate a word to describe relocating yourself and all your life’s belongings to the other side of the country that no longer resembles anything from before.  I guess that’s what happens when you take a Midwest girl and plunk her down in the desert.  It has been 63 profound days in Scottsdale, Arizona, yet feels like a year away from home. How long do you suppose before a new place becomes “home”? Thankfully, my past reflections can help me determine that answer.

When I first created this blog, I never had any clue how important it would be…to myself. As a kid (or adult) I never journaled or had a diary…I had a great memory instead. But what I never realized about those memories, is how affected they can be by emotional location (where your emotions are at the time of remembering). For that, this blog has become an invaluable tool to myself. I can look back and feel just where my emotional location was at various moments in my life over these past years.

We’ve done this before; relocated back in 2010 from the Chicago area to the Milwaukee area for only 15 months. While I was less than 2 hours from home, it still felt a world away. On a dark emotional day (perhaps homesick) I wrote a blog post comparing being an artist to “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Kundera.  In reading that post again…this is the message that I try to carry with me wherever I am…

Being an artist is also about sharing a particular view of the world.  I believe we look at common things with an uncommon eye.  We feel emotional impulses from objects, ideas, inspirations.  I don’t believe that just because we happen to have a job as a counselor, waitress, customer service rep, or assistant that we lose our ability to see and feel the world as we artists do. 

Yes, we live this particular life only once.  However, we do live for a lifetime in which we create a lifetime of artwork.  For some that may be 10,000 pieces of artwork and for others it may mean 3.  The important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself while surviving your life, embrace your artistic self in all that do (art and non-art related), and do something creative each day even if it’s cooking something different or taking a photograph with your smart phone.

There is an unbearable lightness or likeness of being an artist, but the defining moment is how you choose to allow it to define you.

So, these days while the sun is shining upon my face here in the desert and I am feeling unrooted, I look back at this and find a way to be kinder to myself and remember that artwork is created over a lifetime and in many different ways.  I also find in these reflections a confirmation of my subject matter and what flowers continue to teach me. For example, cacti (when removed from their connected “siblings”) must harden off a bit before you can put them back into the ground to grow. So, here I am rediscovering my new home, and in that I look forward to growing!

As a side note:  I am so grateful to be living close to and sharing time with my parents again; it has been 20 years since they had left the Midwest. My hubby, Dan, and I have been enjoying getting to know Scottsdale and finding our new studio location! I am equally grateful for my amazing friends who have reached out to me with their love and positive rays of sunshine. When I am feeling “unrooted” I tend to close up, but those who have reached a hand to me….you have made these 63 days profound and I thank you.