Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Sense of Place

A sense of place is our internal compass, our personal map -- made up of memories, sensory attributes of sight, sound, smell and touch, and being in the moment. It affects our responses and how we approach our work, family, friends and life. Whether I am walking on the beach below my home on the cliff, or working outside in my Zen gardens (which I have been doing a LOT lately), I am becoming more aware of my surroundings and the joy and peace it brings me.

"I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
--- Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

Floods, 30"x45", acrylic
Erin McSavaney lives and works in Vancouver BC, Canada. His landscape paintings and architecture/buildings paintings are often quite large and always striking. His wonderful website can be found here.

"Human patterns of building, occupying, using, abandoning, and then often reclaiming. All have a marked affect on how structures-- and ultimately ourselves-- are perceived." Erin McSavaney

Sun Lights the Coastal Plains, pastel, 12"x18"
Kathleen Galligan is a Maine artist who works in a number of mediums. You can find her beautiful website here.

Emergence, oil, 10"x10"
"The sound of the sea, the curve of a horizon, wind in leaves, the cry of a bird leave manifold impressions in us. And suddenly, without our wishing it at all, one of these memories spills
from us and finds expression in musical language... I want to sing my interior landscape with the simple artlessness of a child." -- Claude Debussy

Index No. 955, encaustic and charcoal on panel, 60"x50"

Peter Roux is a mixed media artist who often uses encaustic with oil and/or charcoal and works quite large. He often incorporates text into his works and you can find his wonderful website here.

"The development of space in a painting sets up distances: between viewer and subject, and between formal elements and points of information within a subject." -- Peter Roux
(The above is titled: Notes on Italy: Venice text No. 6, 50"x108", oil and encaustic)

Susan Loeb is an artist from New Orleans. These two works are black and white watercolors.
You can find her beautiful website here.
"Every one seeks a sense of place, whether it is his or her own back yard or country. Place reinforces one's sense of self, one's true identity." Susan Loeb

"I combine observation, memory, and the presence of the subject in strongly stated images that embody my emotional response to New Orleans, the place I call home." -- Susan Loeb

Tim O'Kane is an artist who works in both fine art paintings and in fine art photography. You can find his wonderful work and the complete poem (below) at his website here.
(The above painting is titled 2 Whales and is watercolor on paper.)

PEBBLE BEACH, watercolor on paper

...The painter loved the world
with its conflicts of light and shadow,
desolation and beauty.
His was just one intention in a troubled world
the intimacy growing like ivy
around the obstacles of doubt,
as he watched
the carving continue on the monument of faces
birds filling and emptying the promontory of sky,
the tenuous construction on networks of bridges
from soul to soul, dream to dream, day to day.
---Tim O'Kane, Signature, 2008, excerpt

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Renewed, 24" x 24"

For a number of years now, the main theme of my paintings has been "the passage of time, and what remains". A large part of this theme has included the cycle of life. One symbol or metaphor in my paintings for the cycle of time has been bird nests. I am drawn to the lines in the nests of course, and the textures, and the usual round shapes which fits my love of textures, lines and circles. And the fact that birds, with such small brains, are hard wired to create such beautiful 'homes' for their offspring is a miracle of nature. But the main fascination for me, is the cycle of life... the renewal.

Nature's Gestures, 30" x 30"

"The spiritual journey is a creative journey. It's about birth. It calls us past the boundaries of convention. It tests our willingness to see life in a new way and our courage to express it: for new ways of viewing life in the face of what is commonly accepted. We become new, and in this ongoing birthing, we bring new forms to life as well. Life itself has become a creative act, full of vitality and richness and passion. --- Anne Hillman, from Dancing Animal Woman

Histories 24" x 24"

For those who have been touched by the loss of a loved one... a partner, a family member, a friend... they know how hard it is to wake up to a new day, to find new meaning in life. I want to dedicate this posting to all those close to me who are facing their new life filled with change, with so much strength and hope.

--- Healing in words, healing beyond words.
Like gestures.
Warm gestures.
Like friendship, which will always
Be like a mystery.
Like a smile, which someone described
As the shortest distance between two people.
--- Ben Okri, from the poem Healing The Wounded
Learner or the Pygmalian Complex