I’m stuck in Southwest-SFO Hell. Trying to make it to Santa Barbara for my part in tonight’s fun Opening for the 100 Grand Show at Sullivan Goss Gallery. I am all set. Cute dress, new lipstick… If only we could take off! Trying to not go nuts. So instead, focusing on what to paint next for my Solo Show this coming June at Easton Gallery in Montecito… Thumbing through my iPhone archives brought some interesting thoughts to mind. Namely, what art seems to sell and what does not.
Now I work very, very hard on each piece. Working for weeks often before dawn. Trying to catch the light and the feeling of each scene and subject. And I am deeply thankful that after 20 years of earnest painting, my art supports itself. I try never to think of a new painting as “I hope this will sell.” I think selfishly that dilutes whatever creative essence and creative flows within me as I surrender to canvas, brushwork, shading and colors. I seriously LOVE Color. And Light. Beauty. Atmosphere. But occasionally I stumble upon a scene that I know will likely never sell. And for the very life of me, I have to paint it anyway. Feeling so moved by that moment, whatever moment “that” is, I know it will become a piece of my art.
Such a moment happened in October when I was lucky enough to meet Ralph Benson, Executive Director of the Sonoma Land Trust when he came in to my Art Trails Open Studios. He invited me to tour Glen Oaks, a previously unknown spot to me 100% old California. In fact, the Civil War era home has remained largely untouched since 1952 when the last owner deeded the property to our beloved Land Trust. I remain honored for that private step back into time. And I vowed to paint Glen Oaks in all of her glory — and have since.
But one facet of this old place, was the old woman’s bath and Boudoir. Still intact. Hairbrush still on her table. Bath salts on the tub ledge. That touched me deeply. Here, this woman is long dead yet her most intimate beauty ephemera remains in place. From 1952. I had to paint her aging bath bottles with a piece of decorative Mexican sculpture caked in dust. Knowing full well the finished painting might never find a home. And that I bloody well don’t care. Such moments are rarely given and when given to an artist? We must act and act well.