Saturday, November 28, 2009

Year One in Blogland


"Paisley Heart" Acrylic on Wood by DJ 2007
This blog was begun one year ago on November 28, 2008. During this season of gratitude, I can say I'm sincerely thankful for your visits here. It has been an outlet to display my artwork and feel like someone sees me in the role of artist as well as teacher. Thank you for being so gracious in your comments on my paintings & drawing lessons. And even though anonymity is a requirement for me right now, I've connected with many lovely people out there who are supportive and so giving in their creativity. I've enjoyed sharing some of my art and getting to visit your blogs to take a peek into your lives and artwork these past twelve months.
Thank you for sharing your beauty.
Love & Laughter,
DJ

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Escape to a Fantasy Land of Imagination & Skill

Last Saturday night, the 21st of November, I saw it! My husband & I went to see "Cirque du Soleil: Alegria"...
Wow...I had seen them only on television, but a live performance? Stunning.
The colorful stage was shaped and lit up like a fairyland, but as the show progressed, the high-tech changeability of the curved flooring to a totally different surface left you wondering, "How did they do that?"
The musicians introduced the show by wandering through the audience, playing instruments in costume before taking their places on stage, so they were a part of the show, not separately placed in an invisible pit somewhere.
The singers had beautiful etheral voices that took me away from everything earth-bound.
The performers were in colorful costumes that were inspired & imaginative artistry. The shapes and forms would leave any artist in the audience drooling to design something with such color and textures.
I gasped at the acrobatic acts, which were precise and varied, including fire-handlers and synchonized contortionists. The trapeze artists were amazingly strong and daring in their movements. The equipment handlers and the performers had worked together to ensure trust, so I could concentrate on the beauty of the movements, rather than worry about their safety.
And, of course, the clowns were engaging and when they pulled audience members onstage, it was hilariously entertaining. They chose simple positive themes that everyone could relate to and performed them with joy and precision.
The lighting was imaginative and the colorful pageantry was playful. The audience was taken to a faraway place in which I was seven years old again and exploring a new world of wonder & delight.
The audience responded with cheers and laughter, then ended the night with a long standing ovation of appreciation for all the hard work that went into such a dramatic show. The many performers returned to take several bows and responded to us as well with smiles and waves...
If you've not seen Cirque du Soleil, please make every effort to experience it. If you have seen a performance, please tell me about it below in comments; I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Autumn in the Studio

Thesis: I do NOT like Fall for several reasons, and this Fall season has been crazy-busy and nothing even close to resembling fun has occurred.
Except...
my studio life has been more active lately
and my prayer life has been kickin' some satanic rear-end, lemme tell ya...
and my son got to come home for a week after being on duty for seven months
and hearing from former students thanking me that they learned something in my classes when their college profs ask them to perform in an art class...
and talking to friends...and loving my husband...
and
(drum roll please)
having a restaurant that serves sushi open up in my little corner of the world! Woohoo! Yeah, baby.

OK,OK...I can't be negative, much to my chagrin.
I'm too blessed to be stressed
and too anointed to be disappointed!

Just One Example:
I was in my studio Saturday November 14, 2009. I was NOT in the zone for painting, but needed to mush some paint around to center myself and feel better about life. Note: Mushing paint does that for you, if you didn't know.
I pulled out a cheap canvas, secured it on my easel, and picked up a palette knife. I turned on the radio, and thought about a color selection for two seconds. Tube in hand, I squeezed out a bit o' color onto my palette knife and swiped the color across the canvas.
Simultaneously, it happened: There was a flash of awareness...
God had swiped his hand across the void in the beginning. He "told" me: "See how I felt when I first created the world? The joy you are feeling is just a tiny speck of what I felt. Think about it."
I was overwhelmed and closed my eyes to "see" what He was saying.
I fell to my knees and sat at the foot of my easel, palette knife and paint tube still in hand. I could see intense golden light and the green earth unfold...His joy was so immense and powerful, I could only take it in glimpses and moments...the trees, meadows, moutains...creatures of the land and air...the depths of the seas...the living bounty and life and golden light that sprang from His voice was too beautiful to view with a dry eye...
I praised Him with my tears, since I couldn't speak.
I always knew that God created the world. It's too organized and varied for anything else. But I had never thought about his JOY while creating!
If we puny human artists get a smile from making a silly little painting, then the First Creator was so powerfully joyful while creating a place for us, that an entire universe became a limitless display of variety and energy and life.
God was JOYFUL when He created, just like we are.
So, to remember that vision of joy, I continued that initial swipe that brought me to my knees and joyfully danced my way into a simple painting of God splitting the darkness with light. My palette knife strokes don't begin to capture the majesty, but my heart feels a small joy, maybe like on the First Day.
May He be glorified.

"Let There Be Light" oil on 16x20 canvas by DJ, hanging out with The Alpha & Omega

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Latest Paintings


"Shelter" Oil on 16x20" canvas by DJ

"Orange Shelter" Oil on 20x16" canvas by DJ

"Green Spirit" Oil on 20x16" canvas by DJ