Friday, January 27, 2012

Wisdom is of the Soul

I've been preparing additional samples for the Photo Transformations class I am teaching at Art and Soul in early March,and just love the message this owl had for me.  This is a Great Horned Owl that lives at the Carolina Raptor Center.

I often look through the words in old books to add text to my art and today these words jumped out at me "Wisdom is of the soul".  This was after I decided to name this regal looking owl "Wisdom" - it seemed like the right name for him.  Then I wondered why he looked so stern and the words "Listen! Nature speaks" came together.  It seems he wanted to make sure I was listening to the signs of the natural world.

Yes, I am ...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scattering joy through paint.fabric.metal

Jenni Horne's byline: scattering joy through paint, fabric.metal reminds me of what creating art does for me - it makes me feel joyful! I love viewing the world through the eyes of another artist and just love the way Jenni depicts the world through her paintings. Spending time with creative people inspires our creative life and that is why I have attended art retreats.  A couple of days in the company of creatives seems to encourage my creative soul to give more time to what I love doing.  I will be meeting Jenni in person at Art and Soul in Virginia Beach at the beginning of March this year, but wanted to get to know her a little before the event and share her with others.

Catherine: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Jenni:  I draw inspiration from so much on a day to day basis.  The class I am teaching at Art and Soul is called, “The American Still Life”.   I am drawn to the simplicity of these subjects; trucks, bikes, campers, old phones, etc.  To me they symbolize gentle reminders to slow down, remember the past and look forward to the future.
Catherine: After art, what else is your passion?
Jenni: I am a sucker for decorating our home.  We just moved into a new house so I am having a wonderful time making our home a nest to enjoy. 

Catherine:  What type of classes do you like to take at Art and Soul
Jenni: I love to make jewelry.  Although I am a painter by trade, jewelry making is truly a passion.  I try and take at least one class every retreat to build my skill level.
Catherine: What aspect of teaching do you love the most?
Jenni:  I love inspiring others to create beautiful works of art.  I do not encourage “cookie cutter” art in my classes, but rather encourage students to find their own voice in the creative journey.  I always tell my students in the beginning of class that I am here to guide them through the art making process.  In the end, it is not my goal for them to create a “Jenni Horne”, but rather a piece from their own hands  that is the voice from within them.  Of course as a student they are there to learn from my experiences as a painter, and through a day’s workshop we explore many techniques and materials together.  Always however, the end goal is for my attendees to leave inspired, and full of enthusiasm for a medium I love.  With this knowledge my hope is that they continue to build their creative journey at home.

Catherine: Do you have a favorite technique? 
Jenni: I’ve actually developed my own painting technique over the years.  It combines the skills I learned in the print making studio, painting studio with acrylics and my love of encaustics, without the hot wax!  The end result is truly unique.

Catherine: Do you work in a planned or intuitive way?  How would you describe your approach?
Jenni: As a child I loved the plastic viewfinder toy.  You could click frame to frame at your own pace, flipping fast through lesser exciting images and staying for a spell on the ones that captivated your imagination.  My creative journey is much like this.  I have on my art desks always more than one project.  It allows me to seamlessly flow from project to project, as well as being a better use of my time.  It is not uncommon for a body of 5 paintings to be worked on at once.  They all get texture and carving, they all get cool colors, they all get warm colors, they all get collage at once.etc...  They are all a part of the wheel….and in the end help to create the story I am telling through my art.

Jenni, thank you for sharing your creative process with me.  And I have to let you know that I just love your blog, especially the image of you holding the Paint Something card! And discovering that you just live up the road from me (well sort of) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Visit Jenni's Blog: Jenni Horne Studios

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dawn Time

This past weekend I caught a 6:00am flight from North Carolina to California.  My plan was to try and sleep so I would arrive refreshed in San Jose.  But I was captivated by the changing light outside the plane window.  The bright blues, yellows, oranges, the moon in the dawn sky ... I couldn't help but feel the magic of earth waking beneath me and kept watching out the window.  Every few minutes the scene in front of me changed.  I felt surrounded by magic, and realized just how many mornings I sleep through the beauty of the dawn.

One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one's head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one's heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun—which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so...”    
Frances Burnett

This early morning flight was a reminder of the unending beauty of the sky above us.  The sun is always rising somewhere, the colors of the sky are always glowing brightly somewhere in the world.  I am so grateful to be living on this beautiful planet of ours.