Wow! It is wonderful to have the opportunity to share my Art space once again. I have been able to exhibit my work and interact with people with the Covid mandates in place through Galleries, exhibitions and group shows. This year Art will be displayed outside in our garden and among our trees of the forest. The Pit Fire is quiet for now as we are still in “fire season”, but is open to viewing along with demonstrations in painting with natural pigments, the processes I use, and the exciting advances made with my sculptures. You are welcome to tour the Art, ask questions, and enjoy the atmosphere.
New works stem from the theme “Unmasked: Becoming Visible.” The process of my art is one of being unmasked and becoming visible. I Am an Earth Artist and so I collect, study and prepare minerals from the earth to make paints for my artwork. These ochres are ground, mixed with walnut oil and softened beeswax, and the true colors become visible. Charcoal graces the panel as figures of ancient animals emerge along with signs and symbols of early languages. The ochres refine and define the whispers from the Ancestral winds that the earth has experienced before, a past that belongs to us.
Unmasked are the deeper meanings and mysteries of the Ancients which appear in the images that become visible. As a lifelong artist and my relentless interest in historical roots, digging into the ancient past has led me on an intriguing journey to uncover forgotten times, stories and paths. These mysteries reveal clear intelligence and spiritual practices through their art and signs; these become visible through inspirations that emerge from and into my Art. The signs of the past become the visible signs of now.
Please join me for the the 2nd and 3rd weekends in October for Nevada County’s Open Studio Tour.
As you know, my theme for this year and what I have been creatively contemplating while I paint, sculpt, or envision a new art piece come alive is ‘Resilience’. Three of my works grounded in this theme were chosen for Nevada County’s famous film festival and exhibition, The Wild and Scenic Film Festival 2021 Virtual Art Exhibition. I am honored that not only was one chosen to be featured, but three! This is a time of true resilience.
I'm curious if this theme resonates with you, or even, what your own definition of it is? How does the word resilience call to you? How do you envision it? What comes alive?
Resilience, A Call to Rise
It is remarkable and indeed wonderful how the reindeer, elk, and deer have survived throughout history. Amazing art found hidden on cave walls in Europe show that these animals lived and thrived so long ago as well as still exist today. This is “Resilience by Nature”. Can we learn from this example and not only protect their continued existence but be able to self-examine how we can rise to the call of resilience now?
Guardians of Resilience
Can we sincerely learn and be willing to seek eco-friendly and earth-awareness means from the intelligent beings and elements that guard the nature surrounding us? We must look to the guardians already existing, humbly listen, learn, and put into practice in order to thrive together.
Bear Carries Stories of Resilience
Roots… “Resilience,” said Bear, “That’s a great story!” Throughout time I have collected stories, stories of the people, stories of the land, stories of the heavens. That’s what I do. A long, long time ago when days were considered ancient, I traveled the earth tirelessly collecting these stories…How the waters ran freely, the wind whispered whimsically, and the trees danced magically while the heavens smiled and its light guided.
Power and the Forgotten Time… The people had wonderful and imaginative stories! Some were very comical, others taught lessons and some were scary. They new their roots, cultivated and loved them. They cooperated and collaborated building homes into villages, and villages into towns, and some into great cities and civilizations. Soon they forgot their roots; these faded into preoccupation with working more to make many things and have many things. They became separate beings disconnected from their origins and their cooperative acceptable selves. Stories of origins and roots were forgotten. Instead these became beliefs in disease, starvation, destruction and confusion. Such ideas fell over the people who began to live isolated lives.
Resilience… The tales grew heavy, and heavier. The weight of them were a burden. Yet, the Bear that I am is wise. I know that the stories were valuable because of what new understandings can be gained. There is only the need to humble the heart, recall our roots, to glory in the origins of people and of all nature… to remember how everyone is connected, always has been and even still are. So, we shook ourselves free from the weights of belief tales and their myths. We saw everything still, gently remembering, being, and resting in a deeper sense of connection. Now we move to resilience, into embracing different stories and fresh ideas, holding to the roots, once sewn with ancient seeds, no longer forgotten, but give life to new directions, as we gain innovative bearings.
Mixing natural earth minerals into paints, I explore the world of the Ancients in my art. Integrated into my artworks are the mysteries surrounding their art, techniques and early language roots in signs and pictographs.
Great appreciation and gratitude to Alexandra Carelli for permission to use her song for this video. Beautifully written and sung that brings out the importance of praising our ancient and original roots.
Oh how I love to do workshops! I meet so many interesting and enthusiastic people loving art and different art techniques. I love the sharing and connections everyone makes.
Recently I invited a few artist friends over who wanted to learn how to apply gold leaf into artwork. I was looking forward to working with them. Yet I discovered a dynamic that was different from other workshops. In doing these I get a lot of questions, interactions and discussions occurring around my demonstrations.
There was one woman and the rest men in this group. It was so silent, I began to feel nervous. Wow! That was something I didn’t expect! I had to laugh at the situation. My only female artist made a comment that went into answering a question she had for clarification and assurance of the process. During this, one male artist even turned his back, did some more work on his art piece while glancing back over his shoulder so as not to seem too rude. At first it would seem it was just the difference between males and females, but I began to realize it was the artists attending. All the men were accomplished artists. The woman had very little experience painting, let alone, being introduced to gold leaf into an art piece.
Also, the male artists really wanted to get moving along with their art pieces…they knew what they wanted to do. The woman, new to the processes and creatives around her, held her own, one to be admired for her determination to create something different than what she has done before. Altogether, it was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed the varied approaches each applied to their individual pieces and the camaraderie that emerged in the few hours invested in the workshop.
It was a great time having our Art group come by to visit my studio. We laughed, had wonderful conversations, food and interacted to create an art piece together. We mixed red ochre, yellow ochre, and mica gold as our colors. We used recycled paper on a masonite board, 18 x 24″, for our canvas. Then we went paint-happy on our hands…with gloves, of course. What a bonding experience!
Inspiration comes in different ways. Recently I joined a group of artists, all women, to support our art endeavors and experiences. From the conversations and my studies of ancient artworks, I found I was drawn to the small stone statues of voluptuous women, well-known as “Venus”. Soon thereafter, visions of this ancient beauty flooded my thoughts…I had to paint her.
I prepared the canvas, mixed my paints and began to work swept up in the ancestral past. Incorporated into the painting are symbols that not only were found in ancient cave etchings, but cross into roots of ancient written languages such as Egyptian, Phoenician, and Hebraic pictographs. Embedded into this painting are the meanings given by scholars today. The ancient relics of Venus are mostly regarded as fertility goddesses. Yet, women had a more valuable standing where, “Earth brings forth life, and Earth nourishes life, and so is the analogous powers of woman…the mother too of our second birth, our birth as spiritual entities.”¹ And this work conveys that…
Woman — nurtures, sustains and maintains tender constant support and protection