Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Going Home

Horse art by Lori Levin
"Going Home"
acrylic on panel

The grip of winter is fading. I can feel spring coming despite the icy wind. This is my last winter painting for the season. There are 3 more sketches of similar horse art pieces but they will wait for another time. My mind is on beginnings and growth not hibernation.

Again and again I mention how I am looking forward to being back to work on a more steady basis. The lighting is in the new Soulful Studios and all that is needed before I can move in is flooring. These few months off have served me well. My ideas are fresh and my excitement grows like the little daffodils outside my window, trying to poke through the covering earth.

Fame is not something I'm after by any means. My motivation is much more personal. Often people mention how someday I'll be in museums with big price tags hanging from my work. Though that would be nice, surprisingly that is not my goal. I have a vision of what direction my work should take. It gets closer all the time but I have yet to really paint it. Honestly, I think I will always be reaching and striving for something I don't see in my work but a little closer I would like to be. I will get there. I know this because for the first time I feel right about other parts of my life. The rest is surely to follow.

A college professor once told me to "do what you love and the rest will follow." I'm doing it. Wait and see.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Future Paradise

Soulful Studios
Soulful Studios

Soulful Studios

11'x22' of paradise. That's what I call it. The above photos represent the current progress of the new Soulful Studios. I know it doesn't look like a lot of planning and work but trust me it was. Lighting fixtures are to be installed soon and I'm trying to work something out with Mannington Mills in terms of flooring. Special considerations had to be made for the unique structural issues of this building like baseboards and trim around the doors. Our drywall guy did an amazing job of turning something ugly into something beautiful. If you look closely at the photo of the front door you can see my finished work and canvas storage loft. That was Joel's great idea for the use of space. I'm not sure if you can see it but the rafters were left showing so the area doesn't feel like a box but rather very open. That's another fancy idea ala Joel. To say I'm excited is an understatement. This will be my safe haven and my sanctuary. All this time I've spent planning my wedding and this studio really makes me appreciate how important my art is to me.

The Sweetheart Reception at First Impressions Gallery in Salem was packed with art lovers. Many folks took the time to chat and wish me well on my upcoming marriage. What surprised me the most was the overwhelming support of my work and how many people made a point to tell me how much it meant to them. One woman that has purchased many pieces of mine commented on how important my Salem Farmers Market series are to her. Another man pulled me aside to tell me that he feels like my paintings of horses actually breathe and fill him with such joy. Sometimes I don't feel like meeting with the public, as by the evening I tend to be tired. However, it is so important because it is moments with the kind people that appreciate my work that make me feel that the little things we all do matter.

I have another painting I need to post. It is my last winter scene of the year. It is time to start painting spring so that I will be ready for the open studio tour in May. The truth is I've just been so busy with life's little details that I'm very behind in posting. What details you ask? Well, I had my hair done the other day (almost 3 hours sitting in that chair) only to go home very unhappy and far too blonde for a bride, forcing me to return the next day to have it fixed. Such worries right? To think only 2 years ago I would have killed to have hair to complain about. That little thought gave me such a chuckle. I hope you find it amusing too.

On a final note, if you are on Facebook please add me as a friend. I just added a profile and I seriously need more friends!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Getting Closer to Going Home

"Going Home"
sketch in moleskine

I was driving home to Pilesgrove when suddenly I saw a beautiful snowy sunset in the field next to Cowtown Rodeo. Grant's big rough-stock horses were out finding little blades of grass peaking through the white covering to nibble on. In the distance there were two horses lit by the setting sun walking away from the rest. Watching them leave together made me think they might be heading home. Let me remind you that I always relate human emotions and events to my animal subjects. Somehow I felt connected to these two. Quickly I took my pictures and jumped back into the safety of my car and drove home to my family. It was a good feeling.

Much of my time now is spent moving and planning a studio and a little wedding. It may happen that the studio will be finished in March and I will be able to paint from my new Pilesgrove location. As I look at my sketches, I see a theme of partnership and grounding that I have not witnessed before in my work. You can only draw what you know. The future is exciting but I stay firmly fixed on the present. The past has taught me that. We have now. Now is wonderful.

Next post I will share photos of the studio progress. I cannot believe how beautiful it is becoming. I've never had a space to work in as special as this. Every detail has been considered. Who could want for more?

Don't forget the next reception at First Impressions Gallery in Salem on Friday February 13th from 6-9pm. I will be there so please come in and say hello. Don't forget to ask me about Soulful Studios new home.