Thursday, October 31, 2019

Artist Residency - UPDATE

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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UPDATE: 

I just wanted to share this wonderful UPDATE on the help that I needed for the residency! I have been FULLY funded by multiple sources (I won't share all of them here). I actually have more than I asked for! Which will go towards seeing some of the sights (like the summit of Mauna Kea).

I made the order for the paints and solvents this morning! YAY!!

THANK YOU ALL so very much for such generous hearts and kindness! The Lord is so gracious (and would have still been gracious if I got the help or not). I am just so excited to tell you all this! 

IF YOU STILL WISH TO GIVE please know that it's not necessary but that I will en devour to use the help for something art related! It actually gives me a little more freedom to see some things I would not see. But it's certainly NOT necessary! 

Again, THANK YOU! I could not do this without you all. I have been so humbled by this kindness! Please pray for me to enjoy my time with the Lord and with my sweet family. I give Him all the praise for what love He has lavished on us.

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I am so pleased to share that I have been accepted to my third residency with the National Parks Arts Foundation! I will be traveling to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and staying from Mid-December to January 9th. I’m so excited!

The residency came with a place to stay and a generous stipend that I was able to use towards my flight and to pay for the food while I’m there (I plan to visit the Farmers Markets and cook). As I’ve been reading about Hawaii I have learned that even groceries are higher than in mainland USA.

I decided that I would try to see if any of my art supporters would be interested in helping me with two specific needs:

1) I need a rental car while I’m there and although I have money to pay for part of it I don’t have enough to pay for the entire month.

2) I will need to purchase the oil paints, solvents and mediums in Hawaii. I will be taking the travel easel, brushes and canvas panels but the other supplies are considered a hazard and could possibly be taken by TSA. When I looked into shipping the supplies there it would cost me about the same as just buying them. I have already found a great store in Kona (Akamai Art) that carries the artist supplies that I like and use.

My goal is to raise $1000 - $1500 for the trip.

I am happy to give some incentives for your kind help.

One of the best ways to support me is to buy some of my art from these galleries: 
Waterfall Mansion in New York.

I am also willing to make a little “gift book” of the sketches I will be doing while I’m at the Park. This will ONLY be free for the Patrons of the trip. Please indicate in your email if you wish to have one. They won't be available until after February of 2020.

Lastly, if anyone is willing to donate $150 or more I would be pleased to teach a three hour workshop on color in oil. I have to stipulate that the person(s) need to be in the Dallas area and the class must be held in November of this year.

THANK YOU for your kind friendships and prayers. Every trip has been such an adventure. I look forward to taking you all (as my community of love) with me on this journey.


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I apologize for not having a Paypal button or something easier for you to donate to. When I looked into crowd funding sights they took a nice chunk of money from the pool and there were some hassles to doing it. I am crunched for time.

You can contact me: Dawn@dawnsartsite.com 
and I can either send you the address to mail to or you can use this email for Paypal.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

What Stirs Your Affections for God?



These past few weeks I've been getting back to looking at nature and particularly trees. Their structure, detail, shade and line. There is so much that goes into each tree. Like a specific poem. It has that casing we are familiar with but what will it say? What kind of writing will it have? What words will it use to punch the point home...

After my show in the Spring I found myself very tired and sad. I was still grieving the loss of my Dad and I think the work had been emotional and hard. I decided after the show to take some time off and be with my kids, my husband. It was a good summer. Filled with family, friends and traveling to see some far off places like the Philippines and the East coast of the US. It was good to get away and equally good to get home.

I came back and realized that I didn't know what to start on. There were many paintings I never could get to because of time constraint but I felt the need to wait and listen.

There is a little sign I have in my studio. It simply reads, "What stirs your affections for God?" I love it because it helps me ask myself:

Am I feeling distant?
Alone?
Is the Lord silent?

How long has it been since I delighted in something that reminds me of His goodness?

So I went to the trees. And everything about them seems to be saying, "look! I'm unique. I have a personality. I am beautiful."


My Bradford Pear tree has some exquisite lines...



My neighbor's Maple is shedding a few leaves and I loved the curls to it.

I can honestly say, "Lord, your creation is beautiful down to the very tip of a leaf! It stirs my affections for you!" I see His personality, His joy, His fire and wit in the elegance of a limb. I worship, not the tree, but the very One who thought of a tree and gave it to the earth, to me, to you in delicate and leafy ways.

Robert MacFarlane writes in Underland, "Living wood, left long enough, behaves as slow-moving liquid." That's so true isn't it? Look at the bottom of a Live Oak. You'll see it. Now, I go looking for it and when I see it I get a little giddy. There are so many layers to seeing, so much more than what we see at first.

Is the Lord quiet with you right now? That's ok. Just look with Him. I think He wants to show you something deep.
 

Monday, August 19, 2019

"Overflow" 36x48, Oil on Canvas

"Overflow" 36x48, Oil on Canvas

Another painting I chose to "redo" this past week. I like the single flow much better and made it more misty. This was inspired by my time at Olympic National Park.

"Into the Deep" 55x55, Oil on Canvas

"Into the Deep" 55x55, Oil on Canvas


I had the opportunity last week to "redo" the sky in this piece. I like it so much better now. It seems more a part of the sky instead of the Milky Way sitting on the sky somehow.

How can I describe the beauty that is Big Bend National Park? You'll have to see those stars for yourself. Nothing like it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Recent Sold Works and Thank You

"Civil War" 36x72, Oil on Canvas (sold)

I know it's been a while since I posted anything on the blog. I've been busy with the "Civil" show at Mary Tomas Gallery. The work of a solo show is fun, encouraging, exhausting, emotional and wonderful all at the same time!

I've also been in a contemplative time going through my work and taking some time to LISTEN to what God has for me next. I am always grateful to rest from all the work.

Thank you to all of you who came out to see the show, send me a note of encouragement, or bought a painting (or all three!). It meant the world to me. Thank you!

Here are the work(s) that sold these past weeks:

Folding Memory, 8x10, Oil on Panel (sold) 
Painted at Gettysburg National Military Park


"Mourning Moon" 8x10, Oil on Panel
Painted at Gettysburg National Military Park

"Douglass" 9x12, Oil on Gessoboard


"Home Front" 8x10, Oil on Panel
Painted at Gettysburg National Military Park


"New Life" 9x12, Oil on Canvas
Painted at Gettysburg National Military Park


"Witness Tree: Gettysburg Address" 5x7, Oil on Panel
Painted at Gettysburg National Military Park


"Little Round Top in Mist" 5x7, Oil on Panel
Painted at Gettysburg National Military Park


"The Way Through: Culps Hill" 5x7, Oil on Panel
Painted at Gettysburg National Military Park


"Lee" 9x12, Oil on Gessoboard


"Memory" 16x72, Oil on Canvas


"Plum Run" 8x10, Oil on Canvas
Painted at Gettysburg National Military Park


"Morning Light on Panther Peak" 9x12, Oil on Canvas
Painted at Big Bend National Park (this was the auction piece)


"Resurrection" 12x12, Oil on Gessoboard
This was in the back (in storage) but was bought on opening night of "Civil"



A HUGE Thank You to Mary Tomas Gallery for the show. This gallery has several works with them for a longer period of time. If you were thinking of a piece you can always take a look at Mary's. 

Along with the show I was able to sell ALL of the show-books that went with the "Civil" show. If you are interested I can order one for you.

 






Thursday, February 14, 2019

Bleed No More, 24x36, Oil on Canvas

"Bleed No More" 24x36, Oil on Canvas


After my father’s death in August of 2018 I had the opportunity to return to Gettysburg National Military Park to finish off my residency. It turned out that I would be there in late October and early November. Usually around this time in Pennsylvania the leaves have already turned and fallen but because of a very mild autumn the trees were still leafed out and changing their colors when I got there.

I am a lover of trees. I like to watch them in different light and see how they change all year long. I like everything from the textured bark to the sound they make when wind passes through their limbs and leaves. It’s always fascinated me that the Bible begins with a tree and ends with a tree and in the middle is this Tree of Calvary. I have always felt that God loves trees too.

One of my favorite spots in the entire Park was the Soldier’s National Cemetery. That may sound gloomy to you but the trees in this part of the Park are old, big and beautiful. The morning of my Dad’s stroke I was in the Cemetery looking at the first light as it hit some of those trees not knowing that many miles away in Dallas my Dad was about to pass through the door into the most beautiful place anyone of us could ever imagine. Suffice to say that this spot was very special to me as it held grief and beauty as it seemed to hold me.

On my 2nd trip I thought about how this space, this landscape, held such death. Over 50,000 casualties happened at Gettysburg. The largest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. A war raged against each other became our most brutal. And yet, here in this cemetery, I found myself weeping as I was comforted by the colors and sounds of life. I think as Christians we struggle sometimes to just go through the valley. We want to walk around it, over it, skip it all together don’t we? But David says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for You are with me.” (Psalm 23).

I painted “Bleed No More” as a tribute to those Union soldiers that died to preserve our United States (as one nation, free for all people). I thought about how horrific it must have been to fight in those battles: the sights and sounds of so many young men dying and dead. I chose to paint the light when it bends in the evening. It casts a golden glow over everything as if it was made new for just a few moments. It’s a glimpse of the “not yet,” the glory that will be revealed to us when we pass through the valley. It is what my Dad is seeing fully now in the presence of Jesus.

It’s been 6 months since his passing. We still miss him. But I live in hopeful tears as I still live in a world with pain, suffering, and fear. I live in the truth that time doesn’t heal all wounds, God does. He will make all things new again. My grief will be changed into a song of gladness. Not a gladness of, “It’s ok. Never mind all that…” But a gladness that is tinged by the pain, that knows how bright the light can be because we have been in darkness. Our song will be heart healing. May we all give each other the encouragement to push through the valley. I may not see the trees but I hear the wind in their leaves.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Triptych, "Douglass," "Grant," and "Lee" 12x9, Oil on Gessobord

"Douglass" 12x9, Oil on Gessobord

I chose to depict Frederick Douglass as a tree overlooking the Chesapeake. In his book, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" he describes a very moving image (that many reader never forgets):

"...I have often, in the deep stillness of a summer's Sabbath, stood all alone upon the lofty banks of that noble bay, and traced, with saddened heart and tearful eye, the countless number of sails moving off to the mighty ocean. The sight of these always affected me powerfully. My thoughts would compel utterance; and there, with no audience but the Almighty, I would pour out my soul's complaint...'You are loosed from your moorings and are free; I am fast in my chains and am a slave!...I am left in the hottest hell of unending slavery. O God, save me! God, deliver me! Let me be free!...'"

I thought about how the Atlantic brought the slave ships over its waters to the American shores. I wanted to depict the great tree against those waves and currents that were always moving (unknown). Douglass did so much in his life. In a more modern time he should have been our President. He was not only a brilliant man but spoke so eloquently that crowds were moved to tears. He stood in that long line of men and women who broke hearts for Justice.
 

 "Grant" 12x9, Oil on Gessobord

I would highly recommend that you read, "Grant" by Ron Chernow to get a complete history of this extraordinary man. He comes from a very humble background (with abolitionist parents). He rises to become one of the greatest men in American history. He symbolizes the Union more than any other man (even Lincoln). 

Chernow writes: 

“Walt Whitman, who ardently followed the Overland Campaign: “When did [Grant] ever turn back? He was not that sort; he could no more turn back than time! . . . Grant was one of the inevitable's; he always arrived; he was invincible as a law: he never bragged—often seemed about to be defeated when he was in fact on the eve of a tremendous victory.” 

His dogged determination would inspire his men even in the heaviest of casualties. He would be called a "butcher" even as he knew the price of victory with an enemy who would not surrender. He dealt with alcoholism most of his life (until after the war). He did more during his presidency to see that African Americans were treated fairly and that the Klan was put down in the South. He was easily trusting and was cheated later in life out of his life savings. He took it upon himself to write his own memoirs of the war. It is still considered one of the greatest narratives every written on the war (Mark Twain published it). He was writing up until his death (he had very painful throat cancer) and managed to finish it completely.

I chose to depict him as a strong tree with this beautiful sunrise as he saw the Union paid by the blood of over 360,000 Northern soldiers. Their sacrifice in red.


"Lee" 12x9, Oil on Gessobord

It is hard to talk about the Civil War and not talk about Robert E. Lee. He stands as perhaps the most controversial figure of the war. He graduated 2nd in his class of West Point in 1829. He had no demerits during his four years and was seen as a model by other students. His brilliance would lay in tactics, aggression and engineering. When he came out from behind the desk during the Civil War (Joseph Johnston was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines) he was called, "Granny Lee" because of his gray hair and the "King of Spades" because of his excessive building of trenches. What would be discovered was a man of exceeding brilliance when it came to military maneuvers. It was said that he could get into the mind of any opposing General and could know what they would do.

He would become, over time, the depiction of the ideal Southern Gentleman and "model Christian." He represents, for some Southerners, the Confederacy at its best. When you really look into his life you see more of a man with faults than you do the "marble man" that is mostly heralded by the South. He comes from a childhood that is haunted by an absent father ("Lighthorse" Harry Lee) who gambles the Lee fortune away and dies when Lee is 11. Robert grows up learning that he must overcome his Father's reputation. We see from any battle with Lee that it is these particular battles that have the heaviest casualties. Although Grant is depicted as the "butcher" Lee is the brilliant Commander. They both lose more men than any other commanding General in the war (including Sherman).

Lee's greatest tragedy is his choosing of the Confederacy over the Union. He has sworn an oath of allegiance to America (as a military officer) yet he says he cannot take up arms against his native Virginia. He comes from Virginia aristocracy (and a British way of thinking of names and land). He does not believe that the African Americans are equals (although he does free his Father in law's slaves during the war). He remains controversial because of his stance and his personal integrity. It would be easy to dismiss Robert E. Lee if he was a man of loose morals or deeply cruel. What we are left with is not a "marble man" as most statues of Lee would have us believe. But instead, a man that no one could completely pin down.

I chose to paint Lee like a vapor or cloud. He comes like a gray storm, blinded by loyalty to his family and state. Tragic, heavy with duty and moving in the wrong direction.