The landscape calls to me

January 25, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas | Leave a comment
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This I Sing For The Setting Sun, by Joan Desmond, 36" x 48", acrylic on canvas

©Joan Desmond, This I Sing For The Setting Sun. Acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 48″.

Recently I was reminded of a Miles Davis quote. “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.” It pretty much sums up how I’ve learned to approach landscape painting (and drumming). To paint what’s not there opens up vast potential in the imagination and on the canvas.

My relationship to my outdoor environment, my landscape, is ongoing, direct. Early, most mornings, be-robed, I find myself outside, with fingers curled around a hot cup of something as Blinky Cat and I peruse the house perimeter. First, with groggy, slitted eyes, I scan across creek and up mountain for predator movement: coyote, bobcat, or a peaceful deer. Blinky immediately sniffs out some night intruder on plant and house corners. Next, there’s a horizon check. Do clouds over the northern mountains herald strong afternoon wind? At this hour pine needles soft shuffle in a light breeze. We saunter on. Green wildflower sprouts are evident, although the cheek-felt January chill keeps most scents locked in the soil. I notice how angled light sweeps over rock face, tree bark, and pine branch. Each becomes important for a second, divulging new information, something not considered before, a color revealed, perhaps, or softness, sharpness, a rhythm. These images shift with the rapidly rising sun. Finally, considering it all, and with a deep inhale of the day to come, we return to the house, curiosity sated.

Similarly, I may step outside in the early evening, again with the intent of appreciating the scene. Often I’ll bring my 22” frame drum, and close my day by singing into it, sending the resonance into the sky, the wind, and the colors.

Women’s Creativity and the Midsummer Moon Art Celebration

July 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Art Exhibitions, Art Studio, Considering Ideas | 1 Comment
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kids-drawing-5

photo by Sherry Gaskin

From the “make art”  table. One little girl’s version of a prayer flag, sending a positive message out on the breeze.

What have I been up to lately?

Several months back, my friend Elaine across the lake, had a terrific idea about assembling an event celebrating local women artists, and hosting it in her backyard at the time of the Summer Solstice.

Getting involved would distract me from immersion in studio work, but it sounded SO RIGHT, particularly at this point in time, when so much is doom and gloom, and people are holding back. This is exactly when we need to brainstorm, and realize that we possess many resources for creating new directions. Also, it would create a fine venue for art display, which is always welcome, so I committed to the idea.

We discussed the artists we knew. There’s an incredible wealth of female talent in this community in the Fine Arts. Besides, we could identify many cool ladies who would attend and enjoy such an event. As individual artists’ names came up, it was apparent that this could be expanded to include singing, dancing, and poetry, in addition to visual art, creating a balanced day of the arts. This also meant being selective about participants, keeping physical space and time in mind.

From experience, I know that a select group of women can produce a supportive, encouraging, co-operative, and inspiring atmosphere. That was the intent behind the Celebration, and that attitude carried through all the planning.

celebration-invite-front-sm

Color framed the day, heavy on burgundy and reds, as reflected by the postcard invite.

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photo by Sherry Gaskin

Out  Of  The  Question kicked off the festivities.

Music was by the group Out Of The Question, with Pat Seamount, Katharine Edmonson, and Kris Wilber. What’s more, most attendees contributed their music during a later percussion fest.

elaine-gourds
photo by Ellen Schafhauser

Keeping the beat with gourd shakers. In the background, art displays line the entry.

Visual Artists participating were Eve Laeger-watercolor, Sherry Gaskin-photography, Elaine Shrader-painting, Ellen Schafhauser-photography, Katharine Edmonson-assemblage, Pat Seamount-painting, Marjorie Carroll-sculpture, and myself.


photo by Sherry Gaskin

Jill shares her short stories

Ann Beman with a poetry workshop, and Jill Sloan reading her short stories represented literature.

photo by Sherry Gaskin

Ann drums everyone in for the poetry workshop.

drum
photo by Ellen Schafhauser

That’s me introducing drummin’ fun.


2-girls-drummingphoto by Ellen Schafhauser

Friends Hannah and Emma collaborate on a frame drum.


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photo by Sherry Gaskin

Graceful Heather from Tribal Moon Rising

There were many attendees, a number of which had only planned to drop in for a bit but then got caught up in the flow and stayed all day. Day flowed into the evening with individual dance performances by Pamela, Marluna, Ankhet; and members of the troupe Tribal Moon Rising– Heather, Melynie, and Kristie. The grand finale was everyone on their feet dancing, celebrating our common abilities and potential.

The June 26th issue of the Kern River Courier, page 12, has a lovely article by columnist Donna Fitch, about the Celebration, titled Show fetes Midsummer Moon Art

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