Enough already!

I want to live up to my potential, something I’ve never given myself permission to do.

Until now.

Who was that little girl who loved to make things? When did she learn to self-censor?

Who was that high school girl who was aiming to land at the top of the heap when the rug was pulled out from beneath her feet? Why did she prefer to live in fear? Who convinced her that she was fragile?

Where is the young woman who soared in college only to fall down, pick herself up and finish with a whimper?

What happened ? Life happened. A life lived in fear. “I can’t make it on my own. I’m not enough, not equal to the challenge.”

Well,enough. ENOUGH! I’m not a little kid anymore (!) and I know I can do this. I dreamed this morning that I was climbing a steep rock while not exactly dressed for the task. I passed some young animals and gently but firmly told them to get out of the way. In spite of the dangers, I made it up to the top of the plateau and could see for miles ahead of my location. But most importantly for some reason, just as I reached the plateau my left hand touched a smooth glossy white rock that I used to climb up. What does that white rock mean? Guess I’ll take the year to find out.

First quarter notes

Well, it’s almost the end of the first quarter … So what’s happening?

There’s a change in how I approach my work and how it looks. Late last year, I was exploring a bit and things began to look different. I liked what I saw. Above is a work in progress. As you can tell, it’s not like my previous romantic realist landscapes. 

Another change: my faith is blending with my art making. The title of the above work in progress is “The Heiress at Prayer.” I believe we are all heirs as well as stewards of God’s creation and prayer is the way we converse with God. Although that was equally true of my earlier work, my latest work is also more intuitive and spontaneous – a lot like life unplanned but no less precious.

There’s a possibility of a solo show for me later this year. I may title this show “Watershed” because I feel that “ridge of land dividing the area drained by different rivers.”

Happy New Year!

“It’s a new day, a brand new day,” says Whoopi Goldberg’s character to her students in the film Sister Act 2 (or words to that effect). Indeed. 2015 is here, full of potentiality. I hope you’re surrounded by people you love and are dreaming of possibilities!

 

Trajectory

In June of 2014, I was in St. Louis for a bit and of course, I saw the Arch up close and personal. This is one of several photos I took; one of them looked like the arch was going into the clouds! It was quite a sight. Seeing things in person is so unlike seeing something in a book or other published source. That makes me think of what I want for next year: soaring is so different in person than just reading about it.

 

Endings, Beginnings

Today was closing day for the teachers of the small private school where, for 6 years, I taught two classes in studio art at the middle school level. I won’t be back next year. While I won’t miss some of the hectic aspects of working at 2 campuses, I will miss working with the next group of creative thinkers.

Still, not working at the middle school will mean more time in the studio, more time for marketing, more time for discoveries. After my February exhibition I had a sense that things were going to change. Watercolor. Texture. Color…

Been here, done this?

Today Dec. 27 marks a special event for me. It was 30 years ago that I finally completed all requirements for my MFA, including my master’s exhibition. Well, now I’m gearing up for another solo show. I feel like I’ve been here before. Somehow, things seem familiar but with a twist. Now, what was my next step?

2014 on the way…

Feeding time, watercolor on paper, 6×9.” Copyright 2013 Anita L. Rodriguez

I know. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, much less Christmas, but I’m looking forward to 2014. With much gratitude to the many people who gently nudged me in this direction, I’m looking forward to a one person exhibition in February of 2014. Here’s hoping that the weather cooperates!

 

Personal new year

Tomorrow is my birthday, my personal new year’s day. After years of wishing for more, I’m finding that the word I reach for most often is “stop.”

What??? I’m definitely not quitting making art, but it’s become apparent to me that in the race between doing and being, I’m missing out. How so? Too many things got onto the To Do list, even if they weren’t really a priority. And today as soon as I let go of the need to do some stuff, I had fun reworking several paintings.

Sometimes, it’s best to rest from work. I think that’s what the Labor Day holiday in the US is for: a pause, a chance to re-think the value of work.

Working Vacation

Does a teaching artist really have a summer vacation? I think not. In addition to planning my academic responsibilities for the upcoming year, I’ve been working a lot in the studio. I’ve got 2 small canvases near completion, a diptych and an 18×24 canvas awaiting documentation, several watercolors and my first weaving (still in progress). And I did some calligraphy one morning that brought a lot of joy – I thought only painting could do that for me! A lot of these current projects are ideas I’ve been stewing over awhile, some just manifest themselves. This type of working vacation suits me just fine.