If you are interested in purchasing an original or reserving a print from this series, go to the live Facebook album here.
These paintings will all be on display together for the month of March at the Atlas Theater in greeley, CO.
It is always the stories of hardships where people learn most. Pruning moments are the ones that force growth. This morning I read a really lovely reflection on the season of Lent and how it is a parallel soul process to clearing out our gardens in the spring – removing dead brush and plants, and prepping the soil for new growth. I feel like that with this art series. A year ago Tim and I decided to collaborate and do a series of music and art exploring belief. We knew we wanted to call the series Bellwether – after the sheep who is a little more curious and leads the flock.
What’s funny is that belief is an area I have a hard time with. I constantly shy away from the conversation; even in my own introspection. It’s an area I’ve had this unhealthy apathy towards for a long time. I’m not really interested in digging for deeper understandings of what I believe. Needless to say, this series has been a good push for me.
Even now, on the other side of creating this art, I am not sure that I could answer those questions of what do I believe any better. But I do know that I have at least found new understandings. The more I create, the more I realize that my own process is one of excavation. When I am creating a new painting, I often don’t know what exactly I will uncover until I’ve brushed away the dirt, cleaned it off, and revealed what was hiding the beneath the surface. It is as much a process of surprise for me as for anyone. I often find I’m exploring an issue or an idea that I didn’t even realize it until I’m 3/4’s of the way through the piece. It’s a very unconscious, spiritual process just in itself. At the best of moments, there is this letting go of control and letting the work happen. And whether it’s a connection to the divine, some primal understanding, or life force, I don’t know. But I know that in that moment of letting go and discovery are found my most profound moments of connection with something bigger than myself.
Each painting in this series explores a faith archetype– a story that we find repeated again and again in literature and mythology. Like the hero’s journey, these are stories that our larger collective conscience as human beings resonate with again and again.
These are stories of sacrifice, baptism, rising from the dead, deserts, and being lost and found. They are stories that make their way into the religious texts of most faiths. Stories that have been around as long as humans have looked up to the clouds and prayed to the gods.
For me each of these pieces has a very personal narrative. They represent little moments in my own story and life that have spoken to those larger archetypes.
The Invitation/Call is a ladder up to a children’s play treehouse amongst golden leaves.
Rebirth/Rising from the dead is seen in the prairie that’s been burned to the ground but then grows back richer and more full of blooms then ever before.
The Cathedral is a garden and a barn speaking of home.
Breaking Bread/Communion is a table set with dishes that have history and story, eating food made by loving hands, of recipes steeped in story.
Sacrifice is the tiny bird found along the Poudre river trail that we happened upon while walking one summer evening; so heartbreaking and it’s stilled perfection.
The Desert is a feeling of apathy paired with an inability to stop time. A quote I pair with this piece is: In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. – Albert Camus
Dark Fields are those moments when you look across the prairie and the air and sky are weighted down with the ominous presence of an oncoming storm and the air feels thick around you there is an anticipation and waiting and surrender to what might happen.
Heaven is found in a reoccurring dream of a house with many rooms where there is this overwhelming joy of discovery and exploration of new realms.
The Prodigal Son story of being lost and then found and getting lost and found again is this cyclical journey we are all on where we leave home to try to find something we were missing. Yet we come back to see the light and warmth of the place we left. It is the leaving to seek adventure and then the coming back home again with a new understanding and appreciation for the beauty of home.
The Pilgrimage is unplugging from technology, getting in the car before dawn, and heading somewhere serene.
Baptisms are the moments of rain when I felt uprooted in my journey and that my life was turning in a new direction. For some reason in my life whenever I have a major life change, it always rains.
Babel is the cacophony and diversity of birds and squirrels squawking at the feeder outside my window. And our sometimes comical inability to understand each other. Placed within this piece are birds both myself and my daughters have illustrated. (Lucy and Harriet, 7 and 5.)
Miracles are in the immense complexity and beauty of the every day.
All of these are summed up in a human life. A barreling journey through existence on a track from which we can but move one direction. Lighting our way as best we can.
The art show will be up for the month of March at the Atlas theater, if you are local to our area. I would love if you have a chance to come take a look at the pieces in real life and have a moment to share your thoughts and responses to the work. While you’re there take a moment to listen to these first songs by Tim that go alongside the paintings. Get a coffee from TJ ( my personal favorite this time of year is a lavender latte in a tall glass), sit down and spend a few minutes reflecting on your own story, what you believe, and excavating wonder.