Over the decades my paintings have been either abstract or extremely realistic like a photograph. I have yearned to find the impressionist hidden in my essence, but life is full and the time for this quest perpetually deferred.
The images in of my seascape paintings started to form in my mind’s eye while sailing for over 18 months on our sailboat, SV Kyanna, a 41’ full-keel cutter rig for you sailors out there. During our 7000 nautical mile journey beautiful vistas were a regular occurrence and staring at the distant horizon a daily meditation. Winter art shows in Florida triggered a conscience awareness; these impressions would not be pacified. I was mesmerized by the transformation of the sea & sky at our beachfront rentals. I was on the balcony at all hours photographing the moment to moment changes of light & hue. My paintings came to life in my mind.
I’ll take this moment to point out that I have a successful art festival jewelry business that keeps me remarkably busy. Furthermore, I’m reasonably business savvy and have said more than a few times that “wall art is a poor business model.” Imagine my dismay to have these insatiable visions drifting through my consciousness year after year.
It was time to paint again. I tried to recall what I learned in art school, “Yah, right?!” An evening with a friend, Jeff Hurinenko, who is a Master Fine Art painter & teacher gave me many indispensable tips. I was so excited to get started! I took a few days while on the road one summer to begin… my first foray was abysmal! Round two, later that fall, showed promise. Claus was on a motorcycle trip with his brother in the Great Smokey Mountains and came home to oil paintings drying on every surface in the house. Paint and canvas would wait another year.
As I contemplated my next phase, I was overly concerned with being influenced by other artists and their techniques. My paintings were clear in my mind and I feared they would be diluted or I would over think technique. I knew that I needed to follow an innate process to find the impressionist within.
We returned home from a full summer of art shows. Before I resumed my “at home” schedule I sheepishly said to my husband that “I need to be alone for a month”. Now maybe this is too personal, but to create I knew I needed to be alone, free from distraction and judgement. I needed time to focus and become part of the art without meals to prepare or well-intended commentary. In Minnesota I had a huge studio, but in South Carolina jewelry making doesn’t take up much space, so I didn’t have an official studio. His response was, “Where are you going?”, then, “Where am I going?” The solution was easy, he lived on our sailboat two hours south. She was still “on the hard” with an endless “to do” list caused by damage from hurricane Irma, but that’s another story! I got my month. During the week, I painted to my heart’s content while he worked on Kyanna. On the weekends we enjoyed time with friends relaxed from our arduous summer.
In my make-shift studio that fall I experience an array of emotions. As I painted, I felt relief, joy, fear, frustration, and harmony. At the end of the month I was overjoyed. The paintings that had haunted my mind where finally real. I had embarked on my journey as a fine art painter.