There’s an ongoing struggle between Mr. F and I. Or should I say between me and Mr. F’s inability to relax, to chill, to sit and do nothing. It seems like we are constantly on the go, even on vacation, we’re up with the sun to take full advantage of seeing everything we can see. Mr. F is a take charge, get things done kind of guy, whereas I like to enjoy each little moment. Fortunately, we manage to meet in the middle most days!
In these beautiful little paintings of simple lawn chairs, New Hampshire artist Cindy Rizza creates what seem to be reminders to take a seat, to savor a moment.
Wish I could tell you that we’re planning a chilled-out weekend but we’re currently on the road from California to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where we’ll be spending the next three months bouncing back and forth between The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Jackson Hole. I guess we’ll relax when we’re old and gray!
As Mr. F and I travel, we are in search of a place to call home. In each new spot, we find something that we love. If we could, we would piece together our favorite breakfast place from Idaho, the farmer’s market in Southern Oregon, the hippie vibe of Joshua Tree, and the art scene of Seattle and plop them all down in the midst of high, snow-covered mountains to create that one, perfect spot.
The paintings of Tessa Greene O’Brien, with their pieced together, collage-like feel remind me of how every place is the sum of its parts.
I love the way O’Brien distills her abstracted landscapes down to simple shapes and forms. Every place has its issues, its complications, but just like falling in love with a person, falling in love with a place means you overlook the minor imperfections and focus on the larger beauties.
We’re currently in a state of limbo. That window when our time in one place is winding down while we’re beginning the journey on to the next. Right now, we have one foot in California and one ready to step into the car and head to Idaho!
Aquatints by Alyson Shotz. To see more of Alyson’s work, please visit her website. Or if you happen to be in the Bay Area, rush over to Ratio3 to see her work in the Zero to One on Paper show.
There often two sides to every story. And every place. As we travel and live in so many different places, we see the good and the not so good in each. In his Weaving Landscapes, Toronto artist Shawn Skeir creates dynamic, dual personality landscapes that read as two distinct glimpses of one whole.
It can be strange the way we can move so effortlessly between worlds, blending seamlessly from work to home, city to country. In these paintings by Polish artist Grazyna Smalej, small figures seem to slip in and out of the abstracted backgrounds.
Sometimes it can feel like we’re stuck in one world, unable to move over to the next. Or maybe we’re slowly, imperceptibly dissolving over, the way Smalej’s figures seem to stand alone and yet blend in. They are on the verge.
The abstract paintings by San Francisco artist Jenny Sharaf with their oozing, liquified color remind me of the freedom to be found in the melting away of our perceived orderly lives.
I’m a list maker. A bed maker. A straighten up before bed type. In some respects, it works for me– it makes me very good at my freelance work. On the other hand, it can make me a bit annoying to live with, but Mr. F thankfully puts up with my quirky type-Aness. Our traveling together has helped me to melt away of some of that. Things can’t always be just so. And I need to learn to enjoy the times when the state of our lives is in a less ordered state. If there were more structure, there would also be less freedom, less adventure. I’ll take the melting.
Busyness. For a long time we seemed to pride ourselves on it, comparing schedules at dinner parties like trading war stories. Somewhere along the line we were brainwashed into thinking busyness = importance, worth, value.
But really the opposite is true. When we are whirring through life, we fail to notice the gleam of the sunlight through flower petals, the slow pace of the clouds, the need in the eyes of a stranger.
The paintings of Albuquerque artist Tracy Rocca arise “from a conscious effort to slow down“. In applying thin glazes of color, Rocca arrives at these luminous, pulsating paintings. Like blown out photographs after a camera shutter opened too long, they seem to take the world in but with a slower, more mindful glance. Our eyes search for their focus, gently, lazily.
Monochromatic. Neutral. Boring. Does it ever seem like life just flows from one ordinary and unremarkable day into the next? In a world dominated by screens and engines, we’ve created a universe that seems devoid of real life and color.
Barcelona artist Yago Hortal embraces the color many of us run from. In fact, his work seems to revel in all its brash boldness and audacity.
It seems like we try to curb the color in our lives, perhaps not literal but metaphorically. That friend, she’s way too “out there”, so we minimize the time we spend with her. We homogenize our relationships so that everyone we interact with looks like us, talks like us, thinks like us. So much sameness that it becomes jarring to encounter anyone who is different. But it is those differences that enrich us and teach us. Let’s embrace the color in our lives, no matter what hue it may be!
Philo said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” We all have our pain and struggles that we carry around with us. But some of us are better than others at hiding our battle scars.
These paintings by Brazilian artist Marta Penter called to my mind the thought of the lonely and hurting who walk among us. We can’t see the pain behind their smiles, the wounds beyond the laughter. Every one of us is one of them. Some days we might be carry our blues more prominently than others, but they are always there, just beneath the surface.