Saturday, July 9, 2022

Living in the present, looking back in time / Boundless Love


My grandfather visited Killarney and from there went to the Gap of Dunloe via Pony and Trap after returning from France in World War I, where he served as a doctor. From the Gap of Dunloe, he walked to a high place where he could see Black Valley. He describes this in a letter to my grandmother who was at home with their young children, my mother and my uncle, in Hastings, Minnesota, waiting for his return.

My grandfather was 48 years old at the time.  My mother was 3 years old.  My uncle was 8.  My grandmother was 34.

My grandfather was born of German immigrant parents in Boston.  My grandmother's family in Boston had roots in Canada, Ireland, England and Scotland.  I was born in California but have lived in Washington State since I was 24 years old.  After leaving Europe in the 1800s, every generation of my family has moved great distances from where the previous generation settled.  Prior to that, they lived for generations in the same general areas in Norway, Germany, Ireland, England and Scotland.  When I go to YouTube and look at film footage showing where my ancestors lived and traveled, the landscape looks familiar to me.

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Looking at a lifetime of art work

From 1955 when I was five years old:


to 1966:


to 1974:


to 1982:


to 1983:


to 1986:


to "First Calendar" (1987):


to
 "Untitled" (1990)"


to
"Calendar Series:  62nd Month / Self-Portrait with Brothers of Mercy and Night Falling from the Sky" (1990)


to Mandala #1 (2014):


to "Left-Handed Untitled Unfinished" (July 2022)


to  Mandala #69:  Left-Handed Self-Portrait Drawn from Memory of Imaginary Brothers and Boundless Love 
(July 2022)


It just occurred to me, as I have finished Mandala #69,  that there were 71 paintings in my Calendar Series, begun in 1987 and finished in 1992, after which I found myself less and less able to sit down at my art table for any extended period of time due to emotional turmoil that I thought would never end.  2014 was a turning point.  Sustainable creative energy returned.  It was beginning to wane again, when I discovered I could draw with my left hand in early January of 2022.  Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine and all that has followed this year, I've not done as much drawing as in previous years but the creative energy is there, beyond my wildest dreams.

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I'm going to stay here in this beautiful cloudy place, in this community, doing yoga, reading, drawing with my left hand, blogging, walking with friends, doing what I can against all odds, no matter what happens.  When the sun shines here, it is beautiful in another way.



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"Boundless Love"

7 comments:

NewRobin13 said...

I loved reading of your family's history and seeing your history of artwork. It surprises me that you have a drawing that you did when you were so so young. How wonderful. Makes me wish I had copies of my first poems when I started writing when I was 5.

Barbara R. said...

Quite an interesting art biography. Glad you feel good and creative where you are now in life. And I hope to see more beautiful expressions from you here on a blog.

37paddington said...

You are a wonderful artist. I love your resolve to keep doing those things that nourish your spirit. As indeed you nourish ours.

Colette said...

Lovely to see all that artwork in chronological order. You have such talent.

ellen abbott said...

I read somewhere that up until just a couple of hundred years ago most people lived and died in the village or town or wherever they were born in, never traveling far if they traveled at all. And then the migration to the 'new world' began.

I'm amazed you have artwork saved through the years. I'm not doing any drawing or painting right now. All my creative time and energy is going to making this box/sculpture/art piece.

The Weaver of Grass said...

What pleasure you must get from your art work and your memories - I have so enjoyed reading this. Thank you for this glimpse into your life.

Joared said...

Interesting to see the evolution of your drawing. Especially intrigued with what you've discovered your left hand is capable of drawing, too.