Friday, February 14, 2014

Before you move forward, you sometimes must look backward

"Innset Kirke, Norway" 11 x 14 Oil on Canvas SOLD (Prints available)
History is our infrastructure. It provides the foundation that steadies and grounds us. Where we come from gives us added information about our physical characteristics, about our likes and dislikes; our weaknesses and strengths.

My family has a history of musical talent. Two of my grandfathers were violinists and composers. An uncle and his family were musicians and played musical instruments and sang for the community.

This musical talent skipped over my generation. My children, on the other hand, are not only gifted in this area they are music teachers, and their children are excelling in music and the arts.

"Skudeneshavn, Harbor, Norway" 16 x 20 oil on canvas SOLD (Prints available)
My father was artistic at heart. In his limited spare time, he drew portraits of people and animals. He loved to doodle. Unfortunately, earning a living for his family kept him away from home and from drawing most of the time. I think my love for drawing and painting came from him.

My husband’s family came from Norway. His great grandfather carved a beautiful family emblem that has passed from one generation to the next. Another grandfather was a lighthouse keeper who loved the ocean and the beautiful Fjords of Norway.

"Vikeholmen Lighthouse" Skudeneshavn, Norway, 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas
I painted some of these scenes for members of the family and have sold prints, cards and originals to other Norwegians around the country. I’ve heard many artists complain that they don’t know where to get ideas. Have you ever thought about looking backward? Find out where your ancestors came from. What were their customs? Where did they live? There may be ideas just waiting for you to find them.

Sometimes the simple, unexplored objects that surround us become beautiful paintings simply because the right artist saw something unique and shared his or her vision on canvas. Examining the detail, emphasizing the way sunlight glistens from an object or the way it casts a shadow may be enough to inspire a work of art.

"Vikeholmen Lighthouse" (close-up) Skudeneshavn, Norway 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas
There is a walnut tree not far from us. After a recent rain storm, one of the encased nuts had dropped to the ground and shattered, but the nut was still intact held within the other half of its covering and still attached to the original twig. Its maple color and layer of skins was a work of art. I carried it home, and today it nestles in a basket of finds on my dining room table.

There is beauty all around. Look behind at what links you to the past. Look ahead at what draws you to the future. Celebrate!

"The Neptunes -- Golden Girls" 11 x 14 acrylic on canvas (3rd in The Neptunes Series)