My art life has been one of solitude since the pandemic abruptly shifted so much of my perspective, interests and focus. I have stayed grounded in the white sand, aqua waters and blue skies. But this past weekend, I ventured to the quiet side of the panhandle and rediscovered the forgotten coast. Apalachicola and Mexico Beach were a wonderful diversion from the fast-paced spring break happenings around me. Time moves slower and stress melts away under the afternoon sun.
Back home, I’ve taken up walking the neighborhood everyday, listening to children’s laughter and meeting up with nearby residents managing their day-to-day operations with a little help from their friends. Between one and two miles on foot affords a new way of looking at things, too.
So back at the studio, I dug through a forgotten trove of oil paints, colors that dared me to open their tubes and experiment. These small paintings are the first of many, I hope, that serve to open new possibilities and create new adventures, escaping from the norms and daring to walk where I was scared to go before. My eyes are sensitive to bright lights and my soul too sensitive to bright colors. This is a start. I hope you continue to follow along on this wild journey with me, remembering to explore the unknown and allow yourself room to run or walk, eyes wide open, to all the new possibilities of the day.
I hope your home is filled with treasures that bring you joy. Furthermore, I hope your favorite works of art are top on the list of your treasures. They are for me, and I am blessed to have my studio as part of my home. I’ll be helping to slow this monster with extra time in the studio, creating what I can. Got to take the advice of a great friend who recently wrote encouraging words for me to turn off the news and concentrate on painting because, “the world needs all that beauty you create.”
By staying home, we are saving lives. I truly believe that.
By staying home in the studio, I hope to bring joy and peace to the comfort of your home with new art as often as I can. This (loridrew.net) is my website, and I welcome you to tour the gallery at your leisure during the next 30 days. If you have any inspirational photos, I’d love to see them. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you need help adding to your art collection, just let me know.
Stay home. Stay safe. And please stay in touch.
Last week was a bonus week . . . I was gifted with a full week in the studio . . . practicing, playing and picking up the pieces of paintings left unfinished. In other words, although there were struggles, there were also some successes and I found myself feeling good about a couple of things I wanted to share with you.
The first was an exercise in freedom. It’s harder than you think. No planning allowed, only a will to lay color to the surface and keep going until you feel satisfied. The big idea behind this exercise was to be oblivious to the applause of others. Over the years, I have somewhat grown in confidence because of time spent practicing the process, and although I still seek approval, I am happy if I can look at the finished work and smile, at least a little, knowing I did my best and that I would happily hang it on my wall. But please don’t stop the ‘likes.’ I’ll be devastated.
The second thing I learned last week came after a conversation with a dear friend who wanted to know why I don’t have the ability to make purchases on my website. Without even thinking about this in depth question, I said, “because I want to meet the people who like my work.” So far, I really like everyone who likes my art. It’s crazy, but I don’t want to give that up by including a shopping cart and digital checkout. I want to get to know you, maybe meet your family, share a few bites or a glass of wine and hear what you love about my art. It feeds my soul and gives me the courage to continue.
So I guess what I’m saying is that I need you. I enjoyed the quiet studio time striving for freedom from fear. But we need each other in this journey of life, and art enhances it.
I hope I’ll see you at the studio someday soon. In the meantime, enjoy the new additions to my website. No cart, but lots of heart!
I opened a gallery, and I want you to feel comfortable coming in to enjoy it.
Sure, the ultimate compliment for an artist is for someone to purchase his or her art, but I want everyone to feel comfortable just coming in to East End Gallery to enjoy art. Tell us what you like and how it makes you feel. Grab a cup of coffee, sit awhile. Look, and I mean really look, at the works of 28 local and regional artists. Hopefully, you will leave with a little more bounce in your step . . . because, well, art can have that effect.
I partnered with two others to connect artists with art lovers, utilizing the Blue Title space located behind Shades Bar and Grill on the east end of 30a, in Inlet Beach, and after the 60 works were hung, chosen from over 130 submissions, a new artist contacted me in the hopes of inclusion. I requested her biography, and what she wrote made me realize that this is why I do whatever I can to help promote artists. She said, “I am going to be perfectly honest. It was the first time I’ve ever sat down to write an artist bio, and I’ll admit that it took all day and lots of editing and erasing!” This I can relate to! “There is just so much to say, and ended up not getting anywhere remotely close to what I would’ve like. So many emotions tied into what I do.”
Emotions. Her bio was filled with them, and I immediately connected with her, probably because I feel the same way. Art is our way of expressing our emotions, baring our souls, fearing the worst — that no one will like our art and thus us. Yet we do it because we must. Art heals.
So she will have a space at East End, and I hope it propels her art beyond her imagination. And I hope you will stop in for a visit and enjoy it.
No purchase required.
East End Gallery, 10952 E Co Hwy 30A, Suite B, Inlet Beach, FL 32461
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment