My personal blogs have previously taken the form of stories of my horses or profound experiences of meeting some of the horses I have painted. Now that I have launched my new website, it has occurred to me (with the help of a friend) that I would like to share more stories of my current life. Art reflects life.
Who, What, Where and Why
A brief reintroduction to my current state of mind and experience. I live on an 8-acre farm in Kingston, Washington with my husband, Rod, two capricious cats, three aging horses, a herd of wild but well fed deer, squirrels, raccoons, and birds.
The last few years of my life have had some extreme valleys and peaks. In a nutshell (whatever that means) life, and the prospect of losing it, have been paramount. It has included Rod's journey through cancer into remission, there and back again with several death defying miracles. It has meant long hours of care and concern for our horses during their health crises. Also, the death of my sister-in-law from covid, and losses of friends to age.
Since starting our farm in 2000, over the years we adopted over 30 animals. Then almost as quickly we began losing them to various health challenges or sudden unexplained crisis. So we have been accompanied by death for almost every year we've been here. As we learn to love each individual, so we know someday we will lose them.
Even our wild family is part of this difficult challenge. We have several tame does that come for our apple routine. Each spring we befriend a few new fawns and some of them in turn become quite tame. But our small local herd is prone to some kind of malady, which seems to strike the young, and other losses from winter storms, or accidents, or predators, have occurred almost every year. We wake up one day and discover over the next few days that a familiar friend is not coming for dinner, and we know with their disappearance, that they have been lost to us. All part of nature, as they say, but still, it seems to be unusually present.
Joie and her mother Nurta, Joie was such a survivor, healing from a broken leg when she was only a few months old, but she was never quite robust though she came daily for apples, and even came in the hay barn to shelter from torrential rain. She disappeared after a sudden winter freeze...
All of these comings and goings have had a high price not only personally but in my creative life. I can't help but be creative, but the time to do so has been severely limited. My studio time is sometimes relegated to the back burner while I manage life. When I have time, I paint or write. When I don't have time to paint or write, I store all those feelings and thoughts for when I will have time. Because I'm an artist I can't help but take my experiences and turn them into some form of art. It is an innate self expression that allows me to feel I'm not alone.
"Solace" (Custom Prints Available)
One of the reasons I create art, and turn to it myself in times of trial, is because it fills the silent spaces in my heart. The spaces where there are no words. It is sometimes a place of sadness, but it is also a place of beauty. Since horses are my language, I express my emotions through them, because I know they feel as deeply, or more so, than I do. Yet they seem to have a way of
steadfast endurance that I feel I lack. As a human I can't help but compare the emotional experience I feel with either the pain or the nostalgia of the past. I imagine horses have less of that burden of mental rumination. It seems even when they are having difficulties, they seem to transcend their misery into forbearance. Maybe it is because they are such beautiful creatures that they look beautiful even when they are sad. But then, some of the most beautiful works of human art depict sorrow.
Joy and the sorrow walk hand in hand with us through this life of loving others.
"This Ending and This Beginning" (Custom Prints Available)