Friday, October 18, 2013

The Calm Before The Storm: Reminiscing Art

The Calm Before The Storm: Reminiscing Art

Last October, I went on a jaunt with one of my best friends, Amy.  We hopped into her car and drove from Loudoun County to New York City.  The anticipation of NYC is always something that's hard to explain.  That city holds mystery and a certain beat that's quick and changing, much like a rock song performed by an orchestra...a "thing" that's unexpected, unusual, surprising.  Every time I visit the Big Apple, my journey is different and I always return revived.  It is the city that delivers the creative soul into the hands of possibility.

This time, we went for the purpose of taking an art class with master mixed-media artist, Lynne Perrella.  We hauled and lugged our art bags (Amy in heels no less, with me hobbling on a bum ankle) around the streets of Greenwich Village (or the "Village" as locals call it), bumping into kind strangers as we tried to navigate our way to the Westbeth Center from the train station.  New York City people are some of the nicest I've met.  They're not fake, nor are they above giving much needed directions.  In all my visits there, I had never been to Greenwich Village, so finding The Ink Pad's creative space at the famous Westbeth Center was an adventure, to say the least.  Westbeth Center, by the way, is an artist colony that has been in existence since 1970.  This building houses artists, dancers, musicians, actors, writers and film makers (some famous, some not) and sits on an entire New York City block facing the Hudson River.  It's a living picture of art history.

We spent the day under Lynne Perrella's instruction.  She is a humble, extremely talented artist who inspired everyone in her class with her unique techniques.  We bonded with other artists that day, all of us from different walks of life, with our own stories to tell...all of us attempting to complete one goal...a stained glass inspired piece of art in one intensive day.  I believe most of us completed our individual pieces and all probably treasure them to this day.

When Amy and I arrived at the train station late that evening, we were exhausted, but completely inspired.  I took off my shoes (Amy flung off her heels), we sat on the floor and admired each other's work.  There were thousands of people swarming in and out and around us, trying to get to their own destinations.  But for us, there was calm and satisfaction in our hands because we were holding art...we had experienced art.

The coming of the Hurricane had us up and out early that next morning to head homeward.  Little did we know it would be such a devastating storm in New York and New Jersey.  To this day, when I see the piece I created, I think of the calm before the storm.

Here's a few snapshots of my completed piece, which definitely took me the entire some.  I actually tweaked it a little when I returned home, too, where I added a little encaustic.


And here, Amy and I are devouring a massive cookie the size of NYC, which we bought at Macy's.  Some man had the gall to walk by and tell us that we should know better than to eat that cookie.  I suppose he thought he was being helpful?

After our trip, I also created a piece using many of the techniques I learned from Lynne.  The piece I created below is titled New Year's Eve.  It was a piece I made from the inspiring memories of NYC.  This exact piece I sold at the Waterford Fair this year.  It was sad to say goodbye to it, as it was like saying goodbye to a fond memory...but I'm always happy to know when a piece of my art finds a good home and hopefully helps someone else reminisce about the day they made an artistic discovery.

New Year's Eve (close-up)



New Year's Eve (shot 1)

Happy art to you!