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My son, (Ben Davis, Beats-On-Tap) says I am not a good blogger because I don’t post enough. He’s right. After all, he blogs regularly about music and it is worth checking out! I wait and wait until something really inspires me. Well it hit me tonight as I walked into my studio. My husband and I had just returned from the airport after dropping off our daughter Stephanie to fly to Barcelona, Spain for 3 months. No… not as part of a college program, or any program… After Freshman year at Connecticut College, Steph felt she needed to break out and away from the constraints of art classroom assignments and see what kind of artist she could really become. Somehow she landed upon a website for Estudio-Nomada. She applied and was accepted to the independent art program in Barcelona. She found a family to live with and after private lessons of Krav Maga, self defense class by the best in the State at breakthru fitness.… off she went.
For a moment I felt empty walking back into the art studio without her paint brush in action as it had been all summer. She had just completed a large canvas and her palette papers were still there like their own work of art.
Her glass lamp-working table left with glass all about and an empty gas tank.
…but then I found myself sifting through her work table. I had not touched her side of the studio for weeks as she prepared her journals and inspirations for her 3 month art adventure. I admit I was tempted to throw out some scraps and gain some real estate on the 6 foot table but I never did and tonight I could not break away from the table of art books, cuttings of colorful hand-painted paper, mini cards, poems, fabric journals and paintings. With a list of things to accomplish myself, I just sat and let the colors and textures soak into my senses and let the time slip away.
The last thing we had done together at home was sit across from each other on our yoga mats and say a final Namaste. Finding her work left behind was like another ujjayia breath left from her in the room.
I am tempted to photograph every page of her journals and publish them. Don’t worry Steph…. I kept them closed. But seriously. Her writing is Bob Dylanesque and her paintings a mix of Dali, Kandinsky and Matisse wrapped up in one hippy, vibe, mystical, mother-earth-loving imagination. Is that a genre??
It is hard not to get lost in her passion for her work. Her cat is obviously protecting her territory so I guess I will not be cleaning up tonight!
As an artist and an activist my work goes in two different directions. Once in awhile, they cross paths. When I was awarded the Carl Wilken’s Fellowship I was charged with building community and organizing others to care about the atrocities in the world and particularly Sudan. When I think of awareness of Sudan, I can’t help but be reminded of the beautiful women, fabrics and dance juxtaposed with the faces of those who are malnourished, ill and hopeless.
What better way to depict this than through the expression of art
The Sudan Canvas Project is a call to all artists, beginning with those in my local community and state of Connecticut, to paint a canvas depicting either the beauty or the sadness of the women of Sudan.
The paintings will be donated for exhibits where they will be sold to raise money for trade education in the village of Ariang where we have been building a primary school. The new school, their first building ever in Ariang, will enable the women to have a safe place at night in which to learn a skill.
South Sudan will become its own nation on July 9. In Half the Sky, Nicholas Kristof addresses the fact that countries that have empowered their women, turn around their failing economies. Although this project will not change a country, it will change a village, by empowering one woman at a time.
The Pink House Painters of Fairfield County Connecticut have enthusiastically begun to paint and many members have volunteered to help with our exhibits. It has been incredible to see the support for this project so quickly. The Fairfield Arts Council enthusiastically donated their gallery space for our first exhibit to take place on November 27, 2011.
CT paintings are due by September 30. Artists outside CT can submit paintings to be posted on our website and saved for a national exhibit in 2012.
N’Gor Island has earned it’s nickname, “Island of Paradise” A 10 minute boat ride from the mainland, the small island boasts crashing waves and tropical sunshine,
local artists at work, thatched cabanas, and delectable food.
Before the arrival of French Settlers, N’Gor island was uninhabited. Only a few goats bred by Lebous fisherman used to dawdle on this “prohibited” territory, thought to be possessed by a bad spirit. Although few Americans visit this “treasured” Island, europeans come from all over to to vacation here.
local artist, Amedine Drop’s moving painting depicts the two sides of Africa, the contrast of peace and beauty and the sadness of war. The tear drops from Sudan and the darkness represents conflicts in Congo and surrounding areas. Of course we purchased this painting with little haggling. Happy to support the local artists.
This is a favorite destination for surfers as the waves crash relentlessly against the island shore. But even with the strong sound of the ocean we were soothed by the sound of Senegalese drumming coming from somewhere amongst the rocks and trees.
Walking back to the hotel locals sell everything from sesame candy to peanuts. we had a sumptuous orange peeled for us like a n art. It’s sweet juice will quench any thirst.
We have to thank Karim once again for a fabulous day. He is off to plan our night out with local, live music. Unfortunately the shows get