Friday, September 28, 2012

Autumn's Early Glow

16" x 20"
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas
Original and Fine Art Giclee Prints Available HERE.

Close your eyes and think about something you are really grateful for. Tune into that warm emotional rush you feel when you focus on that something.  Experiencing that feeling of true gratitude, puts us into a state of grace.

This morning I awoke and heard that little voice inside got me out of bed and lead me out to the studio. As I painted and watched the sun rise around me, I felt grateful. Grateful for the moment to be surrounded by Autumn's early glow, (hence the title) grateful for my space to create, the time I lovingly carve out for myself to nurture my own spirit so I can extend that out into the world as a mother and as a teacher.

No matter what is happening, when you are able to feel gratitude, it helps to reduce fear and bring you back to an inner peace.

How different would our lives be if we could see everything that happens as a blessing?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Love is my Religion, Sunday in the Studio

It was an early morning of work out in the studio. I can never anticipate when The Muse will descend, and today I woke up as the sun rose, with something calling me to go out and paint.  

It's hard to describe that feeling that pulls me to the's bigger than me, and when I don't listen to its voice it just simply doesn't feel right. Coincidentally, this happened on this Sunday morning, as rather than being called to attend Church I truly believe it is the hand of God that lead me out to the studio.

With my rigorous Catholic upbringing, even attending a Catholic university to pursue my art degree, going to Church was always a part of the routine. Couple that tradition with living here in the Bible Belt where what Church you attend seems like another way people use to define themselves, you would think the foundation is set for me to attend Church regularly on Sundays. However, I have found as I get older my need for organized religion has waned.  Sure, I can say it's too hard to get three young children out the door for a 9 a.m. service, but that excuse only goes so far. 

I have started to make peace with the fact that, although I dearly love the traditions in which I was raised, and am sometimes drawn to the comfort of an old Catholic Church like a moth to a flame, I don't feel that organized religion is the only way to find God.  There is no right way. God is inside of each one of us, and I can say with certainty that I have had more honest conversations with him out in the art studio, or on long early morning runs at our ranch in West Texas, or even on my yoga mat, than anywhere else. 

True peace comes when you are able to connect to the divine that is inside all of us, because when you do that all that's left is love. 

Who's to say our traditions won't ebb and flow, and our Sunday morning routine won't fact I'm banking that it will, especially as my kids grow older because I want to give them the chance to choose for themselves the best way to find God. But for now this works.

So this morning it's just me, Brooklyn the dog, Dave Matthews Band and the rain. Fall is descending on Dallas, slowly but surely, and all is cozy in the world. Grateful for this peaceful time to create while the troops inside sleep in late-- now time to clean up so I can go make them pancakes.

Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Appreciate Contemporary Art

I could do that + Yeah, but you didn't 
= Modern Art

A Platform for Consciousness

Take Me Away, Down the Star Mile
Contemporary Art is generally classified as any art that was produced after World War II. It comes in many shapes and forms and can often be quite abstract, thought-proking and even shocking.   This type of art usually makes you think outside the box and can stir emotions on a visceral level.  Taking the time to look at a piece of art, and feel its presence, can cause you to examine your own feelings and experiences that arise from the painting, leading you to see the possibilities around you and stimulate your mind for change and social growth.

The great thing about contemporary art is that there are no limits to medium or subject matter. It's used as  more a tool for change and inspiration in modern society. 

Art does not have to match the couch! 

Before We Turn to Stone
City of Blinding Lights

Tips for appreciating contemporary art:
1. Come at it with an open mind.

2. Don't be afraid to ask questions-- about the artists, what inspired them, their background, materials used, the process which it was created. Ask the Artist directly or the Gallery you are dealing with--they are there to provide you with information and love to talk about the art. 

3. Do some research on the Artists.  You may find that learning the story behind the people who created the art makes it more tangible for you.

4. Try to feel what you see:  Tap into personality, character and individuality in the work reflecting back to the Artist.  Can you see yourself in the painting (not literally, of course)?  Try to connect with the passion that the Artist used while creating that work. When a piece resonates with you, it will be because of that connection. Art is a universal language we all share.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fall Cleaning

"Creativity is a doesn't come through if the air is cluttered." 
- John Lennon

Here is a picture of the studio right now...the definition of "clutter".  I haven't gone in there in five days because just the thoughts of it eeks me out. It's like a big messy monster waiting for me. My neat-freak, borderline OCD germaphobe husband has to walk through it every night when he comes home from work and bless his heart I think he's using every ounce of self-restraint not to wring my neck. 

After recently completing two large new paintings for my upcoming show at Calypso St. Barth in October, working with my mom to refinish some large pieces of furniture for a friend, caring for an unexpectedly hospitalized family member, teaching yoga at Exhale Spa, receiving a new art supply order that came in bulk, and embarking on the journey of getting one little person off to kindergarten and two to preschool--and our family of 5 adjusted to our Fall routine,  I've found the studio in disarray, and my artistic mind too cluttered to think, much less produce.

Creativity comes in waves. I've learned this over the years.  Learned to surf the highs and wait through the lows, knowing another wave is always just around the corner.  After coming off the high of producing new pieces, I'm cruising through a valley right now and ready to make some space for new creativity to happen.  I literally have to clear this out.

The word Aparigraha, translated from Sanskrit means non possessiveness or non grasping. Aparigraha gives us the permission to let go of not just excess material goods, but also the fear and clinging we experience around trying to protect what we think we own. All suffering is caused by our resistance to loss or change. It is so simple: When we cling, we suffer. Aparigraha is really about letting go. It’s about living the moment. 

Remembering there are far, far greater things ahead than anything we leave behind.

All right. I'm off to clean-wish me luck.

Gina Marie Dunn, Utopia Pkwy. Art Studio's Fan Box


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