Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Doubting Artist #5

Okay I had those doubts again about what I am doing dedicating my life to painting. Granted I was very tired from moving my 6th and last child into her dorm to begin her college career...(and all the attendant emotion surrounding the end of my 35 years of active parenting). My dear husband had to remind me yet again that what I have is no less than a 'vocare'...a calling that long ago laid claim on my life. And then I remembered that the young college freshman were exhorted to "fall deeply in love with a passion, to never fall out of love, because what they loved would determine their whole lives". I am still in love.

Monday, August 23, 2010

People With No Names - The Undocumented #11

This wonderful 70 year old healer and former migrant worker labored in the fields with her parents from the time she was very young. She says,"My daddy taught me to work, and I was not scared to do anything. He didn't expect anything less of me than the men, even though I was seven years old and skinnier than a twig. There would be a grown-up man to my left and my right. I was in the middle, trudging through mud with a gunnysack for cabbage or tomatoes or whatever they were planting. As soon as I got to the other end, I had to turn around and start again. Those men could not catch up with me! I cannot remember being tired. But I also cannot remember being a child. I was a girl-woman."

People With No Names - The Undocumented #10.

I found this group of cheerful , hardworking men rewiring a school in Tucson, Arizona.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Doubting Artist #4

Last night I had a gathering at my house, I let people roam all over my house (like I always do...open home, etc.)I let people wander into my studio and look at my painting in progress, my very personal and meaningful paintings that are an attempt to put a face on the undocumented immigrants and their plight. I am sure that it was well meant, ( and an effort to identify with me) but people told me stories of relatives "who just decided to take up painting, with no training, call themselves "naifs" and of course had multiple gallery reps and made lots of money! Wow. My face smiled and nodded at that person's good fortune, and my brain said, "Whaaat?" I've been seriously painting for years and...well that story is not my story. Oh but wait, that is not why I do what I do! I do what I do because I am compelled to be a part of the ongoing human conversation, using art as my vehicle. I am thankful in these recent months to be able to bring my painting into the service of a cause and to hopefully make good paintings as well.

Friday, August 20, 2010

People With No Names - The Undocumented #9

These dear undocumented people took all the dead, thorny branches out of huge climbing roses all day, with no gloves. They have not been home for four years. When they return to Guatemala, they hope to be able to buy wiring and get electricity for/to their house.