Artist crushes…….I’ve had a few. For whatever reason, there comes along a few specials artists in a lifetime that clearly make an impression on who we are. For me, some have been iconic but some have simply touched a place in me that changed the course of my artistic and personal life. If I have enough clarity and trust the sweaty palms and heart thumping reaction to their work, those artists can truly create a new dawn of understanding about myself, my choices and the unrealized beauty this world has to offer. Below I share a short list of the top five that have had an enormous impact on my life.
1. Georgia O’Keefe. You only have to look at my work to see the enormous influence she has had on my idea of beauty. From her undulating forms to her unique feminine perspective, her work conveyed to me that the sensuality of nature was something to be revered, to be celebrated. She was a strong woman at a time when that was an exception to the norm.
2. Ansel Adams. In stark contrast to Georgia’s work but at the same time a deep honoring of the natural world that blew my mind. The majesty he was able to capture with his camera continues to bring me an enormous amount of strength when I am feeling small. Yosemite was his muse and he did her proud.
3. Prince. I spent over 10 years as a fitness instructor and not only did his music bring out a fierceness in me, it also carried me through a rough marriage riddled with self doubt. When I was teaching, and his music was playing………well let’s just say the room was on fire! I pounded on the walls and rattled everyone’s cage and for a moment, we were all set free. Some of the fondest memories of my daughters childhood is the two of us riding around and listening to his music at full volume. His smooth delivery, his coolness, his confidence……..all of it helped me to realize what I was missing in my life. I had denied my creative life and he held up a mirror to me and , “Bitch……whatcha gonna do for yourself???”
4. Christina Hope. Her reverence for the human form and the beauty of movement with her underwater photography left me speechless. I could only afford prints of her work but bought them and brought them home where I was going to appreciate them for years to come. My husband at the time refused to “allow me” to hang them. Well…….lets just say that those photographs propelled me into the next chapter of my life. After the divorce, they hung prominently in my home for all to see. The strength and beauty in her work gave me the courage
5. Worley Faver. My one and only pottery mentor. He introduced me to coil building earthenware vessels. His forms are masculine and yet have a softness to them that transcends gender. His carvings are masterful and though they honor the Indian heritage of the craft, they are authentic to him and his spirit. I am humbled and grateful for what he has brought to my life.
All of these artists have one thing in common……….Authenticity. This, above all else, is what I strive for. It is my greatest wish for all of us.