I'm starting a new series of small head studies to explore in more detail both the anatomy and expression of working ranch and rodeo horses. The ideas are popping like crazy! Can't wait to get into the studio... Stay tuned!
Because I believe that the magic in all creative enterprise is found in the WHY of our art, welcome to my "Blog-lite", created in the interest of storytelling and my belief that we're all in this together. I limit each entry to a thought or two about my creative process, a little background story, whatever I'm pursuing at the moment and how it ties into what I'm making. Here are a few photos from my collections of working horses, graffiti, trains and random discoveries, along with a few "short stories" of the why behind my art and choice of subject matter. I'm staying CURIOUS and I invite you to do the same. Way more fun this way, right?
Here's a shot of my "happy place" - I THRIVE in my studio! Where's YOUR happy place?
Fascinating palettes. Which is your favorite? I can't choose...
A happy sight and sound for me - 'train's coming! Let's hope for some nice burners today...
Recently spent some time unearthing a wee bit of family history - it's amazing how interconnected our lives really are...
The remote Missouri River valley I call home, with railroad tracks just along the river's edge.
25 February 2018
Happy New Year! Obviously, I'm more than a little behind on my posts here, so let's catch up!
I'm finally back in my studio after a busy fall filled with Montana Arts Council program shows and office-y stuff. And I really am ready to "smash some goals" - starting with new work, and more sizes of original paintings.
28 August 2017
"Where did MAY go already?" I wrote that in JUNE! Well, how about the whole summer? Yep, it's back to school time, and it's been crazy smoky here for MONTHS. Miserable, but at least we're not on fire, although much of Montana is, sadly.
My one-person show at Katabatic Brewery is COOKING! They're a great venue as well as super-cool owners who have decided to use their beautiful space to showcase local art. Now I have a new appreciation for artist receptions served with tasty craft brews!
Please stop in and see my art before it comes down at the end of September - it's been fun to see all the horses together as a body of work. Let me know what you think!
13 June 2017
Just wondering, but where did May go already? It's still spring-like weather here in Montana - cool and wet today. Grey, still, again, always, but nicer than too hot. I had enough hot in Texas.
As I mentioned previously, my paternal grandfather who lived in Bellefontaine, OH, and also an uncle on my Mom’s side who lived in Versailles, OH, right down the road, were both railroad engineers. Here's a little additional back story:
The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, also known as the Big Four Railroad and commonly abbreviated CCC&StL, was a railroad company in the Midwestern United States. Its primary routes were in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.
It once operated a terminal at Bellefontaine, Ohio which included the largest roundhouse in use at that time between New York City and St. Louis, Missouri. Conrail closed the Bellefontaine terminal in 1983, and its roundhouse was dismantled. That's where they worked! How COOL is that?!?
How I would love to visit that roundhouse! I wish we were able to preserve more of our historic buildings, and likewise, more of the graffiti on the railcars and in the cities everywhere, but that's not the nature of the graffiti beast, is it? I'm pretty sure there's a lesson for me in that impermanence. What do you think?
17 April 2017
I knew my paternal grandfather was a railroad engineer: Edward Norbert Thobe, born in 1895, was not a warm and cuddly man. He ran liquor during the Prohibition, and would lower my Dad - because he was a small child - through the floorboards to retrieve said hooch. For his enterprising willingness to break the law, Granddad always had the biggest, newest car in the neighborhood. (Eye roll here).
Regardless of his lack of moral standing, I do give him props for taking us out to the rail yard and letting us run an engine up and down the tracks for a few minutes once when I was a child.
So there. It's in the family blood. And because my son invited me to poke around on Ancestry.com, I also learned that an uncle on my Mom's side was a railroad engineer as well. Apples and acorns and not falling too far from the tree, right?
What would they think of today's graffiti? Where does the artistry in our family originate? Would they think it is as fascinating and beautiful as their granddaughter/niece believes? Or were they true railroad men and view it only as vandalism? I like to think it's because I'm an artist, or maybe it's really only that I'm a bit amoral myself, but I'm definitely subversive enough to hope they recognized its gorgeous color and energy as a true art form.
3 April 2017
If I can post once a week, I'll be more disciplined than I'm expecting, even out of myself. I tend to get more done, though, now that spring is coming slowly to Montana, and with it, the wonderful, long days. Today, however, we have gloomy skies - perfect for gleaning graffiti gems (how's that for an impromptu alliteration?) from my recent travels.
I notice there are many blue palettes used on the dark red/brown cars - what an eye these artists have for color and contrast! Although it's been a fairly quiet Monday so far, I'm hoping to hear more frequent rumbles outside of my studio window for a new menu of "traveling art" and inspiration today. Fingers crossed...
2 April 2017
Art is so personal and subjective, yet it's a universal language to which we all respond, often on a very visceral level. Think about the last piece of art you knew you had to own. Even if your walls were packed with other work, because this piece spoke to you so strongly, you had to have it, and you just knew you would somehow find the perfect place to have it enhance your living space. How great is that?
I would love to evoke the same passion with my collectors, because that's how I feel when I choose to create each new piece. The intensity of that horse's expression, the color and energy in that piece of graffiti and its style - I find what I love and combine it together to express the same - passion and energy.
Our stories define us, just like "the pearl is the oyster's autobiography" (Frederico Fellini). When we tell our stories, we make our mark. That's what art is, too.