December 31, 2015
A dozen years ago my mother passed, only hours before the year turned to 2004. Before crossing over, she had opened the door to my morning visions and breathed new life into my art just as she had given me new life at birth.
Adolf Konrad, my lifelong mentor, died two weeks later on January 14, 2004. For almost a year following their deaths, neither my mother nor Adolf cut the silver threads that connected me to to them. My mother’s spirit filled my light-filled studio with the antics of a young girl while Adolf’s spirit stood by my side guiding my brush as it carried oil to the canvas.
In 2004 Nicole and I traveled together from Northern Portugal to Barcelona, Spain, an adventure inspired by the multitude of traveling adventures my mother and I had shared through my life and throughout the lives of my children.
In March, the mountains and hills of Northern Portugal are covered in thorny bushes in full bloom, more brilliant than orange marigolds. The eggs of the chickens are the same, rich color of orange due to a diet of corn and cabbage.
Two years prior to our trip I had discovered the architecture of Gaudi in a book beside the bed in the guest room where I slept during the weekend of a fundraising event where I sold my handmade notecards and giclée prints.
An hour after landing in Portugal a bomb exploded on a train in Madrid.
As we drove across the spring landscape hugging the mountains of northern Spain, still barren from the winter chill and streaked with the otherwordly shadows seen in Dali’s paintings, black flags hung from the windows of every town, village and city, an entire country in mourning.
While in Barcelona, we discovered the art of Vieira da Silva (Portuguese-French Abstract Painter 1908-1992). Upon our return, her work influenced a series of painting inspired by her ability to capture space and movement using only variations of white oil paint and lines.
Sometimes it takes years, even a decade, for a planted seed to sprout and grow strong. Perhaps it needs the right conditions, circumstances and nutrients. Perhaps it needs the gardener to become more patient, while being less circumspect.
The year 2016 is my year of becoming a masterful gardener in more ways than one. My garden will nurture body, mind and spirit.