make art. transform life.

thoughts about creativity and  art:   live your life as your work of art.

Think. What Happened When Your Ancestors Sought Refuge?

 
 We are all in this together (detail of panel 1) of triptych)        oil painting     beth vendryes williams

We are all in this together (detail of panel 1) of triptych)        oil painting     beth vendryes williams

 

Enjoy the last days of summer!

For me, I am back to “seeking refuge”! Yes, I keep returning to this theme because we all need to find our refuge in this world. Sometimes it is walking and meditating. Also, for me it is in making art!

I became aware of this way of seeking refuge because of my family stories...

 
The oldest of seven children, I grew up with our parents loving the fact that we were part Jamaican, English, French, and Sicilian. I knew I was related to Michael Manley, former president of Jamaica, through a common great grandmother. My Dad and his parents emigrated from Kingston, Jamaica to the United States.  Eventually we discovered and met our French cousins, who are descendants of the Vendryes relatives who decided to remain in France seven generations ago.

 Both of my Mom’s parents bravely emigrated, separately, from Sicily when they were 17 and 25 yeas old. They first met in Sicily and then got married in Little Italy,  NYC. 

We all keep in touch!

Through my  family origins, the borders of my world expanded ...

...so that I always perceived being part of a much bigger world than the United States. According to a DNA testing I am 5% West African, a fact that is also supported by family lore and cousins.  I thrive in the possibilities of communicating and connecting with people from all different parts of the world..

When I read and see people  trying to immigrate to the United States, I am happy for them, because without that, I know I would not be here. In the USA there is an opportunity to be free and to have a voice and a vote in who represents us. It is far from perfect, but it gives us the possibility of living in a government that protects the individual’s rights to freedom. 

Immigrants must be vetted, of course. They also must be treated with compassion. For we are all related to one another in some way. We are all human beings. We are all, body and spirit, living in this world, together.

I was inspired to explore some of that innate knowledge by creating a visual story. That has been a journey in itself., for me. Yes, That is my Grandpa Henry and my Dad and his brother on either side, shortly after they emigrated from Jamaica.

I would love to hear your story! Tell me in your comment or instagram!

Check out the events link to make sure you get to my solo exhibit  and reception on Sunday, September 23rd. Currently, Fresh fruit & vegetable watercolors ar exhibiting at Autentico Restaurant. Come on in and have a look and have an espresso or coffee!
 

 

How to make a breakthrough by watching clouds

 let the clouds in              #953                          mixed media ( watercolor, Solarprint, acrylic, Japanese tissue collage   22' x 30"    

let the clouds in              #953                          mixed media ( watercolor, Solarprint, acrylic, Japanese tissue collage   22' x 30"    

Yes, I have been watching clouds all last year, imagining their magical  beauty

is not only their appearance but also in the way they recycle and process water on the earth! They also cleanse the air when the raindrops fall. 

They really do capture my imagination. So creating Solarplate images by using the sun to develop your image on a light-sensitive coating, and water to wash away the soft film water-soluble ink to print, made sense.

Looking and working on those clouds, made me think about how I could be more ecologically minded in my art. As I began to work on top of my first artist proof (a print that looks different from the original edition), I was using watercolor acrylic along with collaging Japanese rice paper, enlarging the image by breaking through the rectangle! 

Suddenly I realize the philosophical importance of the art I am making. 

❤️“Breaking through the boundaries of the rectangle with the softness of a cloud, is how life is. All change begins with a thought. My art is to make that “idea” visible. Once visible it insists on being looked at.”
Breaking through resistance does not require violence. When you pay attention to the visual, it can bring forth, metaphorically, another way of perceiving.

Through my work process, I understand that I need to explore this concept, of “breaking through boundaries" with clouds. So I ask myself what other artists, writers, directors, dancers, musicians have done that and what can I learn from them? Now i am asking you...

❤️ Have you ever asked yourself why you are so drawn to something, like the beach or the sun, asking yourself what about it attracts you?  I love to hear what breakthrough you have had so comment  on Instagram facebook Linked In or in the comment section here!

When you see what happens when you "image" or reflect, you will find rich depth in your life.

Image.

 Journal image from the sheridan farm, , edited to add a..... reflection!  !  2017   beth vendryes williams

Journal image from the sheridan farm, , edited to add a..... reflection!  !  2017   beth vendryes williams

When you conceive of something in your mind, you are creating some  new possibilities !

 What channel of “seeing” are you using? I always thought of it as a visual image, but I was speaking with my friend, Peggy the other day, and since she has never had the sense of sight, I asked her how she visualizes or images things. She described remembering experiences of holding animals and remembering experiences by touch. 

You will have a greater understanding of a story you’ve read, experienced or viewed. You remember and review that memory and interpret it in a way only you can. I 

I also remember the intense fragrance of a small Italian store in little Italy, and the scents of Parmesan cheese and smoked sausages.       I never fail to retrieve memories of being carried in the arms of a loving Auntie Jo when I was two,. Tthe visual images of those delicious treats suspended from the ceiling are amazingly preserved in my mind!

 When the fragrance wafting by is from a gardenia plant, I visualize my Sicilian grandmother, Marianna who loved and nurtured them...and me! I found refuge in her arms, and have painted my memories of her.

Beethoven remembered music in his head

which enabled him to continue to compose long after he became severely deaf.
Musicians, athletes and dancer’s image body movements to remember their craft!

Why is it important?
If you can begin to image it, you can create it.

That image, sound, touch, smell, dimensional quality gives you the impetus to move forward, providing motivation and expanding the richness of your everyday life experience.

 Writers, scientists, mathematicians, architects, dancers, musicians, politicians, parents, teachers doctors, as well as artists begin with an image of what inspires them. You can image with a visual trigger, but also with tactile, hearing, movement, smell, talking to yourself, any sense!

How do you improve your ability to “image”?

You can improve your ability to image by practicing accessing it daily. Practice reading out loud, looking for creative metaphors that allow you to create visuals as you read. Understand with which senses you naturally tend image.
Play at imaging to strengthen your ability to deepen your memories and recognize connections. 
Make things. Pay attention to images that form when you listen to music. Write, draw, paint and bake those cookies your grandmother. of course, tasting them is a just another way of imaging

Let me know what you discover!