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My family, home, community, land, and work are the places I go daily to create art.  You can see this influence in some of the drawings and paintings I make.  You can also see it in my hand built home, gardens and paths on Chinkapin Hill as well as my professional curatorial practice.  My art involves processes such as arranging, cleaning, caring for, moving through, cooking, designing, building, nurturing, developing, activism, gardening, teaching, and working. 

Years ago, I built an 800 square foot studio next to the 800 square foot house I built with my then - spouse.  I felt I needed the formal space to be a good artist.  As my family grew, my studio was needed for living, so we built a kitchen in what was my studio, and that space turned it into our daily living area.  My studio was moved to the loft at the top of the spiral stairs and is now 154 square feet. It is in this tiny space that my art supplies, books, easel, artworks, guest bed and children’s’ work desks, sit.

My smaller, multi-functional studio space speaks volumes about my art practice.

 When I paint indoors, my mind wanders and then, before I know it, I am outdoors painting.  And then when I get outdoors my eyes wander and I’m off planting or harvesting something in the garden, or fixing the chicken pen, or just looking at the chickens, or sweeping the decks, or drawing an idea for an addition to my house, or moving some piece of furniture around, or cooking a meal because someone is hungry, or running with the dogs because they are restless, as I am too. 

That is why it is good that the whole studio is now considered our living space and all of my home and land is considered my studio.  Art is not something I “go to do” somewhere else, it is what I do every day.  I am always filtering the world through my “art brain.”  I can be waiting for a healthful, beautiful, handmade, loaf of bread to rise while I create a rough outline for a new painting idea, or I can listen to my daughter practice her cello while I apply a protective coat of varnish to a painting I completed.  Often, I will sit on the couch and finish a sketch that has been swirling around in my head for a few days: my grey dog on the left and my black dog on the right, the cats looking down at us from the spiral stairs on which they are perched.  On the days I am up working at my easel my son is right next to me at his desk researching some new project he wants to learn about.  

Suzi Gablik’s book The Reenchantment of Art inspired me to break out of the studio and to find my art voice through my daily actions in the world. By consciously giving myself permission to connect art and life I no longer feel that art is over here and life is over there.  It is a seamless flow of doing, thinking, creating; an effort in making “right here and right now” more comfortable and beautiful so that later may be better too. 

I have added two new tabs in the gallery section.  One is called "Art Imitates Life."  This section honors my daily art practice of life on Chinkapin Hill.  The other tab is called "Socially Engaged Curatorial Practice."  I will post examples of the exhibits I curate, install, and enjoy.  

To see what is happening in my neck of the woods check out my blog. 

http://myappalachianhome.blogspot.com/