MIDDLE OF MAY 2014 – 2014 ART JOURNAL OF AN ARTIST LIVING BY THE SEA – This week was one filled with 8 San Diego Wild Fires & raging Santa Ana winds. It was 96 degrees at the coast, which is unheard of & broke records back to the 1950s. I put Chinese paper umbrellas over one of my shade plants to protect it from the blazing sun & drank iced peppermint tea to try to stay cool before the arrival of a portable air conditioner! It was just too hot to spend time at the beach & I only drove by to visit quickly. One afternoon was spent making greeting cards of a cute flower cart design. Lots of reading due to the heat. One day I stopped and took photos of Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus) flowers, which are blooming everywhere now & a lovely yard with a white picket fence & cascading roses caught my camera lens, too. This week I did paintings of cactus & desert wildflowers and one Goldfinch & Zinnia Japanese Etegami postcard.
One of the great advantages of my illustrated 2014 Art Journal is to count my blessings and to focus on the moments of beauty in my life. Art is a way to gratefulness for me.
The Goldfinch is a bird painted frequently in my Japanese brush painting class. I like these happy yellow birds with their little black “caps”. I painted this Japanese Etegami postcard a month ago.
Recently I read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, a novel for which she won the Pulitzer prize. Ms. Tartt’s novel is written around a 350 year old Dutch painting of a Goldfinch tethered by a chain. The theme of art being our salvation, our burden & our ruin runs through the main characters life. story. One of the quotes in the book is: “We have art in order not to die from the truth.” – Nietzsche This novel was well worth the time to read & now when I see or paint Goldfinch birds, this novel will come to mind. It is a haunting novel. A bit too much of the truth about life, but at the same time comforting to know the truth. The bottom line for me is that without my art, I am nothing.