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N S Davis Art Website
Nathalie Davis web site
Here is another untitled painting from my recent work. It’s acrylic and 24” x 48”
I consider it nearly done – not quite!
Sometimes there is just no explaining life. So I have had a big swerve in my art work and now a sudden life altering crash in my life – which I am certain will ultimately cause another different kind of swerve in my artwork again. I expect all of this to be incredibly good news and good stuff. In a nutshell, I ended up having emergency surgery, spent several days and nights in the hospital, and am home now doing fine, thank you.
I may ramble on a bit here – so fair warning – you might want to hit your delete button right now, but this has been one amazing journey. Don’t worry – I am not going into all the gory details. Talking about “meds” and “procedures” and medical stuff just makes me want to find a gun and shoot one of us in the head! However, I am astounded nearly daily at the revelations I have been getting, and they bear recording I think. So here comes a bit of personal journaling.
Things I understand now that I didn’t fully understand before:
1) A new appreciation for pain and what it can do to you. I am no stranger to pain, and I have a high tolerance for it. I have been scalded with boiling water, set on fire, in a number of motorcycle and car wrecks, have had numerous concussions, have debilitating migraines, broken a few bones, and have had babies. I have never experienced any pain like this.
2) Why hospitals don’t leave surgical tools laying around. Had I been able to gain access I would l have started trying to cut my own pain out.
3) How someone could be driven to chew their own limb off. I get it now.
4) How creative people can easily get hooked on drugs. I’m not much of an “altered consciousness” fan. Not much of a drinker, dislike drugs, I like life straight and clear. Besides, my body doesn’t react in typical or normal ways to stuff. They had a very difficult time finding the right concoction of pain meds for me in the hospital. There was a period of time where it seemed like every 10-15 minutes they were pumping me full of morphine and something that sounds like “diluted” and other chemicals that I have no clue what was – but it created a window of time – a creative encounter of sorts - where I personally solved all the creative problems of the Universe! I did! It was genius! It was delightful and fun and I felt like I was completely clearheaded! I could not wait to get to my sketchbook to record all of these incredible ideas and paintings and sculptures - and there was something about floating through the sky in a rowboat that was awesome! And no, I don’t remember a thing about all of it now – and that is sad. Very sad, for me and the world – as I really did have genius ideas, concepts and solutions. I now have a little bit of a desire to recreate that experience – so I can see where chemistry and artistry may want to encounter each other…and how creative people may partake in that encounter.
Like I said - I have no interest in or tolerance for medical stuff, illnesses, medicines and am not a lovey-dovey, touchy-feely, nurturing, compassionate person. While my family knows without a doubt that I love them and would do absolutely anything for them – they would without hesitation agree with the above statement. If you need comfort and compassion – go to Dad. If you need raw truth and a kick in the a** – call Mom. Just the way it is. While I HOPE that this recent experience will soften me around the edges, and that I will become a more compassionate person, I’m not holding my breath. But I do understand a few things a little better now.
More revelations next time.
24” x 48”
So the other artists in my mentor group suggested I get angry – and I did! Angry at myself, and began going places that have been barricaded for decades, and this is what is coming out.
I don’t think I will say too much about them just yet.
This is supposed to be an acrylic under painting – to be finished in oils, however at my reception last Saturday I got so much positive feedback that I am reconsidering. I may just leave this as is and do another in oil. Once again – it’s an iPhone pic.
More to come…
Here is the latest painting. It is a iPhone photo and a really bad one at that. Again in the 18” x 24” range. It is currently untitled and I am not sure it is finished. I had words in the background which got lost and I may put them back in. Not sure. This one may have to simmer for a bit.
Today is going to be sort of a day off for me – I am exhausted, for no good reason, I can feel that virus trying to come back, I have some follow-up doctor appointments from my E.R. trip the other morning, still need to find a plumber for the kitchen, Rick and I had a little tiff and he really hurt my feelings (that NEVER happens) – and I can feel stress in general trying to bash my door in. Years ago I had a doctor suggest that I may have fibro-myalgia. I completely rejected that idea, I didn’t even believe that was a real thing. Now I am beginning to wonder…nah. Well…?
I just completed reading a blog written by a friend HERE where she wrote about her entire life – one year at a time, starting at zero. It was fascinating to me. She seems to have had such a wonderful, wholesome, balanced, healthy NORMAL life. She has fun, good, warm and loving memories from almost every year of her life. Even her trials seem so – manageable and well, normal. Can this be real? Do people really have lives like this?
I have toyed with writing my memories – or an autobiography many times, but I wouldn’t do it until everybody I knew was dead, so I will probably be dead then too. That won’t work. Maybe writing under a pen name… Maybe writing as she did would be a good exercise. It would be a good exercise to try to find at least one fun or warm or “normal” memory for each year – there are many I am sure, but that would be a really big challenge for a lot of years. Hmmmm….
11” x 14”
oil on canvas
Moth and Rust
24” x 36”
oil on canvas
18” x 24”
oil on canvas
I have a couple more laid out on canvasses, and a bunch in the sketching, planning stages. I am eager to get going on them if my body will just cooperate. Seems like it is fighting me every step of the way lately.
Well, I am so proud to say that Rick’s company – Arbor Scientia – won the Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award last night – in the medium sized business category. Actually it was a tie with another company – but they announced Arbor first and I was so excited for him I didn’t pay attention to the other one.
Yay Rick – I am very proud of you!
Toward the end of January I bought a roll of paper and started a timeline for my art. I have a studio space at home and also a studio I rent in Escondido – so I have one of these in each studio – and they are both different, but similar. They are each close to 6 feet long with about 1 foot per month – so they run through June.
I usually have goals, and they usually get lost and/or forgotten Not these, and I am learning a lot from doing this. In January, I wrote down lofty goals and plans – and I mean lofty! How I would like things to go in a perfect world. I needed a place to start, and while they were really big goals, “You gotta start somewhere” and “if you don’t shoot for the stars you won’t even hit the moon” – you know, stuff like that.
Well, I did not meet my goals for January. None of them. I told my mentors I would complete 7 finished still life paintings and also 7 “my choice” paintings – total of 14 paintings. I knew it was a lot when I said it, but….I really thought I could do it. I didn’t.
I have been SO bothered by this it is – (was) - bordering on crazy. I talked to my husband about it and neither of us could remember a time that I did not do what I said I would do. It is an integrity issue for me. Say what you mean, mean what you say - and if your say you are going to do something – then do it! No excuses. I have been running through shame and embarrassment and anger and disappointment – you name it!
But I have reframed it and worked through it – mostly. I still have my moments.
So here is what I am learning from my studio walls:
This would not have been a problem if I were doing my little daily paintings. It’s a big problem doing bigger painting. They take longer – duh! Didn’t think of that. I learned I really do want to work larger – and I need to calculate my time differently now.
Yes, I could have cranked out 14 paintings in spite of all of the various set backs I had this month – but they would be mediocre at best. I learned that quality really is more important to me than quantity. More important than fulfilling a commitment even.
This mentorship program ultimately is centered on LEARNING – and that is what I am doing. I learned a few limitations and how to handle things differently, better.
I learned I need to factor in “ramp up” time. I used up a lot of my time looking for materials and trying to get the lighting right, etc. I finally kind of gave up because I had to get to producing some work – I will continue working on learning the technical aspects – like lighting and looking for props.
I learned it is good to have my goals posted in front of me – no matter how ridiculous they seem – it is easy to cross stuff off and correct them as I go and that somehow feels really good. It feels alive and flexible – like it’s not necessarily cast in concrete – more like clay.
I learned that I need to do a better job taking care of myself physically. Pushing myself to go to the studio and try to create when my body is screaming to go lay down is not only is a bad idea – but it actually set me back about 3 days work. I messed up everything I touched, had a miserable time, and then had the task of trying to correct it all.
I am reminded that I am an eternal being – I am not in a hurry. Relax, it’s not a race. Breathe. Be kind to myself. I forget that stuff.
Most importantly - I learned to “not let my mouth write checks that my a** can’t cash”
Yep – it’s all about learnin’ isn’t it?
I just viewed a lovely little short video that is actually nominated for an award. It’s based on a children's story – The Lost Thing
To view it go here:
I think you will enjoy it – I sure did.
We went car shopping today. Rick just touched the latch on the back window of this Honda Pilot and the window absolutely exploded! Rick got a few little glass slivers in his hand – but he was uninjured. We were just shocked and it scared us a bit – it sounded quite loud – just like an explosion would.
Never have seen this happen before – it was a shocker – that’s for sure.
I just love my studio. I love going there and being there and painting there. It is wonderful! I still have a lot of moving in to do. I have a brand new easel in the garage that needs to be assembled. Rick bought it for me from ASW – that is a story that is still developing. It doesn’t have any assembly instructions and it came kind of beat up and shop worn looking. So far they haven’t returned any of his phone calls to their customer service number and haven’t responded to his emails either. I am eager to use the easel – the little light weight aluminum one I am using is OK, but it hops around a bit. Anyway - I toned a bunch of canvasses – so I am ready to go!
I started this today – it’s about 16 x 20 I think. A work in progress about listening to lies, part of the Spiritual Warfare series -
Here’s a bit of a detail - well as much detail as an iPhone will give me. It still has quite a ways to go and who knows how it will evolve.
Here is a view from the hall way getting ready to walk in. And this is from the other end looking out. It’s about 9’ x 17’ – sort of long and narrow, but I have a window and good light – and you’d think that I have a closet. I do, sort of. It is only about 10” deep and houses circuit breakers and stuff. I am on the hunt for a narrow set of shelves to put in there, and I can stack some of my canvasses in there. Today I worked on a black and white value study for my painting class (still in progress – I will maybe finish it tomorrow) – then did a an invented color head – just for fun. After about 4 hours I had to go move my car – I walked out of my studio into the most beautiful day – and the Farmers Market! How delightful and wonderful it was to stroll thru the market, get a tasty beef kabob for lunch and a bag of grapefruit for breakfast. What a delightfully wonderful day!
11” x 14”
Acrylic on Canvas
Another iPhone pic. I guess I don’t have much to say today. I am feeling very tired. I have not slept very well for the past few nights, and don’t feel like I had a very successsful week in the studio this week at all. Lots of thinking. I leave tomorrow to go to a NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programing) workshop for the weekend and I think just knowing that I have this event coming up has sucked the energy out of me. The good thing is that this will pass – it is just a part of the process. I’m going to go take a nap now :-)