Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Writing, Teaching, Language, Landscape, Life

Artists Among Us

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Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink, pastel from Reclaiming the Divine Feminine

I recently had an experience with an artist and her work which conveys the essence of an artist’s spirit, so powerfully demonstrated by each artist featured in this piece.  Tina Le Marque Denison and I, along with our friend, Kate Greenway, taught the course Reclaiming the Divine Feminine together at The College of Santa Fe a number of years ago. An interdisciplinary course, we each took the lead for our  area—Tina taught art, Kate taught content, and I taught creative writing. This separation was more theory than practice, as we wove the three areas together, with each of us moving from instructor to student fluidly throughout the course.

This experience of working with Tina and Kate with these ideas of art, writing, and myth was one of sheer magic. Throughout the course we made adobe, painted, created dolls, worked with pastels, wrote, delved deeper and deeper through readings, art, and writing into the ideas of the Divine Feminine.

Tina Le Marque Denison

Tina Le Marque Denison, Mujer de Nuevo Mejico

Life unfolded, as it does, in ways that saw The College of Santa Fe close and took Tina, Kate, and me in different directions through life and work, though always staying in touch. I walked into my friend Rachel’s house a few years ago and saw the above painting Mujer de Nuevo Mejico and was immediately drawn to her. I looked closer, I recognized Tina’s signature. “That’s my friend, Tina!” and I told Rachel all about Tina, her work, the magic of the course, and the power of Tina’s artist’s way of walking through the world. This piece had been found rolled up in a closet on campus somewhere, where it had been the previous years, before Rachel’s husband discovered her, with no idea of the history or artist.

A year later, Rachel showed up at our home, bearing this gift. “She needs to be with you, Dawn.” Mujer de Nuevo Mejico now hangs in our dining room, where I share coffee with her by candlelight each morning. I’d been thinking about Tina a lot recently and called her. Through the sheer busyness of life, Tina and I hadn’t talked for the past couple of years and I discovered life has taken unexpected turns and there are reasons why she was suddenly so present in my mind. I told her of Mujer de Nuevo Mejico‘s journey to my home. In light of the turns of the recent journey, she said, “Imagine her finding you, Dawn, after all these years and right now during this chapter in life.” And Tina gave the piece to me as a wedding gift, since I’d married since we last saw each other.

The journey of this piece, the connection that crosses time and space, and gift of the spirit illustrate the mystery and power of art. It is my great honor to share the beauty and words of each artist. It was a journey of awe and humility to compose this piece. From my heart,  thank you to each artists for bringing your unique beauty to our world.

Tina Le Marque Denison Tucson, Arizona   My lifelong focus as an artist has been to create work that is intensely personal.  My imagery comes out of my deepest self through my hands. Those are ancient aquifers that connect to the greater collective unconscious. I dive down inside, and dredge up symbols and memories that link many cultures, many times. I bring the old myths, stories, and icons back up to the surface and re-vision them for contemporary times. I make work about women, about our lives, about our struggles and our strength, about our extraordinary wisdom and our ways of knowing. I have been able to use my art and my position as a female artist as tools for social change for women. With this in mind, I am making my art more publicly visible.

There is an inner component to my work that delivers a wiggly sensation to a certain sensitized kind of viewer. This is not to say that those who do not feel the wiggly sensation are “less-than.” But there is something built into the work that is beneath the picture plane. When a Hopi makes a kachina that is meant for their family, the doll is imbued with a spirit. It is not a decorative object for sale to strangers. You have to be aware that there is a spirit residing in the doll. That is also the case with the work that I make. There is something residing within the work, and there are some people who feel that when they engage with the work. It is not their imagination.

Women have a spectacular genius for core expression. We know the realm of the subjective. It is our landscape. But subjective imagery is like childbirth. Not everyone can pull it off. Not everyone wants to watch. Art with undisguised emotional content can fail. It can apologize, whine, beg, or run away at the critical moment. However, when it succeeds it is altogether glorious, like shooting the rapids. It’s messy. It’s also juicy, slippery; moving, shimmering. The art I make is about life, death, and everything that happens in between. But mostly it’s about what happens under the surface.

Tina Le Marque Denison

Tina Le Marque Denison

Tash Terry and Elena Higgins, Indigie Femme, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Elena Higgins and Tash Terry, Indigie Femme

Elena Higgins and Tash Terry, Indigie Femme

Tash Terry — My music and writing is about life and all the twists and turns that go with it. Music comes to me through the spirit of spontaneity and if I am so blessed or prepared, depending on perspective, I will catch it on paper, or even “Quicktime” on my Iphone and have the ‘saved moment’ to work with when time and inspiration permits. I also believe in collaboration and have been very blessed to work with elena from New Zealand with our various lineages and backgrounds to merge the Northern and Southern Hemispheres through our music as Indigie Femme.

I think we have so much to learn from one another and if we can share it through music and other forms of the creative process then we have an opportunity and privilege to become a more compassionate world and there is more hope for peace and love on a global level.

Elena Higgins—  My art means EVERYTHING to me – the air that I breathe, the colors in the rainbow, life itself and all that it gives! Once believing in my voice and then the vision to share my gift on world wide stages, a message of love – self love to love others, the manifestations and holding these visions has been unfolding into realities!  I love the collaboration with Tash who is very creative and very talented. Our vision & messages in the music are similar! It is a blessing to walk, to believe and to manifest through sacred prayers!!

I love and have a profound respect and appreciation for ‘the arts’ because of the unlimited possibilities it provides through its creators! This helps me to continuously step up to my unknown realities as my personal, cultural, religious, educational, societal conditionings & ideals has caused great sufferings. This has been true because it goes against my vision and ‘what I think it should look like and what should happen!’ The essence of totally letting go and trusting relentless in the universe as it provides abundantly is what I am now seeing, through lots of practice! The exploration in getting here (to the USA) was worth it and I have to continuous stay tapped into source! I am grateful for all the lessons and all those who come into my life!
Without stepping up to my vision to do my art, I would never have experienced life changing incidences, including meeting wonderful people, and seeing incredible places which has bought great wisdom through presence. Therefore, ‘art/my art’ means EVERYTHING to me!
Indigie Femme

Indigie Femme

Jennifer Lyn King

Jennifer Lyn King

Jennifer Lyn KingPrague, Czech Republic  Art and photography for me are a natural extension of daily life, for the moments that take my breath away. Somewhere deep inside, I feel I must try to capture the glimmering moments of everyday beauty.

Painting and photography and writing spring from the need to express the light and the dark and the contrast between the two. It is through these mediums that I am most able to be who I am, and I am grateful for the chance, each time I sit down to create again. 

Jennifer Lyn King, Amalfi Coast

Jennifer Lyn King, Amalfi Coast

Delight Edgell

Delight Edgell

Delight Edgell, Cascabel, Arizona  The stroke in ’95 left me at home down the river and isolated from my passion for teaching Science. Designing the necklaces I would have to wear in my classroom. Eventually I presented them to potential customers which filled the need for intellectual stimulation, creative expression, and contact with people.

I could never have started the business without Pete’s willing support and am proud I can now include his interest in and artistic response to the beauty of science.

Delight Edgell

Delight Edgell, Solar System necklace

Stephanie Paterson

Stephanie Paterson

Stephanie Paterson, Turlock, California  Scrap quilting is a love and the process means the world to me.

The woman who taught me said, “I’m going to teach you a no rules approach to quilting.” It was and still is extremely liberating. I have taught others the way she taught me, to keep the gift going.

I like the way my heart, and mind, and hands are all working together when I am sewing.

I love the surprise of quilting. Since I never follow a pattern, I am always surprised by the final outcome.

In the same way writers collect quotations and observations and lived examples, I collect colored threads, and fat quarters, and broad sheets of soft cotton and flannel.

My quilts become markers of milestones—births, graduations, and marriages. Other times, they are offered as comfort. It’s hard not to feel joy staring at all the bright colors and threadwork.

Stephanie Paterson

Stephanie Paterson

I like Kaffee Fassett fabrics, and Balinese batiks, and the black Amish fabric which I use frequently for borders, framing each colored quilt square; I admire the bold, bright quilts of the women of Gee’s Bend and the story quilts of Faith Ringgold. Whenever I pick up a new art, I usually make a study of it. I inquire about what others have created and borrow inspiration from a lot of different streams.

“I could never do that,” my boyfriend says. He watches me as I work and sees the fabric everywhere. He sees the intricate process involved and that there are a lot of steps.

Select the fabric

Wash the fabric

Hang the fabric on the line to dry.

Iron the fabric.

Cut the fabric in strips.

Begin piecing.

Stephanie Paterson

Stephanie Paterson

Begin attaching the sashes (the long strips that connect the blocks)

Add binding

Pin the three layers

Quilt

Add trim

Hand sew the border…

He doesn’t see himself as having the patience needed for all these steps but I approach each aspect of quilting with an attitude of play, and because of this, everything about the process is a comfort, and a challenge, and makes me feel alive. When I am working on a quilt project, I am in my full strength.

Missy Urbaniak, Fairpoint, South Dakota  I am learning to spread my wings as an artist… and to be brave and share…even when it’s scary! I made this piece in December. It features a photo of my boys taken by me this fall. It’s one of those moments that all moms want to freeze in time.The artistic journey that I am on means more than words can describe.

Missy Urbaniak

Missy Urbaniak

Katharine Goeldner

Katharine Goeldner

Katharine Goeldner, Salzburg, Austria  My art is music – specifically singing. And even more specifically, opera. “Opera singer” is so much more than an occupation, I think for all of us singers. It’s an identity. For one thing, we carry our instruments within us – it’s there, 24/7, and affected by our emotions, stress, the environment (when I sing in Santa Fe, I have not one, but 2 humidifiers going constantly!), what we ate & drank yesterday…you get the picture. It’s no wonder most of us can get a bit crazy and paranoid about our health- just think, if we get a cold, we don’t sing and we don’t get paid. Hence the bulk-sized hand sanitizer! And when our voice doesn’t function correctly, it can cause an identity crisis. Our sense of Self is so wrapped up with the Voice that when something happens and it doesn’t feel or work right, it seems that we’ve suddenly lost a limb and we can become quite lost to ourselves.

Becoming a singer, being a singer, has shaped who I am, where I live and travel, and who my family is. I travel constantly, back and forth between the US and Europe, and by necessity leaving my family for long periods of time- like a month or two at a time. Which means I have missed out on much of my daughter’s childhood – and I have to deal with those regrets. On the other hand, my traveling lifestyle has helped shape my daughter into a curious, self-sufficient young woman who loves to travel to new places and try new things. There are always positives to justify the negatives, I guess.

For me, the best part of being a Singer, the fulfillment, is communication with the audience, taking them on an emotional journey, taking them out of themselves, out of their everyday lives, and helping them to experience, through music, the commonality of humanity – the fire of love and desire, the pain of deep suffering and loss, the humor and absolute joy of Life. Music adds a layer that speaks to our souls.

Katharine singinghttp://katharinegoeldner.com/audio/

Jean-Luc Salles

Jean-Luc Salles

Jean-Luc Salles, Santa Fe, New Mexico  What is it to be a chef?

Being a chef amounts to being an artist in its own right, as well as a philanthropist, an egotist, and of course a little bit of a masochist. As opposed to some professions that carry the burden of creating stress and pain among people, for example IRS inspector or parking enforcement, creating and preparing food that will make people smile and tap into their hedonistic side is a philanthropic mission because you confer your naked feelings and emotions into building dish with the sole purpose of pleasing someone. I approach the process of creation in cooking in the same way a painter or sculptor creates a work of art, finding inspiration in nature, in people, in everyday life and using the plate as my canvas. I seek to create food that will feed not just the body, but the soul and imagination.

Of course this process tends to lead to a certain trait of egotism. Chefs have a tendency to become self-centered and a little out of touch with reality. All the effort, the mental as well as the physical mean that pain, stress and frustration are very much part of being a chef. The constant search for perfection, for the next “the next chef d-oeuvre” can be an exhausting process.

Jean-Luc Salles

Jean-Luc Salles

Sheila Ortego McLaughlin and Shannon Schreiber  Santa Fe, New Mexico  Shannon is the jewelry designer in the family — I just collect/sell the piece-parts — though I’m now dabbling in learning how to make things — but she’s the real talent.  Shannon Schreiber, who I’ll be happy to claim as my daughter if you want to mention that too!
Shannon Schreiber

Shannon Schreiber

Evelyn Roper

Evelyn Roper

Evelyn Roper Almont, Colorado I suppose my art is reflective of how I draw meaning from our world. I hear and see so many astounding vibrancies, not always in the big way, although the vistas and views are hard to miss. I am so honored and grateful to get the experience of being alive that I wish to capture some of those moments in my art. Besides, it helps with long drives, long nights, cold days, difficult times as the sounds or colors reshape my attitude to abundance versus pity or defeat.

Evelyn Roper, Cowgirl Bliss

Evelyn Roper, Cowgirl Bliss

Bobbi Chukran

Bobbi Chukran

Bobbi Chukran, Taylor, Texas  My art has evolved and changed a lot over the years since I studied textile design in college.  For quite some time, I tried to force it into very realistic forms, but then I realized that what I’m all about is the texture, color and pattern.  My mixed-media paintings are constructed in multiple layers on heavy paper or exterior plywood, most of the time over some background of collaged papers, layers of paints and other texturizing materials.  I’ve recently started using hand-cut stencils and including letters and numerals in them, and scratching strange words and symbols into the wet paint.

I also work in the book arts, and my handmade books are a further evolution of that style, combining my writing with the painting/collage. It seems logical to me for my art to end up in book form, since I’m obsessed with books and have an extensive background in publishing, printmaking and work in commercial printshops. I can’t wait to see where that path leads me!
Bobbi Chukran

Bobbi Chukran

Caitlin Granger, Santa Fe, New Mexico  Photography has been apart of my life for eight years and quickly turned into my escape. It was what I could go to to get my frustrations out after a complicated day in high school. Now in college my work continues to grow as I have grown as a person. My journey with photography has gone all over the world from California to Spain and to Santa Fe. I’ve seen a new world through my lens and have found myself through it. I constantly push my limits as an artist and force myself out of my comfort zone. Out of my comfort zone and into worlds of color.
Caitlin Granger

Caitlin Granger

Kenna Rojdnan Sedona, Arizona  I have loved to bake for people since I was ten years old, with cakes being
 my favorite thing to bake. But, I don’t really like an ordinary cake. I like 
for my cakes to tell a story, so I decorate them according to the person I
am baking for and the story I’ve chosen to tell about them. This campfire
cake was created for a boy who was moving to Arizona from Washington DC and
had experienced his first campfire with us when he visited Arizona. He fell
 in love with campfires, so I thought it would be fun to give him a campfire
cake for his birthday, right after his family moved to Arizona. He loved it.

Cakes have become my way of expressing how I feel about someone. Each cake
is consciously created with an intention. With that intention in mind, I
intuitively tune into the person I am baking for, since I have done
intuitive work for many years, and I then infuse the cake with the essence
that I feel that person is needing or wanting. For instance, if they are
wanting more freedom in their life, I infuse it with the essence of freedom.
(I have my own special way of doing this…..) I call these special cakes
 Conscious Cakes. Each cake is a one of a kind work of art lovingly infused
 with a special message. By making cakes this way, I found a perfect way to
combine two of my talents, cake baking and sharing my insights.

Kenna Rodjnan

Kenna Rojdnan

Jennifer French, Santa Fe, New Mexico There are few other places where I am quite so content.  And there is no other place where I am quite so frustrated!

Jennifer French, Studio

Jennifer French, Studio

Kristin Little

Kristin Little

Kristin Little, Palo Alto, California  My journey with art has given me ways of connecting with people. Growing up I was extremely shy. I expressed myself through dance, which I practiced for countless hours, over many years. I was quite keyed in to body language and facial expressions, hyper aware of what people might be saying without words, probably hoping I wouldn’t need to use them myself. People I meet now would be shocked to hear that I was once so shy.

I have come to use art to connect with people. While photographing them, I get to see people truly face to face, helping them let down their guard. It means I get to see a vulnerable side of them, and hold their trust gently, with the ultimate goal of showing them how truly beautiful they are. This sort of true connection is what I have sought in my journey with art, and in life in general.

Kristin Little

Kristin Little

Debranne Dominguez, Tree of Life

Debranne Dominguez, Tree of Life

Debranne Dominguez, Santa Fe, New Mexico  

A long time ago I tried to change my signature. My signature looks like a flatline on an electrocardiogram and I would prefer it to have loops and flourishes. I have also tried to change my painting style. My paintings are figurative, primitive and can be visually dense with a symbolism that seems just the right amount to tell enough of the story that is trying to be told. All my paintings have a story because everything I see around me has a story to tell.

I went to art school to learn to paint with more sophistication, but my paintings still insisted on coming out the same. What may have been useful from art school is the rigorous weekly critiques that we had. After a while, one could become immune to criticism or could defend a works merits or concede that there may some logic to a critical interpretation. This process also had the side effect of making one not dependent  on praise or compliments. It was really freeing as it is easier to be true to yourself if you do not depend on the world to validate you as an artist. I still need to be validated on my  cooking and new haircuts.

The painting Cocina is about a time in my life when I became ill and was diagnosed with diabetes. I knew that I did not want to go on insulin and I remembered stories from my childhood where relatives who were diabetics had avoided taking insulin and been cured by eating nopalitos. I went to visit friends in Guadalajara for a couple months and found my cure in the kitchen of Senora Guzman. Senora Guzman told me that I wasn’t really sick, but eating the wrong food. I needed to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe and eat the food of my ancestors and I would find my cure. Cocina depicts Senora Guzman’s kitchen and the foods I ate. I became healthy again and stayed in good health when I adhered to Senora Guzman’s recommendations. Ten years later it was discovered that I had Celiacs Disease and ‘the food of my ancestors’ turns out to be gluten free.

Debranne Dominguez, Cocina

Debranne Dominguez, Cocina

Rebecca Farr, Santa Fe, New Mexico  I guess I would have to say that I have been creating since I was a child. I mostly made horses, but also have a weakness for the human figure, bones, and lately, birds. I used to draw. Then I made pastels. Then I painted in oils. Then I rediscovered the camera. I think I have always loved the camera, and have images that my father made of me when I was maybe five years old. I remember going into the darkroom with him and the smell of the chemicals and the safe closeness of the dark, the magic of the image appearing in the developer trays.When I was in college, I wrote to my parents and very calmly told them I had a deep desire to live on the streets of a large city and photograph everything and everybody I saw. I think they were more worried about me living on the streets than making images, and so I was dissuaded and sent to visit my great Aunt Mary in New York City. She was terribly indulgent and let me make images of everything, just stopping short of letting me stay out all night. I loved the experience and went back to school to study Psychology, my itch temporarily scratched.

Recently, I found myself behind a camera again. It’s not film, and I’m not sleeping on the streets of a large city. But the itch to capture a sliver of time or a certain mood or the way light illuminates even the most mundane thing like cobwebs in a window pane is ever present.I began the series of the crow with an intention. It was to be dark and brooding and ripe with innocent sexuality and coming of age. Haha! The images have morphed into something much lighter and less brooding, still ripe, but with raw and genuine beauty. It is about the relationship between human and animal, love and loss, life and death.
Rebecca Farr

Rebecca Farr

Ashley Biggers

Ashley Biggers

Ashley Biggers, Phoenix, Arizona

Photography reminds me how I want to move through my life. It leads me to notice the beauty—in line and form—of every day objects. My night photography process involves patience, a quality I don’t posses naturally. No matter how dark a scene may first appear, if I open the shutter, light will gradually shine through. 

Ashley Biggers

Ashley Biggers

Lisa Wink

Lisa Wink

Lisa Wink DeForest, Wisconsin My medium for artwork is frosting.  I decorate cakes, not for a living, but for the love of doing it.  The process usually begins with an idea or a picture and then I think to myself “how can I make it better?”  How can I turn something flat into something 3 dimensional?  Fondant and gum paste are much like play dough – you can mold it and sculpt into anything your mind can imagine.  My kitchen usually looks like a tornado ripped through it, but I love the calmness I feel when I’m decorating a cake or cupcake – it brings me peace, joy, and happiness.  The real joy comes when I see the faces of those I’ve created the cake for – no one wants to cut into it first!

Lisa Wink

Lisa Wink

Elias Pacheco

Elias Pacheco

Elias Pacheco Santa Fe, New Mexico  My name is Elias Pacheco and I am a 17 year old, fourth generation artist. I have been passionate about art since I was 2 years old. When I was 8 years old, I began showing my art work in the Annual Spanish Market. I have displayed and sold tin work, retablos, bultos, and carved wooden crosses. The retablo shown here brings in traditional elements such as natural gesso, pigments, and techniques, as well as the art that my grandfather does. My grandfather, Lawrence Pacheco, taught me to carve birds, which is a skill he learned from his father, Gene Pacheco. I have also done collaboration pieces with my mother, Alisa Montano. I have also done photography. 

Elias Pacheco

Elias Pacheco

Amy Sayers, "The time has come, the walrus said...."

Amy Sayers, “The time has come, the walrus said….”

Amy Sayers Santa Fe, New Mexico One day, while we were on a family holiday, my daughter who was ten at the time said: “Mom, I’m preparing for my diving spirit!” Immediately, I felt the metaphor in my life….I had just discovered a bag of dried up tubs of paint; watercolors that had belonged to my dad. All they needed to come alive was a little water. Just like my soul. It was time to dive deeply.

I grew up making art, as both my parents were enormously creative; my father being a master painter and illustrator. However, I never considered myself worthy of making the kind of art he made. But a few years back, cancer brought me to my knees. Having survived that dark journey, my soul begged for renewal. It was time to dive deeply and the watercolors took me there.

Dreams, images, lines of poetry started to come through. As I grow older and allow myself to pause, I can see the world through many skins. As the skins get pulled back a collage of dialogues and images appear.

In working with Venetian Plaster and pure pigment, color bleeds into white and images form that may be quite different from the original inspiration. the discovery is exhilarating and the layers are all visible under a veil of varnish.

Amy Sayers, New Dreams

Amy Sayers, New Dreams

Painting with pure pigment is alchemy, transformational in and of itself. I love how it can render a texture and feel of the old frescos. Something is hidden, and something is revealed – there is mystery there.

The paintings here are called: 1. “The time has come, the walrus said…” This painting was inspired by a dream I had of the original Alice in Wonderland – Alice Liddell. It was like looking back in the mirror and I later discovered we shared the same birthday. A piece of wonderland in me… 2. The angel piece also came from a dream in which I had all these baby chicks flying out of my chest. It is called New Dreams. The final painting is called Sacred Banquet and started out as a collage of lettered I had received from my father. I sit as his table always.

Amy Sayers

Amy Sayers, Sacred Banquet

Heather Cook

Heather Cook

Heather Cook Santa Fe, New Mexico  

Why do I tat?

I tat because my hands are itchy twitchy and I need to put them to good use.
I tat because it puts me in touch with the tradition of my mothers and grandmothers who have tatted for generations.
Because I wonder at how many beautiful things can come out of a simple ball of thread and bit of wood.
Because I have tried every other needle art and none of them sing to me the way a shuttle and thread do.
Because it is easy and portable and people in public places stop to talk to me and tell me how “my grandmother used to do that.”
Because it is a dying art and if even one of us tats we keep it alive.
Because it fills my house and my life with beautiful lace that makes my world beautiful.
Because it is a gift to me to be able to give tatted treasures to friends and family.
Why do I tat? I tat because I cannot do otherwise.
Heather Cook

Heather Cook

Ana Bessy Cassidy

Ana Bessy Cassidy

Ana Bessy Peralta Cassidy, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hola, My name is Ana Bessy and I sculpture in wax/clay and cast in bronze. I have been sculpturing since I was 11 years old. Every day after school I went to a pottery class in Boston where my teacher quickly notice how bored I became on just making cups and bowls on the wheel. Instead she took the role as my model and she taught me to sculpture,but through the years I’ve been influenced by many New Mexicans artist here in Santa Fe. Althought my biggest impact came from studying art at San Miguel de Allende The Instituto in Guanajuato, Mexico. There I discovered the beauty of a females body and the endless curves I so enoyed sculptuing, and turning into bronze. Gracias for taking your time to look into my life of art.

Ana Bessy Cassidy

Ana Bessy Cassidy

Yuriko Nishimura, photo by A. Emmonds

Yuriko Nishimura, photo by A. Emmonds

Yuriko NishimuraSanta Fe, New Mexico  

My stone carving is one of a kind and it is DURABLE. It’s going to be around for a while and it’s the antithesis of mass produced, industrial products that we are constantly bombarded with these days.

Stone also lifts up my heart. When I see its beautiful colors and patterns created by nature in the course of thousands of years or more, I am in awe. When I work with stone with my hands, I feel deeply connected to the earth and I imagine the incredible journey that a rock has taken to come to my possession.

Yuli Nishimura

Yuli Nishimura, Frog stone is green Connemara Marble from Ireland

Nicole White

Nicole White

Nicole White Tulsa, Oklahoma  I am interested in the everyday as much as the extraordinary. My efforts to depict the world we live in have intersected with an equal longing to depict an interior world of my own imaginings. I have made portraits of family members, diagrams of architectural elements, fragmented landscapes, and other things I won’t attempts to categorize.

Balancing the demands of work and family life with time in the studio is often brutal. When I look over what I have made since leaving art school, my progress seems microscopic. However, I commit myself to art simply because I have no other choice. Making images is my way of understanding my environment and myself. Hopefully, some clumsy reflection of this aspiration is manifest in my work.

Nicole White, Treehouse

Nicole White, Treehouse

Rod Hearn, Reno, Nevada   Ajax in Iraq has been one of the most difficult scripts I’ve ever put on stage with high school students.  The play asks a lot of young people who, for the most part, have very limited life experience, even though the war in Iraq has been a part of their consciousness for a long time.  While it’s been a tough one to produce, the play has also been in many ways just the right thing for my young actors to sink their teeth into, portraying real adults with significant life challenges, universal challenges.  Part of the beauty of this play is the parallet storylines between Ajax, a character from a Sophocles play, with a contemporary female soldier in Iraq.  The script is haunting, terrifying and, at times, beautiful.  This shot is from their final dress rehearsal yesterday, and this morning they will begin a series of six “teasers” for their peers, with opening night for the public tonight.

Rod Hearn

Rod Hearn

Diane Solomon, Loyal Companions

Diane Solomon, Loyal Companions

Diane Solomon, Santa Fe, New Mexico Dear Fellow Art Lovers ~ As a child, my pencil and sketchbook were my constant companions. I grew up drawing animals ~mostly horses. Then art was put aside as I married, had two children, raised Arabian horses and worked in the family-owned construction business.

A family tragedy and chronic illness left me bereft and disinterested in life. But at some point years later the emotional and physical pain began to lift. Once again I became aware of my treasures: my husband and daughter, my friends, my animals, and the incredible beauty of the world in which I lived. I picked up my paint brush… and began to see the world with new eyes.

I have discovered that I love deep, rich colors. That I must find the spirit of each subject I paint. I also know that animals are my

favorite subjects and that my greatest joy is watching their souls emerge through the window of their eyes.

Diane Solomon, Harry Potterpaws

Diane Solomon, Harry Potterpaws

My wish is that my paintings express the gratitude I have for life… that somehow you can hear my joy speaking through these lovingly rendered images. And may it remind you of the incredible world you inhabit!

Diane Solomon, Bandolero

Diane Solomon, Bandolero

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Author: dawnwink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores the beauty and tensions of language, culture, and place.

44 thoughts on “Artists Among Us

  1. Dawn, Thank you! I am honored to be included with such an amazing group of artists!

  2. Dawn, thank you for sharing these beautiful, varied artistic expressions. it is amazing to me how many people use art to heal, calm themselves, show happiness, express love, and create beauty for the rest of the world to revel in.

    • Mamawolfe, it was an amazing journey as artists work arrived and I read their expressions of what their art means to them. I was humbled and amazed again and again and again. Looking forward to those photos of your garden in full bloom. Patience… :-)

  3. Dawn, wonderful story & post! Also, I had no idea you have Kate Greenway as a friend, as I do — I’m in such great company to have friends such as you two!

  4. Wonderful THX Dawn! I am seeing Tash’s comment for the I rest time! Very interesting!!

    Thank you!

    Sent from elena’s iPad

    • elena, thank you so much for sharing your own vision and experience of art. I love that this was the first time you’d read Tash’s words! What a blessing you both are for us all. Thank you and thank you!

  5. Awww, I’m a droplet today! Great collection, Mica! I’m so butch, talking about a war play, too! xoxo!

  6. I enjoyed this immensely, Dawn -

  7. I am simply and deeply overcome with happy emotion after reading and looking at all this life – this art! Ah….soothes my soul. Thank you…

    • Sherry, this was my experience, as well, as the artists sent their work! Soothes the soul….oh, yes. I know this will be one where I go back and read the wisdom of these artists again and again.

  8. Dawn, I feel nearly overwhelmed (a good thing). The women, their passions and talent – so deeply moving, inspirational, motivational and , yes, soulful. I will read and look and immerse myself in this post many times. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    • Lindy, “…deeply moving, inspiration, motivational and, yes soulful.” You express my own experience exquisitely. I was again and again awed by the artists vision of the world and way of walking through life. I, too, will return to this post many times. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here.

  9. Lovely, Dawn. I enjoyed reading about each artist you’ve portrayed here, and I marvel at each of their creative minds to be the artist that they are.

    • I marvel at their creative minds, too, Alice. And, each so individual and authentic. What a gift for these artists to their their work and their visions. Thank you for taking the time to write!

  10. Dawn, thank you so much for sharing your page and all of these lovely artists! I love that piece Missy created. I think it was at my class in December. She has been such a joy to have at my classes and I always love to see what she makes. She is a kind and sweet spirited lady that I have been blessed to share the journey with. The connections that I make with women like Missy are one of my favorite blessings from sharing and teaching art.

    • Jodene, I just sensed somehow that your spirit would love. I loved what you wrote about getting to know women like Missy as one of the favorite blessings of teaching and sharing art. I share your gratitude in this being a favorite blessing in my own teaching and writing. What a gift. I love, love your art. I am hoping the stars align sometime, and I’ll be on the ranch and be able to take one of your workshops.

  11. All of them are so inspiring, individually and collectively. What strikes me in all of the pieces is the passion in the pieces themselves, but also in their words, their stories. Of course, I am partial to one particular artist. :-) Thank you, Dawn, for gathering inspiration for all of us.

    • Brenda, your particular artist and I had such fun planning this surprise for you! :-) And what an incredible artist! Her photography is just beautiful. It was such a privilege to experience the art and words of these artists. Their stories touched me deeply, as well, and what an honor to share. Love your blossoming artist!

  12. Dearest Dawn, You have done it again. You have gathered together beautiful stories and exquisite art that not only allow us to see the divine feminine at work but also to share in the creative process each artist has experienced. Thank you for providing this fantastic forum. With great admiration and affection, Liz

    • Dearest Liz, I, too, was so touched by the power, lyricism, and beauty of the artists’ stories and work. What a privilege to share these artists’ journeys. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and I am so thankful you enjoyed! Much love to you, Dawn

  13. Dawn,

    This is amazing. It is incredible how you bring us to know some of our students in a way that we would not otherwise.

    I just called Alisa and told her to have Elias bring the few pieces that he has left because I want to purchase one before he leaves for college. I know he will be famous one day and I want to have one of his beautiful pieces.

    Thanks for this wonderful BLOG!

    Audrey L. Lucero
    Program Specialist
    Teacher Education
    (505) 428-1687
    (505) 428-1611 fax
    audrey.lucero@sfcc.edu

    • Dear Audrey, I love sharing the journey of coming to know our students in entirely new ways with you. Aren’t they amazing? Oh, and I love that you called Alisa to purchase one of Elias’s pieces! Beautiful, wonderful! I’d love to see the piece that you purchase. Yes, Elias IS going to be famous one day! We’ll say we knew him when… Thank you for taking the time to write, dear Audrey. Much love, Dawn

  14. Thank you so much, Dawn! What an incredible bunch you’ve discovered!

    • Bobbi, This piece came about as I came to discover friends and readers were incredible artists. This happened over the course of months and the more I discovered, the more I wanted to share this beauty. Thus, this piece was born. The discovery of your art was an integral aspect of this journey. Thank you so much for sharing your own art and words of wisdom with us all. Hugs!

  15. Dawn, Delight is thrilled to be included in your wonderful blog. So much beauty in this world.

    • Dear Delight and Pete, Sharing Delight’s art has a special place in my heart grounded in our deep, deep Cascabel roots. I’m not finding words to express. It’s a heart-to-heart thing. One that I know our hearts hear and understand. Much love.

  16. Dear Dawn,

    Oh, sweet memories and a big hug !!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing “us” with the world…

    Be well, Kate

    • Dear Kate, What a pleasure to dip fully back into “us” and our experiences together. What an experience. One to treasure forever. Big hugs to you, too!!!!!!!!!!!! Love, Dawn

      • Dawn,

        You are weaving a tapestry of life & creativity with this beautiful blog —
        A work of art in itself. . . .
        Honoring the Divine Feminine in us All.

        Blessed Be,
        Kate

  17. Dear Kate,
    This means the world to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to express this. Your words and presence strengthen and inspire me.
    Much love and gratitude,
    Dawn

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  19. Wow, Dawn! This post and tribute turned out amazing! I’m a little late to the party, but I love what you’ve done to turn the lens back onto some incredible artists. Thank you for sharing, for the time you put into spreading the art created, and for your love for other creatives. You make the world a more beautiful place.

    • Dear Jennifer, Aren’t these artists and their stories amazing? I loved this experience. Thank you for sharing your own art and beauty in this piece! I now dream of going to the Amalfi Coast one day. I loved the glimpse into artist’s hearts in their journeys. I found reading the artist’s stories, and the human journeys that led them to their art, deeply inspiring. Thank you!

  20. Just love Debranne Dominguez’s paintings. Would love to own one! Where does she sell them?

  21. Dear Dawn, thank you for including me with such an illustrious group of women artists. I enjoyed the experience and their work very much. Thank you so much for your boundless energy and for incorporating so many interesting ‘things’ in your life!
    Diane

    • Dear Diane,
      Thank you for sharing the beauty of your art, spirit, and story with all of us. What a blessing! I am so very grateful that we’ve come into each other’s lives. Hugs!

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    is an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it
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    • Dear Watch Game of Thrones,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to write and am grateful that you’ll bookmark this page. I look forward to the shared journey.

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