Monday, November 21, 2016

How working in a series feeds my new big dream

Detail of American Elm in the From Just a Seed series, Acrylic, ©Lynn Goldstein

When I first began making art, I couldn't understand why anyone would want to work in a series. I mean, goodness, there are so many things to be interested in and to paint. I had a lightbulb moment when working on my Reaching series years ago. I realized that when working in a series,  I really got the opportunity to grow while studying something that truly interests me. This is one of the reasons that I have begun painting the series From Just a Seed. That's not the only reason, though.

For years I was concerned that making art was a narcissistic pursuit. Well, I got over THAT!

However, I still dream that my art can do more than it does. I can do more than I do to make this world a better place. So, my goal with From Just a Seed is to help focus attention on the importance of the environment and trees. To fulfill that ambition, I am looking to work with an environmental non-profit. What I envision doing is having an exhibition with the organization where part of the proceeds of the sale of my work would be donated to that organization.

This is a big dream to me, and it spurs me on as I continue my series. Six paintings completed with more to come!

If you know of an environmental non-profit that sounds like a good fit, let me know in the comments below, or check out my website and just hit "contact me". To do that, click here.  

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's ALL in the Journey

Working on my most recent series of paintings, I am finding that the research is as much fun as the painting process. Traveling to find historic and amazing trees has yielded some surprises. Last Tuesday was a perfect example.

Getting out the door in the morning to drive south to Fredericksburg, Virginia would not normally be on my list of things to do,. That said, I wanted to see the Virginia Champion Yellowwood tree at Kenmore Plantation, and the weather was just about perfect for a visit. Traffic was heavy, but moving on Interstate 95, and I made it to Fredericksburg just in time for the site to open for visitors. 

A well-dressed woman greeted me upon my arrival. I am sure that she thought that I was there to visit the home, but the grounds were of more interest to me during this trip. I asked her if she could direct me to the Yellowwood tree. She looked puzzled, but pointed out some men not too far away, indicating that they could help me. These men seemed to know exactly what I was looking for and directed me to... wait for it... a SAPLING! My disappointment was palpable. I had driven over an hour and the tree was gone. Turns out that the Champ had died a few years ago, and the sapling was a replacement. This is where the story takes a positive turn.

The Yellowwood tree at Kenmore Plantation

A cutting of a branch of the Champion Yellowwood tree. sigh. 

As a result of the death of the Champion tree, I asked if there were other historic trees on the property. That was when I was introduced to the Director of Gardens and Historic Landscapes there. She spent over an hour with me showing me some outstanding specimens. Here's the kicker. If the Yellowwood had been alive, I would have taken pictures and hi-tailed it out of there. Sometimes things that appear to be negative can yield great rewards. 

Here is a picture of the Southern Red Oak at Kenmore Plantation. This beauty will figure into my upcoming work to be sure.

Southern Red Oak at Kenmore Plantation