Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Spring/Summer 2020

Transparent @ Kathryn Markel Fine Arts NY
Power and Fragility @ Walker Fine Art Denver

During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hard to grasp the entire world is affected and foresee what deep impact it is still about to have on all of us.
One thing is for certain; the way we perceive our life and our world is changing dramatically, and we are all shaken to our core.

As an artist, my practice is now complicated by the lack of studio time, as my once standard working hours are now exchanged with time taking care of my kids. Simultaneously, my need to create is more heightened, my want to express and react to this new state is full of urgency.
And while it is challenging to carve out uninterrupted moments to work, I am grateful for being still healthy, for my family being healthy, for being in this together.

 I am thrilled to have my work right now included in two concurrent exhibitions. 
 "Power and Fragility", at Walker Fine Arts, and "Transparent" at Markel Fine Arts.

In "Power and Fragility" I am showing my new series on wooden panels, titled "Migration", a series I started late last year after I officially became a US citizen.

                                     Above: Migration series, mixed media on wood panels, 24"x36", 2020*, available through Walker Fine Arts.
Here is the link to a short video about my work in this exhibition.

"Power and Fragility" opens for viewing at Walker Fine Art gallery both this Friday, May 22, 2020, 3-8 pm, and Saturday, May 23, 2020, 11-5 pm. There is an online sign-up for 20-minute viewing sessions through Signupgenius.com  LIVE virtual tours will also be broadcasted on Walker Fine Art Facebook and Instagram pages at 3 pm, 5 pm and 7 pm on May 22nd.

"Transparent", is Markel Fine Arts' online exclusive exhibition that can be viewed both on the gallery website as well as Artsy now through June 27th. All work is for sale directly through the gallery website and Artsy. A new feature on the Markel Fine Arts website is "view on a wall" which brings the artwork scale in space closer to the viewer.
I believe art has the power to comfort and heal, and I hope my work brings solace to those who feel the connection with it, aesthetically and emotionally.

Above: New series Flow/Earth, 22"x30", watercolor on paper, now available @ Kathryn Markel Fine Arts *

Sunday, May 10, 2020

My mom is my inspiration
When I was a little girl, my mom was a high school math teacher. I had a nanny, teta Gita, who would come every morning, pick me up and I would spend the day at her house. I remember in the evenings the sound of my mom's car, driving over the gravel road and approaching my nanny's house. It was the most exhilarating feeling. I loved my nanny to pieces, and I never missed my mom during the day. I played on the street in front of my nanny's house with neighbors' kids. But when my mom would come to pick me up I was simply overjoyed.
In the evenings at home, my mom would play the piano, lots of Chopin, and I would dance behind her. I loved dancing but back then I thought "her music" was too melancholy and sad. But since I grew up on Chopin - his music became a part of me. I have the gift now of always having my mom with me when I hear Chopin. That is, if it is played well ;-) If there's too much technique and not enough soul involved, I simply can't bear it. My mom is one of those overly sensitive people who feel everything, and she is guilty of all my sensitivities, irritabilities, and just like her, of feeling too much in general. But I would never trade it for any other version of living. 

I still talk with my mom every single day, continents apart, and especially now, during the COVID-19 when she is in a full quarantine in a retirement home in Croatia, I cherish every minute of our conversations. I take a walk and talk with my mom. We talk about colors, how yellow and red together make the worst match, I tell her about my new series of paintings, we discuss different textures of watercolor paper, the ones that are smooth, the ones that are rough, more cream-colored or the crisp white... I describe the flowers that are in bloom here now and that I see around me while I am walking, and the birds that are chirping. When I notice someone walking a few steps behind me, even though there is almost not a living soul on the streets, she can feel my irritability and starts "hearing" the footsteps of the "oblivious intruder that is not sensitive enough to cross the street or make a turn, for goodness sake"! Then we laugh together at our ridiculous sensitivity. 
There's an anecdotal story from my mom's childhood: One time, just before the storm, my mom was in the yard with her mother and her mother's friend who came over. A hen and her little chicks got excited and chirped after a loud thunder. The chicks seemed frightened and my mom started to cry, feeling for the poor chicks. Her mother's friend who saw my mom crying over the chicks who were unharmed exclaimed: "That child is not fit for life!". I know that comment might sound very harsh nowadays, but this was just after WW2 and it was no time to be sensitive. Yet she was and still is.
I am so grateful for my mom ALWAYS being sensitive, and funny, and so very happy, and so very sad, for feeling everything, and feeling too much, and for being so so kind, and most of all - for being the best mom in the whole world to me and my sister!
Happy Mother's Day, mama!