Sunday, June 24, 2012

An Art Adventure in DeLand, Florida!

I had a big day Friday! My husband and I were lucky enough to participate in the West Volusia County Explorers program. Basically, you let the tourism office know you are interested, and they call you up and set up the Where, When, and What you will be exploring. Wouldn't you know it, we were fortunate enough to be heading to the Museum of Florida Art, right here in DeLand! Picasso, Girl before a Mirror c. 1932
Though we moved to DeLand back in November, we had yet to visit the museum. It's awesome, so if you are in the area it's a must visit. It might be small compared to other places, but there's still some beautiful and intriguing art to be seen. On exhibit was the original piece, Iconoclass by New Smyrna Beach artist Harold Garde. The piece is an imposing  8' x 24' acrylic mural on Masonite and covered much of the far wall in the first downstairs gallery. The style reminded me some what of one of my favorite Picasso paintings, Girl Before a Mirror. As we learned from the film playing, the mural was adapted to be part of the brand new sign the museum just added to their facade. Turns out a lot of people didn't notice the museum and thought it was part of the Stetson University campus. The sign is beautiful, so now the world driving by should know there's art waiting inside! The museum asks that you not take pictures, so you'll just have to stop by and see the mural in person to appreciate it.

I really enjoyed the other gallery's offerings as well. I'd never heard of Strappo before, so I assumed it was the artist's name. Not so! According to the Museum of Florida Art, Strappo is a combination of painting and printmaking utilizing the plastic nature of acrylic paint to produce a monotype. Harold Garde was also the main artist in this exhibit, in addition to other local artists in a juried exhibit using the same technique. First, the artist paints in layers on the surface of clean glass, then the dry layers are pulled away from the glass as one piece. It was pretty cool to watch the film as Garde demonstrated his process. I'm a fool for watching other artists work. You always learn something new! Now I've added Strappo to my list of things to try.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Museum of Florida Art. I couldn't believe we hadn't gone for a visit sooner! After our art date, the hubby and I decided to take a little stroll in downtown DeLand. Right across from the tourism office is the Volusia County Courthouse and Chess Park.
DeLand has a lot of beautiful old architecture to enjoy! This is the view of the courthouse from Chess Park.
Beautiful Chess Park in Historic Downtown DeLand, Florida.
 There wasn't any chess playing going on during our visit due to the off and on rain showers, but it was a beautiful spot to enjoy a short stroll with my sweetheart. And they had public bathrooms. That helps.
The beautiful wall fountain of Chess Park in DeLand, FL.
The showers chased us back to the car, but I'm glad we explored another little corner of our new hometown.  There's a great art community and loads to do and see here in DeLand.  I'm pretty glad we landed here!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On Following Your Bliss...

It's been a long time since I could say I was truly following my bliss. I think we all have that problem, especially as adults. We tend to lose our wild abandon and courage to follow our dreams as we grow; that's definitely something I have been guilty of doing for a while now. Well, no more! Change is afoot here in my little Florida apartment. I decided to jump and trust that my wings would show up. Since today is really the first part of that jump, I can't say I see my wings yet...but I think I feel them unfolding!

Best. Feeling. Ever.
Today was the first day in nearly a year that I got out my canvas and papers and got paint under my finger nails. It was pure bliss! There's nothing quite like splashing color, tearing paper, and doodling designs. It'd been so long, I was afraid I'd feel weird or not be able to get to what I felt needed to spill out onto the table. Turns out, creating is kind of like riding a bike. It might feel wobbly at first, but once you have it, you can't ever really lose it.
"Bliss" has meant a lot of different things to me in my life, but I now know that pure bliss is being right where you are supposed to be, present and experiencing your path in the moment. My path was wooded and overgrown for a while, but I reached a fork in the road and took Robert Frost's words to heart. I took the road less traveled. I followed my heart, and my art. I dug deep and found the courage to open a shop, but more importantly, to open up and truly find myself again through creating.

Pumpkin loves helping me paint!

I am blessed beyond belief to have a wonderfully supportive cheerleader in my husband, Rob. We talked for months and months about which road for me to choose, but in the end he supported my decision to walk away from my part time job to follow my art...where ever it may lead. That choice, coupled with his unfailing faith in me, has made me feel light as a feather today. I wish I could share that feeling with the whole planet! Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that quite yet. I did at least share it with my trusted muse a bit today, since Rob was at work. My babies (I have three!) are never far and always love seeing what I'm up to.
I felt super inspired today. My whole body was vibrating; I just I couldn't stop smiling. I guess that feeling came out! I'm excited about my new journey. I'm making a promise to myself to follow my own unique bliss and to trust myself, my path...and my brand new wings.