Daddy's Christmas Angel

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Where Should Artists Promote Their Work? Only at Home?

Mary Montague Sikes in Cielo Bella Art Gallery with her meditation paintings
Recently, someone asked me why I had come all the way across the country to Sedona, Arizona to promote my art work. That is a really good question and it started me thinking. Weren't there plenty of venues in Virginia where I live?

Yes and no.

When I first visited Sedona in the early 1990s, I was both stunned and captivated by the scenery. No wonder so many of the old western movies used the Red Rock Country as a background. I loved the "feel" of the area. I enjoyed snapping photos--actually mostly 35 mm color slides at that time. I liked the New Age atmosphere all around me.

Over the years, we've returned many times. The Hotel El Tovar is part of my coffee table book, Hotels to Remember. Side stories and many photos in the book relate to Sedona and the area. I've taken art classes there, and I set my novel, Eagle Rising, in and around Sedona. What better place to visit and promote my art?

That's why I returned to Cielo Bella Art Gallery in the Village of Oak Creek to sign books and to talk about my new Master's Meditation Paintings and Soul Songs that accompany them. The gallery is also featuring my Giclee prints from Hotels to Remember, and I plan to ship some of the original paintings from the book for display there.

On this trip, it made me sad to know that the Grand Canyon National Park was closed. The El Tovar is located inside the park, so that historic edifice, along with many other famous tourist stops, is closed as well. I cannot imagine the disappointment of planning all year long for a special trip to the Canyon and being stopped by the antics of foolish politicians from visiting it. I wanted to go and sit along the edge, take more photos, sketch, and muse about my writing as well as imagine new paintings I would like to create.

The wonder of the Grand Canyon, the New Age essence, the vortexes hidden among the Red Rocks, and so much more beckon me to cross the country and show my art somewhere different where visions align with my own.

I love Virginia, but my breath catches as soon as the Red Rocks come into view. The artist and the writer within me are both torn. No wonder Mark Twain loved to travel.

(The art work behind me in the photograph is the work of other gallery artists. The art pieces on the table are paintings in progress from the Master's Meditation series.)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

People in Virginia probably wouldn't appreciate the desert scenes as much.
And yes, all those parks closed, all those people out of work... Did you know right now cockroaches have a higher rating than Congress?

Mary Montague Sikes said...

They should! Everyone of them should be voted out of office at the next possible moment!!!

Chuck said...

I would vote them out for sure!

Those paintings of yours are fantastic. It looks like a different style, encaustic maybe?

Sorry I have been away for so long. My wife decided she wants to wait until we get back from the Philippines next month to select a photo from that trip for you to paint. I haven't forgotten!

Too bad you missed the Grand Canyon this trip.

Julie Flanders said...

I visited Sedona some years ago and was stunned by the beauty of the place. I've always wanted to go back and haven't made it yet but someday I will. I love the West.

And I agree about voting out the politicians! This is a travesty.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thank you, Chuck. The paintings are mixed water media using the special Robert Doak watercolor pigments that he makes in his Brooklyn NY studio. They are on Yupo which gives them an even brighter look. Enjoy the Philippines visit. We've never been there.

Thanks, Julie, for visiting. The Sedona scenery has a completely different feel to it!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Such a beautiful and soul inspiring landscape.. it is sad that visitors will miss out its majesty.... So sad.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Yes, Michael. Thanks for visiting.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti - I can understand the draw .. I feel the same way when I see South Africa, or smell the earth when I'm there .. yet when I travel around this little England .. my heart resonates out at the different areas.

I agree I'd have been really upset to find my sightseeing once in a life time trip messed up ..

You obviously inspire people a great deal .. that's great to read and see with their art work spread out ..

Cheers Hilary