|"Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
I never do, but I know I must. Today, the first day of 2014, I stare through the large window of my cluttered writing office. The clutter is evidence of my lack of focus. Piles of photos and papers for various future writing projects stack up on either side of my eight-foot-long desk. I inherited this huge desk from my father who always kept it neat and uncluttered. He was not a writer. He was not an artist. People who are neither writers nor artists live less cluttered lives, I am convinced.
This year--this beautiful new year--I intend to focus on National Parks. I am intrigued by the National Parks System of our glorious and vast country. According to Wikipedia, the national park idea can be credited to an artist, George Catlin. That is amazing but certainly not surprising. This man traveled in the northern great plains of our nation during the year 1832, and he found most troubling the devastation he saw of the Indian tribes, the land, and the wildlife. Other artists, including Thomas Cole and Frederick Church, and authors, James Fenimore Cooper and Henry Thoreau, portrayed the west in a different, more romantic manner than as a challenge for settlers that was previously perceived. We can be thankful for the artists and writers who "march to the beat of a different drummer."
I plan to blog, hopefully one day a week, about National Parks. Thanks to the interests of our daughters, we have taken family trips to National Parks for several years. It began with a visit to Yellowstone and to the Grand Tetons in 2006. Last summer, we toured together a portion of Glacier National Park. We found that beautiful wilderness so vast we were unable to see it all in just one week. Hopefully, we will return there one day.
This year, I intend to focus on painting the parks, using my favorite media--pastels--to which I return again and again. Over the years, I have taken numerous photographs in the parks and will use those as resource materials for my paintings.
I also intend to continue my focus on the Master's Meditation series of paintings that I create for individuals along with poems uniquely directed to them. These works are made using mixed water media that include the intense Robert Doak watercolors as well as Golden acrylic paints and much more. As part of this focus, I will continue to investigate the world of encaustic painting. My love of texture, color, form, and psychic visions is combined in these experimental works.
This year of focus is one that will keep me busy, enthusiastic, and intrigued. I will post new art work as it is developed.
Happy New Year, 2014!