Daddy's Christmas Angel

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year, 2014, A Year of Focus

"Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Focus, they all say. Focus.

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!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Paintings of parks! Those will be beautiful.
Happy New Year, Mary!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thank you, Alex! I'm excited.

Sharon Himsl said...

Painting the National parks...what a fabulous goal for 2014. All the best!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Sounds like a wonderful plan! I look forward to seeing what you do! I'm sure it will be fabulous as always.

Marian Allen said...

I admire your talent and your ambition. What's more, I know you'll stick to your plan. I'm looking forward to enjoying the fruits of your labors. Happy 2014!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Sharon. I'm looking forward to starting, but first I have another project left over from last year to finish!

Karen, thank you. I keep going back to pastels. Am looking forward to getting started with them again.

Marian, thanks. I need to stick to it!!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Painting our national parks sounds like a wonderful idea.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Diane, I'm looking forward to it.

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Monty,

Happy New Year!

You style will certainly do our nations landscapes justice! You art is beautiful and you have very keen eye.

Looking forward to all you wonderful creations!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thank you, Michael. I appreciate your kind comments! Happy New Year to you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti .. it's good to be able to settle on one idea and follow through with your paintings .. recording memories of times past too - it'll be fun to see your artistic creations as they happen ..

Happy New Year - cheers 2014 Hilary