For my day 28th painting I was in a very quiet mood. I was prepared to sit and meditate in paint. This imaginary landscape emerged when I approached an old wet-into-wet experiment with an attitude of idle play. The place seems strangely familiar to me so it must combine elements of places I really know or would like to know. What lives in that cave anyway?
Nikki’s 28th painting is significant in that in painting it she is grappling with a dilemma common to people who, as she described “are native but don’t look native.”
The painting was a reflection growing from a recent Powwow she attended. Nikki feels like her native blood needed to be allowed its expression, but her white looks often cause her to feel like she doesn’t have permission to use certain symbols, even if they are in the public domain. This is an extremely personal struggle that grows out of Nikki’s respect for native culture and her distress when its exploited. In this painting Nikki recognizes that her ancestors accept her and she declares that she accepts her native blood and experiences too. Thank you Nikki.
Today is a wonderful day for me of seeing old friends and meeting new ones at one of my favorite places in the world. Bjorklunden, in Baileys Harbor Door County is the northern campus of Lawrence University where I was on the art faculty for a decade. I started teaching a summer watercolor workshop at Bjorklunden in 1997 and have continued to teach it each summer since even after leaving the Lawrence faculty to accept a position with the University of Wisconsin System Adminitration in Madison. This will be my 15th summer teaching “Watercolor the Expressive Medium.” Given the great enrollments in this workshop we’ve added a second seminar September 18-23, “Watercolor: a Fresh Start.” It is such a gift to have the privilege of being a part of this magical place.
Some of you may have noticed that in my rush to get out this post I credited Nikki with both paintings. Oops! Corrected!
Thank you allowing us to share our creative thinking with you.
My daily works for this project available for sale online in my Meylah shop here: http://meylah.com/HelenKlebesadel I post them each day after they are posted in the blog.