This past weekend my husband and I visited the seaport town of Stavern, which is just south of where we live in Norway. Stavern is a seaport town with a beautiful harbour area that has a certain 'old world' charm to it. The port is quite active in summer with hundreds of sailboats and pleasure crafts coming and going on a daily basis. The population doubles or more during the summer months and seems to be buzzing with activity.
We took a long stroll around and visited as many galleries and exhibitions as possible. Stavern is a bit of an artistic hub and has become known for hosting a variety of different types of exhibitions by local and international artists.
I love visiting galleries because I learn so much, especially if the artist exhibiting artist is there onsite. I always take the opportunity to say hello and talk to them about their work. What most people don't realize (I think) is that the majority of artists actually like being asked about their work i.e. what inspires them, why they paint what they do, how they achieve certain techniques and textures; etc. The stereotype of artists being dark, aloof, and tormented is simply just not true. Every artist has a story to share.
In the picture below, artist Fritz H. Nyegaard is actually explaining to a family about how he works. He even let the little boy apply some paint to the current canvas he's working on.
Artists for the most part work privately. Of course collaborations take place, but most of an artist's work is done alone in solitude. So when they exhibit, they take the step to share their innermost musings with the world. It's a brave step to expose what has been kept private up to this point, but it is also exciting to share thoughts, musings, and inspirations that have resulted in the birth of a creative expression.
Artists are inspired by so many different things. There are no rules with inspiration or creativity. Inspiration can come in the flash of a moment seemingly out of thin air, or in the fleeting dissolution of a distant memories; in the scent of freshly laundered clothes just taken off the line, or the pungent scent of fat and vinegar when you pass a chip truck. Inspiration can come from any or none of these. Sometimes even the artist themselves do not know exactly where their inspiration comes from, and that's okay. What they do know though is the feeling they have about it, or the feeling it has given them. In this sense, it really doesn't matter what triggered the work. That mystery in and of itself is a story worth sharing.
When you visit exhibitions do you take the time to speak with the artist?
A lot of people don't because they either don't want to 'bother' the artist or don't want to ask a silly question. Trust me, you are not bothering the artist and are there are no silly questions. Artists want to talk about their work. They want to share their story. After all, that is one of the driving forces behind creating something to begin with.
When someone creates something - either for public or private consumption, there is a story behind it. Something has compelled the person to make it. Maybe it's a craft your mother or grandmother taught you, or a skill you were called to learn. When someone creates something, there is an inner voice that wants to be expressed through them. It is THAT story that I want to hear when I speak to a creator. It is THAT (or their reason) for being a maker that I am seeking as the viewer. The art can be anything from a knitting pattern, to a recipe, to a painting or a song; etc.
I am a maker of things and I am about to embark on a new journey of sharing my art and my story publicly.
In putting together the "Song Series", I have questioned myself many times about what is inspiring me or compelling me to do this show. In fact, for each song and for each painting, I have deeply examined how and why I created them, and I'm excited to share that with my audiences.
Already, even before I perform the show, it has been a journey worth taking. I have learned so much about myself, about where I have been and about where I hope to go in life. It is this story that I want to share. In doing so, I hope that it will hold meaning for someone else's life as well.
So now you know.........if you come to a show, you know that I want and expect you to ask me questions about my songs, my paintings, and my stories. :-)
Ticket sales are ramping up, so contact me now to make sure you get a seat for your preferred date and venue. FYI.... house concerts are open to the public as well.
Newfoundland Show Dates
Limited tickets available for each venue. Prices vary.
Sat., Aug 18 - Community Centre - Long Harbour Mount Arlington (8:00-11pm) Tickets only available at the door for this show
Fri., Aug 24 - House Concert - 11 Burin St., St. John's (7:30-10:30pm)
Sat., Aug 25 - Leaside Manor - Topsail Rd., St. John's (8:00-11pm)
Tues., Aug 28 - Edge of the Avalon Inn - Trepassey (8:00-11pm)
Thurs., Sept 6 - House Concert - 9 Cornwall Ave., St. John's (7:30-10:30pm)
Fri., Sept 7 - Arts & Culture Centre Art Gallery Space, St. John's (7-10pm)
Sat., Sept 8 - Arts & Culture Centre Art Gallery Space, St. John's (2-5pm)