Loretta

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The elevator repair has gone on a tad longer than expected.  Wendy Lees and her band of creatives from create! at the Golden Age Club, have spent some time relocated to another space while renovations and such were taking place, but…now, back at home in the Golden Age Venue, the elevator is still not fixed.  “Soon”, everyone hopes.

Sometimes when I read what people struggle with or what they take issue with, I have a tricky time feeling empathy.  Sometimes we are each ‘devastated’ by such benign issues and so in order to withhold judgment of ourselves and the other, it is important to consider each issue as it relates to current conditions/variables.  An example: We can celebrate that Target closing down can be a problem for someone because this means…their health is good…they live in a warm home…they have the food and water they require and they likely have family and friends for company and support.  They ALSO have the cash in their pockets to go shopping.  But let’s simply look at the very first…GOOD HEALTH.

Loretta told me that she didn’t mind me telling her story. I explained that she’s just so inspired me this week, that I wanted to try to capture that inspiration in a post!  Loretta is a woman who has such a positive attitude about her life and is willing to do almost anything in order to express her creativity, whatever form that might take. All is done with a sense of humour.  Over time, Loretta has suffered six different strokes, but the fact that this has impeded movement and function on her right hand side, has not stopped her from being a dancer with MoMo Dance Theatre or making paintings, mosaics and recently, papier mache! (That’s Loretta on the left.)

MoMoOn Tuesday, I was witness to Loretta’s climb of the stairs to arrive at our papier mache experience and I have to say that her determination caused something more than awe in me.  I guess that’s why I’m writing.

?????????? ??????????She began her bowl project, with enthusiasm…and with the use of her left hand only. By the time that the class had ended, she had applied three layers of Handel’s Messiah, in strips, to her form and with some assistance from me, applied a pedestal stand as well.  We all gave one another hugs good-bye after our clean-up and one last cookie. :0)

As the story continues, Loretta came into the Golden Age Club yesterday, thinking that it was art day…looked at the stairs…and said to herself, “I just can’t do it.”  She went home, she said, and had a good cry (at this point in the story, we embraced) because she really really wanted to paint her bowl.

Well…if she didn’t run into Michael at some point in the afternoon and she told him that she couldn’t get up to create!  He gave her the news that, in fact, it was scheduled for Friday…TODAY!!   Loretta made it up those stairs again, to her waiting project and created spectacular transparent layers of paint!

I cherish my friends at Create! and every one of us also has a story.  Each participant (I include myself here) in the experience is vulnerable in their own way, but we carry on, especially cherishing good health and creative experiences that find us sharing positivity, good laughs, support and friendship.  Thank you to Georgie, Michael, Brian, Marian, Patruch (can’t say it…can’t spell it…and he knows it!), Tony, Joanne, Patrick, Leslie, Nicole, Margaret and Loretta…and our other Loretta.   Charcoal sketching with Gary next week!

??????????DSC_1931 DSC_1930 ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????We missed you, Wendy…but you reveal yourself even when you’re not in the room with us.  See you soon! ?????????? ?????????? DSC_1912 ?????????? ?????????? ??????????

 

Art Battle Canada: Calgary

An exciting event took place down at Contemporary Calgary on Saturday night.  Doors opened to an art battle of a different sort from what I’ve experienced before.  This one involved on-line voting for three separate rounds; six artists competing for twenty minutes for two rounds and the top two of both of those competing in the final round.    I found it interesting that the playing field was a level one, based on the consistency of media, colours available and size of the canvas. Silent auction, live auction, a very compact space and bumping into (in a true sense) old friends and new, all features of this particular night out.

I didn’t have the real sense that the works were resolved at the end of twenty minutes, but this event was an opportunity for audience members to observe the variety of approaches /techniques that artists use.  I enjoyed the time out with my daughter and certainly felt proud of my artist-friends who had the courage to take this on. Congratulations to Mark Vazquez-Mackay who won the Calgary event, one of 250 artists in over 20 locations across Canada, battling it out in preparation for the National Art Battle.

It was nice to end the evening chilling at a backyard fire pit with good people.

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A Wander Into Desere Pressey’s Studio

I met Desere Pressey when she had a space underneath the stairs at the Gorilla House.

Desere Gorilla House

I was instantly drawn to her; her youth, her wisdom, her willingness to enter the gyre!  I think she reminds me of a younger version of myself.  It’s interesting how, in life, we meet up with mirrors of our own souls.  Desere is one of those mirrors.

Kath with FidoDesere

As serendipity would have it, we ended up at the same starting-event last evening, Enriquito’s Selfismo and from there, along with her lovely friend, Heather, ended up tumbling through the evening, ending up in her creative space at Slate Studios.  There was a chill in the air, but the warmth of the objects surrounding us and the paintings on the walls chased the cold away.  I think that art that is born from a person’s soul is miraculous; something comes of nothing at all, a spark, a memory, a narrative, colour…It is absolutely thrilling to create and it is as beautiful to watch others create.  Such a journey of celebration!

I was blessed to have met Desere and it will be exciting to watch her through this process of immersion, emerging and growth.  Her work contains powerful elements of humanity and the mystical.  It is provocative and painterly.  I treasured the time spent in her sacred space and wish her many blessings on her journey as artist, friend, wife, daughter and mother of three beautiful children.  You can explore Desere’s portfolio here.

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In Desere’s Words…

About

Canadian artist, Desere Pressey. Harnessing and distributing our collective energy through art.
 

Desere Pressey is an entrepreneur and co-founder of three successful businesses over the last decade. Throughout her career she has always felt a strong pull towards her true passion for the arts, and made the decision to cease resisting her true calling. In the embrace of art, Desere now dedicates a large portion of her time to painting, which she feels aids in sustaining a connection with the creative intelligence that unites us all.

“I love the experience of being around other artists, and all the various art forms. Just being in proximity to creative flow, charges and enlivens me. Shaping energy into form comes from a place beyond what we can fully understand…intuitive artwork .. unbound..can teach us a little more of this place. I think”

“During the experience of painting, self-judgment ebbs away for creation to flow over a landscape where right doing and wrongdoing cease to exist” -Desere

Desere’s response…written here because I need to hold on to it in my archive…

We all have needs that reach far beyond our worldly desires.. and these needs are rooted from deep within our creative nature. We get our hands dirty, stir and mix, collaborate, put down words and we get up and dance! Our soul self is like a joyful child:) Perhaps you see your soul self in me.. and I you. For you still glow with the youthfulness of a child my sweet friend. You made me do a little happy dance in my studio when I read this entry of yours. I am deeply touched:) I treasure you.