Our International Encaustic Artists group met last night and I missed an opportunity to photograph the large, inspiring studio filled with beautiful landscape oil paintings of Melinda Fellini. I think one of the best gifts we can give each other as artists is to share our studio spaces with others for all the benefits of seeing how we've solved similar problems of space, storage, work area and the like. Melinda had enormous paintings stacked against one wall that gave me visions of working larger; that is one way we can help each other. Sometimes just seeing what others have done is enough to broaden our vision and give us courage to grow.
We discussed our goals as a group which focus mainly on education and sharing technical knowledge. We have so many members with different sets of skills; I think we are going to be a positive force for the arts in Portland. I'm so excited to be involved.
For so many decades I worked in isolation. I wish I'd opened up sooner to other artists but that's the way I thought it had to be. I lived in the country. I worked long hours. I had every excuse to stay holed up and it made me feel very inconsequential and invisible. Being in a group with other artists has so many benefits to the individual as well as the community; if nothing else, just gather a few friends together and meet once a month to socialize and paint or collage or sew. (Remember the sewing bees of the past?) This is the way we let down our hair and support each other in the good times and bad. Let's make our social networks strong and healthy so that we ourselves will be strong and healthy. This is my thought today.