The Un-Promoter + Goldberg and Diebenkorn

  I had many plans for this holiday season that I had been lining up since late summer. The new store is filled with full cycle creations: pillows, gift certificates, story-cards, large scale rabbit posters, the art book memoir in softcover, and a new website to make it all clear and easily accessible. Communications were in ready mode. And then life happened and I contracted a nasty respiratory illness. The Christmas cards I had ordered for you never even made it into the store. It's sardonic in a way ... how plans have the power to make fools of us all.

Recently, I've been reading one of my favorite visual memoirs by Natalie Goldberg: "Living Color" A Writer Paints Her World {now in second edition}. She reflects on the time in her life when she became a painter. She had contracted a virus and thought she was going to die. It stayed with her for 2.5 months. In that time she immersed herself in the world of Richard Diebenkorn. In the state of being ill when it takes a lot of energy to move from one part of the house to the next you somehow get underneath the critical mind where the subconscious lives - it's pretty wonderful and very impressionable.

Natalie let his work in on a deep level. She reflects on the life of a man who was intensely open to the depth of life and his own experience — how color and form was layered and adventurous. Yet his character/personality was understated and at times awkward. I know what she means. Diebenkorn's work makes my knees quiver and my lil' painter's heart want so much more out of the paint. He has always given me courage.

When she began to emerge from her fugue state she promptly called a painter in Taos and asked her to teach her how to paint. She had to experience color from her own hands. She worked in this woman's studio weekly. Amazing growth that underlies "Living Color." Great things can come from downtime.

All is to say, that, though I was not up to the big Christmas promotional activities, being an un-promoter has been somewhat liberating. More plans for 2015 {to be made a fool of for...} have filled the notebooks. Much reading and camomile tea has occupied the winter weeks. I have good days when I think I'm on the way out of this and then the days that tell me I have a ways to go. So more OJ, more Natalie, more Diebenkorn, and the genuine gratitude that comes when you know it could be a lot worse.

If you are happy that I've been an un-promoter because you get enough of those right now... then, YAY! We are on the same page. But if you are disappointed because you wanted to be more informed, my sincerest apologies.

Wishing you a warm, inspiring and healthful holiday season! Enjoy this little watercolor as a token of my appreciation for your support.