Saturday, August 24, 2013

Read the latest interview  with 
Lynda Lambert & Suzanne Gibson.  
Two Pennsylvania artists are featured in
TOUCH ART BLOG 
We sat down with Kirsten Ervan recently  and  discussed  our  forthcoming
TWO PERSON Art Exhibition,
VISION and REVISION.

We talked about our own sight loss and how we continue to MAKE ART !

http://touchartblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/continuing-our-creative-lives-an-interview-with-artists-suzanne-gibson-and-lynda-lambert/

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What Does Good Writing do for Us?

 What does GOOD WRITING do for us?
 
I think the most important thing a piece of writing can do is move the reader into another place in their own mind.  A visually impaired writer friend  did this for me today.  I read his latest essay. He wrote an article on "driving" for his blog. My mind moved through his words, and into my own place and time. Isn't that what GOOD WRITING should do for us? 
 
His words made me think of my own loss of driving. 

I have to say, driving is the  thing I miss very much.  Driving is a physical  act, in itself. I miss the physicality of operating my hot little Z-car and the feeling of freedom I experienced. I drove wherever I wanted to go.  Driving enabled me to get myself to airports so I could take off for trips to Europe every summer. I felt freedom when I arrived there by myself - I loved driving to the airport, leaving my car in the long-term parking lot, and getting on board for a long flight. 
 
Some days, I just took the top out of my car, and drove for a few hours, just to feel the breeze in my hair, the music surrounded me, and I was one with the road beneath us.  Driving is a dance in time and space; it is pure enchantment.


 
The driving I miss most of all is the dance I enjoyed  every time I rode  my motorcycle.  At time we screamed down the highway surrounded by traffic.   Summer days, we maneuvered on the rough and winding rural roads with other friends on bikes.  I met the challenges of the switchbacks. I drove into sharp hairpin curves and down into the western Pennsylvania gorges; we climbed together  up the steep thrusting curved roads.  My eyes focused ahead for the upcoming curves and watched for oncoming traffic. The concentration required to do the rain slicked mountain roads made my hands sweat with pleasure inside the fingerless leather driving gloves. Each new turn captured my full attention. I was in the moment and time seemed to stand still.
 
 My bike  is the "Blue Dragon."  

She sets these days in my garage, covered up, and alone. My husband takes her out just to exercise her parts, but just for short rides around town. My Blue Dragon has the most fantastic paintings all over her that anyone could dream up. Wherever we went together, people would stop what they were doing to come and have a look, and smile. 
 
When a person rides a bike that they love, it's a feeling of personal freedom. One afternoon, I rode the "Blue Dragon"  through Amish country.  I was alone, dressed in black leathers. I  passed the little country school house at a time when  the children were outside playing.  It was a sunny day in the autumn, and the entire landscape was ablaze with vivid colors. The teacher watched me passing by the school yard. Then, the unexpected happened as she raised her arm to give me a wave. I can still see her broad smile, in my memory. I raised my arm to her in response, and we smiled at each other briefly as I passed by.  It was a special moment, when two sisters recognized each other. For that moment, we were one with the universe.


 
Just for fun, at night, I often did  something surprising when I  sat at a red light in traffic.  I  threw a switch and the Blue Dragon suddenly  lit up the road beneath us with the bright green neon lights.  The switch was located just  underneath my seat. The brilliant lights were  a surprise, and children shouted with happiness, laughed and pointed to me.  They waved to me, as their parents laughed and nodded with approval at my little light show on the pavement. The traffic light changed  and Blue Dragon's neon lights were switched off.  I clutched the bike and kicked her into first gear; we drove into the darkness.


 
Occasionally,  I still walk out to the garage and put my right leg up over her seat and place my two feet firmly on the concrete floor. I shift her weight with my hands on her handlebars and I give a quick upwards tug to balance her on two wheels. She feels weightless.
The long black leather solo seat holds my body erect and provides just the right amount of tension for the weight to be balanced. I sit there, and I hold onto the handlebars with my arms extended. I pull her clutch in towards the palm of my left hand.  With the toe of my left foot, I thrust it  upwards, kick her into gear.  For a moment, we are about to leave for a drive once again. Only for a moment.
 
What do I miss the most about being visually impaired?

 I miss my time on the dance floor with my Blue Dragon!


Sunday, July 7, 2013



Painting With a Needle...
the EXQUISITE  art of Lynda McKinney Lambert 

I was thinking this morning about our influences, and how we got to where we are today as artists.  Have you stopped to think about where the ideas come from when you are creating your own art?




 I thought about the choices we make. How do we decide what to create?

I immediately think of  my MOTHER who patiently teaching  me to do embroidery when I was a very young child.  We were  sitting side by side in my GRANDMOTHER’s kitchen.  She had purchased a kit. It consisted of a piece of beautiful linen fabric, in white. There were three colors of embroidery thread: Light blue, dark blue, and silver gray.  I held those little skeins of thread in my hands and moved them about to catch the light on them. They seemed to shimmer as I turned them over and over again. They felt so silky soft in my small hands. The colors seemed to me like they were magic; they were the colors of the sky on a summer afternoon.

There were two  more thing in my embroidery kit; there was a slender, sharp, silver needle and a round metal embroidery hoop.

 As I speak of this day, I can still see my mother bending over me, and showing my how to put my needle into the cloth, to push gently down on it, and to bring it to the back of the linen cloth. I searched for just the right spot where the needle would be pushed into the back of the cloth, and gave it a shove and watched it pop up onto the front once again.

That feeling of pushing the needle gently into the fabric, then pulling the blue thread so gently until it was completely through the fabric was something that stays with me in my memories after sixty years.

My imagination brings me once again to feel the silken thread, the tension of moving it from the top to the back of the linen, and then the pull of bringing it back up to the surface.  It is a feeling of  the comfort of  repetition  and the solitude of working with fabric and thread.  It’s a quiet feeling that gently comes to me when I remember  the slender  silver needle in my small fingers.  I was about 8 years old at that time.

This afternoon lesson sitting with my Mother, is one of the many precious things my Mother gave me. Did she  recognize that I was a child who was destined to be a maker of beautiful things? Somehow, she must have known intuitively that it was important to take the afternoon and spend it with her oldest daughter.  Did she know that she was teaching  me  a life lesson with three skeins  of thread, a delicate needle, and a piece of ivory linen?

Today, I recognize that this was my first painting lesson.  

In the art I am making these days, I am conscious that I am PAINTING with a NEEDLE, and the THREADS are the SPLASHES of COLOR, my PIGMENTS.  Into this mix of fibers and threads, I add dashes of natural gemstones; I gather things from Nature that will be part of my pictures.  And, not only are my THREADS the strokes of the painting’s surface, so are the glass beads, the pearls, the vintage objects, and the crystals.


PICTURED HERE:  Ilsa’s Butterfly Garden, Mixed Media Painting on Fabric.

http://lyndalambert.com



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Behind Our Eyes: A Second Look

Leave me a message - tell me what you think about my latest post. Thanks.



The newly released literary anthology 
Behind Our Eyes: A Second Look 
features poems  by 
Lynda McKinney Lambert
Pennsylvania writer and visual artist



 Published by Behind Our Eyes, Inc., a 501C-3 nonprofit organization.

Behind Our Eyes: A Second Look 
is the second anthology by a unique
collection of 65 writers with disabilities.
cats and rabbits to guide dogs and even a guide horse, from medical
fiascos to survival tactics, and through pangs of deprivation to
heights of success. 


     The vivid tapestry of life woven through their
stories, poems, and essays, demonstrates what a captivating and
diverse group of writers they are; yet their creative writing
collection showcases their similarities to each other and the world
at large.




ISBN 978-1490304472


Books are are NOW available through Amazon.com for $13.42 per soft
cover book. This is a special discount introductory price.
The anthology is  also available in Kindle and Nook formats. 
 

      
      You can see the book and look into it’s pages or make your purchase of the  book at:



Friday, June 28, 2013

Art show winners - Ellwood City Ledger: Local News

Art show winners - Ellwood City Ledger: Local News

You can click on the Ledger link and SEE ME with my BEST OF SHOW award winning art, DANCE OF THE NEW MOON.

Leave me a message - tell me what you think about my latest post. Thanks.

Best of Show winner overcomes blindness through art - Ellwood City Ledger: Local News

Best of Show winner overcomes blindness through art - Ellwood City Ledger: Local News

There is absolutely no reason that a person with sight loss cannot continue to be a creative person!

This article in the Ellwood City Ledger gives a little bit of my story to find my way again as an artist after I was sidelined in October 2007 by Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. this very quick event left me with "profound blindness."  But, the ARTIST who dwells inside of me, found ways to continue to create art and to continue to be in art exhibitions and even to win the Best of Show Award.

Leave me a message - tell me what you think about my latest post. Thanks.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Artist Speaks of the Gestures of Life

The Artist Speaks of the Gestures of Life


Remembering Professor Glen Buunken (1943 - 2013)

http://www.wtae.com/news/local/butler/man-dies-after-tripping-falling-through-glass-window-at-sandwich-shop/-/10928542/20406044/-/o49vjg/-/index.html

Professor Glen  William Brunken usually taught a course in drawing every summer at the university where I was an art student from the fall of 1985 to the spring of 1989.  During my studies for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I always took  Prof. Brunken’s summer drawing classes each year.  It was the only time Prof. Brunken taught drawing and I wanted to study with him because I had admired his paintings when I saw them in an exhibition.  In fact, I was so inspired by his art that it led me to seek him out as a teacher.  I wanted to study  painting with the man who had created the most exciting paintings I had ever seen!  I had heard that he taught at the university and that is what led me there to study.  Though I had intended to study painting with him, it never really happened. It was because he did not teach painting at the time I attended the  university.

     During the regular semesters, I took printmaking with Prof.  Brunken. But, in the summer courses he would focus on drawing.  It was in those intense  early morning drawing classes that I would absorb  life lessons and expand the core beliefs of my art philosophy. I listened to him teaching every day in that large drawing studio on the second floor of the spacious old building known as West Hall. We  students stood at our easels hour after hour, day after day.  Prof. Brunken once reminded me that “When the Muse comes, you better be standing at your easel.” 

     We did not have air conditioning but the wall of  open windows was  adequate. A slight breeze would waft across the large room; it was enough to keep us going as we labored at our easels, drawing from the live model.  We stood in a circle around the model’s platform. The room had a well worn floor.from generations of art students who learned the rudiments of making art with various professors. As we struggled to find the forms and planes of the figure, we  kept our eyes focused on the nude models who took a pose on the model’s platform.  That platform became the center of the room and the apex of the world that connected us to our internal longings to find balance and purpose as artists. We held  pieces of black charcoal sticks, worn down lead pencils, blocks of waxy crayons, and even brushes and paints as we slashed, swooped, smudged, and splattered the large sheets of drawing papers that were clipped onto the thick, heavy, drawing boards held upright on our tall metal easels.  

     After the four hours of drawing, my hands, arms, face, and clothing would be covered with the materials I had used for my drawings. It was so exciting and I often felt like a small child who was playing in the mud – joyous and forbidden. It seemed that for the first time in my life, I could get very dirty and I was breaking the rules – and it was all okay. I relished those summer days making drawings and feeling like I was part of something so special, there with my classmates, and Prof. Brunken.


"My Life as a Wave"
Etching by Glen Brunken


     We worked away at the drawings before us each day. Prof. Brunken would walk about the room. He stopped beside each of us, looked at what we were doing in our drawings, and made comments and suggestions.  Often he would make a joke and laugh about what he saw on the page. And, we laughed with him.  He had a sharp wit and a critical eye. His ability to focus in on the most minute bit of information that a student needed was uncanny.

     Before I started going to the university, I had been a painter who was enchanted with the landscape and had been making paintings that would be called “painterly realism.”  I painted every day once I started painting at the age of 36.  I lived and breathed painting and art. Before I went to sleep at night, I would read from one of my art books and study the photographs of drawings and paintings. I visited art exhibitions and looked closely at each work that interested me, trying to learn from them and bring information and techniques into my own work. I had studied for six years taking private classes with an artist; and then  with a teacher at a local art center. 

     All of this eventually led me to expand my art education and begin work on an art degree at the university. At the age of 42, I was now a nervous freshman student.  I was surrounded in the classroom by young students who were the age of my own children. In fact, I had grandchildren, too!  I tried not to be self-conscious or  intimidated by their youth but to just keep my own sense of purpose in my mind. I was there to learn everything I could about everything I could study. I felt like a child who was on a merry-go-round and I was reaching out to capture the brass ring. It was the most exciting time of my life, to return to a classroom as an adult filled with desires and a passion to spend the rest of my life making art. It was as though the sky had opened above my head as I whirled around on that merry-go-round, reaching out into the future. The vast universe had opened up to me and I was learning to fly into the clouds with  a brand new pair of wings. 

     Prof. Brunken was my advisor. He encouraged me to take courses in everything and particularly in the things I knew nothing about.  I began this adventure into the studies of everything, with courses in Geology, Biology, and Sociology. I never found a course I did not like, and I never found a course that was “easy.” I put everything I had into each of the courses I had and each of those disciplines gave me new information that I could take back to my art.

I had a secret, hidden desire as I entered the university fine arts program. 

     My goal was to learn how to do abstract art. I had seen some abstract paintings in my gallery visits and I was swept away by the magic and depth of it. There was something so mysterious about abstract painting, and it pulled me into it. It gave me an emotional response like nothing else had done. I bought several books on this way of working and  did a lot of experiments on my own before I started classes.  Soon, my desire to make abstract art came to the forefront of my mind,  and I began  changing. I did abstract art in my dreams at night; during the days I struggled to find the way to learn how to do it in the classroom.

     It was exciting and yet it was frightening to me. I had to leave my comfort zone and change my ways of thinking and working. Prof. Brunken would be the catalyst that would push me over the edge into this new  consciousness  and understanding of the world. Art making, passed from being a perceptual notion, to being conceptual.  One morning Prof. Brunken paused during one of our little gatherings. He smiled broadly and said, “The more I think of scribbling, the more I like it!”  He seemed to be a child again as he spoke to us about the joys of freedom of expression. He affirmed  for us that we were able to be a child again, to scribble.  This  was the message of the day. It was all okay and I was free to play and enjoy the physical activity of drawing with a passion.

     From time to time throughout the morning sessions, we would take breaks from our work.  Often, we would gather around Prof. Brunken. He would laugh and talk with us about making art; his own creative life journey; his views on drawing; and even his views on time and place.  He would take some of our drawings and lay them out, one by one as he  pointed  out what was “working” in that drawing and why it was important. He taught by emphasizing the positive things he saw. And, it was interesting now that I look back on it because it did not matter if you were an art major at all. Each student was treated the same and each had his full attention. 

     One of the things we did every day on our own after class was over was to make many pages of rapid and small drawings in our sketchbook. They were called “gesture drawings” I would soon learn. We had been instructed to fill pages of our sketchbooks with those little drawings. There would be about 20 or more on a single page and we used drawing pencils or black ink pens to do them.  When he gathered our sketchbooks and went through them, he would make a little asterisk mark beside the ones that he thought were the best ones.  It was very affirming to look through our books after he gave them back to us and find a few of those little stars beside one of our “gestures.”

     As the days went by, my understanding of the gestures of life grew. We made gesture drawings as homework; we made gesture drawing on the very large sheets of drawing papers in class. We learned to look into the surface of a figure; quickly assess the gesture that was creating what we were looking at when a person walked past us. We saw gestures at a distance; we saw gestures in the trees; in flowers blowing in a field;  a person walking far away down the busy street; the furniture in the art studio. “Everything in our world holds a gesture,”  he said. That gesture is the moving, living, life form of the thing we are viewing. It is what gives things life, movement, and stability.

     Many years later, when I became an art professor, my students would learn all about gestures, too. We practiced looking for gestures in our classroom, in our drawings, sculptures, fiber arts, and in our paintings.

     On one occasion, I observed Prof. Brunken as he was judging an art exhibition. He looked at a sculpture and said,

This person needs to take some drawing classes. This sculpture has a lack of understanding  of  structure. It looks like the artist does not know how to draw.

He could look at an art work and know if a person had studied drawing and understood gesture. We learned how to do that ourselves through being around him in the classroom and in our discussions together as he looked at our drawings.
In the many years I have made art after leaving the classrooms of Prof. Brunken,

     
I have observed everything in life through the  lens of gesture  that I began to develop as an eager  student. After school days were over for me, I carried a sketchbook on all my travels. In those books I made gestures of the world I was experiencing. I wrote poems and reflections, and did sketches every day as I traveled and taught classes to my own students.  As an art professor, I passed down the teachings I had learned in Prof. Brunken’s classrooms during those long ago hot summer mornings.

     Just a few days ago as I traveled by car with my daughter,  I spoke to her about gestures and she began to see them as we traveled down the highway together. She is a self-taught artist, and I know that once she begins to see gestures  her own art will grow, too. One is never the same after we begin to see gestures.

The smallest things in our daily life  begin to dance before our eyes when we look more closely at any movement. Begin to think about what is beneath the surface and see the spirit of the thing there; the movement and the embrace of the inner core of all of life present and visible to us as we stand in awe while looking at someone or some thing. A gesture sends a visual signal to an onlooker. While we engage in the various movements and acts of life, every moment of every day, we are typically unaware of the message that an onlooker is getting by watching us.

Many of our actions are basically non-social, having to do with problems of personal body care, body comfort and body transportation; we clean and groom ourselves with a variety of scratchings, rubbings and wipings; we cough, yawn and stretch our limbs; we eat and drink; we prop ourselves up in restful postures, folding our arms and crossing our legs; we sit, stand, squat and recline, in a whole range of different positions; we crawl, walk and run in varying gaits and styles. But although we do these things for our own benefit, we are not always unaccompanied when we do them. Our companions learn a great deal about us from these 'personal' actions - not merely that we are scratching because we itch or that we are running because we are late, but also, from the way we do them, what kind of personalities we possess and what mood we are in at the time.”  (From Manwatching by Desmond Morris.)


Learning to recognize the gestures of life can be difficult. 

We are so accustomed to taking a quick glance at everything and only seeing the surface of everything. Seeing requires more time. Seeing is a skill that has to be practiced and learned and it takes a lot of deliberate time to do it. Think of all the many images your eyes view every day as they rapidly flash before you. There are so many you cannot even see them because seeing comes slowly and it comes in layers. Seeing requires intention.

     One day after Prof. Brunken had looked through my latest group of gestures in my sketchbook he turned to look at me and he said,

“Lynda, you need to look at this gesture drawing until you begin to realize it is beautiful.  In fact, cut this one out of your sketchbook and put it in a frame. Put it in a place where you can see it. Look at it often. Keep looking at it until you understand that it is beautiful.  For many years that framed gesture drawing had a prominent place in my home.

     Today, I needed to write an artist statement about my own art. My statement will be included in an exhibition I will be doing at a museum gallery next spring. I thought about Prof. Brunken, and I began to realize that what I need to focus on in my statement is the central theme of everything I do. It is the gesture that is at the core of it all.





Note: 


Written in memory of Professor Glen Brunken (1943-2013).
Glen taught at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania for 40 years (1969 – 2009   He was killed in a tragic accident, June  3,2013, when he fell through a glass door at a local restaurant in Slippery Rock, PA.

You can find additional information on “Gesture”  at:

Written June 21, 2013.
Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Writers Who Inspired Us





April is National Poetry Month

Recently, in one of my writing groups, someone issued a bit of a challenge.  We were asked to consider the influence of a poet  who has had a lasting effect on us?  

The question is:  
What poem  inspired me?

I thought about it for some time.  How can I even begin to single out one? I have been thinking about this for awhile, since the beginning of National Poetry Month. I would think of one poet, or one poem, and would say to myself, “this one is it!” But something was not quite right, so I would continue to contemplate the  many writers I have loved over the years. I taught  a wide assortment of  poetry courses over my years as an English Professor – how to choose which one is the most influential to me? What poet brought me the core values I have embraced for my entire lifetime? What poetry answered the questions of life and death, and gave me a world view that is lasting beyond the trends and fashions of the changing times?

Was it in my own college years that I found that special one? Robert Bly took me on journeys to ancient times, as we walked together through snowy fields; I thrilled to the language of the 16th century poets and wrote papers on romance and death through the eyes of John Donne.

I looked back to my high school years - the Beats were living and breathing inside my thoughts and actions. I still love them, and I learned so much about life from them - things that still thrill me today as I look back.

No, move back further - what about the poetry of grade school years? Joyce Kilmer's poem "Trees." He gave me a life-long appreciation of nature and the universe and my place in it.  And, the wonderful stories that were read to me by Mrs. Mathews, in her story time breaks at the North Star School. 

My summertime reading - came to me.  My mother would take me to the local public library where I would collect an arm full of books to bring home. Oh, the smell of them! The feel of them in my hands! Heaven on earth. Just me and a book, on the old front porch - reading through the summer afternoons there on the glider. Walter Farley and Louisa May Alcott -
took me to a world of wonder and delight.  I cried along with the tragedies of "Black Beauty" and I walked along with the children and had tea parties "Under the Lilacs" of Louisa May Alcott's imagination.

Authors and books stay with us forever. In the final quarter of my life, they are still there, alive and thrilling. My memories abound with the people, places, and life lessons I have learned from all those writers and poets.


Finally,  last night, in a conversation with another writer it came to me – in an instant, I knew for sure the  one key source of my own writing, from a very early age.

My source is an ancient one – 
the Psalms of the Bible.  

King David 
was  my earliest source of creative writing, and I would always connect poetry with singing.

I would have heard them read in church from the time before I could speak. The various Psalms have been at the core of my life.

When my younger brother was dying on New Year’s Eve our entire family was there surrounding him in his home as he lay unconscious.  My brother departed from this world at dawn on the first day of  2007.  We said the 23rd Psalm to him while he was in his final minutes that   night. 

Three months later, my sister,  youngest brother and I were tending to our Mother as she was beginning her final journey to the next world, I sat beside her with my Bible and I began to read her a number of Psalms because I knew those words would bring her comfort and peace. I sang to her, and I read to her that afternoon.

Last year, once again, I was with my Aunt Bettie, in a hospice, watching over her and holding her as she was getting ready to leave this world. Again, it was the songs of faith, and the Psalms that I shared with her. This time, my sister Patti was there with me again, as she had been the other two times. My two granddaughter’s were there, and our little 3 year old great-granddaughter was there as she gently  slipped away. 

For several years, I had been writing my own personal “Meditations on the Psalms.”  It was a way of worship for me. I would read a Psalm and then keep it in my heart during the day. Throughout the day, I would jot down notes, little meditations, on that Psalm.  Many of the Meditations were published by a gallery in New York. They appeared in the gallery newsletters over several months. I had not thought about them for quite awhile, until I began working on my writing archives and came across them once again.

Below  is one of my “Meditations.”  

Psalm 138 

 The link below will take you to a recording of the  original source if you want to compare my meditation with the original that inspired me one day in 1999.
You can listen to this Psalm:








“An Interpretation on Psalm 138”
           by Lynda McKinney Lambert

I am standing here,  Lord -
my heart full of praises for you.
I am sometimes aware
that the angels of heaven
surround me as I sing.

In my imagination,
I  stand against a gentle breeze-
still on the mountain top,
looking at your Holy Temple.
The sun warms my face.

How could I refrain
from singing today
as  I think about your faithfulness,
and the promises you keep?
Your trust is guaranteed.

You know there’s been days
when I’ve been weak -
my condition has been shameful
Yet, you respond to me
with encouragement and new dreams.


Wouldn’t every person in this world
like to hear your voice today?
Surely they would give you thanks
because you know them personally.
They will see that you are great.

Through the greatest dangers
we have come hand in hand.
You cleared the way before us
and quietly rescued me.
Is it  because you have plans for me?

The vitality of life passes before
the presence of  your glance.
Let this day develop as you say
and for only one reason -
I am your creation!



Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 1999. All Rights Reserved.


Lynda

 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday - One Awesome Love

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1D9NRG1HRo

Click on the LINK  above to see this wonderful video today.


 "Easter  Sunday Morning"

The early morning choir twitters -
Chirps  deep inside  the dusty bushes,
accompanied by  low, long mournful tones
of wheels turning against the pavement.

A hidden lemon chiffon sun brightens the  sky
somewhere behind  layers of  melancholy  mists -
softly  warming  the  mahogany branches
of starkly naked springtime trees.

I made no special plans for today-
no periwinkle blue  shoes or silken  amethyst  dress.
Instead, I recline on soft linen  pillows
and  write on ashen  journal pages. 
Tranquil.  I listen and watch.

A gloomy opening of a hillside cave
unravels  through my thoughts.
From somewhere in the Eastern world,
stories of old dreams continue to be told.

 I contemplate  the meaning of this day.


Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright, 1999 and 2013.
 All rights reserved.

Listen to this lovely  Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1D9NRG1HRo


d

Sunday, March 24, 2013

STOP! Look BACKWARDS!


Looking Backwards for Inspiration


So many times when we think of things that are inspiring, we have that feeling we need to be looking forward to something off in the future. Maybe we think we should re-examine our goals that we have set, or our “5 year Plan,” or just check in with our “to-do list.” All of those things are good and necessary to do so that we can stay focused. They all help to keep us on our path that we have laid out – reminders of where we want to go and what we want to be.

But, today, I want to talk about 
the value of “Looking Backwards.”

I started looking backwards after the first of the year. It has taken me on an amazing journey into my own history!


I began to work on my archives, as an artist. I was wondering just how many exhibitions I had done since I started my art career in 1976. That was the year when I first picked up the artist’s paint brush, and learned how to mix a “palette” and how to make a painting. Within the next three years, I had worked diligently at making art, painting.  In only three years, I began to exhibit my work in my local area when there were opportunities.

To my utter disbelief, I immediately began getting the paintings juried into exhibition, and I also began winning awards at nearly every show I entered.

It was not long until my work was juried into a prestigious art exhibition in New York City – the Audubon Art Exhibition! How exciting that was for me.
For the first time ever, I went by myself on a plane to NYC, and I attended the opening of  that show. There was my work – on view – and it felt so “normal” for me to be there and see that work. I can still remember exactly what painting it was. It was a picture of an old western Pennsylvania house that I saw often when I was out driving. It was located on a two lane road  on a hillside; trees surrounded it and cast soft blue/violet shadows on the white house. One day I had stopped to capture that scene with a photograph and then I had taken the photo into my studio to do the painting, “View from New Castle Road.” I still love that painting!



This special painting hangs in my home, and reminds me that I have accomplished something good in my past. It also is a marker that it was the beginning of my public career on a national level.

Once I started painting, I did it just about every day. The first few years I painted on the kitchen table after the children left for school. Sometimes, I had an easel set up in the dining room, and I painted there from objects I had set up for a still life.

Eventually, my art took me off in a new direction. I entered a fine arts program at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.  I majored in painting, and I began doing tapestry weavings. My weavings were like paintings, in my mind.

After I received the BFA degree, I was honored to receive a scholarship and fellowship to go to West Virginia University, in Morgantown, WV. There, I work diligently on the MFA degree. I continued to paint, as that was my focus there, too. In addition to painting, I also discovered a piece of plywood one day, and that inspired me to try to make a woodcut print.

For my MFA Thesis exhibition, the large gallery was filled with immense paintings and large wood cut prints. I had created a world for the visitors to walk into – it was my world, created in my studio.

As the years went on, I continued to show my work everywhere I had an opportunity or invitation. One of my woodcut prints went to the Osaka Triennale in 1991, the year I graduated from WVU. Other woodcut prints were selected for the Ambassador’s residence in Paupau, New Guinea as part of the “Artists in Embassies” Program by the US Dept. of State.

Presently, I have been making art seriously for thirty-seven years. I decided it was time I “LOOKED BACKWARDS” to see where I have been and how I got to where I am today.

I found this job to be enormous. I had to sort through every program, newspaper and magazine article, and documentation I had gathered over the years. Fortunately, I am a highly organized person, and I had everything in order, chronologically. The job took me two months of intensive work though.

I found so much to be proud of along the way on this journey to the past, to my artistic beginnings. It encouraged me and gave me so much information about myself and the works I have created over the years. This was a very inspiring thing to do, and I finished it with renewed enthusiasm for my present work, and for the work that will still be created in my future.

Looking Backwards at my Art Works is so satisfying. It gives me a feeling of being where I am supposed to be - at this time. It gives me a better sense of where I came from, and pushes me forwards to think about where I am going in the future. These paintings from my PAST are my friends, like ANGELS looking over me, whispering to me,
           "Keep on going. 
                    You are not alone.
                           I am with you." 




I was amazed to discover that I had been in over 300 exhibitions and had won over 100 awards in those exhibitions!

With this task brought up-to-date, I can now send off my records on CDs to the galleries and museums that have my work in their permanent collection. This is a good thing to do for your archives so that there will be records that will go with your art works for future scholars to investigate. I will be preparing the CDs soon, after I gather some photographs of myself and my art works and add them to the CDs too.



Next up on my horizon, now, is to begin the task of organizing all my poetry and writing and putting them all into order chronologically.
Once this is done, it will be an easy task to keep them updated periodically. All the hard work will be finished.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves a little pat on the back for a job well done! Looking Backwards can be the place to begin to realize just what you have accomplished in your creative life.  I was able to realize all the nuances and details of my creative journey by “Looking Backwards.”

Thursday, March 21, 2013

John Bramblitt's Journey



I had 
A VISION

In 2009, I started writing my blog,
  “Walking by Inner Vision” 

 It was to begin to write about my own journey into the new experience I had entered. This new experience came 2 years earlier, in October 2007; I was suddenly thrust into the world of sudden blindness.

(Ischemic Optic Neuropathy)

This event changed nearly everything in my life.
Writing about it became  a way for me
to speak about my life
now that it had entirely changed.
   
 I  am an Educator,  Visual Artist and Author,

I discuss how I have learned to continue
to be a  creative artist and writer once again.


            Today, I want to focus on another artist who lost his sight, yet, began to paint after going blind. I think you will enjoy hearing about:

John Bramblitt’s  journey!

You can click on the THREE LINKS to see video’s of John Bramlitt and his visionary paintings. You can listen to John as he tells his own story to overcome blindness through ART.



John Bramblitt is a Texas artist who is blind. He lost his sight around age 11. He began painting after he lost his sight.
This video was done when he was still an undergraduate student.

John says he  loves creating both fine art and writing.  It’s not unusual for find an artist who also loves to write.
I think it is often a  winning combination that most artists embrace.    As

John said,
 “It is only the tools that are different.
 The process remains the same.”

 He says when you look at a “how to” book on both painting, and writing, you’ll see the process is the same for each. I affirm this truth that John has discovered in his journey.





John is shown in this video doing a workshop and speaking with a visitor. We can see him showing how his work begins. He is describing how it begins with an initial drawing on the canvas. The drawing is raised, giving him guidelines to follow when the painting process begins.



This link will take you to John’s  website.

There you will find general information on John Bramblitt. There are links on  his career, photos of some of his paintings, his blog link, and more.



Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring Forward


Tonight: we will turn our clocks forward here in western Pennsylvania.
We remember what to do by recalling this little saying,

“Spring Forward; Fall Back.”  

Turning the clock forward by one hour gives us such a different perception of time and  season.   

Spring is nearly here. 

 We had a snowstorm just 3 days ago. That snow quickly melted because the temperature was warm. A few patches of that crystal coldness are still here this morning. Soon, little purple and yellow crocuses will be pushing through the layers damp winter grass, last fall’s dry leaves, and the delicate white patches  of slowly melting snow.


            A magnificent, stately Maple tree stands just beyond the window in my office, looking towards the  west. Bob and I planted that tree when we moved to this house in 1967.
It was a small sapling at that time, forty-six years ago. Today, it is still bare and dark against the bright blue morning sky. In a few more weeks the delicate green leaves will begin to burst out from those dark gray branches. You can set your clock by it – it happens just that way every year when winter transitions into spring.

This week, I found a poem  I wrote in 2004. This poem is written in the Japanese  Haiku form. A Haiku has three lines, and traditionally it will have a reference to a season.



Spring Haiku


Bright saffron flowers
disrupted crystal blankets 
to announce, "It's Spring!"


Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright, 2004. All Rights Reserved.