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Christy’s Niblet: The Quest

The QuestWe are all on one quest or another. The quest in my high school years was to attain the highest degree of coolment and that would be replaced by the quest for enlightenment in my twenties. I wanted to open my mind in college and sought out different perspectives on life. Eastern religion came on the scene and existentialism ruled my conversations. Life was theoretical in college. My quest changed when life starting getting real and as the cast of the “REAL WORLD” (MTV) said and “People stop being polite”. Life also stopped being polite and started to hit me and my friends with devastating blows. Cancer, the death of my friend’s parents and even the death of my nephew’s friend became real. Questions started and began with WHY? The quest became looking for answers for what seemed to be unfair. The truth is to some questions there are no answers but we search anyway.

The Quest was painted in a reactive series. I was reacting to my wife’s epilepsy in the Pearl series. This series required me to lay the letters quickly and I used only ink, tissue and the pearl aggregate. The ink had a life of its own once I sprayed it on to the canvas. I described the process as “working in the blind” because I could not see the letters until the ink was soaked through and at that point the letters position could not be changed like life I had to accept what I was dealt. The blue is deep and loud and the purple can be seen quietly underneath. The silver draws the eyes directly to the letters. The word is my conversation with the viewer.

My quest in my thirties you ask. Well it’s not for a husband, kids and a white picket fence in the suburbs. I am looking for a kidney but it’s not my quest. It is not my journey. A quest is a long or arduous search for something. I have stopped searching and if I cease to breathe this day. I know a few things. I have had a life well lived with purpose and experienced the LOVE of a lifetime. I have got a wife, friends that make me laugh so hard I would pee in my pants if my kidneys worked (ha, ha) and a home in a brownstone in the suburbs. There is no white picket fence in sight or prospect of children in the immediate future but this is enough. I am living in the here and now. This joy was not something I sought after but a gift from a higher power. Ashe, Amen, Namaste, and Thank you.

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Christy’s Niblet: The Question

1399345_574635569257310_610145287_oWe all have questions. When I was working on this series I was questioning my faith. My wife was very sick and I thought I was not going to make it. I had the audacity to tell God that He/She could not have her. Her little body shook in my arms with one grand mal seizure after another and at times she did not recognize who I was. I was always the sick one and I was not doing well with the shoe on the other foot. I am great in acute drama but my wife has the quality of endurance. I am the sprinter and she runs the marathon.

The question that presses on my soul is usually regarding my health. Facing my mortality each day at 35 is not easy. I try not to ask theWhy Me?’.  I wonder when it will all be over and what that will be like. I question if I will get a kidney and how long my body can endure dialysis. I can not afford self pity I will drown in it before I will drown in the fluid in my lungs. There are moments that I question what my purpose is but deep down I know it is to live a life of service in whatever capacity God deems me for the day.

Pearls are classic and there beauty is undeniable. I attempt to bring that to the canvas in this series. The pearl series is created using an iridescent aggregate. The text is sculpted with tissue and laid down blind on the canvas because inking comes last in this process. The pearls serve to reflect the light and illuminate the surface of the canvas.

The painting, “The ?” uses black and fuchsia to move the eye in an unexpected manner across the canvas. The silver highlights the “?” drawing the eye closer. Each letter stands independently giving the uniformity to the common word “THE” more powerful when presented in this manner. The picture plane is broken into four quadrants and the boundaries are concrete and fully integrated into the work with strong color. The silver lining around the”?” mark was suggested by Zion a very close family friend. Zion pointed out the most important part of the painting. His 12 year old eye gave my painting a clear perspective. His perspective gave the viewer an assignment to see the QUESTION. Thanks Zion!” “Out of the mouths of babes…” Psalm 8:2 KJV

Christy’s Niblets: Catching Dreams

DSCN2858Living with a terminal illness was not the kind of thing I planned to be facing in my 30s. As my birthday approaches I think of how different last year was. I wanted to have my 35th birthday without being on dialysis and I achieved that goal. As for 36 I would like to live to see it and renew my marital vows the day after.

I was never a person to have a five year plan; I thought that was silly. My wife and I returned to NY and were told that my life expectancy was 5 years (that was almost 5 years ago). I have been told repeatedly there is no cure for either of my primary diseases: the Multiple Sclerosis or End Stage Renal Disease. People say there are always new developments and to “hold on” and I am not sure those developments are for me. It makes people feel uncomfortable when I say that but it’s the truth! Every time I go into a dialysis session it is a major undertaking for my body. My body is having a visceral nightmare as my blood goes though a wash cycle to return to its owner in 3 hours.

The dream catcher is one of my most delicate works. Its execution took time and although there is no text the tissue is cut very thinly and has been applied to the canvas in the usual manner. It was painted in the morning when my hands could attempt such a challenge. It rises gracefully off of the canvas. There is no “pop” in this piece just stillness. The soft pastel acrylics serve as a background that reminds me of rain. The hot pink is used for the web and seems strong enough to hold the negativity associated with nightmares. The delicate feathers created with iridescent purple ink convey a passing of positivity. The feathers seem to take on a personality of their own and are my favorite aspect of this piece. This piece hangs in our at home gallery. It reminds me that the good dreams have fallen through. A beautiful God, a beautiful wife and a beautiful home are some of those GOOD dreams. I am excited for all of you to see this painting and it will be at the LLC kick off party on a date to be announced. It will hang in our at home gallery until it finds a home elsewhere.

We can choose to live in the nightmare and never want to sleep. I try and allow the good dreams to fall through and live in them. As for the five year plan, “The future is no place to place your better days.” Dave Matthew Band

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Speak Your Truth: The story behind the new LLC!

Speak Your TruthIn February of 2011, Speak Your Truth was conceived on Lake City Way in Seattle to the proud parents of a non profit business woman and a care giving artist. There was NO seed money! It was built on happiness and love.

After 5 months of being married, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The disease ravaged my myelin leaving me unable to work at the bedside as a cardiac technician, and quitting nursing school 3 years in. My new wife interrupted her career and life to aid me in my recovery. She fed me, held me when my body would spasm and pushed me in my wheelchair when I could not walk. When I got better we packed our stuff got in the car and drove across country. MS robbed us of some time but we got on with the business of living!

We moved into our apartment on Lake City Way. I fell in love with Washington and yes it rained everyday. We called it spitting! My physical therapy was in the form of my paintings. I began to teach myself the tissue and ink technique that makes my work unique. I began to teach myself a deeper language of color and texture.

I was working a live in hospice case. My patient was moaning in pain, her face contorted and her body was in the fetal position and she was no longer able to verbalize her needs. I administered her last dose of morphine. She died peacefully and that ended my 72 hour shift and was my last nursing assignment but God had another calling for me and it began the moment I returned home.

Unable to sleep and full of emotion, Nieta suggested that I paint and I did. Overwhelmed I took “it” to the canvas. The strokes and gentleness in the background convey sadness. They are opposed to the texture that can be seen in the mouth and in the eye and they seem to relay a sense of freedom. It is as if two people are being represented in the painting but they work well together. I painted slowly and deliberately. I sculpted the letters and built up from the canvas into the atmosphere of the viewer. I was guided by intuition and painted a single mouth and eye. I was painting the unity of the forces that were pulling at me on this canvas.

This work of art was our future reality and is our logo. Our company takes its first official breath in June of 2014 as an established LLC in New York. Nieta is the quiet force behind the business and I thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. Congratulations to myself and my partner in business and in Life. I love you.

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Christy’s Niblet: Women On Fire

The series “Women on Fire” was inspired by my wife’s love of 1970s music and her dancing around the house to Disco Inferno. I wanted to document that moment as one would if they took a picture. For a long time I was trapped in this need to capture the moment but in doing so I would always miss the moment. I was holding on so tight it would slip away. It would slip away like it was burning. DSCN2807DSCN2823   All of these women are in motion their impetus is the fire. Articulating the fire I have inside is a difficult task. At times it is a roaring flame that has endless possibility like when I was a ballerina in childhood or dancing in the Tunnel with the flashing lights until the sun came up in high school. Now that fire looks like a smoldering ember at times as I have needles in my arms to cleanse my blood. The fire to go on with this life has to be stoked by others and I have to be reminded that I have a purpose. I stopped ignoring my purpose and started living with the fire. “The fire’s ash gives her face color like a veil of darkness. Silver illuminates her face and her golden lips draw you to her. Her eyes hold the color red. The flames are igniting the top of her torso but she has been burned before but she does not burn anymore! Swelling red invades the canvas from the sides but she is untouched by the flames. The burning is from within and the flames that were destined to consume her build her up and serve a greater purpose. The fire ignites her motion even in her stillness she is in motion. She is me. She is my captured moment. I am a woman on fire.”

Christy’s Niblet: Journey Beyond Your Limits

Journey Beyond Your Limits 4-23-13When I was able to step out of the darkness and give a face to rape a burden was lifted.  A limit that I had bestowed upon myself was adjusted.  I was  able to move not only around it but beyond it.  After working in therapy and seeking legal assistance to get an order of protection i felt a new freedom.  I did not have to live in fear.  I made a decision to move to a different part of the county and as luck would have it I have fallen in love with it.  The show birthed itself.  I always wanted to curate a show with amazing artists and the details fell into place like magic for this show.
Journey Beyond Your Limits is the reality of my dreams.  We have had the opportunity to curate an art show of three artists that have overcome adversity.  Janine, Sagine and myself have a passion for our craft.  A strong sense of power can be seen from these pieces.  The movement and maturity of the work can be applauded.   These women have put there heart and souls into their work.  They have poured themselves into each stroke and texture chosen.
The spoken word artists are nothing sort of amazingly talented.  “Dear Rapist” was a poem written by Shye Sales and can be found in her book, Salutations to the Dawn. I tell you that poem was written for me and for women like me.  She gave me more courage than she could know.  As I moved forward in the court proceeding I had to face the man who had assaulted me and with her words I found courage. I was struck by the honesty and clarity in Amber’s voice.  Her words wrapped me with warmth and I knew she had to be here.  She wanted to be here with us.  MEWS is a talented women that is a rare find.  She has been blessed in the arts of writing, singing, dancing and acting.  She is a performer for all to enjoy.
The painting is about surviving.  It is about washing the dirtiness away.  The white plays a big role in this piece.  It is loud.  It has a depth to it that demands attention.  It is crisp and has been made that way by a palette knife.  The aqua blue arrives on the scene and is intricately involved with the white. They stand separately and are opaque in nature.  Limits are not translucent in my world.  They are like borders at airline terminals.  The text is central and seems like a title to a book.  It is a title but to our art show.  The title was chosen to honor the women that represent our collection of artist both visual and spoken and the women without voices whom we honor as well.
These women have been chosen and have given their time and energy to bring their talent to Speak Your Truth.  I was a victim of sexual assault.  I found my way out of the darkness through my art.  I was helped by the associations that we are donating to.  I have been on the other end of a help line.  I have read the materials in the for victims without a thought to the cost of the paper they were printed on or their reproduction.  I have been advocated for and by the most caring individual one could meet in a crisis.  When your world is falling apart they help you start to pick up the pieces.
I will say it again and again.  I am a victim one time and that was during the act.  After that I have to build or the rape will continue day in and day out.  The struggle is not over and it may never be over but a victim is not a name I claim.  This is why I can put my face to this issue because I am not a victim.  A victim once; A survivor for life.  Choose to survive!

Christy’s Niblet: Faith

Faith is tangible.  It can be touched and is every time I lift my paint brush to the canvas. Faith fills space and time.  It has the capacity to live in your body and your mind.  Faith has a breath all of its own.  It has an aroma that is as sweet as a lavender field. Faith is inviting if we are willing to RSVP.

Faith 1
I have placed my faith in lovers and jobs but none of these held answers or solace.  None of them gave me peace.
My first” Faith” painting illustrates my reaching process.  It was birthed in Seattle; the first home my wife and Speak Your Truth lived. Faith can sit on top of desperation.  After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and moving across the country; desperate was a feeling that I was accustomed to. The text in this work mimics this idea; it sits on top of the canvas.  This “faith” moves away from the canvas and becomes 3 dimensional.  The letters are rolled into existence as if a dough being kneaded.  The pink, lavender  and mint green grow and build together with an instinctual quality.  Instinct has caused me to put faith in the wrong places and the wrong people.  However I reached.
The” Faith” painting that is featured in the Seven Ways to Sunday Collection was inspired from a sermon and a song. This painting is more about confident faith.  The faith that works under all circumstances. The anchor is chosen as an iconic representation of this idea.  The letters are flush to the canvas.  The colors are smooth and wash over the piece in a calm movement.  It moves the eye in a circular path with the anchor as the focal point.  The blue absorbs the pink that surrounds it.  The pewter acts as an accent and quiets the magenta hue that is also present.  The anchor is the embodiment of the way I feel about my faith today.
I have faith in my body and what it tells me.  I listen to the gnawing feeling when I know that the doctor has missed something.  I pray in faith that my petitions are heard.  Through meditation I have learned to listen in silence. You may enter life circumstances with layers of fear but with action we can be cloaked in a coat of faith.  If faith could be administered intravenously that would be easy but we must seek it.  You can even borrow someone else’s faith. Faith is so real that it can be shared and I share it through my art.  These two “faith” paintings were created from two different mindsets, on two different coasts and with two different techniques. They are both sculpted and engage the viewer.  Faith is an engagement between you and something or someone else you can depend on.  Have faith.  Be engaged in action to seek faith.  If all else fails find a friend and borrow their faith. As for myself I am anchored in something other than me.
Faith 2
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