An old friend a few years ago said in a very secure succinct manner, bloom where you are planted. Over the years this simple phrase has been a guiding light for me on this perilous journey called life. When we feel discouraged and just plain doubting the choices we have made we contemplate the bloom.
The book, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, Essays by40 Working Artists, Edited by Sharon Louden, introduces us to artists living and working in all parts of the U.S. The common thread that weaves its way through the book is that place is just one factor in the production and distribution of our creative output. We all know some areas are better known for their concentration of recognition in the arts. To help artists in less fertile art rich communities, the rise of guilds and arts and cultural organizations surround the artists with the energy of a supportive community. Sharon Louden shares with us the wide range of areas where artists are planted and the struggles these artists have endured to bloom.
|Greening of the Dune by Joel F. Ellis|
I like to tell the stories of the Great Lakes, the dunes and water ways and how they impact our lives. As Spring finally opened the skies to sunshine and warmth we recently went on a brief journey from the center of Michigan to the dune coast to find beauty in white Trillium carpeted forests, earthly sounds and astounding quiet nights. We found little communities of people opening their shops and getting ready for a couple of months of festivities.
In Empire, one of the small villages, at the base of Sleeping Bear National Park, we came across Heather Caverly and her exquisite gallery of fine art, Sleeping Bear Gallery. The works here range from realistic to tantalizing contemporary paintings, drawings, and sculpture. The artists in the gallery reflect their own bloom in the great lakes.
Farther north in Michigan’s wonder land near Charlevoix, we find the eclectic Cycling Salamander art gallery where gardens welcome visitors to Nature’s delicate blooms amid whimsical sculptures. Inside the gallery we are amazed at the variety of artist’s expressions. Where we live and the times and events that shape our place are the influences that make the artist’s work meaningful.
|Yasmin's Dune 10x20 oil by Joel F. Ellis|
As the Michigan motto goes – If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.