Thursday, March 6, 2014

#C4ward March Blogathon (Day 6): The perfect year of artmaking for me is finding MY COUNTRY

FINDING MY COUNTRY. The indigenous Australians when asked what they are painting often answered me, "My Country." End of discussion. I would stand or sit and watch them paint in one of the many studios I visited in Australia across the country, the three different visits I made there. And I would ask myself, "How would I paint MY COUNTRY?" I still ask that question, and it is one of the reasons I am drawing and painting animals along the Georgia coast. I can claim no particular geographical place my home because I am not connected to a region by family or my life experience. Georgia wins! I've lived here the longest! (Art by Australian Artist in the Melbourne, Victoria, Photo by Tony Martin (2010), see this post for more)
Hallelujah for thinking inventively! Hallelujah for the journeying life of an artist! What would a perfect year of artmaking be for me (asked by C4ward March Blogathon, see the complete prompt below)


1. Practice abstract painting MY COUNTRY (find a mentor)
2. Venture into a larger and different format to capture MY COUNTRY
3. Deepen my understanding of body wisdom and create MY COUNTRY from there
SAPELO ISLAND, GEORGIA, 2011. Here I am on my beloved Georgia coast, where I have spent oodles of time with my husband, Tony Martin, as he crafted his book, Life Traces of the Georgia Coast. I learned many years ago to "inhabit" the environment I am visiting. Pausing to look, inhale the presence of natural life, and draw or paint it helps me connect with this precious Earth. "What is MY COUNTRY"? I explore repeatedly. Not yet satisfied. (photo by Tony Martin 2011)
When my mind begins to explore future possibilities for my "perfect" year painting or drawing MY COUNTRY, I considered these two categories:

1. In order to "embody" MY COUNTRY in art, I employ a body trainer, a masseuse, a nutritionist/chef, and InterPlayers and Dancing Flowers to play with
2. I have two advisers, one for the soul and one practiced in creative exploration to support the realization of MY COUNTRY
3. Then I need to be among other creatives of varying disciplines sharing MY COUNTRY, seeing their work and listening to their stories about manifesting their ideas

My perfect year is divided into quarters, during which I spend 3 months each in Mexico, Australia, Africa, and India, living in community with indigenous artists studying and learning their skills and the ways of accessing the spirit that is reflected in their work. They mentor me in accessing MY COUNTRY and expressing it vividly in my art work.
BROOME, AUSTRALIA. This painting, shown by the artist, depicts an Indigenous Australian folktale of two lovers who got too close to the river and were eaten by crocodiles and become part of the cosmos. Tony and I bought this painting and another, popped them in the mail, but the mailing tube arrived to our U.S. home empty. Yes, we were devastated. No paintings. I had forgotten that we had taken a photo of this particular until now. I appreciate the way the artist had incorporated local stories and imagery into her own unique folk style. HER COUNTRY? How do I depict MY COUNTRY? (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what you think of my perfect year! And, yes, I want to know what yours would be and how you can do some of that now! The complete C4ward March Blogathon prompt is below for your consideration: 


Your Perfect Year of Making Art

C4ward March Blogathon: Day 6 Prompt

Imagine one perfect year of art making. Be bold and allow yourself to envision what the ideal situation would be like to you. Tell us about it! Draw or paint it! Sing it! Dance it! Write a poem!

Some aspects to consider (but not necessary):
  • Where are you geographically?
  • What does your dream work environment look and feel like?
  • How is your studio equipped?
  • Who are you creating or collaborating with?
  • Who supports your daily life as you make your creative work?
  • How many hours do you spend creating?
  • How many hours do you spend selling your work or managing the business end?
  • What do you do for recreation?
  • What do you do for inspiration?
  • Do you have any specific goals for this year?
EXTRAS FOR CONSIDERATION: Why aren’t you doing this now? What is preventing you from having your perfect year of making art? What action(s) could you take to have some of this perfection in your life now?


  1. Live the dream, which seems to be what you are doing. Your energy is always inspiring. Entranced with traces I followed Tony Martin's link to his book and blog and subscribed. The content of his work fascinates me, traces left behind = the mark of the brush, pencil, pen, by animals and humans alike. Very inspiring.

    1. Yes Maggie, there is something about your work that feels like glad you looked at Tony's website. I love the work he does both modern and ancient. Imagine looking at patterns and determining behavior. I love this discussion. It is helping me to speak more, think more, make connections with ideas and other magnificent artists like you.

  2. Also love the idea of finding a country… what would that be like, to find a country. How would I define my own country? Gives me lots to think about, my favorite thing to do besides painting and eating!

    1. Yes...what is that COUNTRY that dwells within each one of us? And within our tribe? Dreamtime is also real time. How to paint it coming from the self?

  3. Ruth, what a magically perfect year it would be! I love that you identify a 'dream team' to help make your perfect year of art a reality! I wish for you a year of dreams fulfilled!!--Carol Hays

    1. Gosh Carol! I always think of dreams as being momentum builders but never the end for my endeavors. It would be whoppingly wonderful to reach out and grab the star of my dreams! Thank you!

  4. I have been panting MY COUNTRY for the past three years and didn't realize it. Thanks Ruth. I now have a better understanding and new way to look at the series I'm continuing to work on, "passages".

  5. gads, that painting looks amazing, so sorry it was lost/stolen. i am heartbroken for you! also, i LOVE your Dream Team Assistants! such a fantastic idea, and here i thought i was dreaming big! i am totally going to store that away for my dreams. :)

  6. Really interesting to see your connection to Australia, I the influence of this extraordinary culture and their amazing art, it one of my favorites, Also value the expasive view you have on 'your country'. I want to ditto your dream team baby, yes, bring it on.

  7. Wow! Your perfect year is filled with movement. I like the idea of focusing on My Country and having such a large support network to help you accomplish your goal.

  8. This is perfect. Finding your country is in some ways what we all are doing. Having just moved across the country I understand this. How does one establish themselves, feel connected to their new land. Great project and post.