I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.

~ Mary Oliver (excerpted from 5AM in the Pine Woods)

Happy New Year! 

This past week has filled the city with snow - perfect for reading, painting, and dreaming. In the spirit of peace that accompanies time well spent with books, I offer you a peek into my first exhibit of the New Year, which is an invitational curated by Penelope Varn. The show runs through February 25th in Twisp, WA, at the Confluence Gallery.

Curator's Statement:  Reading broadens intellectual horizons, infuses life with depth and color, and brings other cultures and vantage points into one’s sphere of awareness. Because of that, it also increases cognitive and affective empathy and improves social functioning. And add to that reading’s positive impact on memory, attention span and stress reduction. In short, reading changes lives while making the world a better and brighter place.

Confluence Gallery of Twisp, Washington is showing its support for the literary arts by partnering with Friends of the Winthrop Public Library (FOWL), during its January 2020 show, The Color of Words. A portion of the proceeds from the show will benefit FOWL’s mission to develop a vibrant public library for the Methow Valley.

The artists have been asked by the curator to ponder how literature has enlivened their imaginations, stimulated their creativity, and to render, in the media of their choice, the pieces of literature that have most strongly impacted their art.

I started running when I was 14. My routes took me through the piney woods of Northwest Florida along dune lakes beside the Gulf of Mexico. My runs now are mostly in the mountains and forests of Washington where running alone is church, meditation, prayer and inspiration. When I am very lucky, I encounter wildlife – the laugh of a pileated woodpecker, the cautious companionship of a grey fox, the startled but silken movements of black snake or the silent gaze of deer. Mary Oliver’s words in these three poems resonate with me. They describe my heart when I paint or carve, draw or dream. I am again beside the wild creatures in their wild lands, in a space of heightened awareness and gratitude. When I read her work, it feels like singing an old hymn whose words I can’t remember learning.  Their visual echo is held in the immediacy of mono-painting. Shadow and light greet and reveal the searching, moving lines of the sketch. Together these elements are a call and response between word and image, memory and dream, and a thank you for each encounter.   
The Place I Want to Get Back To

is where
in the pinewoods
in the moments between
the darkness

and first light
two deer
came walking down the hill
and when they saw me

they said to each other, okay,
this one is okay...

Read Mary Oliver's complete poems

Five AM in the Pine Woods

I'd seen their hoofprints in the deep needles and knew they ended the long night under the pines, walking like two mute and beautiful women toward the deeper woods...


The Faces of Deer

When for too long I don’t go deep enough into the woods to see them, they begin to enter my dreams. Yes, there they are, in the pinewoods of my inner life. I want to live a life
full of modesty and praise...

...Then, love and its blessing. Then: heaven.

May your newest year's dreams be realized, and welcome time in abundance for all that fills your heart.

Copyright © 2020 Janet Fagan, Artist Studio, All rights reserved.

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