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Monday, November 06, 2006

In Tribute of Great Artists


Life around here has taken on a melancholy tone since we heard that my wife's mother has been diagnosed with cancer in both lungs. In her early 80's, this is tough news. Both my wife and mother-in-law are artists, Martha a printmaker and her mom, Ruth, a painter and printmaker. Both knew they would be artists at age 3 or 4. Both have a singular vision for creativity. They are both best friends and competitors. I can't help but draw parallels to my dad and me (and my brother). We are all pastors in the same denomination and speak to each other at a depth level that others cannot appreciate. The thought of losing a parent/peer/colleague is a searing thought, though the reality of this world

So, what hit me this weekend, in those late Sunday evening reflective hours when my brain is spent from preaching, teaching and conversing, was how unsung great artists are. This was made especially poignant by the NYT's magazine spread on Kiki Smith, New York artist and printmaker. When I asked Martha about her, she brought out a book of Kiki's work and talked about their similar themes and paths. But what makes one artist "found" "known" and others working with relative anonymity? I'm not sure. I don't begrudge great artists, but there are so many more out there. Not unlike pastors, teachers, musicians and others. The few hit the spotlights (for good or ill) and the many labor along.
The older I get, the more I am aware that I am living with and married to a really great artist. So, here's to great artists, wherever you are!

6 Comments:

At 1:24 PM , Anonymous Gary Means said...

I am so sorry to hear the news about your mother-in-law. I was blessed with an awesome mother-in-law. She was the matriarch of the family, a woman with the gift of hospitality. She died in November of 1999. I still miss her, and I only knew her for a few years.

Are the prints you shared works by your mother-in-law? They're very lovely. I enjoy the use of color in both and the use of line in the first one.

I'm also an artist. If you're interested, I've shown a little or my work on my blog on these dates:
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006

 
At 1:51 PM , Anonymous Gary Means said...

Donn, ignore the dates I gave. I reposted some of my artwork today. I wouldn't make mention this except the dates are a bit misleading. I really don't want to make this about me though.

I will be praying for your mother-in-law, for your wife, for you, and for the rest of the family as you deal with this saga.

 
At 4:34 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Gary;
Thanks for your kind words. No, the prints I shared are martha's I don't have Ruth's photographed yet.

 
At 7:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The prints you show are like those hanging on my walls ~ from the same wonderfully talented artist and friend. A truely gifted woman.
They bring back such good happy thoughts.

 
At 5:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 5:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,nice blog!!! I found a place where you can make an extra $800 or more a month. I do it part time and make a lot more than that. It is definitely worth a visit! You can do it in your spare time and make good cash. Make Extra Cash

 

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