Visual arts tend to be solitary pursuits much of the time. While I crave that solitary and meditative quality of painting, I’ve also found myself being drawn to finding ways to balance it with more forays into art communities.
This can be a bit of a challenge, as most artists seem to have their own unique methods of engaging with their craft – taking unfinished work elsewhere and sinking into a truly productive painting mode in a community setting is tough for many (plein air painters, of course, are so well versed in this. I am not).
As I’ve continued to share my art over the years, though, I’ve been fortunate to find community in so many varied shapes and forms. The online gathering of artists I’ve encountered has been inspiring and engaging…seeing the processes, achievements, and struggles of other artists provides such camaraderie and encouragement. Art challenges, for instance – where artists from all over the world tackle a single topic throughout a month (#junefae!) – breathe fresh air into my sketchbooks and help me to grow beyond my comfort zone.
A revitalizing force over these recent years, though, has been finding community with artists “in real life” and meeting some of the most inspiring souls to share in the artistic process in some way or another.
AM Stockhill is one of these remarkable people – an accomplished professional contemporary Western artist who creates paintings that leave me speechless, she’s also such a gracious, encouraging, and helpful friend. When I first started painting, I concentrated on Western art – I crossed paths with AM (whose work I’d been a fan of for so long), and ever since then, she has been a huge inspiration, giving me so much courage to pursue my art.
Jordan Parker, who paints beautiful and ethereal images of animals and landscapes, is another dear friend who has been an inspiring companion in the creative arts. Jordan is full of so much passion & warmth, and she has been a voice of encouragement in my embracing of local art communities. She has led me to a more active role in Fall City Arts, and it’s so much fun getting to participate in local events with her – including the recent Finally Friday Art & Wine Walk in Snoqualmie, WA, where we had neighboring tables.
The Finally Friday Art & Wine Walk, by the way, is an event held on the last Friday of the month throughout the late spring and the summer – artisans and musicians set up their booths in the beautiful, historic downtown of Snoqualmie, WA, and guests get to enjoy wine samples while browsing local wares.
Jordan & I both participated in May’s Art & Wine Walk, and even though it was a rainy night, there was a wonderful turnout. I met so many gracious & supportive folks that night and am looking forward to more art walks in the future.
I’ve been making an effort to create a new coloring page for each event I vend at this year (which I then provide for free at the events themselves as well as online). Since our tables for the Art & Wine Walk were in front of the Snoqualmie Falls Candy Factory (could there be a better spot?!), I thought a coloring page with a chipmunk enjoying some wild rose truffles would be the perfect addition.
Keep an eye on my Events page for more festivals & art walks throughout the year!