Niki Banffy-Nesbitt - Abstracted Spaces

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Summoning Ghosts
i am artist.


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When i was quite young, 5th grade, i was told to write a paper taking a position as a creationist or evolutionist. i think there were actually two more...that mixed the two favoring one side. i don't remember really what i chose. i remember i started the paper describing the colors of a sunrise, and ended it describing the colors of a sunset. i remember it blew teachers away in the little South Carolinian town. It was maybe my most proud moment of childhood. i remember being told that i may be a writer, but even more likely, i was a painter in the making.

Summoning Ghosts

Hung Liu

I planned to go to the beach today. Its so warm, my painting class is over, and i felt adventurous. I was going to sip on lemon drops and draw next to the ocean. Then, remembering the windy roads to Stinson Beach, i downgraded the adventure to diet coke. Then i went to my studio to get things to bring and suddenly wanted to go to the Oakland Museum. I think it was my friend Joanne, on Facebook mentioning the exhibit yesterday. Or maybe its the still low level sick/exhausted feeling in my body from weeks of all around too much of everything there is, leaving me completely spent and in bed by the end of this last week. Regardless, there i was, 12$ later in a room watching a film of Hung Liu painting. I was mesmerized. She paints with both grace and clarity, making decisions as she goes. Her brush strokes are sure and thick. Then she gets watery and lets paint drizzle over the whole painting like icing. I think its hard to manage transparency and opaquity both at once, but her drips and washes lighten what is heavy and visceral beneath. She says she is both "careful" and "careless." I see that so clearly when standing before her enormous paintings. She focuses most on her history, that of being a young girl during the Cultural Revolution in China. This was a time of great passion and promise of a communist utopia which never really became realized. Instead it became a time of great disappointment and pain for most of it's citizens. She has also painted about many other historical events here in the United States where she settled long ago in Oakland. Yep, she is local.  It really is an amazing exhibit that i encourage every artist to see. Summoning Ghosts, The Art of Hung Liu.

i am artist.

Here i am, a little over three years after taking my first step in establishing myself as an artist. i think the first step was the scariest: To walk away from a successful, but stressful job, and to attempt to do something i didn't necessarily already feel good at, but i loved so much.

Suddenly, to not know what was ahead...and i sooooo didn't know. i stepped into uncertainty and tried to embrace what it had in store for me. And i never would have imagined what was in store on so many levels.
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