A lost racing pigeon bunked in the eave of our house for a couple of weeks. I tracked down the local racing pigeon group and after describing the bands on the bird's legs, the man I spoke with urged me to catch the pigeon so that it could be returned to it's home. The bird had other ideas. It stayed comfortably out of my range, and grew plump on the cracked corn and sunflower seeds I pour into the bird feeders around my garden. I last saw the racing pigeon flying towards downtown Bend, Oregon with a wild pigeon friend. It had discovered it's heritage and took the plunge to live life in the wild.
That's how I've been feeling lately, like I'm rediscovering my heritage. Not in a cultural sense, but in a human/animal sense. It started with learning to surf my SUP board. After a summer and autumn on the water, I found something in SUP paddling and surfing that energizes me. I'm deeply respectful and sometimes scared of open water and the ocean, so surfing isn't only about fun for me. I'm very aware when I venture off shore that I'm entering a wild and impersonal food chain. And when the wind and waves change from friendly to scary, that only compounds my fears. But, the ocean has a deeper metaphorical and spiritual meaning for me that became part of my consciousness as a child growing up on the California coast, so I didn't let fear stop me. I coped with the water despite my anxiety and stuck with it long enough to actually enjoy myself. Crossing over that personal hurdle has been positively affecting my art. I've gone back to making large images and continue to explore where my retablo series takes me. My series of altars (retablos) is growing and is now beginning to be exhibited as a group.
This month has been an exciting blend of local, regional and national exhibits. In Central Oregon, High Desert Gallery is exhibiting my series of Madonna retablos (altars) at their Redmond, Oregon location. This is the first time 14 of these ex-voto style retablos have been shown together. Regionally, Onda Gallery in Lake Oswego, Oregon (a suburb of Portland) included my large oil, Sentinel Moon - Blue Heron in a show benefiting the Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. And their Alberta Street Location is showing my retablo, La Sirena (The Mermaid). Nationally, the ASU Arizona State University Museum of Anthropology is exhibiting my 16'6" charcoal drawing, Love Always (Siempre Amor) created for their 9th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival exhibit, Oct. 28, 2008 - Jan. 29, 2009.
Along with the art, I continue to write design articles regularly for Latina Style magazine, and to color consult. I like sharing home design ideas with clients, it's a satisfying way to share my creative skills when I'm not painting or writing.
I encourage you to continue to explore whatever it is that energizes and enhances your passionate self. It's the best way I can think of to stay creative and positive during this time of economic uncertainty.
Read more on my website www.CristinaAcosta.com