Treasure II oil on panel 16x12” in progress.
I have so much to say about this new series but I wanted to share what hit me when I was listening to Seth Godin’s pod earlier.
I think a lot of artists fall into the trapping of chasing perfection. And a lot of art collectors would be keen on having art that could have been generated by an inkjet printer by itself.
Art is one of a kind. And understanding to be unique and imperfect is actually what makes something special. I’ve been loving following the creatures that have been showing up in my studio, even though most might find them odd or unpleasant. I am so intrigued and concerning myself less with how anyone else likes what I do.
Seth ponders : “What does it mean:
To have the vinyl version and not the CD
What would it mean to have rough edges and the rust that wabi-sabi brings with it?
When we are more organic and more human
When we cannot be easily put into a box, pigeon-holed, instantly understood, discarded and replaced
When we seek to be the Lynch pin instead of the cog
What does that does that do to our work?
There’s another kind of quality: meeting spec of making a promise, not that I can do this faster or cheaper than anyone else you can find on fiver or upwark
The promise is the opposite: that you will pay a lot
But you will get more than you pay for
That you will be surprised and delighted.
There will be rough edges
The quality of meaningful work- the work of “I did my best.”
The work of “It is not perfect, but it is unique.”
Each of us, ironically in this moment of industrialization and digitization,
In this race for ever more gilded status
Each of us has the opportunity to do something else.
And that something else
Is to be the person we set out to be.”
The new Treasure collection. I’ll speak on this soon enough.
It's probably the most ' me ' work I've made to date.
it's imperfect and as honest as I can paint at this moment.
I'm super proud of it.
ittle Ghosts, after Heinz. Oil on panel 18x14”. Special commission, 2021🔴
I am grateful for those who trust me to bring their commissions to life. I ask for a story and as many photos as they have.
Today for the first time in my life, I saw a magpie in Jackson Hole. (Photo 2) When I was looking at references of a German shepherd named Heinz for this piece, I saw he made friends with a magpie and so this vision came to be:
“The pack changed a lot since April, my wonderful boy Heinz passed away April 8th. Cancer took him from us. He was the center of our lives.
When he left, my heart broke. He was so special. He healed my broken soul. He was my baby, my shadow and protector for almost 12 years. The dog I dreamed of when I was a child and young girl. But nothing is forever and I try to be grateful he was in my life.
What I give you as an inspiration:
I grew up in a wealthy home but without a connection to my parents, and
without feeling loved and cared for. My mother left when I was 9 and I was sent to a boarding school. I felt abandoned, lonely and terrified of life itself. With my class we visited a wolf sanctuary and I was fascinated by the beauty, grace and size of these animals. There was one young wolf who had to live separately because the pack mobbed him and he got injured several times. But his personality still so strong and unbroken I fell in love with him. Canis Rufus was written outside of his enclosure. Never forgot this. When I played outside, I imagined to be him. Lonely but strong. He was my hero. I had my own reality and in my imagination I was Canis Rufus (Red wolf).
Decades later when Heinz came into my life, Canis Rufus came back to me with him.
But Heinz is gone now and I want to set both free. 💫🌙 May they fly high.
This shall be my inspiration for you…. 🐾🐺
Every color is up to you and your feelings about my inspiration. I want you to be free in your creation .”
And so I woke up the next day with this composition in my mind:
The little red wolf, the spirit of the magpie who befriended her beloved Heinz, and ‘may they fly high’, words I’ll never forget.
The little ones leave the biggest holes when they have to go.
I say this a lot but there are really two types of people: people who own dogs, and dog people. Dog people tend to understand this the most🥺
Title is from Mrs. Potter's Lullaby, a song by the Counting Crows: "if dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts"
This is a really personal commission that I was honored to take on. This is a bit of a ghost story but not the haunting variety.
Post Script, 18x24” oil on canvas. 🔴SOLD. Another revisit from 2021, but some new thoughts.
Photo 2: a v large custom 5’ canvas print!
Photo 3: “The Enchantress” a fav from the Nat’l Museum of Wildlife Art
☝️DM for custom prints / originals
This was a series of 3 letters painted to put back together the pieces of a broken heart.
But being around all these bears in Jackson Hole and these incredible wildlife painters at national wildlife museum, I’ve been considering these a bit more.
When I look at paintings with images of mythology, I just feel that there’s a story that is common to everyone - but we may not even know the story. There’s something to it that’s universal to our subconscious and painting about that… is finding our way back to through history to our origins. When I see a painting or hear a song there’sl this feeling of ‘Ah, yes, that there is in my bones,’ Sort of like cave art, you don’t understand what happened but you know it to be truth and there’s a magic to that.
I would like to trace that gray area in my own work. These aren’t spun tales, I want truth in it.
Animals have a huge part in who we are. I think Nietzsche said something about the truth of the dream life of animals-and thats what I’ve been more curious about as well.
I seldom remember my dreams but in January 2020, I had a vivid encounter following a crowd of polar bears into the sea and I knew if I followed them I’d probably drown. But I wasn’t afraid.There was just acceptance, like “oh ok this is how I’m going to go out, but this darkness I’m going into doesn’t feel like a bad thing and there’s a familiarity to it that is strangely comforting. I’ve been here before.”
And I woke up with that feeling that it’s okay to revisit this place, it didn’t actually drown me the first time. It’s okay to remember these bears. And it’s okay to follow them to that dark place they made lead.
Jerboa 1.0 layer no. 2 Mini creech in progress
Oil on panel 5x5”.
A lot of making art is listening to the tiny voice that says “this might not work,”
and knowing in your heart
It already did.
Because you were brave enough
You’re doing great.
Working small creech for a moment as I adjust to the new palette and finishing up a few old haunts before really starting this new creative endeavor.
I’ve got some stories to tell.
And can I just say wow, I’m visiting Jackson Hole for the first time and the contemporary wildlife scene is something else!
Aliza and Her Monsters