Sunday, April 30, 2006

Inspiration via Equine

I have come to the conclusion that words and art interrelate, but there is a third leg to my triangle, and that is the type of communication that goes on between a person and an animal, in my case, a horse. Oberon (Obie) is a twenty-year-old Mustang that I adopted from the BLM when he was four--sixteen years ago. We've had a long time to build a relationship and style of communication. My participation in the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Savvy program for the past six years has allowed us to take that communication to a whole new level.
The thing that I have noticed the most is that when things break down, and Obie isn't doing what I want him to do, the error lies with my communication. I had to learn a lot about controlling my body, and my emotions, because they affect body. Horses' main language is body language.
So my triangle is perfecting my verbal, visual and kinetic modes of communication, and I believe that they all feed each other.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Explosive Inspiration

I find a great deal of confusion in being an author/illustrator when the world wants you to specialize. But I believe that art and words are inexorably linked. And then I spotted the feature article in this month's UNM Alumni Magazine, Mirage. It was an interview with Leslie Marmon Silko, the author of Ceremony. She said that she turns to painting when the novel she is writing misbehaves. It was an "ah" moment for me.
Ms. Silko is inspiring to me not just for the fact that she weaves art into her creative process, but because her story touches my story in a real way. She attended Highland High School in New Mexico at the time my Dad did. The two established a friendship based on a mutual interest in pyrotechnics. Dad told me they used to booby-trap each other's cars and he got invited to participate in fire works displays on the reservation.
There is an emotional reality there for me. It made me sit up and pay attention to what she said in the interview--in a way I might not have.