THE DESERT BLOOMS
Sister Kristine Haugen
We have heard that it can happen, and some have even seen it. The dry, stretch of barren desert sand can bloom with beautiful flowers in the right condi-tions. Something seems to come from nothing. Something similar is true, I have noticed, in my life, notably in my religious life. The imagination per-forms best when it is hemmed with restraint. It thrives on challenge and is able to do more with less. It is focused energy. In the same way the creative impulse of the artist may be most productive when preceded by a time of silent meditation and recollection in a con-templative space. It is a gestation period when all the images, shapes, colors that have come in through the senses coalesce into a new work of art, which is unique. This analogy of the desert and the creative process is recognizable to me as a hermit and artist. It is beauty that magnetizes us and it is the duty of the contemplative to give beauty away, and leave this world a better place for having been there. When pain, despair, or ugliness appear in our lives, art can lift us up above the mess and renew our hope in the goodness of life. I know that art gives me much joy.
Having first been introduced to watercolor painting long ago, only lately have I had the time to paint again. Aside from a few work-shops, I have no formal training. My work is a mixture of mediums and methods that I have learned, one being the traditional approach where a reference subject is chosen with well-planned procedure to make a representational picture. On the opposite spectrum the experimental or intuitive approach is just what the name suggests- a spontaneous and expressive use of splashing or pouring the paint on the paper after which the artist slowly pulls order out of the "chaos" and builds the composition. In this semi abstract method, ones imagination is challenged the most. Of course, one can paint with a combination of these two styles of painting with watercolor. I like them all but prefer the simpler style of free flowing washes. Yet simplicity is not nec-essarily mean easy. I need to keep returning to the desert, to discard there the en-cumbrances collected, to renew the spirit, let it flow and see what blooms!
Sister Kristine Haugen
HERMITAGE ARTS •2514 92nd Street • Luck, WI 54853 • Email