Back when we bought our house in Sonoma, twelve years ago, we worked on it for several weeks before it became what we wanted it to be. For those weeks of construction and dust and chaos I would escape to places in town that had art and beauty. I’d hang out in well merchandised stores or galleries. The beauty settled me down and gave me strength when I got weary of the mess. After an hour or so I could return and tackle the questions of tile colors, grout colors and light fixtures with hammering going on in the background.
After the week we’ve had living with the wildfires in Northern California it’s good for me to remember what brings me solace, to seek what connects me to Source; that spirit that is steady, positive, and loving. Art is on that list.
I’ve been meaning to share with you some of the art Russ and I fell in love with in Santa Fe when we were back there in June. I have a special thing for art that relates to fashion or a woman’s form. It felt like a spiritual moment when Russ and I walked into the Shelby Fleetwood Gallery on Canyon Road.
There were several paintings and sculptures that focused on women and fashion. One artist moved me particularly. Her name is Christina Chalmers. As I viewed every piece of hers I realized I had seen her work before many, many years ago in a gallery in Mendocino, CA. It was when I was really fresh in my business. I had a fantasy of having her work in my office but as I recall the price tag was $13,000.
Luckily it costs nothing to look at images of her work. It’s great to see them in person in a gallery but the next best thing is to take a minute to click on this link and view the images of her and her creations. All her work was large scale but even the small images will give you a sense of her talent.
Born in 1948, she sadly passed away earlier this year from cancer. She was described to me as a gypsy as she would create studio spaces in various locations, including France. Here’s a quote from the artist:
Each of my works is a personal epic. Each garment image is a cloak, which shelters a universe luminous, spacious, incalculably rich and truly vulnerable. Finally, for me, there is this question: Does the light descend from the sky or rise out of us?
This painting titled Ancient Heavenly Bodies sold about a week after we’d visited the gallery. I love the repeated word “passion” on the dress.
Here is her artist’s statement and her biography. I found it fascinating and inspiring. I feel sad that she left this world so early. I can imagine she left behind hundreds of ideas for more works of art.
This sculpture by a different artist was completely intriguing. Stacy Phillips created this mixed media sculpture called Sasha. You’re looking at tons of crystals there. Understandably, the price reflects that. It’s $55,000.
I’m not sure who did this piece that was in the backyard of the gallery but it speaks to me of the community of women, like us!
Shelby Fleetwood Gallery is located at 600 Canyon Road. I’ll be making return trips for share Maybe you’ll visit there one day too.
What brings you back to center when you feel frayed?