Part 5: One Artist’s Journey 40-50 yrs old

This continues my 5 part series about my Artist Journey. Part 5 is between the years 2000-2010.

I took another inspiring Peggy Zehring Experimental Drawing and Painting Workshop in the San Juan Islands before moving to Portland in 1999. It was so awesome! 5 days of painting in the coolest place ever! I always get really jazzed after taking one of Peggy’s workshops!

My paintings from the class explored the light that you see/feel during each part of the day. There were 6 in this abstract “Light” series, 38″ x 40″, acrylic on canvas. “Sunset” and “Morning” are below. I would end up showing these paintings later in 2000 at the Talisman Gallery in Portland.

Sunset, Acrylic on Canvas
Sunset, Acrylic on Canvas
Morning, Acrylic on Canvas
Morning, Acrylic on Canvas

I moved to Portland just in time for Y2K. I had great expectations for the new year! I thought I would freelance doing graphic production work as I had in NYC and Seattle but it was a hard gig to break into! Everyone already had their freelancers lined up. I was a little bummed because it meant I would have to look for fulltime work! I did do some freelance for Wieden + Kennedy and a few others before I got a job at an ad agency in Beaverton. Working full time makes it hard to find time to paint! Although I did love my job.

But Art always prevails so I would paint in the evenings after work.

The first series I worked on in Portland were the “Purple Spirit Tree” paintings, I had started doing some small studies of the trees while I was in Seattle preparing to move. And then I worked on my whimsical “Chair” Series. These two series were about putting down roots. Planting myself on the ground and staying put. I was ready to settle down, buy a house, get married, stay in Portland for awhile and that is exactly what happened. It’s funny how once you get some of your lessons learned and you decide in your heart what you want, the Universe provides.

Purple Spirit Tree I
Purple Spirit Tree I
Tied to the Sky
Tied to the Sky

I continued painting my whimsical paintings. I also was going to school at Marylhurst University and taking Art Therapy courses. As I recall, I was getting spread pretty thin. Working full time, going to school part time and finding time to paint and have a relationship! Something had to go! I decided to give up the Art Therapy studies. It was okay though. I decided I could do volunteer work if I wanted to work with people doing art. What I really wanted was to paint! More time for painting makes me happy!

Whimsical Womb
Whimsical Womb

I answered a Call for Artists and started showing my work at the Talisman Gallery on Alberta Street. That was a great gallery for me, and I made some wonderful friendships there. It felt good to be showing my work again and settling into my new Portland life.

I loved Portland…except for one little bad thing that happened…someone stole one of my paintings! It was titled, “One Learned to Spin”. I was showing it in an exhibit near the gallery in a public area of a small shopping mall. And someone took it! So if you see it somewhere, it’s mine! My poor missing baby.

One Learned to Spin
One Learned to Spin

In 2002, I found out about painted floorcloths. The floorcloth below is one I made and donated to a Habitat For Humanity fundraiser. I made a bunch of them. My favorite was one I had under my dining room table for years till it wore out, otherwise I’d show it to you. I made all different sizes and designs on my floorcloths. You can learn more about floorcloths at Kathy Cooper’s Floorcloth website. Hers are really gorgeous and helped inspire me to create mine!

Acrylic on Canvas Floorcloth
“My Home” Acrylic on Canvas Floorcloth

In 2003, I married Peter Hanson and we moved to Bend where Peter had family. Life was good.

PeterHanson2004

Susan Luckey Higdon, an artist putting together an Artist Collective in Bend, discovered my work hanging at an exhibit at the Sage Cafe. She invited me to start showing my work at the Tumalo Art Co. gallery. And that is what I started doing and I’m still showing there today.

I’m sad to say that Peter died from colon cancer in 2005. He was 45.

And here I would like to stop, and mention, the importance I feel in everyone getting checked for colon cancer! I’m a real advocate for early detection! Please go have that colonoscopy! Just do it because it could save your life! Peter had stage 4 cancer which means it had metastasized. It spread to his liver and lungs. Early detection is crucial to survival from this horrible disease! But that is another story.

Then I started working on my Door painting. It was a solid mahogany door. Peter had helped me finish it and prepare it for painting. I knew I wanted to paint a tree with birds on it. Pete and I had discussed what it would look like. He even made a sketch of what he thought I should paint. That makes me smile. His idea was different from mine. I began the painting and it evolved into a beautiful enchanted world. It sold to someone who lived back East.

The Door Painting "Step into Enchantment" hanging in it's new home.
“Step into Enchantment” hanging in it’s new home.

I painted more enchanted worlds with my Tulip series of paintings.

She Said Speak to me of Peace
She Said Speak to Me of Peace
She Said Reclaim the Treasure
She Said Reclaim the Treasure

And more whimsical worlds.

Nourished by the Mystery
Nourished by the Mystery

I’ve continued expanding my love of art and the creative process. I’ve won some awards and in 2007 was chosen as the Deschutes Brewery Jubelale artist. Getting this national exposure has been a great experience and I’m grateful for the publicity. My artwork for the Jubelale painting was inspired by the mountains and snow surrounding this area.

2007 Jubelale Painting by L. Gruger
2007 Jubelale Painting by L. Gruger
Jubelale Six Pack
Jubelale Six Pack

I started doing my bird paintings when we moved to Bend. In our yard, we have lots of birdhouses in trees and on the side of the garage, and I love putting bird feeders out in the fall and winter. In the summer, I hang hummingbird feeders off the back deck. I love watching the antics of these little creatures as they flit and flutter about.

He Felt The Light Go To His Heart
He Felt the Light Go to His Heart
One Lives in an Enchanted Garden
One Lives in an Enchanted Garden

The next series I worked on was my Native American Symbolic paintings. In 2006, I purchased a tipi. I’ve been interested in the Native American culture for as long as I can remember. My friend was sewing tipi’s for Nomadics, tipi makers near Sisters, Oregon. I went with her one day to deliver her sewn tipis. We spend about 45 minutes sitting in the most beautiful tipis that Nomadics had on their property. They were gorgeous inside. I felt like I was in a womb…so comforting and warm. It felt healing to my spirit. I bought one and had a tipi raising party for my birthday. I painted the outside of it with dancing horses and a protective warrior spirit.

Tipi
Tipi in the trees.
Belle loves the tipi.
Belle loves the tipi.
Tipi at Sunset
Warrior Spirit on Tipi

And then came the paintings.

Wisdom Warrior
Wisdom Warrior
White Bird Knows
White Bird Knows
Proud Eagle
Proud Eagle

Greg-June09BWIn Oct. 2007 I met Greg. In Oct. of 2008 we traveled to Costa Rica for an inspiring adventure.

My sweet man and I decided we would go to Baja, Mexico in Nov. 2008 for 6 months for even more adventure! I quit my full-time job at an ad agency in Bend. We left in  Nov. 2008 and came home in May 2009. I know, this is the short version.

(You’ll have to look through my old blog for more about Baja life, art and photos.)

We had so much fun in Baja! And we hope to go back there in the near future.

Lindy in Baja Studio
Me in Baja Studio

In Baja, I was able to paint lots! I learned a lot too! I learned how to make art videos. I became very involved in the online world. I started this Blog, joined Twitter and Facebook and when I came home, I opened my Etsy Shop.

In Baja, I painted whimsical worlds and birds…and a few palm trees.

She Heard the Desert Calling
She Heard the Desert Calling
My Family Plays with Color
My Family Plays with Color

While in Baja, I started putting white dots into my paintings which to me represents connectivity and energy.

Singing a Fiesta Song
Singing a Fiesta Song

Today I’m working on more bird paintings and my Dream Garden series which I’m really loving. It feels very healing and spiritual to paint these images.

Meditation Garden
Meditation Garden
Living in the Light of Awakening Dreams
Living in the Light of Awakening Dreams
She Watched One Thread Blossom
She Watched One Thread Blossom

I did a recent small series of Metaphysical Landscapes which I enjoyed doing because they combine my whimsical worlds with the dot patterns and symbolic shapes which I love. I call them Mindscapes.

Mountain Song
Mountain Song

mindscapesAnd that pretty much takes me up to today. I hope this wasn’t too long to read. I had a lot to cover so it might sound a little dry. We all have a story to tell and I love reading other people’s stories and how they got to where they are. I hope you’ll share a bit of your story with me in the comments.

9 thoughts on “Part 5: One Artist’s Journey 40-50 yrs old

  • March 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm
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    I’ve just read your whole series again from the 1st one to the 5th one. It made more sense to me to read it as a whole. I am so inspired by you! what an amazing life you’ve had! (are having!) Can I suggest you add a page with all 5 for an easier read?

    I just realized that I am almost 40 and have not journalized my life really at all. You have also inspired me to do that. I see the importance of chronicling your life as an artist.

    Thank you Lindy for being such an inspiration! ~Jaime

    Reply
    • June 15, 2017 at 8:39 pm
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      So glad you enjoyed it Jaime! Thanks for the suggestion about putting the links to my 5 Part Artist Journey series all on one page. I’ve done that on my Bio page which you can see here: https://artbylindy.com/about/bio

      Reply
      • June 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm
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        I’ve just read all 5 yet again and you still continue to inspire me Lindy! I’m so glad we found each other in blogland. I think it was about the time you were in Baja, so courageous I thought you were and free spirited! You remain so. Blessings to you my beautiful friend. I look forward to reading about the next chapters in your life.
        Jaime Haney recently posted…Traveling to the beachMy Profile

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  • February 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm
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    Did I mention that I loved the door?

    And NOW I WANT TO MAKE A FLOORCLOTH!!!

    Reply
    • June 15, 2017 at 8:40 pm
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      Hi Kristen, Floorclothes are fun to make. Glad you are inspired to make one!

      Reply
  • February 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm
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    I love this post and the others about your artistic journey. Wonderful to see the transition from your beginning pieces to where you are today. Beautiful work!

    Reply
  • February 19, 2010 at 7:46 am
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    i am just loving your work and following the whole process and story…if i get out to portland someday i’m looking you up!

    Reply
    • February 23, 2010 at 11:19 am
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      Thank you! I appreciate you coming over to check out my blog and leaving comments. BTW I’m in Bend, it’s about a 3-1/2 hr. drive from Portland. If you’re ever this way, it would be great to meet you too.

      Reply

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