This month I had the honor to be one of the first artist-in-residence at the prestigious Miraval Arizona Resort in Tucson. My art has been displayed at the Resort for a couple of years, and they just launched this program to let their guests get a deeper understanding of the artwork they display. I was honored to be a part of it.
I have always felt that my work has a strong affinity to resorts and spas, especially ones like Miraval that place so much focus on your emotional well-being. To my surprise, Miraval shared an even deeper connection to how I create my art. Everything at Miraval revolves around the idea of being “mindful”. Every class and activity is designed to help you become fully aware, fully present in the moment. And as I worked on my art each morning, I realized that “mindfulness” is also the foundation for my own artistic process.
Each work of art I make, whether I am in the desert or my studio at home, starts with me being mindful of the natural world and my relationship to it. I disconnect the analytical side of my brain, and quiet the chatter in my head. I try to calm the brain’s reflexive need to process and categorize, and just allow myself to absorb what my senses perceive, unfiltered. Even when I am out gathering subjects to photograph, I cannot worry about the past or plan for the future: I have to just be aware of the present, and experience my environment as openly and simply as possible. Only then do the ideas and images come to me. In a way, my art has become my own form of meditation or prayer, helping me be more mindful, more present, more centered.
You can visit my blog to read some more about my experiences at Miraval.
P.S. If I look tired in the video, it’s because I just came in from a 2-hour mountain bike ride in the 95 degree heat!