From October 2016

Light on Vancouver Lake Path

Chris and I visited Vancouver Lake yesterday afternoon. I got some good shots of the sun getting lower in the sky as we began our walk back towards our car further on down the path. It was just a simple street and path, but the light made it truly beautiful.

“Chris Facing The Light” photo by Bea Garth, copyright 2016

I am blown away at how amazing nature is. It seems to really call to me.

I am beginning to think I should put some focus on photography in addition to painting etc. After all, with modern photographic methods, there is no longer any danger of getting toxified from the chemicals like I did back in the day. Chris tells me I still have the touch.

“Light on Thoroughfare” landscape by Bea Garth copyright 2016More of the light coming through the trees.

The thing is is that Chris and I spent some time talking with this one fellow whose wife was taking pictures of the lake with her huge new camera.

I just had my little cell phone for these, but honestly felt like the day was so perfect it invited the photographer in anyone. Ever feel like that?? It had been raining quite a bit for a few days, so the sun came out and pulled out all the stops. The land was green and glistening.

“Light and Dark on Path” photo by Bea Garth copyright 2016

To top it off, the trees are turning color so it was a riot out there!

“Fool” in progress, Carpet finally in

Well am getting close.  I like how the carpet came out, though I need to add in some shadows. More to do with the book and of course the dog — though it  just might become a cat!!

"Fool" in progress with carpet, pot etc. added by Bea Garth, copyright 2016
“Fool” in progress with carpet, pot etc. added by Bea Garth, copyright 2016

Soft Scenes, Vancouver WA Late Afternoon/Early Evening

Went for a walk yesterday evening and took a couple of decent shots of our local Vancouver area before there just wasn’t enough light.  I love how soft and inviting it is here! And how trees, vines and bushes are so abundant.

"Tree-Vine Tangle" Vancouver scene photo by Bea Garth, copyright 2016
“Tree-Vine Tangle” Vancouver scene photo by Bea Garth, copyright 2016


This photo is of a favorite vista I often see during my daily walk:

"Soft Horizon" vista landscape of Vancouver by Bea Garth, copyright 2016
“Soft Horizon” vista landscape of Vancouver by Bea Garth, copyright 2016


“Fool” Tarot card close to done

So I didn’t get in as much painting today as I would have liked. Nevertheless, “The Fool” is coming along. I felt inspired late tonight!

I was actually feeling kind of depressed since I was convinced I had ruined the painting the other day. But I decided to let my imagination go and not worry about it since what was there to lose?? In actuality this attitude freed me. I think I was getting too tight about it.

"The Fool" work in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2016
“The Fool” work in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2016

I decided too to not worry any more about all the symbology. There is more than enough there without getting so carried away. So I simplified some of it and just let the artist in me take over.

It is a much more complicated piece in a narrow area than I am used to dealing with. The zig zags plus brightening the Fools clothing saved it, IMHO! That plus  making the fish and mer/sky woman both more dramatic and in the shadows plus defining and  highlighting the Fool’s face.

More to do but am hoping to have it all done sometime Monday at the latest!

Whether or not I choose to keep the carpet in front will be the next challenge.

Other question is, is this Visionary Surreal Art? I would guess it really is. With quite a bit of magic methinks. The gods and goddesses seem to be inspiring me despite my daily struggles…


Visionary Surreal Art

After a discussion with my good friend (the Tarot expert and astrologer) Christine Payne Towler, I am starting to think the description of my artwork is still not fully delineated. Originally I called my artwork Ancient/Modern, rather than Goddess/Surreal. Now I am starting to think I really need to come up with new terminology altogether.

"At The Aquarium" pen and ink by Bea Garth, copyright 2016
“At The Aquarium” pen and ink by Bea Garth, copyright 2016

Perhaps Magical Visionary Surrealism, or simply Visionary Surreal is more fitting??  For me the world is alive, not just humans after all. And the art I do is alive with  magic.

I love the work of the Magical Realists, but to be honest, my artwork is not realistic even in part although it does refer to the known world. It is overall instead based on my own internal vision.

Much like the ancients, I use pattern and expression based on dreams or dream states and psychological/emotional  observation that tells stories that might be more true than my conscious mind could otherwise come up with.

The Australian Aborigines say that the Dreamtime is more real than everyday reality, and I believe it–even though of course I do try to fit my  life as well as I can into the Modern World. Long ago however I came to realize it was honestly pretty impossible for me to fit in. I came to see my differences as my strength rather than my weakness.

In common parlance I am simply too sensitive.  But I have never let that stop  me. I have an extra quiver that I never let society take away from me, in great part due to my exposure to ancient beliefs and practices as well as ancient art. The fact my parents worked as archaeologist/ethnologists when I was young, and stayed interested in the field throughout their lives, helped me realize other realities and ways of looking at the world were and are very possible.  This extra quiver has given me advantages that have helped me personally heal from what might otherwise been devastating bodily and emotional hurdles. To be truthful, some of these conditions I will live with my entire life, but nevertheless they do not stop me from living a full life given my ability to use the magic of art to help heal me as well as the more everyday arts of herbs, diet, exercise, meditation and various avenues of emotional healing.

It is my wish that what I am doing with my art becomes a kind of doorway for the viewer to begin looking at the world as part of them, rather than as a dead alienated planet. It is my belief that I am using ancient knowledge that used to be commonplace and now needs to not be forgotten. IMHO, Visionary Surreal Art and things like it are needed to help inspire us to begin the necessary paradigm shift to heal ourselves and the planet in these difficult times.

Of course this is a conversation. Likely I am not completely done with it. But offer it as ruminations on a subject that I believe needs to be aired. Plus of course it helps me figure out what it is my art might really be delineated as…

I invite comments to see what you all think.

“The Fool” in progress contd.

Worked really late on this next stage of The Fool. Its different than my usual work though there are definite elements I am more familiar with like the stretched leg and the fish, and even the carpet if I keep it. Am loving the imaginative stretch!

I got rid of the huge sun since it was too busy and took away from the impact of the Fool. Its still there, but not overpowering everything else. Color always changes everything, IMHO. I have to be and am willing to simplify as compared to a line drawing.

"The Fool" tarot card in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2016
“The Fool” tarot card in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2016

I am definitely relating with the Fool given all my late hours recently… I plan to get started earlier this evening in hopes I can get this done in a day or two.

Bea at New Beginnings Art Exhibit at the Trianon Theatre, 2015

This photo was taken of me last year in front of some of my paintings at the Trianon Theatre. It was at the “New Beginnings Art Exhibit” that I helped David Eisbach engineer and organize. It was a wildly successful night if I have to say myself. David was duly impressed, which was significant to me since he was a former member of the San Jose Arts Council, who had not been very friendly to me years previous when I was president of the San Jose Art League.

My husband Chris Arcus and and his crew (then called “Under The Bridge”) performed music there that night too out in the courtyard and got everyone going. It inspired the other members of the band (John Kurtyka and James Pollard) to move north to Portland too (our original destination, which after all is just across the river from Vancouver…).

All in all, it was a good ending for my art organizing activities in San Jose. Afterwards I was feted at a Chinese/American International Cultural art event and was invited to go to China to teach art. I’d still like to go someday, but selling our house in San Jose and moving north to Vancouver, WA  had to take priority given that my mother had just died and so my time as working as a property manager for my family was ending,  and I am not 21!

Bea Garth in front of some of her paintings at New Beginnings exhibit 2015, photo by Things Matter
Bea Garth in front of some of her paintings at New Beginnings exhibit 2015, photo by Things Matter