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The DNA of Black Mountain

By Joan Maureen Collins [Featured Artwork by Collins Titled "Guided" 16X12 Acrylic on Canvas]

As she rubbed her fingers in vibrant, colored paint on the canvas, Majella said with a light Irish lilt, "Make your mark by dragging your DNA through it!" Yes! Isn't this what art is all about? Color coded atoms of life...anti- parallel strands, transcribed with hand and heart?

Yes! DNA and art are magnificent fingerprints representing moments in time and lasting memories. I think this is why art pulls at us in such unconscious ways. Art connects us with emotion and lasting spirit. We tend to have our favorites, or those off the beaten path creations, that we can't stop thinking about. I mean, let your thoughts drift for a moment to Veemer, Monet, Bonard, Klee, Chagall, Gaugin, Kahlo, Okeefe, Klimt, Moore, Matisse, Richter...and others. Chances are, you've felt this tug, this draw to their art. Or maybe it has happened with your son or your niece, spouse or a friend's artwork. One or more of these tend to evoke a response with lasting impressions. And these are only the painters. Artists, make their mark, in many different mediums. "Most people get allergic to drawing because they think it has to look like what they see," she said. Many of you know I returned to the Sherkin Art Workshop this summer. Sherkin is one of the Roaringwater Bay Islands off of West Cork, Ireland. Sherkin Island has long been associated with the arts and hosts a BA in Visual Arts degree course in association with the Dublin Institute of Technology, Sherkin Island Development Society and West Cork Art Centre. It is a fully sustainable island with less than 100 residents. But it is the wild beauty that draws. The sea and wildlife are as much a part of their lives as music, art, literature and story telling. The brilliant workshop leaders, artists Majella O'Neill Collins, and Cora Collins of Limerick (coincidental last names), work their magic all week long. I'm convinced their goal is to melt away the fear that stands between an artist and his or her work. They encourage artists to go back to mark making as a way to get around the barriers of expression by making imprints, graffiti, doodling etc. "You can look back and know you did that," Majella said. Aha... exactly...D...N...A!

"Take a line for a walk," Cora expressed. She claims that she doesn't hold rights to this expression, but I love it! This is my adopted art mantra as I begin new bodies of work.

Let's be fearless in pursuit of expressing - Joan

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