This week’s questions are answered by Ginnie Cappaert of Cappaert Contemporary Gallery in Egg Harbor. I met Ginnie a few years ago. We both started our galleries the same year and often share advice and struggles. Ginnie is a talented painter with a great eye and a warm heart- I hope you enjoy reading her answers.
1. What are 1-3 books that have influenced your life?
There are so many books that have influenced my life, not only in art but yoga and meditation as well. "Trust the Process - an Artists Guide to Letting go" - by Shaun McNiff makes you focus on the 'process of creating and letting things happen as they will' - an excellent read for every artist! "Creative Authenticity" by Ian Roberts is just a great, simple read that focuses on being 'authentic' as an artist which is one of the truest forms of art. On a personal note, "The Language of Letting Go" by Melodie Beattie was a life-saving read while I was going through a difficult divorce. It would actually be a good read for anyone, because we all encounter difficult times as we travel on this path called life.
2. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working with my medium of choice, Oil and Mixed media (which includes oil, cold wax, dry pigments, marble dust, pastels) but have been working on a whole new series which I titled "When Wings Were Only A Dream". The new series is a bit different from my previous, brightly colored body of work. These seem to be more serene, more comfortable and a bit more 'dreamy' and subdued in color. The series started when a good friend of mine (who always inspires me with photos from his travels as a pilot) who was in Australia and sent me one picture that resonated with me. A beautiful beach scene with dancing clouds and an introduction to a whole new color palette combined with what I was experiencing at the same time, the ice and horizontal layers of a frozen Lake Superior. I am loving the new series!
3. How has failure set you up for later success? What was your favorite failure?
I have learned to love and 'learn' from all my failures. From the simple 'little failures' in the studio which have taught me to experiment for that is how you grow to the rejections from juried shows and gallery submissions. These are probably my favorites because they challenge me to keep trying and growing.
4. What is your most unusual habit?
I don't know if this is unusual, but it is a habit. My studio is a mess. I know where everything is and it works for me but it is far from spotless or organized!
5. If you could have any painter, living or dead paint your portrait who would it be and why?
I LOVE Gustav Klimt's work and always have!
6. What is the most indispensible item in your studio/workspace/office?
My Wall Hanging System! Last year the same friend also built me this amazing wall hanging system with removable pegs so that I can work on the vertical wall and also can use it to hang work and step back to access it from a distance - oh and the amazing lighting I have in the studio is a plus too!
7. When you feel overwhelmed or uninspired what do you do? What do you do to get out of a funk? What questions do you ask yourself?
When overwhelmed or uninspired it is just best if I get out of the studio and get outside! Often it just takes a simple horse ride or hike to get my creative juices flowing.
8. What is the most life-changing thing you have bought for under 100 dollars in the last year?
The most simple, life changing thing I bought myself this year was bouquets of flowers. That simple little gift to myself to tell me that I deserve it, I am enough was just what I needed. I'm not really a big 'shopper' so this was perfect. One of the other life-changing purchases (but it was over $100) was enrolling in a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program. I've been studying and training for this certification for a little over a year and it gave me something positive to focus on during some dificult times.
9. Do you collect anything?
I collect 'positive quotes', books and heart-shaped rocks.
10. What words of advice would you give to your younger self?
Don't rush things! All my life I was juggling my studio practice and raising three kids. Looking back I don't know how I did it but there definitely wasn't much time for self-care in those days. I love this from a Mary Oliver poem: "Things take the time they take. Don't worry."
11. In the last five years what new belief, or habit has most improved your life or studio practice?
The last five years have been some of my toughest years so I have practiced a lot of "mindfulness' - really trying to pay attention to the present moment and not worrying about the past or stressing about the future. Life is all about letting go and moving forward. Oh, and gratitude...but I've always practiced that!
12. Share an inspiring image.
One of my paintings from the new series "When wings were only a dream"