The Brighter They Shine by Julie Leidel, 2020
Concerning Scorpio Ten Billion Years B.C. by Vance Kirkland
Commemorative 2017 poster for the Kirkland Museum created by Julie Leidel
The night sky is so full of possibilities, energy and light.
In 1925, Edwin Hubble had a theory that the universe was growing. Scientists have been able to prove that the universe is expanding in all directions, and has been since the beginning, or the Big Bang.
"Something" doesn't come from "nothing". Everything has a source, just as our planet and each of us has an origin story. So does the universe, even if we don't know exactly how to quantify that in scientific terms today. The creator can't be "in" the creation, they have to be separate from it.
For me personally, science is the vehicle for ever-growing understanding of God's creation. Like little puzzle pieces that are being revealed along the way, science sheds light on the Devine.
For believers like me, God (or your personal Higher Power) brings hope and light to a sometimes extremely hard world. I have found that this saying is one of my favorites, especially in difficult times. "God's Promises are Like the Stars; The Darker The Night, The Brighter They Shine."
You can't see the stars when the sun is out. You can't know what light is unless you have experienced darkness. We can learn so much from the difficult times in our lives. Suffering can lead to great discovery, if we are open to it. That's part of my faith, which is at the core of who I am.
This painting has a familiar feel to some of my work, but it is a departure in the sense that so much of the story is told through dots. I didn't set out to with this goal in mind per say, but upon finishing it, the resemblance to some of Vance Kirkland's paintings is striking to me. He used acrylic, and had a lift that would hover him over his canvas laid flat beneath him in his Colorado art studio. Kirkland would use a variety of dowels to dip into his paint to get perfect circles. I used the end of a few different paint brushes to get a similar feel.
Vance Kirkland (1904-1981) is a nationally renowned artist and if you are heading through Denver, Colorado you really shouldn't miss the Kirkland Museum. It's got a remarkable collection of Vance's work and his original art studio. The curator, Hugh Grant has amassed an incredible world-class collection of international decorative artwork from the 1870s through the 1960s. Kirkland Museum is in the top 5 museums around the world for decorative art, especially intriguing for me are the salon style rooms of the Arts and Crafts Movement: Aesthetic, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Glasgow Style, and Wiener Werkstatte.
I was honored to be chosen as the artist for the commemorative grand opening poster for the Kirkland Museum in 2017.
I recognize that my art is inspired by so many facets of my personal experiences. Each puzzle of our own lives comes together to be recalled at a later date, and with new perspective. This human experience sometimes feels like the garden hose is turned on full blast. There are so many things to learn, so many ways to expand who we are, and so many connections we can make to one another.
We most certainly won't see the puzzle completed before our time on earth is complete, but I'll be trying to grab as many pieces as I can, and I hope to enjoy the experience with a full heart along the way.