My Art Opening & Book Signing – Tonight!

Eterna poster Red

One of the best moments of this whole art-and-book work came this morning when I went into the Lundt-Glover Gallery before all the lights had been turned on, and my artwork was hung and level on the walls, readied the day before for tonight’s art opening. Alone with my art and the diffuse skylight-filtered light… this was an immensely satisfying moment.

I made a couple of videos this morning to share with you:

 

 

And the next amazing moment happened just an hour ago, when I was leaving the gallery for a quick errand, and two young women chased after me to ask about my work, life and heritage, after they’d had a sneak peek at the show. We had a buzzy and beautiful chat and I hope I’ve inspired a couple of new writer-painters in the process.

 

And we’re adding a new component to the wine-art-book-music of tonight: a doodling art station where guests can grab an oil pastel or two and doodle away while sipping wine and listening to classical music. It’s going to be fun!

 

Join us if you can – and if you can’t, you can read about it here after.

Lundt-Glover Gallery, Chatham Township Municipal Building, 58 Meyersville Road, Chatham, New Jersey, USA

Opening of Eterna Solo Art Show and book signing of The Erenwine Agenda: Friday, 15 September 2017, 6:30pm-8:30pm (tonight!)

Getting Personal…

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I’m working on a new bio, inspired by Dan Blank. It’s taking shape…here it is:

I design, write and paint to reveal deeper connecting rivers of light that flow through our problems and carry us to solutions. I am interested in the weave of words, images and form as they fix our focus on what we think matters in any moment in time. My work is evolving now: as an architect, in a careful, climate-ready approach to renovating existing and historic buildings; as a writer, in crafting my second novel about creative states of consciousness; as an artist, in a series of paintings aimed at targeting the viewer’s attention to that which is eternal, and of upward motion.

I moved to New York on the strength of two months of dreams: every night the same dream. I was painting large, colorful, abstract images and everywhere I went, things worked out through the kindness of strangers. I took jobs in architecture, my “field” of study, and wrote about the environment, published a novel (my first, visionary eco-fiction). The abstract painting began after over a decade of living in the New York area, for me now expanded to New Jersey, after saying out loud over a game of Scrabble, “drawing for me is like breathing,” and realizing I had work to do in shifting from decades of pen sketching realistic spaces, to translating the essence of what I saw and felt of my meditative experience enhanced through my practice of Reiki. And so I began to paint, and the weave became richer, tighter and more compelling to me as a creator.

I knew I’d be a creator from a young age, and so becoming an architect was not a surprise. Limiting myself to architecture was not a possibility, since I see life too spherically to stay within the boundaries of one traditional discipline. My training in architecture (at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada) and practice in historic restoration (in New York City) gave me a strong foundation (pun intended!) for understanding the fundamentals of form and function, and it was from that vantage point that I branched out into the more visionary aspects of translating experience into art. The work is both grounded and expansive.

I’ve always been a writer. First it came as small stories I wrote for myself, and poems, then articles, published, and poems, published. In the same way that my first novel was more globally about ecology and specifically about fracking, so is my second novel more broadly about creative states of consciousness and more specifically about medical marijuana. There is a third novel, in the ethers, which is generally about transportation, and specifically about high speed rail networks. All of these works are as seen through the lens of architecture, which for me is a focusing device using the skills and vantage point that come easily to me.

I’m lit up by talking about light and color and space, and by hearing what inspires others in their work. I adore teaching others, children in particular, about how to tap into that essence and to find an expression of it in built, sculptural, three-dimensional form. This began long before I had my own children, now entering their teenage years, and it has formed a colorful thread in the larger weave of my work. Sharing what I know at every step is part of my learning and my growth as an architect. As a creator. I continue to work the weave, to find new threads, in design, words and paint – and I am always excited to share that unfolding with people whose flow brings us together.

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

March for Science, March for Magnetism

March for Science 18

Written in support of science and my adopted home country, with an “Every Day is Earth Day” feeling in mind.

Shared with you today. Feel free to click and download, share. The image links to jpeg, pdf and png files of the same.

Art and poem by me. ❤

with love,

Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

#altopassante

SeaChange_MaiaKumariGilman

I’ve been figuring out how to share music with you, because music is important to me. It was a core influence in the writing of The Erenwine Agenda, which is not a book about music. It’s a book about design-thinking. And compassion.

The music carries the reader through the arc of design-thinking.

The music carries the reader through a journey of compassion.

Sound, in outdoor places—the hum of an all terrain vehicle, the whistle of birdcall—the sound of voices, carries the story.

It’s all music.

A phrase popped into my head upon waking this morning, one of those dream-state ideas. I wrote it down and googled it. It captures the essence of what I’m getting at here, even though I cannot find an exactly-perfect translation.

altopassante

It’s something like:

flying high. Traveling fast. Tall travel; passing height. Tall passer; passing over, at a height.

And so, this phrase that came to me, will do by way of explanation. #altopassante

A couple of years ago I sat for coffee on Granville Island in Vancouver with a dear friend and we, David and I, discussed this very topic. David and I met as undergraduate students in a post-colonial literature class run by the English Department at the University of British Columbia and was taught by the very smart Aruna Srivastava. Neither David nor I was an English major: I was an Urban Geography student (before Architecture) and David studied Music.

Somewhere in years after that Commonwealth Lit class, those interests of literature, geography and music came together in my work.

This made coffee with David the perfect setup to stumble into a deeper awareness of my involvement with music in literature. David drew a further understanding out of my thought process and made the music make sense to me, at it relates to my own creative process of writing. And I’m thinking of him now as I write this post about waking up with “altopassante” on my mind, because even though he would say “you totally made up that word!” I know David gets the core concept of this flow between music and literature, because he taught it to me.

This is the music that takes characters to that “altopassante” place, that drives a story to a height and then drops, air-pressure-like, to indicate conflict; that rises again with that “altopassante” energy, to arrive us in a newer and clearer place.

This is the music of The Erenwine Agenda:

 

Jascha Heifetz, Bach’s Chaconne from Partita No 2 in D minor 

 Norah Jones, Come Away With Me

Anoushka Shankar, Rise

Psy, Gangnam Style (강남스타일) M/V

Rhos Male Voice Choir – Music From The Welsh Mines

Celia Cruz, Para Decirte Adios

Pat Benatar, Love Is A Battlefield

Bobby McFerrin, Don’t Worry Be Happy

Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Mozart’s Requiem 

Barbara Bonney, Schubert’s Ave Maria

Julia Fischer, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

 

Enjoy!

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

I’ve been painting…

maia-kumari-gilman-in-progress

I’ve been painting, a lot. Abstract, colorful, acrylic, mixed media, collage…having an incredible amount of fun. Painting opens the door to writing, which helps me to summarize architecture, space, and design…and the human experience of those aspects of living. In between kids off to school bus pick up and getting ready for my day, these thoughts bubbled up and I decided to share them with you. Below are my three “truths” (personal to me, maybe they resonate with you) in painting, so far, to date.

  1. Being done is a matter of deciding when to stop, and then stopping – there will always be more marks you *could* make; 
  2. every mark is a form of your own inner self-expression, no matter how random it may appear be (thank you Mom for that one); 
  3. there are no mistakes (corollary to the previous truth).
The above image is of work in progress – 10″x 10″ canvases in a grid formation, mixed media. Stay tuned to see how they turn out! I am posting art-journeying on Instagram. More painting to come, and writing, and buildings in renovation and design.
Enjoy your creative day!
-Maia