Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome Destiny Allison and a Guest Post: Living Your Passion

Destiny Allison is an artist, a business woman and a writer.  Her work is collected by public institutions and private individuals internationally.  In addition to her numerous awards for excellence in art, she was also recently named Santa Fe Business Woman of the year for 2011.

In addition to being a full time artist, she is also a managing partner in La Tienda at Eldorado — a commercial complex, community center, and arts center in Santa Fe, NM.   She is represented in prominent galleries across the country and owns her own gallery, Destiny Allison Fine Art, located at La Tienda.

Allison’s first love was writing.  Her first poems were published while she was a child and she received numerous awards during adolescence.  The story of how she became a visual artist is told in her book, Shaping Destiny: A quest for meaning in art and life.  While her focus over the last 20 years has been primarily on sculpture, Allison also paints on steel using acids and natural oxidation, and in acrylics.

The eloquence of Allison's language dates back to her childhood when art was constantly discussed and debated by her father, a writer, and her mother, a painter. Born and raised in Santa Fe, N.M., Allison moved to Boston after college where she worked as a freelance journalist while raising her three children. It was there that she discovered her voice through sculpture. Predominantly self-taught, Allison apprenticed at a bronze foundry in Massachusetts, and later taught sculpture at the Attleboro Museum of Art and the Fuller Museum of Art, both in Massachusetts. In 1997, Allison returned to Santa Fe where she currently resides.

“Living Your Passion” by Destiny Allison

In a fit of anger I slammed my hand against my desk and shouted, “Can you PLEASE turn down the TV?”  The boys jumped and a minute later the movie was no longer blaring.  It was, in fact, so quiet I could hear another of my sons shooting zombies on his X-box and my husband on the phone with his mother in another part of the house. 

I gave up finishing the blog post I was writing, poured a glass of wine and settled myself into a rain-damp chair on the back patio.  I had just started enjoy a peaceful moment when a car pulled up in front of the barn.  My dogs took off after the perceived intruder, barking at full volume all the way down the hill.   I held my wine glass in both hands and blinked, trying to stop the tears from falling. Inside the big, beautiful, noisy life I had created, there was no room left for me.

My husband got off the phone and followed me outside.  His warm, blue eyes darkened with concern when he saw my face.  “It’s nothing,” I said, wiping the tears away.  He reached for my hand and we watched the dogs bounding back toward us.  “Anything I can do?” he asked.  I managed a small smile before responding. “There’s just been a lot of stress lately and sometimes the noise really gets to me.  I’m fine.” 

He nodded, and was quiet for a few minutes.  Then he suggested that I take the spare bedroom at the back of the house and turn it into an office.  I shook my head.  If I did that, I would spend time in there that could be spent with him and we wouldn’t have a guest room for the occasional visitors we so enjoyed.  He pushed me a little, but I was obstinate.  I didn’t need a room of my own.   

A few days later, a man called my gallery about a painting.  He said he didn’t have money to buy it, but he had a beautiful antique cabinet that had been his pride and joy for years. He was passionate about my work and wanted to know if I would trade with him.

I went to see the cabinet.  He was right.  It was beautiful -- heavy, rich and intricately carved.  I wanted the trade, not so much because I wanted the piece but because of how much he wanted my painting. Still, the cabinet was huge and I didn’t know where I would put it. 

For almost two weeks, I pictured it in different locations.  I measured walls and even moved some furniture around before concluding it wouldn’t fit in my home.  I stalled, avoiding his phone calls and leaving his emails unopened on my computer.  I really didn’t want to disappoint him.

Then it hit me.  If I turned the guest room into an office, I could take out the bed and bring in the cabinet.  Giddy with excitement, I left my studio early to begin the process.  Over the next few days, I replaced the rug and bought new curtains.  I moved my favorite art objects into my space and filled a vase with silk flowers.  I brought in candles, a computer, and my music library.  As the room neared completion, I heard myself telling people that I was as important as everyone else in my life.  It was a novel concept that spawned a new discipline, reignited my passion and changed my world.

Since I claimed my space, I am two thirds of the way through a novel I didn’t know was in me.  My eyes twinkle, I kiss my husband more often, and the noises of my world don’t bother me anymore. I am on fire.  I bounce up and down with excitement when my husband gets home and I can finally share the day’s progress with him.  My kids are engaged in the story and suggest plot twists and characters.  Home, again, is my favorite place.  The dishes aren’t always done.  There are piles of laundry and un-swept floors, but nobody cares.  When I am happy, my family is too. 

The trade, passion for passion, was worth more than my collector’s money ever could have been.  It gave me a new avenue for creativity, a quiet space for my heart to expand, and a room for me to be quiet. When I was willing to exchange a piece of art for a piece of furniture, I balanced my life, fed my soul and regained my peace of mind.  

Thank you, Destiny Allison, for your inspiring guest post.  You have motivated me to rethink a corner of my bedtime where my desk sits (as I don't have a spare bedroom that isn't occupied by a child).  Now, I only need to break the bad news to my husband that he needs to hang shelves and I'll be on my way!

If you are interested in following Destiny’s blog tour, check out the Tour Launch on The Muffin:

Destiny Allison is the author of Shaping Destiny. 

Shaping Destiny is the inspiring story of Allison’s life from the creation of her first sculpture to her acceptance into a prominent Santa Fe art gallery.  The book, which recounts her journey from traditional female roles to self-actualization and independence, is told with three voices: the emotional, the intellectual and the instructional.  Though she had no formal training, Allison moved quickly from small, Plasticine clay sculptures to an apprenticeship at a foundry to teaching in a small museum. Along the way, the author wrestled with shedding and then reclaiming family. To add to the extended metaphor binding her story to the theory and language of sculpture, Allison infuses an ample dose of popular philosophy in lessons culled from childhood days spent with her father. The 22 lessons at the beginning of each chapter intend to guide readers’ passage through the complexities of  clay and life; each lesson works with the idea that art is a process, as is life.

Link to the ebook:

Video book trailer:
Video of Book Launch with Author Reading:

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