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The beautiful, challenging play, " Honour ", in which I performed the title role, closed recently ; yet " honour " defined as integrity continues to play a central role in my life. In addition to being an actress, I am also a visual artist. My best and hardest choices have been oriented toward this lodestone of being a person of integrity.


I'm 54 now. The way that honour becomes a verb in my life and in my painting has evolved and matured. For one thing, I've lightened up a whole lot. I am far more willing to embrace complexity. Feeling can pull in opposite directions. When I take this dance to the canvas opposing tensions reveal unity. I recognize the unique truth embedded in paradox.


A bolder palette with contrasting hot and cool colors speaks for who I am now. I don't define myself by loyalty to a particular form or style. Of the paintings shown here, the most realistic depicts a dream like scene. The others are abstract or impressionistic or hover at a point between.


Where does the creative impulse reside? As I mature, painting is becoming like acting--an embodied experience. It's inside me but there is also a call and response with some mysterious region of spirit. Sure there will always be a jet of anxiety when facing a blank stage or a blank canvas. But there is also trust.


I make my home on the watershed of the Albion River with my beloved husband, Steve. I belong to this community and this slice of coast. The security of these deep blessings free energy I never had when I was struggling with issues of love and survival. I care more than ever about what is happening to others in America and in the World.


I paint my conflicting feelings about 9-11. I also paint the play of light in my garden. As a person I don't have to be " spiritual " or " sexual ". As an artist I don't have to be " serious " or " marketable ". It's not either / or but both / and....


These paintings, done in acrylic and oil pastels, represent " honour " defined as "respect" ------- respect for mystery, for the ever changing patterns of life and for the life within me.

 Alena Guest
P.O. Box 1326
Mendocino, CA 95460