In art, Dolly finds, and says we also need to seek, visions of the future.
"Artists can sense the mood, the flavor of a given environment...That's how artists have come to be labeled visionary in the past. And, yes, some artists don't do that. Some paint quite beautiful still lives and landscapes, but there are the other artists who make bigger statements and are barometers. Picasso was one. In the beginning of this century artists were barometers, and there are those who are barometers now -- other than myself. The work is called such things as religious, New Age, visionary, or mystical art.
"On the flip side of that coin are those who've taken on the other side of the duality and view the changes and the coming millennium as signs that it's all going to end, but those artists don't pass my field of vision very frequently."
She refuses to accept limiting labels such as New Age or religious art for her work. Instead, she says, "I would call it art of the spirit or art of the soul."
Spirit, symbolism, light, color, the seasons, indigenous wisdoms, magic, and myth are displayed as sacred in all her work. Her powerful pastel "Revised Anatomy of Man," the lifelike bronze sculpture of "Merlin: The Return of Magic," the enlivening "I Am Earth, I Am Spirit" and the uniting indigenous representation of "Circle of Light" all illustrate this. Her work continues to evolve, changing styles and media. Her acrylic paintings, the masks of clay and bone/feathers have both been followed by bronze sculptures, and she has now returned to her favored pastels. The underlying focus remains the same.
The daimon thrives in Dolly's passion, and when I ask her for greater clarity on how she would define her art, she does not hesitate.
"I would say that I do God's art. A lot of that was taking place, by the way, via patrons who commissioned artists during the Renaissance period. A large portion of art throughout art history has always been inspired by God and has a spiritual element.
"I'm being commissioned. That's how I look at it. This is the way I know to be in service. I suppose there are other ways I might, but this is the way that fulfills my soul the most. God works through the gift Hes already given me, which is the art."
And how does Dolly choose her subjects? Where does she get the ideas?
"My work is a co-creation. God tells me. If I have not received the vision, I don't paint. I know some artists go to the place where they are guided and ask to let flow what comes forth. That's fine; I do it differently. I wait to receive the vision, and usually when it comes, it's complete, visual, and accurate; when it's not, I pray about it, perhaps take a walk, and in those moments the rest is filled in.
"I choose the subjects because they are closest to my heart, my life, and also because I think they have the potential of creating the greatest amount of change. For me personally to just do landscapes or a still life falls short of my ideal, and my ideal is to move people. Other than the experiential stuff of life, most of what I've learned has been through my emotional response to artwork, that something that grabs me and feeds me huge amounts of information.
"I want to do the same for others, so that eliminates a lot of subject matter. I want to transmit that frequency, that emotion, that magnetic energy! I want people to respond to the ideal I held while creating the work."
Promoting Reverence and Access
Several of Dolly's pieces were shown at the New York Art Expo in February 1997, and she will be one of the artists featured at the Western Academy of Women Artists show in Arizona in the Fall. While some of her artwork is being shown in Latin America as well as along the eastern U.S. coast from New York to Washington D.C., Dolly has been selective in choosing where and how it is shown.
"What we're talking about is the promotion of art, which requires a promotion holding it in a place of respect, somewhat of a place of reverence, akin to the pieces; therefore you would select carefully how it is presented. Since I hold my art to be sacred and of a fine quality, I've been selective about where it's shown and the tone surrounding it; I am conscious of creating, sustaining, and projecting the image of the art I desire to promote.
"Yet I've come to realize I can't continue on my own. The promotion is time consuming and limits my in-studio creative time. It's also been an aha experience to face how I've been efforting to predetermine the way for my art's success instead of loosening the reins for spirit to work its magic with our art. I'm now feeling open to representation by a good agent who can arrange the shows and assure the image and tone of the work so that I can actually create the art, knowing there's balance between the creation and promotion."
One desire of Dolly's is for her work to be published in both limited and unlimited editions.
"I believe two things to be true," she asserts. "Art should be affordable to all people, and the originals should hold a high place and merit large sums of money as something treasured just for the pure beauty and sense of what the artist created and the feeling it evokes. Published art is the way art can be affordable to everyone, and that really appeals to me."
A Motivating Responsibility
"I believe we're moving into a place where just in order to occupy space on the planet you'll have a feeling for others, feel a responsibility for everyone else who breathes the air.
"My view about money is that it's circulated. Just as I consider my contribution is through my art, I believe it's my responsibility to circulate the money that would come through my contribution. It's a wheel. It makes life complete.
"Bottom line, I don't want to wait one more year for the success to come to me that will make that, as well as my other dreams, possible! This is the greatest time I've ever been alive on this planet. All things are in a state of change right now, and I believe we are heading toward the return of heaven on earth: all people are fed, all people recognize their divinity, all people know they are equal, and all people are kind, as we were originally created to be.
"That is why I feel so strongly about my art. If that is the motivating factor in my life, then that is a responsibility. I must do that, and I must because not everyone understands yet, and I want to make those ideals, which are in my art, highly visible!"
Artist Dolly Meymand Lucento may be contacted at (425) 788-1404. Please turn to page B4 to see another drawing by her, which we have chosen to illustrate the two poems appearing on either side of it.
Claire Krulikowski is a freelance writer living in Issaquah, Washington, whose writing is fueled by the candle burning upon her desk.