Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Art of Change

Another new place to live ... again
New experiences, new languages, new countries, new friends, new lives are not unknown to me, nor do I fear them. I have dealt with a lot of change in my life. So much so I sometimes need to smacked upside the head to notice change.

Not one to need a lot of security, I move from place to place with ease. I immediately explore my surroundings to get a sense of place and settle down to enjoy it. I love finding a new place to settle in, put my few possessions about and make it a home. It doesn't matter if the country drives on the left or on the right... either way I hop in a car and drive. I don't seem to need an adjustment period. Nor do I have a fear of driving anywhere. Whether it's the chaos of Istanbul, Cairo, Rome, a peaceful drive in rural Delaware or the vast, empty fascinating distances of the Western U.S. I'm going somewhere and I'm happy.

It's so easy to talk about taking things to another level or changing the way we do things. When I started thinking about this Vukuzakhe Project I'm doing with the Amandawe Support Group in South Africa, I blithely thought... it'll take my art to a new level. It took me a long time to work out how I was going to do the paintings, and I wasn't at all sure it would even work.

So what is this new level I'm taking my art to? Is it a big step in another direction? No one can accuse me of sticking with one style. I seem to change style or subject at the drop of a hat, or just by being in a new location. And that's when the smack upside the head helps.

A few days ago I realized I really have taken my art up to another level this time. I seemed to struggle with the first one, and then suddenly it was clear to me what I had to paint. So I started the paintings and now they seem to paint themselves. By that I mean - the idea behind the painting comes to me with time. I stand and stare at the wooden panel with the little fabric landscape placed on it. And I wait for it to tell me what to paint. And that's why I struggled with the first one. I didn't give it time to tell me what to do, I was trying to push it out when it wasn't ready. Or I wasn't ready to accept it yet. I guess I was trying to treat it the same why I have treated change all my life. Face it head on and dive in. My art has finally smacked my head enough for me to realize I need to think about it and let it perculate. It will come to me.

I'm quite beside myself with happiness at this knowledge. I believe this has taken my art from being "just a pretty picture" to something with meaning. I'm not knocking pretty pictures, the world sure needs them. I now know my Women of Courage series was the start of this change, I just didn't realize it. Now I'm feeling all grown up and more mature as an artist - and I still have SO much to learn. Gotta love and live change! Isn't life grand?

2 comments:

Tina Besecker Marohn said...

Keep sharing! It is wonderful to grow with our art. It not only helps us, it speaks to others in their own lives and inspires.

Anne Jenkins Art said...

thanks Tina - I can't imagine actually painting the same style or subject for years and years. I hope mya rt continues to grow with enthusiasim