Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hello, my name is Jen and I am perhaps crazy.

We’re getting down to the wire now.

Here I thought I had oodles of time.  My big debut in the
Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour
isn’t ‘til the merry month of June and in my world the grass hasn’t even begun to sprout yet.  But when I check the calendar…there the date is…looming pretty quick and I come to the realization that God’s world will undergo some pretty big miracles in the changing of the seasons in that time span and apparently I’ve got to too!    

You’d think the weather would keep me inside and increase my artistic productivity.  Well, not really.  I’m inside, maybe productive, but artistic?  Not on canvas.

        Hello, My name is Jen and I am a procrastinator.
                                BIG TIME. 

Things I’ve managed to do while avoiding Art this month:

-I’ve noticed a few pieces of furniture need refinishing and I got started.

-The bedroom could be rearranged, I started that too.

-While at that, a great time to eliminate my husband’s armoire and recreate the space which led to starting more furniture refinishing.

-Woodwork needs to be finished…all throughout the house…people can’t look at art if the baseboard is missing, right?

-There are a few walls that need some fresh paint too!

-Pillows I’ve been planning to sew need to get done. (I’ve had the stuff for 2 years now, it’s most imperative that they are done.)
-Also a great time to teach my 11 year old to sew!

-Oh...and this is HUGE and fun and awesome....I purchased a new camera, a REAL one...first great one I've had since before digital came out, so there's the job of learning how to use it too!

        Need I go on?
These are things that don’t matter, not in the least.  At least not for the tour.  Somewhere in my imagination they do matter. 
But can I validate doing them right now? 
Not on my life.
But does that matter to me?                         
                                           Not a bit.

 I will continue.  I will do all this and yes, the art too.

Welcome to my world.
I drive myself crazy.            Often. 
                                                       In fact I’m doing it right now.
And I fear: Others around me as well.

...but before you lose ALL faith in me...Look!  See!...I'm trying!... Jen 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wonders of my World

I create not because I want to simply illustrate something pretty, but because I want to explore the beauty, wonder and magic that is there for us all to see in the simple, everyday, often forgotten object.

There are infinite wonders to behold in this universe.  I know this because it has been taught to me.  I know there are countless that I have yet to experience and countless I will never experience.  If I had no restrictions of time or money and if I committed solely to discovering and exploring the wonders of this planet for the remainder of my days here on earth, even if I live to be 110, I will never see a fraction of all the wonders that this beautiful planet holds.   
Here in my small rural world, I know, also that I experience many wonders and they although often common as dirt, are wonders

There are life changing wonders:  The wonder of true, deep, rich Love.  Family, Marriage, Birth, Death. 

More subtle wonders:  Strength, Perseverance, Faith, Integrity.

But tangible wonders are what I see and paint.


Flowers, as unique as each individual person that walks this planet act as a reminder that I never need to look very hard to see beauty or miracles.  The flower starts as a seed and with soil and water life comes from its insignificant shell, and then flourishes into so much more.  In the haste that has become our everyday we rush past not even noticing this wonder that unfolds.  When we consider its journey to existence and contemplate the intricacy of its construction how can we not notice the beauty, delicacy and awe that its construction so plainly shows?   What man has ever created such delicate an object that breathes life, responds to touch, needs nurturing and yet rejuvenates itself at its end by returning to the earth and scattering its seed once again ensuring a future?

Likewise with trees and animals, even more so significant and necessary in our lives, they never cease to impress me with their strength, tenacity and beauty.


As for the old buildings I paint, I do these for many reasons.  I am intrigued and to be honest saddened to see these structures fall to disrepair and abandoned, and yet, even the romantic that I am knows that not every homestead can be saved, not every barn remains structurally sound. 
Does it make me think them any less? of course not. 
These are the buildings that sheltered our ancestors, and I think of the perseverance that went into building them as people struggled to carve out a space for themselves in this wild and sometimes cruel landscape.  The challenges these families faced were huge, their needs more primal than modern day and as I watch these structures fall I cannot help but imagine the pride some must have had in building such worthy havens for their families.  These were done by blood and tears, and were not the simple turn key builds that we have become accustomed to purchasing today.  These structures built one step at a time, year after year with more tribulation than most of us face in a lifetime eloquently illustrate perseverance.  These buildings that remain are the ghosts of the past and I love to hear their whispers.

All of my art amounts at first glance to nothing more than an attempt at a bunch of pretty pictures, but bring spirituality, strength, determination and God to mind.  What I hope to achieve is a reminder of the awesome, unbounded strength and beauty of our planet and the strength of spirit of folks who walk life’s path and share the same soil as us.