Thursday, June 23, 2011

Metamorphosis can sometimes mean staying the same.

All right...the time has come to post again. 

The Pontiac Artist's Studio Tour is done.  I have survived and thrived. 
(And Julie, I did not sell out, but I did sell well and so I thank you for your support and encouragement all the and many others that will go unnamed are what propelled me forward through the yucky times and kept me going with humour, wit, sincerity and rock solid advice and support.)

I committed to the event not knowing what to expect of myself, of the tour, of the visitors, of anything.   I found it harder to produce art than I expected.  Somewhere in my world a transition had occurred and this was that I'd stopped creating for entirely personal reasons and started to create for a larger audience.  I have, as expressed in older posts, found this change challenging but think and hope that I've finally made peace with the metamorphosis.  To be true to myself was a struggle.  I am (or try to be?)  a pleaser and while I hope this is an honourable characteristic I can too easily lose track of my own identity from time to time.  Part of my struggle leading up to the tour was this desire to create what people wanted rather than perhaps what was me. 

If clientele was mostly urban would they really want my simple cows, flowers, rural scenes?  In simple I mean it: simple.  That's what I felt when I worried.  Simple, plain, uncomplicated, uneducated, not the least interesting and completely uninspiring.  Who would want that?  I however could not turn my canvases into trendy, edgy abstracts or bold expressive scenes illustrating more in single strokes than some of the oft labourious studies I was attempting.  I wished to create these so that I could be that dramatic and exciting artist that seems to exist only somewhere in some parallel universe from mine.  The longer I struggled with this desire to please and anticipate what people wanted, people I hadn't met, didn't know, the more blocked I became and then finally I just gave up and started to again paint for me.  Back came the subjects I love, the bright colours that I think are likely a little too much for many and in being true to my soul and creating as I do, I moved forward and became pretty prolific.

In hind sight I can say I made the right decision.  My art, like any art is not for everyone, but I did find it was appealing to quite a few.  People were very complimentary and sometimes even enchanted by my home and art, how I express myself and surround my family with a big part of me not only on my canvases but on walls, doors and furniture throughout.  Some of you that know me are likely saying right now as you read:  "She's such a dope, how could she not know that people would be impressed?"  Well, for you I say there's impressions that are good and then there's shock and awe that's horrifying and I wasn't entirely sure which side of the coin I would land on.  ( I have a recurring nightmare where someday some high profile designer will feature my home for an entire episode of their program.  This will be broadcast to illustrate all things hideous that should never, ever be done...weird yes, but entirely possible!)

So, since it was a positive experience in the end and I did get over my block, I am happy to say I am anxious to create again, first for a show at the local Cafe in November and then again if God and the committee is willing for the Artist's Tour in 2012...I look forward to the privilege and thank all who supported me in visiting or purchasing or encouraging from near or far!  Thanks so very much! 

...will update my art page soon, but for's off to Emma's Elementary school graduation!  Cheers!  Jen

1 comment:

Feminist Farmer's Wife said...

Oh I'm happy to hear it went well! I'm happy to hear that you found a nice center to paint from and trusted that was enough! I need to pick up my painting...can't wait! The other thing you should pat yourself on the back with is all the other things you managed to accomplish while you painted these paintings. Reclusive artist you are not! You ran a Sunday School, kept your children dressed and fed, kept the farm running smoothly around the edges, finished your house some more, worked on your grape vines, sewed some stuff...gosh I don't even know the half of it I bet. You are a dope for not knowing how much people are impressed by you. But then again, that humbleness is also a trait that makes you you - and we likes you the way you are - the same you that whipped up all those paintings. So very good for you! I'm honoured to have been a part of it (though probably contributed diddly squat and you're just trying to please me :)