I’ve heard it said that as an artist your work normally surrounds things you love. I suppose that’s true because I tend to lean into my drawings/paintings of nature and animals. I love the beautiful scenery that surrounds. I like jewelry, clothes, and homewares that are earthy tones–they speak to me in some kind of way that makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. You know, that I’m home feeling. I get those same vibes when perusing a farmers market or feeling a new skein of yarn between my fingers. As the cooler temps blow in with the Fall weather, I enjoy that corner of the couch, curled up under a soft blanket with a hot cup of tea and good read kind of feeling.
Color has always been what sparks me the most. I can sketch a drawing out and envision what I would like it to look like. I can put that initial coat of paint onto the canvas, but it isn’t until I begin to add those warm and cool shadows and highlights that cause the pop that my excitement sets in. When looking around the landscape of everyday life I notice twenty different colors in one tree or that clouds are rarely anything but all white. Being a rather quiet person, not because I lack some input on things that I occasionally give, but because my mind is constantly weaving about ideas and thoughts that are easier expressed in a more creative manner such as art, writing, photography, or crafting, I find myself wondering how into the important things people are. Do you see the color variations in your surroundings? The way the light changes a form or the shadows fall across the ground? If you are an artist too, you are most likely saying but of course. But if you aren’t, do you notice these things?
I often wonder how a creative mind works in so many levels, or at least mine does, that it mutates off the beaten path on a consistent basis. I can go one-minute thinking of sandy beaches and waterfalls to the snowy ridges of a mountainside the next. What I have the hardest time doing is sitting 8 or more hours in a traditional “job” doing the same tasks day in and out and not being able to use my creative outlets. Not being able to step outside at any point of my choosing. To smell the green earth and live along those organic lines of picking up and taking a trip when you like without having to ask permission from someone to be able to do so. Punching in and out of a time clock to go eat a meal or take a restroom break and possibly getting in trouble if you are more than 15 minutes or a half-hour is not the life I want to lead. I don’t feel that is the way life is meant to be led. I’m not even sure who came up with those silly rules. Sure, we don’t need chaos but there has got to be a better way right? Even being an artist means you need structure, but when you enjoy what you are doing it’s easier to find that structure and carve out those moments like initials in a tree of you and your loved one. It also means you are happier when it comes to those special moments of moonlight walks or sandcastle building as opposed to punching out at a certain time, stressed over your day, dinner, shower, and getting ready to do it all again tomorrow. I would rather wake when my body says I’m rested and sleep when my body says I’m tired than crashing at a time to work in 8 hours of sleep only to wake to the loud horn cringing sound of an alarm clock.
This isn’t the way life is supposed to be in my eyes. When I take a walk with my dog I don’t want to have to rush. When I sit with the breeze in my hair smelling the waif of wood from a smoking chimney, or the blooms pressing up from the ground… I don’t want it to be rushed…EVER! That isn’t the way the earth is. That isn’t the way the animals are unless they are running from a danger which is what I feel like in any traditional position of time. Life should be organic. Picking up my paintbrush…un-rushed, uninhibited by whether I am going to be working on a subject for the next 2 or 12 hours of my day. It being my choice if nature calls and I want to hear the wolf cry without that awful alarm clock breaking in to mask the beauty of its howls. The earth revolves and sometimes Winter is late and Spring is early or they tiptoe around teasing you with sporadic days intermingled but never on a set day at a set time to say “Here I am, 6 o’clock on a Monday morning and I will be departing at 4 O’clock on a Friday 3 months from now so I don’t get into trouble with mother nature”. Mothers know their pregnancies usually last around 9 months but rest assured that the baby is going to come when it is meant to…not sooner and not later. This is nature. Earthy and organic is how I feel life should be. Set by the seasons and shared with a special someone on the daily and intermingled with friends to laugh with.
How many of you stop to learn the abundant lessons the earth has to teach us? How many of you are stuck in the mire of a traditional “job”? How many of you enjoy what you are doing daily? Please feel free to share.