Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Whirl of Mixed Emotions

'I feel like I'm collaborating with nature. It provides the colour, texture, form, narrative and inspiration. It's just a case of me thinking how I can best show off the unique characteristics of the material I'm using' - Fascinating insights into some wonderful work by Artist - Janine Mackintosh

I have been collecting gum leaves for so long now because I love their interesting colours and patterns. They are unique to Australia and in plentiful supply wherever you roam.  My heart jumped when I viewed Janine's work and wished I'd thought of it first!

Her explanation of how she works with nature is something I am akin to. In fact I have thought about these amazing gum leaves a great deal. I have felt drawn to them often but it eluded me how to present them as an art piece.  I wasn't sure how to secure and protect the brittle leaves. Would I frame them behind glass? Would I encase them with gel? Would I stitch them to canvas? I have worked on magnifying them and painting them onto canvas but most of the leaves natural properties are lost in my abstract approach to painting!

Well Janine has done amazing and outstanding creations that she has been highly rewarded for and I am just a little, well maybe a lot, dare I say it, envious!

The joy as well as frustration that must come from working with recycled rusty metal, found objects and God-given natural resources. I always carry home pocketfulls of these kind of things each time I go out walking in nature or even just around the block from my suburban home. there is so much to glean from the sidewalk! then I ponder various ways that I could compose and display them in a meaningful way and how would I secure them and preserve them? ....it is such a wierd feeling when you see someone else doing something that you've been pondering for way too long. Maybe Janine Mackintosh's work has hit me in the gut for a reason. 
I've been inspired. Janine has validated for me that these elements can be bought together and presented as exquisite artworks, that audiences adore and pay substantial amounts of money to own them and display them in their own environment. 

I am sure a great deal of time, patience, passion, energy, disappointment, commitment and so much more has gone into her work and I ask myself now and then... have I got what it takes? Of course my inner critic jumps on me with a loud voice...No, you are never going to make it, you are just wasting time, money and energy for no reason! Go get a job like most other women and stop sponging off your husband! 
I believe what I hear, cry myself to slumber and easily sink into a momentary depressed state.

But over the next few days a small quiet voice emerges from within, one that never left me, I just couldn't hear it before, or more likely I wasn't listening. It says something like, " your creative life matters. Keep going. Be content in the present moment, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing and be open to what happens. "

Jealousy, coveting, negativity and harsh judgements of yourself counterattack your creative life...so instead I come back to the present moment...and as my Yoga teacher says, relax your shoulders...breathe...and gently smile!

I'm okay again now. Some life situations throw you into a whirl of mixed emotions and it takes a few days to sort them through and land back squarely on two feet, thanks to loved ones and friends who plant their wisdom into your pile of compost to help you continue growing...slowly, happily and creatively.

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