Why I paint what I do
I’ve been looking closely at what I’ve been creating lately as I experiment with a number of different avenues, mediums, etc. Now it’s time to sift through what I’ve learned and settle on what’s important. The process requires some soul-searching to answer the question, “Why do I choose the subjects that I do? What is it I want to say?”
I want to be more intentional about the link between what I create and the natural world. It’s where I draw my inspiration from. So the answer didn’t quite satisfy because it’s easy to say “I’m inspired by nature” but really, why does it call to me?
Nature is constant
This past year has been disorienting, disheartening and at times, just plain bleak. No matter how much of an introvert I may be, I miss my family and friends. I miss the freedom of travel and exploring and making plans for the future.
But Nature is always there, reminding me of the familiarity of the everyday. Flowers, bees, the tides and the breeze on my face. It has always been my safe place, even as a child. It grounds me and refreshes my spirit.
Even caring for my houseplants offers structure and routine.
Going to get groceries, I drove past a cloud of apple blossoms in a nearby orchard. They seemed to bloom overnight, a reminder that I can count on the rhythm of the seasons. Plants bloom, produce fruit and then sleep for the winter. Animal raise their young and send them on their way to make room for another generation.
Even the weather is a reminder of change. We’ve had fog, sun, rain and snow all in the same day here.
Nature slows me down so inspiration can find me
One of the reasons we moved to Nova Scotia was to get off the hamster wheel that comes from living near a big city. I grew up in a small village and roamed the woods and farmer’s fields as a child. I wanted to recover that feeling of ‘all the time in the world’.
Nature reminds me to pay attention and be in the moment. It’s an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts and to stay present to what’s around me.
I feel awe, reverence and wonder when I’m paying attention to the natural world. It can be tiny and intricate or huge and breathtaking. It reminds me I’m not the center of the universe but part of something bigger I can only begin to comprehend.
Research has shown this feeling lights up the part of my brain dealing with memories, ideas and thoughts, which are the cradle of inspiration and creativity. I can’t access it if I’m rushing along.
Nature is everywhere and it’s accessible
I might not be able to wander vast landscapes or climb high peaks but I can tend my flower garden, care for my pets and get outside. I can watch the sun set, smell the ocean, hear the waves, feel the breeze on my cheek.
If even that is out of reach, there are photos online, nature programs on TV and, of course, art in the home.
All Nature requires is respect. My art is a way to capture the awe and wonder I feel and to attempt to share those feelings with you. I paint to remind us both that an apple blossom and a bumblebee are worth spending quality time with.