France (part one)

So I have not really been posting lately or even interested in posting anything.  Too busy just living life I guess.  Writing about it seems so trivial.  However I just got back from France and did without TV, and only had limited internet.  I read a bunch, and fell in love with books again.  A luxury in my busy schedule.  So I vowed to live life with less technology once I go back in an attempt to lead a more rich life. Take time for more meditation, contemplation and reflection.

So here I am.  I will attempt to give a better critique of France of the next week  (which was amazing in so many aspects).

Getting ready to travel:
I had so much work to do before leaving that I sort of left out a bunch of research – like what art I wanted to actually see in Paris, what the Lourve actually houses, learning a lick of French, etc……  I had a few paining commissions to wrap up and either deliver or get in the mail.  I had to ship a bunch of art to an Atlanta gallery/art rep.  I had to write three sorority recs, rehang my studio, clean my house and get ready for the house sitter, plan out my dog’s meals for the time she was at the kennel, I needed to make sure all my work shifts were taken care of at the studio/gallery and jewelry store, and plan a trip to San Antonio for a family thing.  I guess a normal person does not wait until the last minute, but I can’t seem to find enough hours in the day.  I was taking some art supplies and paint in hopes of doing some plein air painting, and that in an exact science in itself. And part of those did not arrive in time.

So with the lack of technology and distractions that normally desensitize, while in Provence, I was allowed to breathe, and exist in the moment.  Here are some things I learned or thought about:
– People view the world completely differentially.  People process reality differently:  Two people can actually see, hear, and experience the same exact thing(s) and realize it completely differently. So when you hear “There are two sides to every story” – you better believe it.  The baggage we carry lends itself to perception.  Some people trust too much, and take life at face value, while others think there is conspiracy and motive behind most things.  Some people trust what they are told and are able sit back and wait for their turn in life.  Other people would rather hover over the possibility, and force or rush the opportunity. Your reality is not always the same as everyone elses.
– Art is so objective.  And that is why I love it so much.  What people deem beautiful is not universal.  Some people don’t trust themselves, and like everything that everyone else does.  Others always find beauty in the underdog, Some people may think something smells nice that I find absolutely revolting.  The same goes for music, and tastes.  Some people are just ignorant.  Others are flat out narrow-minded.  Some people go through life accepting no responsibility or accountability – some prefer to play the role of the victim.  Others don’t like negative attention,  shun pity, hide from the truth, some live with a facade, and live in shame; they live with lies.
– Some people like/create drama and see that as a form of attention, or energy to thrive on.  Others prefer to actually gain attention from real accomplishments.
– Some people are so focused on the end product that they forget that the experience that leads them there is just as important:  Take time to smell the roses. Your personality, attitude (or lack of one), passion, love, and enthusiasm transpires in your art and how you live your life. You have to experience things before you successfully create.
– Some people are quick to criticize or critique things they know nothing about – I’m sure I have probably been guilty of this in the past as well.  And while I know their comments are based on ignorance, they can still sting.  Which I guess is why to this day I still don’t really care to show people my work unless it is mostly finished.
– I like challenge, experimentation, and discovery when I am make my (abstract) art. I don’t impose too many restrictions on myself – and if I do, I don’t seem to notice anymore – it might be second nature.  The ability to be loose and intuitive is what grounds me.  I savor the process.  In fact, what I have been doing the past few years I find more rewarding and challenging than anything I have ever done.  It is my therapy.  The preparation that goes on before I start a painting can take so long: Gathering collage materials, making my diluted solvent images, making copies, ripping them up, planning the compositions, layers and layers of  paint, paper, and medium – but the execution looks effortless.
I learned that a realistic painter seeks these same sort of challenges, but in different ways:  They may limit their palette and force themselves to only mix old school. They have to have the right light, or light bulbs.  The preparation of plein air painting is so meticulous, and set up needs to be an exact science, otherwise you waste valuable painting time.  Painting plein air encourages a realistic painter to paint fast, loose, and in the moment – to basically use the opposite side of their brain. It was interesting for me to see that a realistic painter seeks to embrace challenges and enjoy the process as well. And what seems daunting to some, others actually embrace.


So then I went to Paris – by myself.  I was a little scared and excited at the same time. But I will write more about that later.


I feel very peaceful and ready to enter my fourth decade of life.  I have a few changes to make, but I am comfortable with who I am, and know what I want from life.   Here is a detail of a soothing painting I have been working on:


1 Comment

Filed under Artist Ramblings, Inspiration

One response to “France (part one)

  1. Interesting and very on-target observations. I really would like to turn off my TV permanently one of these days. Still thinking about it, but think hubby might rebel. 🙂 Also understand about the blog posting; mine has suffered neglected a great deal this past year as well. LOVE the new painting. I went to Paris alone once and it was interesting (I have also gone with my husband as well as my mother on various trips there and am going again in December with my niece). Tomorrow I am on my way to Squam Art Workshops in NH and the supply box I shipped has yet to arrive (I shipped it 11 days ago and it should have ::sigh::) so I can understand the frustration of missing supplies! I have duplicated as best I can to take in my suitcase…but still hoping it might arrive. Somewhere. Eventually. LOL

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