The goal behind this series of paintings is to take design elements and find story. Whether it is a simple story that takes the viewer to a place or a mixing of concepts. Each piece works to go beyond a pretty picture to tell a story.
“The Saddle”, tells a story of a saddle at rest. Propped up at the cowboy house on a clean wall after a day’s work.
“A Boys Imagination” tells the story of a city boy getting immersed into the country through his imagination. The scene of the boy climbing on polished poles, sparks his imagination and draws him into the country. The city just fades away.
Pictures and scenes can be found anywhere. Finding the beauty and story that can be told visually is the goal.
I was approached to compose a piece in order to tell a story. Learning more about their story, I found out their youngest was diagnosed with a heart defect after being born. She would need surgery to repair her heart at an early age. She had a successful surgery and now is a normal healthy kid.
The couple identified a few elements; they wanted a realistic looking heart-mended, potentially stars which represent those praying for their daughter and a more highlighted element representing their family. They were very open to ideas as well but having a few pieces from them really set the vision in motion.
The challenge of creating a visual for someone else’s story is honoring their wishes. They had some direction but ultimately after hearing their story I was to go to the drawing board and figure out how to create something that could go into their home, their child’s room, and still honor the story. It was a cool challenge. Because there was no reference but the story, I had to compile some sort of reference in order to finish the work in a manner that represents my abilities and style as well.
Taking on the project, I prepared myself mentally for lots of input and changes from the couple. I was willing to work on the project until it worked for them OR be totally willing to work and not sell the piece in the end. Having this approach gave me freedom to really create.
The hardest piece was the heart. I did look through anatomical drawings and used textbook drawings from a couple of references to create the heart. I departed from the tone of red and came up with a color harmony that felt more inviting. I took some time to learn a little about the heart. I spent time in prayer and meditated on the emotion of what I thought they were highlighting in their story….the prayers and support of others.
Because this piece is a departure from what I had done in school it was a new frontier. It also has given me vision for some next steps in a painting series. It was a total joy to hand this piece over to this family.
My name is Jamie. My life resume holds random titles, of Sports Marketing Coordinator, Hockey Rink Manager, Running Coach, Worship Leader, Musician, Artist, Oil Painter, wife and mother of three. In the midst of all the hats I have worn, I have royally messed up and succeeded in the past and the jury is still out on my current undertakings.
I am a creative.
This blog will have some about my journey in how I have fully embraced calling myself a creative and how that has helped me find my groove. A quick thesaurus check on creative: inspired, visionary, clever, originative (not sure this is really a word but I like it), productive, gifted, original, artistic, imaginative, innovative. Notice, that artistic is in there but it isn’t the whole. For me, identifying myself as a creative has been how I have found my groove. I have been inspired to fully embrace who I was created to be. Finding my groove has a large spiritual element, requires focus, requires scraping away of unhelpful expectations, then walking in it.
Hope you will join me on this journey and ultimately start walking in finding your groove.
There can be great anxiety for me in the question, what do you do? My response, is mom and artist or creative. Typically the reply to that is “I wish I had a creative outlet”, “I wish I could draw, paint, sculpt or even have time to have a hobby like that.” There are so many opportunities to pursue a craft, a sport or any other hobby but never is there time or sometimes a strong enough desire to really make it happen. Sometimes the desire is strong but people will get stuck on I can’t find the time, energy or money, thus desiring or wishing for something different IS the hobby. At least that was true for me.
So where to start? How can you find a groove with something outside of what you do? Often the hindrances of money, time or energy are real barriers, the barrier for me was the fear of sucking. My perception that whatever I was to pursue I needed to be good at it. This fear, held me back for years in just doing. So on some level the thing I “did” is whatever I didn’t suck at the most. Unfortunately, just being capable at something doesn’t mean it fills you up or helps you shine your best self.
Eventually, I jumped into some painting and drawing classes with a very low level commitment. Early on, I was taking a class and the instructor came up to me, asked how it was going while pausing to check out my work. “Ugh, I am so frustrated. Painting just makes me so anxious.” Which she simply replies, “So then why do you paint?”
So that honestly was the starting point. The starting point wasn’t taking a class here and there to see if I liked it or not. That fell more into the category or trying something new or maybe even staying busy. Asking the question, “so why do you paint?”, was the starting point. There is no right or wrong answer to that question. Honesty to the why question will prove the longevity of the pursuit.
If I answered, I paint because I need to get away from my life or family. It is an honest answer but it won’t sustain the pursuit. If the activity sounds just like a nice idea, that is all it ever will be. When I dig a little deeper my answer really identified that I am a creative and I wanted to find a way to express that on a canvas. So here is the starting point…why do you _______?”