Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Get Out of the Comfy Chair...

A few weeks ago at our Garden Gathering, our friend Sue spoke on approaching your garden with an open mind and artistic eye.  Sue is a longtime greenhouse helper, an former art teacher, an artist, a traveler, and so, so much more!  I always appreciate her perspective and found her part of  "The Talk" at this year's Garden Gathering quite inspiring.  It's something that we all need to hear every now and again... enjoy!

-Anna Mary    


Out of the Comfy Chair to See with New Eyes

As an artist (just happens to be my occupation but applies for any field) I have found that if I keep doing the same creative process over and over the life in my artwork diminishes. I may create a series of paintings in order to work out an idea but, once the idea has been developed several different ways then I need to move on. In other words if I become too comfortable with my art procedure, the metaphoric comfy chair, literally I stop seeing and creating new art. So I am always looking for innovative ways to communicate an idea and find new mark-making techniques in order to keep my work alive. This way my art and my mind continue to grow and evolve.

This notion of trying new things so to see with new eyes, I apply also to my backyard. My garden and containers are another creative process every season, I am always trying new things. Some work some don't. But with each failure and each success I learn more about plants. I learn more about sun and shade and wet and dry. I learn more. And in the end I have a living painting in which I find tranquility, and beauty. I love to just sit and observe the garden just like a painting. And it is wonderful to share with others.

A long time artist at this point I have studied and applied the Elements and Principles of Design over and over. ( I also enjoy going outside the rules too.) When painting or gardening I think about these compositional standards such as: repetition, visual movement, line, color, and contrast. Contrast and repetition may be my favorite Principles. I enjoy contrasting color, shape and line. And repeating a certain color across your yard, will draw the eye along the color path. Just some things to think about.  More on the E&P of design here.

This metaphor for the comfy chair and seeing with new eyes I also apply to my life. From paintings, to gardening, to living, I want to experience as much as I am able. From small feats to big feats I like to try things differently than my normal procedure. I want to have my coffee as you do, or as the nomads in Tunisia do, or as the Turks in Cappadocia do, or as the indigenous people of Northern Thailand do.....see my point? And in the end I have tasted coffee a hundred different ways. What fun is that!

Life is our greatest creation. It is up to each of us how we choose to plant our gardens. I encourage you to get out of the Comfy Chair. And do not worry about failures, that is the only way we can keep our eyes open. And I don't know about you but, I don't want to miss a thing.



For more about Susan Gottlieb & her art:

1 comment:

  1. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Such a beautiful and inspirational post.
    Thanks so much for sharing!