Monday, 31 May 2010

A Journey To Me

"Scents of Summer"
Original Watercolour by Jean Haines
From a Private Collection

I moved a few weeks ago to a beautiful cottage in gorgeous countryside. Many boxes of belongings had remained in storage for over twelve months while renovations took place. We sensibly rented a second smaller cottage for the construction period. When we moved back into our new home unpacking became a full time occupation for the first week but finding treasure of older paintings made up for all the hard work.

Choosing colour combinations for each room was exciting and finally time to hang paintings came. I look back at the homes I have lived in all over the world and realize something has changed this time and  I wonder how many other artists recognize this scenario.

When I first started painting years ago I always admired established artists and I have always held a passion for watercolour. Over the years each time I was in an exhibition and sold I would often choose one very special painting of a top artist to purchase and "invest" in as a great piece of original art for my home. Time passed and a stunning collection began to build into one I am very attached to today. I have special memories  attached to each piece of galleries I have shown in and leading artists I have met..

Each of these paintings took pride of place on walls where visitors could easily admire them. So much so that friends often asked me where MY art was!  Mine always took a back seat to more famous names.

For safety reasons when we moved I put everything that was precious to me into storage for safe keeping and in our rented cottage only my work was on view. As new exhibitions came up the new work temporarily hung on my walls and when it sold I was often disappointed. And so I would paint a " new" piece especially for  our home. But that would sell too and as the last year has passed each time I paint my new work it sells and disappears.

Has this made me paint any faster? No .In fact it has had the opposite effect. I now love each piece so much I enjoy it in such a different way. I enjoy the luxury of "owning" it until it reaches a gallery.

But I do have favourite old paintings and when I unpacked this time I found myself choosing my paintings above other artists for the very first time in my life. I was hanging my own work in the living room and now leading artists work was adorning bedroom walls as well as being hung in main rooms.

All of a sudden it hit me I have "made it" into my own art world. I have passed judgement by my own heaviest critic. Me!  I have finally discovered I love what I paint so much I want to see it on my own walls and not hidden away. It has taken me years to reach this point. I also understand why  collectors buy certain pieces. Pieces I too want to own. I want one of my own racing scenes and I want to own one of my own owl paintings. I would seriously love one of my own cat paintings. But these are desperately needed by a gallery.  I will paint each for my home so that I can temporarily enjoy them while they are here.

I cannot paint simply to sell. I have never had that ability.  Neither do I want to possess it as my watercolours are a part of me. They carry emotion in every single painting. Like the rose painting above each is part of my journey in watercolour and tells the story of where I have been. Hopefully they show where I am coming from and going to.

When friends walk into my home it is wonderful to hear them say they love a piece. I have denied myself that pleasure for so long. Now for the first time I am enjoying my own art and looking forward to one day painting new pieces for specific rooms.

This  has to be my best art year  ever and I feel a thrill each time I pick up a brush. It's that feeling I want to give to everyone  who comes on my workshops. More of which start tomorrow.

I wish everyone could share this incredible feeling of happiness in their lives.Peaceful calm from simply  holding a brush and passion for the results that come from a variety of brushstrokes.

I am so very lucky.



SEEKER said...

Reading this post and many others of yours is like stepping out into the sunshine. Your joy overflows - thanks. Interesting that it's taken you many years to use your own paintings to decorate your home. As a bungling amateur I'm just starting to hang a few of mine - but only in my study which is my private domain! Not good enough to put anywhere else.

Louise said...

Thank you for sharing your Joy...when Joy is shared, it is contagious...:)
This is a beautiful, inspirational piece of writing also...Even though I don't comment a lot I read every one of your posts and thoroughly enjoy basking in the beauty of your paintings...they are truly incredible.

Stilin Studio said...

I love the fact that you are so open and giving of your work, your thoughts, your growth as an artist. I find you and your incredibly beautiful paintings so very inspiring...! Sigh....I can only aspire to paint so well that I'd be happy to see my own art on my own walls! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. Thanks, Jean!

Merna said...

Thank you Jean for sharing with us and being transparent about your art work. I read every one of your posts and what you share inspires me to carry on. Maybe one day I will get it. I am looking forward to reading your book and attednig your workshop. I hope your book and workshop will take my art one step forward.

Art&Life said...

I hope You really enjoy THIS time, I'm thinking about You and awaiting for each single post You may down load any time. I wish You to be happy in each moment. All the best from Poland. I'd like to meet You one day...

Art&Life said...

Your each post makes me a JOY. Thank You for posting here. All of them encourage me and give a power for painting. All the best to You from Poland. I really hope to meet You one day.

Art&Life said...

Your each post makes me a JOY. Thank You for posting here. All of them encourage me and give a power for painting. All the best to You from Poland. I really hope to meet You one day.

Jean Haines SWA said...

Hello Nancy, I am sorry its taken me so long to reply but life has been really busy lately. I sat here reading your reply over and over again, to be likened to sunshine is such a gorgeous compliment and I am very grateful for you to have left this message here which in its own way brought sunshine to me too! Thank you so much.

Jean Haines SWA said...

Hello Louise, you know, the way you write is very inspirational too.You type from your heart which shines very brightly. Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed this post and my blog, replies like yours keep me sharing.....I hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you filled with smiles and great paintings!

Jean Haines SWA said...

Stilin Studio: Thank you so much, I find sharing comes naturally to me because I am encouraged to do so by many wonderful people like yourself who respond and in turn this makes me just wish to share more!

I also know many people feel exactly the same way as I do regarding their work but very rarely tell anyone.

By sharing our feelings, our ups and downs in life we can assure others what is happening is natural and we are not alone.

I've still many lessons to learn!

Thank you so much for your reply.


Jean Haines SWA said...

Art&amp....thank you so much for such lovely replies. I am thrilled you like my blog posts and yes, to meet one day would be really nice,