what does HOME mean to you?

February 15, 2017


For the past few months ... maybe even years ... I've been pondering the meaning of "home".
Physical, metaphysical and spiritual.

This nugget has been swirling in my subconscious with brief, tenuous touchdowns in my conscious brain. My art has reflected this ... the house shape coming up in journals and paintings and assemblages ...  over and over again.


Two synchronistic events have finally made this gel for me:
  1. We are designing/building a house wherein the lion's share of figuring out layouts has been left up to me. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining! It matters to me. A house ... our HOME... is important to me. A direct reflection of who I am. And it requires me to think hard about how we want the space to look and feel. How we want the rooms to work. What is important. What is not. 
  2. I'm taking another of Stephanie's classes, "The WholeheARTed Artist".  The second lesson is about tailoring one's space to reflect how you want to feel in it. Kind of a no-brainer until you start to reflect on how your space actually DOES make you feel! Is your bedroom conducive to good sleep? Do you feel nurtured ... physically/emotionally... in your kitchen or dining room? Does your creative space make you feel ...well.. creative?!? 
These 2 are intrinsically linked and I am thinking long and hard on how I want our new space to feel, how my current space might be lacking. It feels large and expansive to be able to create this new home to envelop these ideas.

But.
That actually isn't where I was headed with this post.

You see, part of the reason I took the course was to help nail down where I want to be as an artist. From last year's class, Katie Kendrick's "Grit and Grace" I have continued to show up daily in my art practice. I can't say that every day is a Good Day. Or that the art I'm making is thrilling me to bits. But I'm in there. I'm showing up.

At the beginning, moving from sporadic practice to making it a daily priority, was good enough. Until it wasn't anymore. I'd nailed that. It had become Habit.  And the art was being made and stacking up. I tried to sell some but with less success than I'd hoped. And I began to feel stymied again. Doubts began to cloud the path to the studio door ..."what's the point? why am I doing this? where am I headed?" And inherently more dangerous ... "man I suck! I'm not an artist! what a poser."

Pretty hard to feel inspired when one's inner critic is cat-calling from the sidelines!

I've been half-heartedly making these canvases featuring some of my photos from last summer's Great (North) American Journey. I knew I wanted to do something with them ... the theme "Wish you were here" came to mind. But the longer I've been working on them, the less thrilled, the more over-wrought they were becoming.
Lack of direction is the ruin of many Good Intentions.

This morning as I was munging around (technical term!) with one of these canvases, I was thinking about why we travel. Why do we send postcards saying "Wish you were here"? Do we really? If that's true then why, so often, is the best part of going away, coming home?!?  I wondered how other's feel about this. Do they go travelling so they'll feel better about their home? their own everyday lives? Or is it a symbiotic thing? Going away helps refine and hone what they want from their houses and homes. And what might that look like?

And it blossomed before me ... collaborative works from all artistic avenues. Artists and sculptors and  fiber artists and woodworkers. Poets and writers and photographers and performance artists. Speaking their vision, their truth on "Wish you were here. Or What does home mean to you?"

And suddenly these canvases ... all of these house forms I've been making for years... have a new reinvigorated purpose. A direction.

Pretty exciting!

[if this idea sparks something in you, please let me know! comment or email me. I want to hear from you!]

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8 comments

  1. Gah. You are in the thick of it and mining some incredible gold! Or making...you alchemist, you.

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    1. Thanks to you, friend. You ask good Questions!

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  2. hmmmmmmmmmm...well actually, reading this did spark something for me for OUR collaborative piece. Stay tuned

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    1. Oooooohhhhhh. Can't wait to see what transpires!

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  3. Interesting thoughts!

    The house thing: do you ever think back to why you moved to the 273? Why you chose the house? There must have been things that you liked and didn't... buying a home that is already constructed can be easier: it's like colouring in a half finished drawing (changing the original colouring is very difficult however!). A new home is like a brand new canvas: you can start however you want. Having complete control can be daunting... sometimes you just need to start to get the ball roling and not overthink every brush stroke. So, what brought you to the 273? Start with those thoughts and maybe the rest of the picture will reveal itself.

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    1. Much of what inspired me about Meadowood was it's potential lifestyle. The house, I think was such a small part of it. Having said that, I am thinking about how we use the this house, these rooms to fuel the new place. Thanks Kiddo. xo

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  4. First of all....love the canvas. It like the entire post resonates with me.
    Did you ever read Elizabeth Gilbert's book 'Big Magic'? She talks about creative ideas floating around that attach themselves to people and wait for a response.
    These past few months I have had many of the same feelings you mention and have started to create a series of paintings that all have a 'coming home' theme. That is, I painted them and then realized this theme was the common one. So reading your blog made me smile. Perhaps we need to have a joint show. ;)
    I look forward to seeing where you go with this. - Flora

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    1. Firstly thank you for responding and your kind words Flora. I can't tell you how excited I am that this post resonated with you. I love when our work leads us down subconscious paths! A joint show sounds like a splendid idea! 😊

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