...there is still so much beauty in the world...
a peek into my heart
I was struggling with how to start this note when an artist friend said, "I love how your art let's us peek into your heart." Words can be such a gift.
A peek into my heart....what a year of paradoxes! Somedays I want to hide. Then I look at the temporary tattoo on my wrist: "Be Present."
When I write and paint I start by asking myself: Where's my heart? Lately my heart has been grateful and fearful at the same time. I know I am not alone.
For me, 2020 has produced a tension of wanting to be both seen and not seen; visible and invisible. I tried to capture this tension in the painting above, In/Visible. Looking closely, you see me peeking out of the painting, with layers of thoughts written on top in white. The largest words are: Here I am. Though large, you have to look closely to see them. I find myself wanting people to see my art, wanting and needing community, wanting to fight for things I strongly believe in, and wanting to remain safely and quietly tucked away in my home in the woods. I don't believe I am alone in this dilemma.
While working on In/Visible, I suddenly envisioned a totally different way to communicate my 2020 emotions - hiding behind and hugging a tree labeled "Enough." Peeking out and holding on tight at the same time. I am grateful for the beauty around me, my family and friends and art. I have enough. Yet, we've all also had enough. Such a strange dichotomy. (As an aside, picture me running around hugging trees and taking pictures of myself to use as resource photos.)
I share these thoughts in the midst of a very odd holiday season. In that spirit, I thought I'd mention a few things I love (my power tools) in hopes they inspire you.
Reading and listening and painting.
If you like to read, my good friend, Emily Fine, who also happens to be the mom of my niece and nephew, has her own podcast, The Book Cougars, which is all about books. Such a fun listen and so many good suggestions! Check it out. (I am reading Richard Powers book right now, The Overstory. Wow.)
Kelly Anne Powers has a wonderful podcast called Learn To Paint. I have been lucky to get to know Kelly over the past few years. She is a fabulous human and is joined by great artists talking about their craft. I love the insights I gain every time I listen.
Supporting the creators.
For my mid-Michigan friends, Sara Bishop put together a gift giving guide to shop locally. She is so cool.
Art comes in so many forms. I'm related to one of my favorite jewelers, Samuel Valensky. Sam is Jeff's cousin (and mine too). His jewelry is beautiful and meaningful and from the heart. He calls it "personal medicine for the wearer." How can you go wrong?
Since I mentioned my temporary tattoo, I love the company Conscious Ink. Many of their tattoos could be titles of my paintings. I must say, though, Zach's working on his skills to give me a permanent tattoo. That's a tad scary.
I encourage you to shop on-line locally, know that many artists struggle with the same paradox I am exploring. Please support small independent businesses. I adore my galleries and want them to continue. We need art in our lives.
My art. My paintings (and mini-art journals and cards) are available for purchase on Daily Paintworks. Once purchased, I will happily put them in the mail to you. If you are interested in a painting on my website, please email me directly. If it's in a gallery, I will put you in touch with them. And don't forget about my self-paced online art journaling classes, Good Morning Creativity! They would make a wonderful gift for someone needing a little extra creative handholding at the moment. I also have started teaching one-on-one classes on-line. Shoot me a note if you have questions.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me. I truly appreciate you more than you can know. Please stay healthy.
My love to all,
Stay up-to-date on classes I am teaching and art show happenings through my website, Facebook page Jessica Kovan Art or follow me on Instagram.