A break . . .

I am sure you have noticed that my posting has been much lighter than normal.  I am going to take a wee break.  I have just not been feeling the blog of late.  Part of it is the boys, as they get older I feel they need more privacy. And, for whatever reason I just don't feel like writing.  I am not really sure what I am going to do with this space.  I might merge my blog and portfolio site.  That way I can occasionally post about projects, paintings and such.  But, I feel certain whatever form it takes it will be less personal.  For a while, at least, I am feeling the need to turn inward.  To just focus on myself and my family.  I have unintentionally taken a break for blogging the last few weeks and it was been nice.

I can't thank you all enough for letting be share my heart, my hopes, my fears.  For walking beside me though some crazy life transitions and adventures. I love you all.  Please don't loose touch.

You can follow me on Instagram, @jaimebarks. 

Much love!


A light in the Darkness

It has been a struggle to find time to create the last few months.  I finally have a designated studio space in our new house but between work, the boys, the endless amount of laundry and our basement bonus room renovations (I will post pictures soon) time has been limited. But, here and there I am creating.  And, I have been intentional about painting what I am feeling.  It has been great because for the most part I am painting for me. I'm trying create all the little stories, feeling and ideas that have been rumbling around in my head.  I think the feeling of being overwhelmed and the darkness of winter (which in Tennessee is starting to lift a little) inspired this painting.  And perhaps the solstice a bit as well. It was brewing for a while and took me a couple of months to finish it.  Scale is hard to grasp in the picture but this one is on the larger side, 24 x 36 inches on a cradled wood panel. The trees are bible pages. I just can't seem to get away from using them of late. I just love all the bible pages symbolize.


This painting along with this painting.

 And a few coffee paintings are for sale as part of Eat Your Art Out!  You can view and purchase on the website.   50% of the sales will go the Greenway Public Art Committee.       



I still believe in anchors

I almost didn't post this because it is a couple days after Christmas and this painting (and post) aren't festive. At all.  But, it just feels like something that needs to be shared.  I know this time of year is supposed to be joyful but I also know that for lots of people this is a hard time of year.  People are lonely. We miss those who are no longer with us. People are broken.  As we celebrate the holidays and the end of a year it is easy to feel overwhelmed with all your faults and failures.  But, the truth is, we are all broken.  Everyone has hurts and failures.  So, as we prepare to celebrate this time of year instead of pretending our lives are perfect lets take a second to come together and "wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief."  Instead of just smiling and pretending we never hurt.

I realize this video isn't new.  In fact it is four years old which is basically ancient in internet time. But, it is new to me.  A couple of weeks ago a friend pulled it up on his phone and told me my reaction to this would determine if we could remain friends. No pressure, right?  And admittedly when Dan Smith started his spoken word piece (after the short intro)  I snickered a little because I was caught off guard by a mustached man yelling passionately into a mic.  But then, I started to listen to his words.

Most the times from painting come from something I have seen (usually in nature) or from trying to convey a thought or emotion.  But, every now and then a painting will just pop in my head.  It has only happen I few times and I know it sounds totally crazy.  This poem was stuck in my head and they next day when I listened to it a second time the next day this image of this appeared.

IMG_0338 As clear as could be.  I saw the ship, the details and the ocean full a bible pages.

IMG_0349 IMG_0348 IMG_0347 
This boat some how represents my own personal story.  I cried while I painted.  Once again, I am sure this sounds slightly insane but they words and images carried so much weight for me.  I'm not totally sure what it means.  I guess we all feel a little lost at times.  And for me, the bible and Christianity often cause me even more anxiety.  I've been honest with my struggle and I am still wandering around trying to find a faith that feels authentic.  Which is why I love this.  It doesn't pretend we are all perfect but rather celebrates the pain and holds on to hope.

And in this hectic time of year we all need hope and dose of honesty. Things are hard. We get hurt. Things don't work out. And it's okay. There is beauty in the brokenness. Let's remember the good and the bad and most importantly let's hold on to each other.

I still believe in anchors
pulling fist fulls of rotten wood from my heart, I still believe in saviors
but I know that we are all made out of shipwrecks, every single board
washed and bound like crooked teeth on these rocky shores
so come on and lets wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief
and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach
come on and sew us together, tattered rags stained forever
we only have what we remember

PS.  If you are local, this painting is for sale in Lupi's in Cleveland.  It replaced a painting that was sold right before Christmas.


I must go

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

I love being outside. It makes me feel alive and grounded. Here are a few photos from our recent hiking adventure. I love that the boys are getting old enough for such explorations.
Untitled               PS. Alex's mountain man pose.


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