1.21.2015

Wee interview and great site

I have an interview up on the art sharing site Musetic.   If you are a creator of any kind I suggest you look into adding some links to the site. 

http://musetic.com/

Here is a link to my interview on the site .. . .http://blog.musetic.com/2015/01/20/muserfocus-jaimebarks/.  It was a fun interview and they asked some interesting questions.  I rambled about my dream art job and why I stopped trying to sell my work. 

12.30.2014

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 
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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.

12.17.2014

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.

11.12.2014

It hasn't been terrible

Whenever people ask me about the whole process of moving I have been telling them "it hasn't been terrible."  I wouldn't say it was fun but it could have been worse.  Truthfully, the process of looking for a home was worse than actually moving.  Our home sold quick which left us scrambling.   The house we wanted to buy went under contract before we got an offer submitted.  We got out bid once, had to back out of a house because of the results of a home inspection, and a plethora of other real estate woes. In fact, because of all our issues we ended up homeless for 10 days.  Thank god for good friends and cheap hotels. In totally we looked at upwards of 30 houses in person.  Guys, we saw some things.  Weird houses, dirty housed, house with homeowners in them.  One homeowners had her dog faces tattooed on her leg.  We went in a house that had what we liked to referrer to as a death room. It once served as a hospice room complete with hospital bed and hand written notes of farewells, scriptures and affirmations scribbled all over the walls.  Creepers.  Basically our experience was the opposite of House Hunters.  It is funny because I wasn't really even that interested in the house we ended up with.  It is a split entry which I loath with a fiery passion. In fact, I didn't even want to go see it because of this.  But, after another round of bad houses I added this one to the list.  And, I like it.   I wouldn't say love.  It was in a conveniently location and had lots of potential without needed to much work to the main living area.  Plus, it had a jetted tub.  I know, trivial but a nice perk.  The house has space but isn't a large home.  It has a very cozy feel to it.  After Jason saw it we put in an offer and the rest is history.  It funny because I was never very attached or really crazy excited about the house. I think it was the fact that it wasn't downtown and I was in the mourning process of selling my old house.  Even after closing I just felt blah.  I was convinced our stuff wasn't going to work in our 70s split and I was stressed about the work that needed to be done.  The first night in the house I couldn't sleep.  I was up all night.  Then, when we finally started getting stuff set up I finally started to feel settled.  I won't go as far to say I am in love just yet.  I am still dealing with the end of my first real estate love but I am getting there.  Our stuff looks great in the space and we are starting to get settled.
Other than changing out a few light fixtures all we have really is decorate. We only had to repaint one room. Our guest room it was hideous. Well that and the beige rectangle on our landing. The previous own decided to paint around an old dusty mirror.
Ugly . .
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Better . . . (thanks to our DIY fixture that helped us win $50 gift card to the ReStore)
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Ugly . . .
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Better . . .
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I also rushed to set the boys room up, in hopes of helping them settle. Untitled
Lots of pretty natural light in the house. Untitled
Yeah, my head boards aren't actually mounted yet because I still can't find the hardware. It is in a box, somewhere.

We also got some furniture that used to be Jason's grandparents along with a new mattress and bedding for room. All of which I love and when the room is all put together I am sure it will feel like home but right now it just feels like I am sleeping in someone elses rooms. Someones room with pretty bedding ;)
 
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I do like the open living area.

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Hopefully we still start to feel settled.  Making a new house feel like home is a challenge.  Right now I still feel a little bit like we are crashing someone else's house :)

PS. This photo of the boys on the stoop all dressed up for Halloween helps. Untitled
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