Finding peace in the noise
Hello art friends!
It’s March! If your corner of the world has been chilly, hopefully it’s starting to get warmer. Early Spring is a time of growth and rebirth. Plants and flowers are beginning to bloom and animals are emerging from the dormancy of winter. Two birds (maybe five, who knows) wake me up around 5:23 every morning just to mess with me. Then they stop chirping about three minutes before my baby wakes up. Sigh. The beauty (and noise!) of the world.
I’ve been thinking about the many balances of motherhood, specifically about time & energy and chaos & peace, and I wanted to share some thoughts in the hope that they may resonate.
One thing I’ve been thinking about is how and where to focus my time and energy. Parenting young children (and especially single parenting in my case) is many things, one of which is: relentless. The relentlessness of protecting, cuddling, serving, bathing, soothing, carrying, changing, holding, answering, securing, feeding, transporting, guiding, modeling. The relentlessness of the pull I feel towards each child, the pull towards painting, the pull towards self-care (have I read this week, have I done any meaningful exercise, when did I last shower, shouldn’t I meet some other thinking adults outside of my house now and then). And throughout all of this, I’m confronted with the worry around giving up precious work time (yes, I should meet my friends for a glass of wine just this once, but wait, I also need to paint for five hours so I can finish that piece and try to sell it to pay for my daughter’s summer camp). When you’re a parent and when you solely support your family, everything you do has an opportunity cost. The scarcity of time and energy heightens the importance of time and energy. The idea of simply sitting outside on a sunny day and looking up at the clouds seems preposterous. Who has the time?
But of course, we all have the time. And if we don’t, we must make the time. We must find some peace within this chaos. I mean for goodness sakes the reason I paint what I paint is to soothe and slow, to help people quiet the noise around them.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about Fred Rogers, or “Mr. Rogers”. When I was a kid, I didn’t like his television show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood (and I’m not even sure why), but I always liked him. When I was older, I read about him and learned that he’s this amazing, brilliant individual who should have been President because he would never abuse his power and he was just so good – but of course he never would have won because he’s too kind.
Anyway, he has the perfect quote: “I’m very concerned that our society is much more interested in information than wonder. In noise, rather than silence…how do we encourage reflection? Oh my, this is a noisy world.”
My world is noisy. That’s okay and it’s also a bit hard to control right now because little ones are all about noise, metaphorically and actually. The world is also noisy, very noisy, and that’s also okay, but also easier to control (as in it’s easier to drown out). There are so many small, even unremarkable, things that we can do to find peace amidst the chaos, to push away the noise. Activities like painting (and looking at paintings!), gardening, drawing, making music, all have a meditative effect that grounds us in the moment such that we temporarily transport to a place of calm within the noise of our surroundings. A refuge from the noise, of sorts.
With that, I am just thrilled to announce a partnership with Jiggy Puzzles to showcase my paintings on two 500-piece jigsaw puzzles! This makes me particularly happy as I feel puzzling provides the same sort of slowing and soothing effect as looking at paintings, helping one get lost for a while. You can check out the puzzle with one of my Flower Fields paintings here and the puzzle with one of my River paintings here.
I can’t think of a better Mother’s Day present than that! wish you all some quiet amidst the noise and a lovely, warm Spring. As always, you can check out some of my latest pieces below and feel free to reply to this email with any questions or thoughts.
a collection of recent works
See a painting you love? Click on the 'contact' links below to email Julia an inquiry on the piece. There are prints available for some of these paintings as well, and if you are particularly interested in a print that doesn’t exist yet, Julia may be able to make one for you.
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